Local schools earn state awards: Avon, Gypsum, Stone Creek, ECCA honored | VailDaily.com

Local schools earn state awards: Avon, Gypsum, Stone Creek, ECCA honored

Eagle Valley Elementary School students, parents and staff built Learning Gardens, which are raised gardens in the shapes of each grade, kindergarten through fifth grade. Eagle Valley Elementary School earned the Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award, given to schools that demonstrate exceptional student growth.

EAGLE — Five local schools were honored from among the hundreds statewide.

The Colorado Department of Education announced that Gypsum, Eagle Valley and Avon elementary schools, as well as the Eagle County Charter Academy, earned statewide awards.

Stone Creek Charter School also was honored by the Charter School Institute for the second straight year. Stone Creek is an independent charter school and is not affiliated with the local school district.

"We are proud of the performance of all of our schools this past year, as shown by every school achieving a green Performance Plan rating by the state," said Dr. Maggie Lopez, interim superintendent of Eagle County Schools.

Center for Excellence Awards

Avon and Gypsum elementary schools won Center for Excellence Awards from the Colorado Department of Education.

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Eagle Valley Elementary School earned the Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award.

For the Center for Excellence Award, the Colorado Department of Education recognizes Colorado public schools with a student population that is at least 75 percent are at-risk — defined as being eligible for the federal free and reduced lunch program. Students must demonstrate academic growth as measured by statewide standardized tests.

Eagle Valley Elementary School earned the Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award, given to schools that demonstrate exceptional student growth. These schools "exceed" expectations, the Colorado Department of Education said in its announcement.

"These three schools have really distinguished themselves with ongoing top performance as recognized by these awards from (the Colorado Department of Education)," Lopez said.

The Eagle County Charter Academy earned a John Irwin Award, given to schools that demonstrate exceptional academic achievement over time. To earn a John Irwin Award, schools must receive an Exceeds Expectations rating on the Academic Achievement, reflecting exceptional performance in math, English language arts, and science.

The John Irwin Excellence Awards are named for former Colorado State Representative, John J. Irwin.

Stone Creek Performance with Distinction

Stone Creek Charter School, with campuses in Edwards and Gypsum, is one of 10 charter schools across Colorado to earn Charter School Institute Performance with Distinction honors for the second straight year, and one of the only ones to earn that honor in multiple years.

The designation is for CSI schools performing in the top quarter of the state, based on academic performance.

Based on its 2016-2017 performance, Stone Creek Charter is ranked in the 83rd percentile among all Colorado schools, the Charter School Institute said.

Stone Creek Charter School was founded in 2006 and serves roughly 300 students in grades kindergarten through eight.

The Charter School Institute is a statewide charter public school authorizer in Colorado, currently authorizing 41 schools.

"(Charter School Institute) is proud to have these 10 schools earning the 'Performance with Distinction' rating, placing them in the top 25 percent of schools in Colorado," Charter School Institute Executive Director, Dr. Terry Croy Lewis said. "Earning a rating of 'Performance with Distinction' not only shows each school's dedication and hard work, but is a strong indicator of each school's viability and sustainability."

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.