Rome Free Academy Receives National Recognition for Commitment to Empowering Students

Rome Free Academy Receives National Recognition for Commitment to Empowering Students
Posted on 03/07/2018
Project lead the way

Rome Free Academy Receives National Recognition for Commitment to Empowering Students

Named a distinguished school for STEM and career learning program

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Rome, NY–Director of Fine Arts and Engineering Technology Andrea Falvo announced today that the Rome Free Academy Project Lead the Way program has been recognized as a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW Pathway to Engineering. It is one of just 133 high schools across the U.S. to receive this honor. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of K-12 students and teachers in over 10,500 schools across the U.S.

We offer four Project Lead the Way (PLTW) courses at Rome Free Academy; Intro to Engineering Design, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Principles of Engineering and Digital Electronics.  We have been offering these PLTW courses since 1999. These engineering courses prepare students for the rigor of college. Students are able to earn college credit from Rochester Institute of Technology upon completion of each of our courses. Many of our graduates go on to four year collegiate engineering programs at schools such as, Clarkson, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Binghamton, University of Rochester and University of Buffalo. “This designation is an honor and shows the hard work that each student puts into their coursework each and every day.” said Jed Musch, RFA PLTW district coordinator and PLTW teacher for the past 12 years.

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, Rome Free Academy had to meet the following criteria:

  • Offer at least three PLTW courses;

  • Have 25 percent of students or more participate in PLTW courses, or of those who participated in PLTW, at least 33 percent took two or more PLTW courses;

  • Have 70 percent of students or more earn a Proficient or higher on PLTW End-of-Course Assessments, or 10 percent of students earn the AP + PLTW Student Achievement.

Through PLTW programs, students develop STEM knowledge as well as in-demand, transportable skills that they will use both in school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take. PLTW EngineeringTM empowers high school students to step into the role of an engineer and adopt a problem-solving mindset. Students engage in collaborative, real-life activities like working with a client to design a home, programming electronic devices or robotic arms, and exploring algae as a biofuel source.

“It is a great honor to recognize Rome Free Academy for their commitment to students,” said Vince Bertram, President and CEO of PLTW. “They are a model for what school should look like, and they should be very proud of ensuring students have the knowledge and skills to be career ready and successful on any career path they choose.”

Rome Free Academy is part of a community of K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and corporate and philanthropic partners across the country united around a passion for providing students with inspiring, engaging, and empowering learning opportunities. For more information about PLTW’s recognition program, visit

For more information on Rome Free Academy’s PLTW program or to set up a school visit, contact Jed Musch at

About PLTW
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning. More than 10,500 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit


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