Three Schools Receive Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award

“We are extremely proud of our students and staff for their hard work, as we have been working to close academic achievement gaps as a result of COVID-related impacts,” said Shannon Morris, Principal of Florida Mesa Elementary School.

The Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Awards are given to schools that demonstrate exceptional student growth. On the school performance framework that is used by the state to evaluate schools, these schools "exceed" expectations on the indicator related to longitudinal academic growth and "meet or exceed" expectations on the indicator related to academic growth gaps. The award recognizes improvement in academic and postsecondary readiness scores over three years. This includes the College Board’s SAT Suite of Assessments and Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS).

“We have been working as a staff to reflect on and refine instructional practices to align with the Elements of Effective Instruction,” said Morris. “Together, we have created learning environments focused on growth and academic achievement. Being recognized for this work through the Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award is rewarding for everyone.”

Riverview Elementary School Principal Lindsay Neiman said the school’s teachers are working hard to create a learning environment where students develop a heightened sense of identity, belonging, purpose and agency. Neiman said there were planning sessions around Crew and newly adopted English Language Learning and math curriculums so that Riverview students experienced consistent quality instruction. The staff continues to use the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) process to identify students' needs, create interventions, track students progress and celebrate growth and achievement.

“What an honor for Riverview staff and students to be recognized for their hard work these past couple of years!” said Neiman. “All students deserve quality core instruction in order to be at grade-level proficiency and beyond.”

Needham Elementary School Principal Riley Alderton said his leadership team chose several key initiatives they believed would yield the greatest results for students. These included school-wide alignment on core literacy instruction, just-in-time support for students with skill gaps, and a focus on culturally responsive instruction in order to engage traditionally underserved students.

“These initiatives, paired with our district moving to a unified MTSS process, allowed students to make great gains,” said Alderton. “This award is evidence that we are moving in the right direction, and is only the beginning of our work in guaranteeing grade-level proficiency for all students.”