Herbert Mills Elementary School will reopen in the fall as the district's second STEM elementary school.

Herbert Mills Elementary School will reopen in the fall as the district's second STEM elementary school.

Summit Road STEM Elementary School opened in August 2011 as Reynoldsburg's first STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) elementary school.

(HS)2 Academy, eSTEM Academy and Baldwin Road Junior High are the district's other STEM schools.

Herbert Mills Principal Teresa Smith said the STEM curriculum will focus on global learning.

"Students will be focused on our local and global community in order to appreciate the many people and places in our world," she said.

She said administrators worked with Capital University's International and English as a Second Language departments, the Columbus Council on World Affairs, Columbus Metropolitan Library Reynoldsburg branch, Reynoldsburg Church of the Nazarene, Rotary Club of Reynoldsburg/Pickerington and Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business for input on global curriculum.

The school will use STEM teaching strategies, which include technology and mathematical problem-solving, to investigate and research real-world problems, Smith said.

"Our program is designed for students to develop critical and creative thinking skills and use 21st-century resources in order to gain an understanding about the world around us," she said.

Opening Herbert Mills as a STEM school expands the district's STEM program, which now serves more than 2,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, said Tricia Moore, district coordinator of partnerships and shared services.

She said the district is a member of the Ohio STEM Learning Network and the national STEMx network. Principal Marcy Raymond, with eSTEM Academy, is the principal-in-residence for the Ohio STEM Learning Network and Reynoldsburg administrator Dan Hoffman directs that organization's central Ohio hub.

Smith said Herbert Mills students will build a strong foundation in STEM, with inquiry-based approaches, using blended learning strategies where students learn at their own pace in small group or one-on-one instruction with their teacher on collaborative projects. They also will use technology such as Skype and Twitter as tools for learning.

She said the curriculum will stress communication and languages, with an emphasis on students learning to understand their local community by integrating social science, science, literature, language, math, technology and related arts.

Herbert Mills and Summit Road's elementary programs will be "complementary" but not exactly the same, she said.

"We will use social science as our integration focus, where Summit uses environmental science," Smith said. "We will provide strong content teaching in reading, math and science for students.

"In addition, students will receive personalized computer-based learning, using blended learning," she said. "Our expectations are that students will obtain high levels of academic growth and achievement while enjoying the learning along the way."

Smith said enrollment is "constantly growing" and numbers are not finalized yet.

"We still have availability in all grade levels," she said.

Parents interested in enrolling children at Herbert Mills should go to the Reynoldsburg Welcome Center at 1555 Graham Road to complete the necessary paperwork or click on the enrollment link on the district website at reyn.org.