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Local school sees high turn-out during STEAM program’s open house

December 19, 2018
By MELISSA BILL ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Hundreds of families and prospective fifth graders showed up for Lehigh Acres Middle School's open house on Thursday, Dec. 13. The open house geared towards incoming sixth graders started at 6 p.m. and was ran entirely by current Lehigh Acres Middle students, who showcased the academics and the extracurricular activities available within the STEAM programs at the middle school.

The innovative program called Sixth-Grade Academy is the first of its kind in Lee County and primarily designed as way to promote an easier transition to middle school.

According to Assistant Principal Joe Restino, this is the first year they have chosen to hold the two-hour open house prior to winter break.

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The open house was geared towards incoming sixth graders and was run entirely by current Lehigh Acres Middle students, who showcased the academics and the extracurricular activities available within the STEAM programs at the middle school.


"We rolled the dice and did it before we break for the holidays. We are very pleased to have such a great turnout," said Restino.

Upon walking into the school, families and kids were broken up into groups to experience various tours of the school and its academics. One of the stops along the way included a look at the school's AVID program. Students opened the demonstration by speaking about the benefits of learning an AVID curriculum.

According to Mrs. Wright-Prashat, AVID instructor at the school, every child at the school is looked at as being unique and pushed in the right direction for their abilities. A place where they will grow and thrive.

"We look for ways outside the AVID curriculum as well. We do a variety of community service projects that help build on each student's academic success," said Prashat.

Another area of focus during the tour was Cambridge International Program, one of the longest running programs in Lee County.

"Lehigh Acres Middle is one of just two schools in Lee County to offer Cambridge, which provides courses that prepare students for high school. Students looking to be considered for the program must have a teacher's recommendation sent to the head of the program by May 1, 2019," explained Cambridge Coordinator Michelle Goodwin.

Cambridge is typically for students between the ages of 11-14 year olds. The programs goal is to develop learning skills and understanding in Mathematics, English and Science for the first three years of secondary education.

According to Restino, besides niche programs, Lehigh Acres Middle offers STEAM classes for every grade level and there are many programs available for academically talented students as well as a full-time gifted programs.

"Presently we offer AVID, FUSE Studio, Engineering, Coding Fundamentals, Culinary Arts, Forensics and Robotics and a wide-range of extracurricular activities including various sports teams and academic clubs," said Restino.

LAMS also offers leadership programs including National Junior Honor Society, student council and Leader in Me; and a variety of social clubs such as oceanography, sustainable living, cooking, sign language, origami, video games and more.

"School choice is open earlier this year, so we wanted to get the word out on all of the wonderful programs our school has to offer," said Restino.

Lee County's student open enrollment period runs from Jan. 14 through March 1. Parents of incoming kindergarten, sixth and ninth-graders will have the opportunity to select their top choices for the 2019-20 school year. Lehigh Acres Middle is available to students who live in the E-2 and E-3 subzones of the East Attendance Zone. All students attending Lehigh Acres Middle are expected to wear school uniforms.

For more information about the school choice open house, please contact the school at 239-369-6108 or visit



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