FRASER - The Fraser Valley Elementary School is receiving the Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award for academic growth on campus.
The award is based on three years of school performance, and indicates that Fraser Elementary School students showed exceptional achievement and improvement in core school subjects.
The award is based on 3rd- through 5th-grade test scores in reading, writing and math, and 5th-grade test scores in science as part of the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program, or TCAPs, over a three-year period.
The school is one of 144 schools in the state receiving the award, out of a total of about 2,000 public schools.
"It's a special honor for the community and the school district," said Fraser Valley Elementary School Principal Dr. James Chamberlin. "I'm extremely proud of the hard work of the teachers and support staff at Fraser Valley Elementary School. Their commitment to student growth and hard work certainly made this award possible. The other group that really worked hard, obviously, was the students."
The performance category where the school especially excelled in the past three years was in academic growth, where students achieved 50 out of 50 points possible and exceeded the state's expectations. And in academic achievement, the students scored 18 out of 25 possible points, putting the school's long-term results in the 75th percentile.
"The students took the test very seriously and put forth their best effort. They obviously improved at a greater rate than the majority of the schools in the state."
Chamberlin, who found out about the award on Friday, attributes the school's academic growth success to the attention paid on teacher collaboration and training.
The school has been using newly implemented science curriculum called Full Option Science System (FOSS), and has had a specific fifth-grade science teacher at the school for the past three years, allowing home-room teachers more time to collaborate lesson planning, lessons delivery and instructional strategies.
The school, along with the East Grand School District as a whole, has also been concentrating on teacher professional development, Chamberlin said. Last year a math consultant helped the school to implement effective math instruction, and teachers attended trainings over the summer. Staff development over the summer was made possible with a Winter Park Fraser Valley Rotary grant. Intervention specialists of those students who fall into programs such as special education or English Language Learners have also been receiving additional support.
Chamberlin and East Grand School District Superintendent Nancy Karas will be attending an awards ceremony in Denver on Dec. 18 to receive the award.