STEM Recognition Application

various students exploring STEM concepts at HES

Mission Statement

Honorable in character, Engaged in learning and Successful each day!

Vision Statement

We will provide a solid academic foundation for each child. We will encourage and empower students to achieve their academic best while emphasizing respectfulness and responsibility for success in life.”

Executive Summary

Hendersonville Elementary School is located in the rural town of Hendersonville, North Carolina in the western part of the state. It is one of 13 elementary schools in Henderson County. The school was built in 1972 and was once a 4-6 grade school but for the past 23 years it has been a K-5 school with an average student population of 434. Hendersonville Elementary School is unique from the other schools in our county because it is a non-districted year round school. Parents submit an application and a lottery is held in the spring. Our school community is very supportive and we have a reputation of being a “School of Excellence”. We have three classes per grade level and two intensive intervention special needs classes. Grades 3-5 are departmentalized. Hendersonville Elementary School has 16%  of its students identified as Exceptional Children with Individualized Education Plans (IEP). We are a targeted Title 1 school because 37 % of our student population is economically disadvantaged. The minority population of our school is 17%. Of our 28 teachers, six teachers have Master degrees, and nine teachers have National Board Certification. Our teachers are 100% highly qualified.

We have received the following recognitions:

  • A+ School -N.C.Report Card -2016
  • NC Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Exemplar School 2012-16
  • Honor School of Excellence 2003-2011
  • School of Excellence 2000-2003
  • 2007 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School

Our School Improvement Team establishes goals aligned with 21st century learning skills and structures and creates an action plan to support our school in achieving our vision, mission and goals. Based on recent test and assessment data in grades K-5, we determined the areas in which our efforts should be focused. By using multiple sources of data, we constructed goals that would produce high student achievement and growth and would be measured by formative and summative assessments. The goals in our School Improvement Plan target academic needs specific to grades K-5, address 21st Century technology while incorporating STEM skills and focus on school-wide safety and learning environment needs. Data from the 3-5 Schoolnet Benchmark results, mCLASS 3D Reading program, EOG (End of Grade) scores, the EVAAS system (Education Value Added Assessment System) and formative assessment practices in the classrooms were utilized. The SIT (School Improvement Team) also reviewed results from the AdvancED Stakeholders’ Surveys completed by students, parents and teachers to determine needs specific to our school climate and structure. In addition, the AdvancED School Annual Self-Assessment was utilized by the team as well as the NC Teacher Working Conditions survey.

HES has a very high overall NC EOG pass rate of 85.6% for grade level proficiency. We are very proud that we are one of only two schools to receive an A+ rating in the Western District. Since the implementation of STEM our End of Grades scores have increased dramatically.

Our staff and parents are committed to a total program that meets the varied needs of our students while assuring that we offer a well-rounded elementary school experience. This commitment ensures we strive to address the many changes before us in supporting student learning.

School Improvement Plan

This will be the second time applying for the STEM recognition. We appreciate the feedback from reviewers last year and have made needed changes. Also, we met with Patriot STEM elementary for feedback and guidance.  We continue to grow in STEM and look forward to hearing from our reviewers. Thank you.


  • STEM Nights: The STEM nights bring together teachers, students, families, and business partners in order to showcase STEM learning activities and share with the community what our kids are able to do when they are STEM focused. They are held twice a year.
  • Weekly Clubs: We offer a variety of clubs for students to choose from and make an effort to have all students involved in a club or the bonus learning sessions. Some of the Clubs offered are Lego Robotics, Coding, Chess, Bridge, Performing Arts, Spanish, Hendobots,  Science Club, Girls on the Run
  • Bonus Learning Time: Each quarter students are offered a variety of classes to participate for a week. The classes are taught by members of the community. Some of the classes include bubble gum making, engineering, craft making, African drumming etc.
  • Hour of Code: All students participate in the worldwide Hour of Code during Computer Science Education week.
  • Field Trips: All grade levels participate in many field trips throughout the year. Grade levels have partnered with different organizations to support their objectives.
  • Duke Energy Science Night: A Duke Energy Science Night is a school-based event for students, their parents and caregivers, and their teachers. Together, everyone experiences a variety of hands-on science activities.
  • Engineering for Kids: Engineering For Kids® provides a variety of age appropriate, hands-on programs to meet the need of our future engineers! We offer after-school classes focusing on different types of engineering with scholarships available.
  • BizWorld: Every year the fifth graders participate in creating a business promoting financial responsibility, leadership and teamwork skills. Students  create a product and then they market the product. Everyone in the school participates in the market day.
  • Quarterly Engineering Challenges: An engineering challenge based on the monthly theme is presented to students across the school. Anyone who chooses to participate becomes a member of the Design Squad. Projects are put on display, announced on the news, and awarded with certificates.
  • STEM Lab/Maker Space: Teachers sign up to work in our STEM lab with their classes. The lab is set up with materials that guide student thinking toward the monthly theme. Students are then given opportunities to explore, build, and create with facilitation from teachers and STEM coaches.
  • Career Day:  This is an annual day in which professionals within our community are invited to share their expertise with students. Monthly students are exposed to different careers.
  • Outdoor Education: Each year the 5th graders participate in an outdoor education program provided by county. Students select different activities such as: rock climbing, archery, building a fire, fishing. They are also involved in many team building  and problem solving exercises.
  • National Wildlife Commission 


  • Lego Robotic Competition: Our HendoBots compete each year in a regional competition.
  • Science Fair: Students in grades 3-5 participate in our annual fair. Winners advance to the regional fair at Western Carolina University.
  • Math Fair: Students in grades 3-5 participate in our annual fair. Winners advance to the regional fair at Appalachian State University and then to the State fair in Durham, NC.
  • Chess:  We have two chess clubs that compete locally each year.

Our local newspaper highlighted our huge achievement!

Newspaper article with headline: HES celebrates achieving top grade