El Paso ISD’s Ross Middle earns ‘Apple Distinguished School’ honor


Photos by Leonel Monroy – El Paso ISD

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Ross Middle school now holds the distinction of being El Paso ISD’s first campus to earn the Apple Distinguished School designation.

“Ross is being recognized for demonstrating continuous innovation in learning, teaching, and the school environment…Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of leadership and educational excellence ​that demonstrate Apple’s vision for learning with technology — and Apple believes that they are some of the most innovative schools in the world.”

Sharo Dickerson, director of Active Learning Department

According to El Paso ISD officials, to earn the distinction, Ross Middle’s staff and campus leadership had to identify, plan, organize and execute the completion of Apple Teacher certification, including taking face-to-face and self-paced courses facilitated by the Active Learning Department in collaboration with Apple, Inc.

In addition, the instructional leadership team at Ross has undergone virtual leadership sessions facilitated by Apple and the team attended scheduled meetings and planning sessions to deliver the expectations to become an Apple Distinguished School.

Photo by Leonel Monroy – El Paso ISD

Math Teaching Coach Roman Hamidan was one of the leads on gathering data and evidence to submit to Apple to get the designation.

“We’re trying to empower our teachers to have our students become more creators in the classroom instead of consuming,” he said.

“Every kid has a MacBook. Instead of use Schoology to log on and submit work, now they’re using it to maximize learning and understanding and create something and make it their own property. They are getting more the bang for their buck.” 

The campus had made the decision to go for the designation to distinguish itself from other middle schools and also to make better use of the District-issued MacBook Airs. 

Already 12 teachers are Apple Certified with another 10 currently working on their certification. 

“We’re hoping it open doors to more collaborative opportunities with Apple in a more global sense in the future,” Hamidan said.

A new banner advertising this distinguished designation hangs outside the doors of the school. The designation is good through 2024. 

Photos by Leonel Monroy – El Paso ISD

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