Bells Elementary in Ruffin implemented a new approach to learning this year that gives them unique distinction. We’re in Colleton county for our Cool School of the week.

Bells Elementary School has 328 students in pre-k through fifth grade. This year, the school partnered with the New Tech Network to transition from a traditional school to a project-based learning school, which includes a technology component. Every student has a chrome book. This transition and partnership has made BES the first elementary school in the state to become a New Tech Elementary School. Principal Lauren Behie says, “We are the first New Tech PBL school in the entire Southeast. The closest New Tech PBL elementary school is in Ohio. Students will have a project that is based on an issue in this community, so they will take on the role of someone to solve this problem, and create an authentic product to share with the community. We integrate all our subjects together and either science or social studies will drive the project.” Fourth-grade student Emerson Melgar says, “It makes learning more fun and exciting.”

Bells’ core content teachers traveled to St. Louis, Missouri for a week this summer for New Tech training. Coming up tonight on News 2 at Five, we’ll take a closer look at Bells’ New Tech approach to learning.

We want to hear about the good things that are going on at your school. Just send an email to Octavia at omitchell@