Chandler, Kyrene A+ schools named The Chandler Arizonan

Chandler, Kyrene A+ schools named

October 20th, 2020 Chandler Arizona Staff
Chandler, Kyrene A+ schools named
City News
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Arizonan news staff

Three Chandler Unified and three Kyrene schools have been named A+ Schools of Excellence.

The Arizona Educational Foundation gave the designation to Haley Nicole Knutsen, Navarrete and Riggs elementary schools in Chandler Unified and  Kyrene Altadeña Middle School in Ahwatukee as well as  Kyrene de las Brisas and  Kyrene de la Mirada Leadership Academy in Chandler.

Altadeña is celebrating a new A+ designation after previously earning the award in 2012 while Brisas and Mirada are renewing their A+ status.

This is the third consecutive A+ award for Brisas and the second consecutive award for Mirada. Both schools also earned AEF’s A+ designation in 2016.

The Kyrene awards brought to 16 the number of A+ School of Distinction awards in the 26-school district.

Chandler schools have earned the A+ distinction 81 times since the program’s inception in 1983 – the most of any Arizona school district, said CUSD spokesman Terry Locke.

“We are proud of the schools for sticking their neck on the line to see how they compete among the best in Arizona,” Locke said.

“It’s a rigorous process that includes an internal examination. Families who attend these schools know how great they are. Now the rest of the state does as well.”

Schools applying for this recognition take part in a several-months-long process that includes a written application, on-site visits by a team of trained judges and participation by faculty, students and families.

Schools are evaluated in areas such as school culture, curriculum, leadership, assessment data and community involvement.

They receive an A+ School of Excellence banner and a $500 award and get to brag about the designation for four years.

The foundation gave 34 schools the designation this year.

“The A+ School of Excellence™ Award shines a spotlight on the positive stories and successes occurring in public schools,” said foundation Executive Director Kim Graham.

“The application and evaluation process for this program is comprehensive and rigorous. We applaud these schools for exceeding expectations to meet their students’ needs and for achieving overall success despite the many challenges that face the education community statewide.”

The foundation’s mission is to identify, support and celebrate excellence in Pre-K-12 public schools through business and community partnerships.

It sponsors a variety of programs for teachers, administrators and students.

Some programs shine a spotlight on excellence while others provide a steppingstone to help support schools and educators on the road to awesomeness.

In addition to the Arizona Teacher of the Year program, the foundation also coordinates the Arizona State Spelling Bee, the A+ School of Excellence Award, the Principals Leadership Academy of Arizona, teachSTEM and Take Your Legislator to School.

The foundation was founded in 1983 by then State Superintendent of Public Education Carolyn Warner, who felt a nonprofit needed to be established to champion public education and recognize the work of public-school educators.

“The A+ School of Excellence award is a powerful energizer for increasing public confidence in recognized schools, often resulting in greater parent and community involvement and even serves as an economic driver for some communities,” the foundation noted.

“A+ Schools are celebrated and recognized as exceptional,” it said, adding the designation “spotlights the positive successes happening in public schools every day.”

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