Meet the Finalists: Transformational Impact in a High School

The Succeeds Prize is back for the third year in a row, and every year we find more outstanding models of educators who are dedicated to evolving with the diverse needs of students in schools. The Succeeds Prize Awards are presented in two categories: Transformational Impact for a school and Excellence in Education for programs that help students develop essential skills.

We have traveled across the state with advisory committee members to tour schools that were identified through a robust investigation of Colorado School data. It was difficult to narrow down our top 9 finalist schools – 3 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and 3 high schools – but now, we want you to get to know them.

Grandview High School: Some may argue that it is too difficult to integrate new ideas into a school with a 20-year history. However, Grandview High School is proof of what’s possible when a school is committed to adapting to the needs of their students. Their “grading for learning” model affords every student the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and abilities, and breaks away from the traditional grading system.

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Students compete in the Escoffier Culinary
Competition

“They are focused on measuring student growth and relevant skills, with innovations that can prepare students for the workforce of the future in a safe, healthy environment,” said Lee Wheeler-Berliner, Managing Director of the Colorado Workforce Development Council and advisory committee member.

The school also has a focus on continuous improvement and reflecting on what has worked well, and where they need to adjust. Grandview provides students opportunities to explore real-world trades, innovative concepts through classes in STEAM, social media marketing, and the visual and performing arts.

La Veta High School: As a small, rural school La Veta has leveraged a wide range of community, state, and national partnerships to ensure its students have access to the experiences, opportunities, and learning they deserve. They value all paths to success and support students in becoming civic leaders by including them in decision making and community improvement efforts—including final interviews with local leaders to assess students’ readiness for post-secondary pursuits.

As founding members of the Student-Centered Accountability Program (S-CAP), La Veta uses multiple measures to assess student progress and achievement. “While they are a small school in a rural town, the school truly seeks to ensure that students have an abundance of experiences and opportunities prior to graduating,” said Jason Van Tiem, Dean of Students at DSST: Green Valley Ranch and advisory committee member. La Veta strives to be a model for rural education in the state of Colorado and is certainly on the right path.
The Succeeds Prize Tweet

Loveland Classical Schools: Loveland Classical Schools prioritizes developing civically minded, life-long learners prepared to enter any field or profession. Their approach centers on seminar discussion and logical thinking that helps students learn how to think critically and problem solve, leveraging classical texts and lessons learned from throughout history to inform solutions for the future.

Student works on a computer science project.

“The school understands its mission and is providing the structure, framework, and culture to meet the needs of their students,” said Andy Burns, Deputy Superintendent for the Durango School District and advisory committee member.

Students are empowered to provide input into how the school can improve, including recommendations around extracurricular offerings, representation on the Board of Directors, and a student government that offers proposals for school improvements. Loveland Classical Schools is committed to developing exceptional community stewards prepared to make a positive impact after graduation.

The High School Award in the Transformational Impact category is sponsored by Slalom. The winner will be announced in a live-reveal ceremony on September 19th at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Click here to register and learn more.

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