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News Release - More than 350 performance awards given to schools, districts at annual ceremony

March 6, 2019

More than 350 performance awards given to schools, districts at annual ceremony

In total, 65 districts and 267 schools throughout Colorado honored

DENVER – The Colorado Department of Education and Education Commissioner Katy Anthes and members of the State Board of Education honored hundreds of schools and dozens of districts with 2018 performance commendations at the annual awards ceremony today.

"Today we're celebrating the many successes taking place across Colorado's schools and districts," Anthes said. "Shining a light on the good work we're seeing is the first step to learning more about what is going on in these schools so that that others can learn from their work and some day we can fully erase the equity gaps that have existed for far too long."

Among the awards, 15 schools in 11 districts were honored with the Centers of Excellence Award that demonstrates the highest sustained rates of student longitudinal growth as measured by the Colorado Growth Model among those that have at least 75 percent at-risk students.
 
The event also recognized recipients of the Districts Accredited with Distinction Award, Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award, High School Academic Growth Award, John Irwin School of Excellence, National Blue Ribbon Schools, ELPA Excellence Awards and ESEA Distinguished Schools.
 
Here are descriptions of the award categories:
 
The Districts Accredited with Distinction awards districts that have earned 80 percent or more of possible points on the District Performance Frameworks. The District Performance Frameworks measure student performance in academic achievement, academic growth, academic growth gaps and post-secondary and workforce readiness under the state’s accountability system. In 2018, 25 districts earned this award.
 
The Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Awards are given to schools that demonstrate excellent student growth. On the School Performance Framework used by the state to evaluate schools, these schools “exceed” expectations on the indicator related to longitudinal academic growth over three years. In 2018, 105 schools earned this award.
 
The High School Academic Growth Awards recognize high schools that demonstrate the highest levels of student academic growth in reading, writing and math, within each classification used by the statewide association for high school activities for the sport of football. In 2018, eight schools demonstrated the highest rate of student longitudinal growth.
 
The John Irwin Awards are given to schools that demonstrate excellent academic achievement. On the School Performance Framework, these schools “exceed” expectations on the indicator for academic achievement over three years. In 2018, 185 schools earned this award.
 
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools based on overall academic excellence or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. In 2018, five schools earned this award.
 
The ELPA Excellence Awards honor districts and charter schools that achieve the highest English language and academic growth among English learners and the highest academic achievement for English learners who transition out of the English language development program. The 2018 awards went to four districts: Academy 20, Cheyenne Mountain, Douglas County and Poudre School District; and one charter school, Victory Preparatory Academy Middle State Charter School. 

The ESEA Distinguished School Awards are given to two schools in each state that fit the criteria of having poverty rates of at least 35 percent, having demonstrated high academic achievement for two or more consecutive years and having met or exceeded state-determined criteria based on two or more consecutive years of achievement data. For 2018, the two Colorado winners are Abrams Elementary School in Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 and Eads Elementary School in Eads RE-1 School District. Eads Elementary has won the honor now three years in a row.

Click here to download a spreadsheet of all of the 2018 winners.