District 51 Schools Honored by the Colorado Department of Education
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Several District 51 schools were honored this week by the Colorado Department of Education for making strides in academic achievement and growth.
NewsChannel 5 spoke to some of the schools recognized to find out what helped them succeed.
Although New Emerson Elementary School students have Fridays off, you'll still find all the teachers at school.
"We talk about students, their needs, their strengths and we look at their data," said Terry Schmalz, principal of New Emerson Elementary.
Teachers are able to compare strategies and focus on what areas need improvement, an effort that Principal Schmalz says is largely responsible for students' success.
"We're a small school, we have one grade level for each class and our teachers are able to get to know their students and really understand what it is that they need," said Schmalz.
It seems like that work has paid off. New Emerson received the Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award for Excellence in Achievement and Student Growth.
"That's always our goal, for each child to move them to their highest level of achievement of success," said Schmalz.
Nisley Elementary School was also honored by the Colorado Department of Education, and it took them by surprise.
"We were very excited to receive the Center of Excellence Award, we weren't really expecting it," said Cinnamon Cain, a 5th Grade teacher at Nisley.
The award recognizes high level of academic growth at schools with 75 percent at risk students.
Only 17 schools in Colorado were awarded.
"We work really hard as a Nisley family to make sure we support our students in the building, outside the building, our administration supports us and it's really important for our kids to hear it loud and clear because they're the ones that work hard everyday," said Cain.
Scenic Elementary, Gateway School and Palisade High School were also honored with the Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award for Excellence in Student Growth.