Three valley schools are ranked among top 8 percent in Colorado |

Three valley schools are ranked among top 8 percent in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Education announced Monday that Basalt Elementary, Basalt Middle and Glenwood Springs High schools will receive the Governor’s Distinguished Improvement award, representing the top 8 percent of schools in the state.

This is the second year in a row for Basalt Middle School to win the award, and the first year for Basalt Elementary and Glenwood Springs High School.

Carbondale Middle School also received the award in 2010.

“Statewide recognition, be it for students, staff or schools, is an opportunity to make all of our communities more aware of the exceptional education students in the Roaring Fork School District receive,” said Superintendent Judy Haptonstall. “We are all very proud of the work being done in our district and its positive impact on kids.”

The awards honor schools that exceed expectations on increasing student growth from one year to the next.

Colorado Education Commissioner Robert Hammond states in his letter to superintendents, “These schools demonstrate the highest levels of growth for not just some students but all student groups.”

“This award reflects the commitment to high achievement and excellence in education of our teachers, students, parents and the wider Glenwood Springs community,” said Paul Freeman, principal at Glenwood Springs High School.

He said the faculty chose to increase the focus on teaching practices and longer observations of classes, accompanied by coaching and mentoring from administrators and master teachers.

“The increased expertise of teachers pays great dividends for students in the classroom,” Freeman said.

In Basalt, the focus has been directly on students.

At Basalt Middle, staff has engaged students in evaluating their own learning in relation to the effort they put in, teaching kids that being successful in school is not about luck but about hard work and effort.

Kids have developed much more confidence in their abilities, and their confidence translates to success in school, said Jeremy Voss, Basalt Middle School principal.

“Teachers, students and parents have been working hard to improve the reading, writing and math scores of our students, said Suzanne Wheeler-Del Piccolo, principal at Basalt Elementary “This honor reflects the commitment, focus and efforts of the entire Basalt Elementary community.”

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