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Ross Middle earns Apple Distinguished School designation

(ROSS MIDDLE SCHOOL -- Nov. 2, 2021) — Ross recently became EPISD’s first campus to earn the Apple Distinguished School designation. A new banner advertising this distinguished designation hangs outside the doors of the school.

“Ross is being recognized for demonstrating continuous innovation in learning, teaching, and the school environment,” said Sharo Dickerson, director of Active Learning Department. “Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of leadership and educational excellence ​that demonstrate Apple’s vision for learning with technology — and Apple believes that they are some of the most innovative schools in the world.”

Ross Middle School faculty, staff, and campus leadership had to identify, plan, organize and execute the completion of Apple Teacher certification, including taking face-to-face and self-paced courses facilitated by the Active Learning Department in collaboration with Apple, Inc.

Likewise, the instructional leadership team at Ross has undergone virtual leadership sessions facilitated by Apple and the team attended scheduled meetings and planning sessions to deliver the expectations to become an Apple Distinguished School. The designation is good through 2024. 

Roman Hamidan, math teaching coach, was one of the leads on gathering data and evidence to submit to Apple to get the designation. The campus had made the decision to go for the designation to distinguish itself from other middle schools and also to make better use of the District-issued MacBook Airs. 

“We’re trying to empower our teachers to have our students become more creators in the classroom instead of consuming,” he said. “Every kid has a MacBook. Instead of use Schoology to log on and submit work, now they’re using it to maximize learning and understanding and create something and make it their own property. They are getting more the bang for their buck.” 

Already 12 teachers are Apple Certified with another 10 currently working on their certification. 

“We’re hoping it open doors to more collaborative opportunities with Apple in a more global sense in the future,” Hamidan said.

Story by Reneé de Santos
Photos by Leonel Monroy