The Succeeds Prize 2017 Finalists – Middle School

succeeds-prize-award-transformation-impact-middle-school-2017There is no more important investment that we can make as a society than in education. The scholars of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, and ensuring that they are prepared for that experience is crucial if Colorado and our nation are to continue to thrive.

It is in that spirit that we’d like to recognize the finalists for The Succeeds Prize Transformational Impact in a Middle School.

The Succeeds Prize is the most prestigious awards and recognition event for Colorado’s public schools and educators. It honors Colorado’s public schools and educators that are making a meaningful difference in the lives of their students. It also serves as a year-long campaign to implement and scale successful innovations and practices statewide, so every student in Colorado can benefit

KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy in Denver

KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy’s focus on empowering teachers and prioritizing educator professional development and collaboration is key to its student success. The school infuses character into all aspects of the school – creating a grit mindset and culture of continuous improvement. All families and staff sign the KIPP Commitment to Excellence – a symbolic contract that supports their approach of clear and consistent expectations for all.

KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy says the fundamental mindset of faculty and staff is that all students can and will learn. The school works in partnership with parents, students, and teachers in ways that put learning first. KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy’s mission is focused on ensuring that students are prepared with the academic skills and character strengths necessary to climb the mountain to and through college.

The school also focuses on creating a culture of excellence through intentional planning of all school-wide and classroom systems. This consistency allows students to engage in a variety of school-wide rituals as well as have a clear understanding of what is expected of them at all time.

Mountain Vista Community School in Colorado Springs

At Mountain Vista Community School college is not a dream, it’s a plan. To achieve this, the school uses on analytics, including a “data wall” to understand and formulate goals and learning strategies for students.

The school’s AVID elective courses support students who would be the first in their family to go to college. Recognizing the importance of students having involved and supportive parents, the school implemented VIP and W.A.T.C.H.D.O.G.S. groups to ensure that parents are a regular fixture on campus. And every student receives a Habits of the Mind Report Card, setting clear and objective social and behavioral expectations for all.

The school also recognizes that teachers play the most important role in the school’s and students’ success, Mountain Vista has only one teacher per grade and content, so they work with a vertical PLC team to help with planning and best instructional practices.

Victory Preparatory Academy in Commerce City

Victory Preparatory Academy’s vision is to provide students the opportunity to develop intellectual curiosity and a sense of confidence based on competence, as well as to discover themselves, their relationship to others, and to the world in order to become successful leaders in careers and the global community.

At Victory Preparatory, students are challenged on a daily basis, allowing for curiosity and continued growth. Victory Preparatory Academy also prides itself on the professionalism, passion, creativity, and adaptability of its teaching staff. It holds its faculty members to the same high standard as its students. This means classrooms are always clean, lesson plans are prepared well, and instruction is always crisp and clear. Teachers take the time to learn student’s strengths and weaknesses in order to get them from where they are to where they need to be. Every “instructional minute” counts, fostering a sense of urgency for high quality instruction that facilitates content mastery.

We are excited to provide this sneak peak of what makes our Elementary School finalists special so we can identify opportunities to replicate it and share these successes with schools throughout the state.

We hope you will join the members of Colorado Succeeds, as well as our partners at mindSpark Learning and 9News, in congratulating these schools.

Matt Majeune-Fagan

Project Manager
Colorado Succeeds