Bella Romero Academy Listed in Top 65
Getting Smart, a national online educational technology outlet, recently listed The Bella Romero Academy as one of the “Top 65 Elementary and Middle Schools Worth Visiting”. Co-Principals Justin Ungeheuer and Jon Cooney stated, “Our journey of innovation is far from over and has been met with both celebrations and challenges. However, we are dedicated to our focus on continuous improvement on behalf of our phenomenal staff, amazing students, their families, and this supportive community.” http://gettingsmart.com/2015/11/66-elementary-middle-schools-worth-visiting/
What a great experience it would be to have lunch with a sibling during school hours! Bella Romero Academy 4-8 did just that as they welcomed the K-3 campus students over for "Bella's Family Feast". Bella Romero Academy has over 200 students that have brothers and sisters between the 2 campuses. It was a great experience to showcase the next step in education for the K-3 campus and familiarize the facilities and welcoming faces they will experience soon! Bella Romero is truly a family!
Partner to Prepare Students for 22nd Century
The Bella Romero Academy was recently awarded a $12,500 “Innovation Station” grant from the OtterCares Foundation to fund upgrades to the 4-8 Campus makerspace (defined as a space where people can gather to create, invent, and learn). Otter Products and its OtterCares Foundation are passionate about supporting students in being innovative and entrepreneurial - a perfect match with The Academy’s commitment to operating as “Tomorrow’s School…Today”. The grant has been used to purchase additional 3D printers, CAD (computer-aided design) software, professional video production and editing equipment/software, and other cutting edge products to enhance learning.
Students use these futuristic tools in combination with a model called the “Design Thinking Process” developed by the Institute of Design at Stanford to solve complex problems. Design thinking is defined as “a formal method for practical, creative resolution of problems and creation of solutions, with the intent of an improved future result." For example, students may invent a robotic device to solve a problem they researched, use CAD software to create a prototype of that robot, print the robot parts using the 3D printer, and then program this invention to complete the task using computer science coding software.
The makerspace is used in the school’s “Advanced Robotics”, “Science/Technology”, “Computer Science”, “Introduction to Engineering”, “Digital Media”, and “Electronic Publications” courses. In the future, parents, and community members will be invited to use this innovative space to work on their own projects and creations. In fact, a facilities employee just recently visited the school to request the manufacture (via 3D printer) of a part needed to improve the stability of mounted “exit” signs in schools throughout the district. A perfect project for an entrepreneurial young engineer to tackle!
The Bella Romero Academy is grateful to the OtterCares Foundation and looks to continue this partnership through involvement of Otter Products employees in supporting students as they tackle design challenges using first-class tools and 22nd Century models of thinking. Tomorrow has officially been introduced to today.
Octo-Copter footage from the Hands Across Romero School Unity Event that took place on August 29, 2014
On Friday August 29, 2014 Bella Romero Academy held a unity event in which students, teachers and staff members met each other by walking between the two campuses along East 20th street in Greeley. Afterwards both schools met back at the Bella Romero K-3 campus for a kickoff event featuring local artist Armando Silva. **Update: This video now contains aerial footage provided by Octo-Copter.