The Cherry Creek School District Board of Education wanted to give proper recognition to 16 schools and one district department on their home turf.
Four months into 2108, fifteen CCSD schools and one district department have already received awards from the Colorado Department of Education for excellence in a wide range of fields. The CCSD Board's regular meeting on April 9 was an opportunity for district and school officials to celebrate these achievements in front of colleagues, friends and family.
During a ceremony before the formal kickoff of the meeting, board members recognized 16 schools and the Language Supports and Services department for their achievements. Specifically, they honored the 15 Cherry Creek schools that received the CDE's John Irwin School of Excellence, Holly Hills Elementary for receiving the Colorado Centers of Excellence Award, Heritage Elementary for receiving the Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award and the district's Office of Language Supports and Services for receiving the ELPA Excellence Award. Principals were on hand to accept certificates and pose for pictures with board members and CCSD Superintendent Dr. Harry Bull.
"Tonight is a real celebration for students, teachers administrators and the whole community," said Brooke Gregory, CCSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Operations. "The CDE has recognized us for exceptional performance."
The district's Office of Language Supports and Services has received the ELPA Excellence Award every year since it was initiated four years ago. The award comes with $69,000 in grant funding to be used to enhance programming and share effective programming. The CCSD Office of Language Supports and Services is one of 10 districts to receive the award this year. According to the CDE, the ELPA grants are designed to support "English language development programs 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 proficiency program."
Holly Hills Elementary is one of 54 schools from across the state to receive the Colorado Centers of Excellence Award. It recognizes schools with the highest sustained rates of student longitudinal growth as measured by the Colorado Growth Model among those schools that have at least 75 percent at-risk students.
Heritage Elementary received the Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award, which is 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 2017, 127 schools across the state earned this award.
Fifteen Cherry Creek schools earned the John Irwin School of Excellence Award, which recognizes schools that demonstrate exceptional academic achievement over time. These schools received an "Exceeds Expectations" rating on the Academic Achievement indicator of the School Performance Frameworks reflecting exceptional performance in Math, English Language Arts and Science. The Excellence Awards are named for a Colorado visionary and friend of education, former State Representative John J. Irwin. The schools that received the John Irwin School of Excellence Award are:
- Aspen Crossing Elementary School
- Belleview Elementary School
- Campus Middle School
- Challenge School
- Cherry Creek Charter Academy
- Cherry Creek High School
- Cherry Hills Village Elementary School
- Cottonwood Creek Elementary School
- Dry Creek Elementary School
- Greenwood Elementary School
- Heritage Elementary School
- Homestead Elementary School
- Indian Ridge Elementary School
- Rolling Hills Elementary School
- Willow Creek Elementary School