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PBS cameras focus on Sopris Elementary

Lights, camera, action! This week, Glenwood Springs’ Sopris Elementary School students and staff are the focus of a PBS-produced educational documentary highlighting top-notch public schools – and how they get that way.

Sopris Elementary School was selected by PBS YOU, a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week program service and subsidiary of the Public Broadcasting System, as a subject for the documentary.

The school is included in the television program because principal Howard Jay was named the 2001 National Distinguished Principal from Colorado by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.



PBS YOU producer Camille Curry and a PBS television crew are interviewing teachers and administrators, filming classroom

scenes, visiting the school’s after-school programs and shooting meetings that show how people outside the school help students excel.



“At our school, we have a focus on how community members and parent involvement impact student achievement,” explained Jay.

Filming is also centered on the things Jay and Sopris staff do to make their school effective.

“One of the best things I can do is get out of the way so that teachers can work with each student,” he said. “Here, we don’t say, `I taught it, but the kid didn’t learn it.’ That doesn’t cut the mustard. All kids are a little bit different. They’re individuals. It’s my job to provide teachers the time to give individual attention to each student.”

Footage from the Glenwood Springs school will be cut into a 12-minute sequence and incorporated into a PBS YOU educational program. A date isn’t yet set for airing the program. The program will also be available to school districts and administrators.


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