On Monday, the respective superintendents of the Eads and McClave School Districts, Glenn Smith and Brianne Howe, received a personal phone call from Colorado Governor Jared Polis who congratulated each on their selection of being a Bright Spot Award recipient. The award is based on science achievement and includes an impressive $50,000 check to go with it.
Both Smith and Howe say the money couldn’t come at a better time because it has become significantly difficult to provide the multitude of materials and equipment a top-notch school science program need. Both will use the money to improve their science classrooms with STEM equipment as well as improve the school’s technology.
Eads will look at new curriculum in addition to improving the middle school science department offerings. They will also look to provide extra workshops and learning opportunities geared towards the many topics of science for their students.
McClave will also add to their science equipment in the classrooms and will concentrate on providing a 1-to-1 chromebook for each McClave student.
In addition to the Bright Spot Award that focused on improvement by the schools in the science assessments, McClave received a national Blue Ribbon Schools Award for their test score improvements in closing the gaps between demographic groups.
Howe and McClave principal Maggie Chase had just returned to McClave from Washington, DC where the educators had been presented with the Blue Ribbons Schools award.
Howe said of the award, “We were 1 of 353 schools, in a nation of almost 130,930 schools, that received this award. This is definitely an accomplishment worth celebrating.”
The following press release explains the award given to Eads and McClave:
Strengthening Colorado’s Schools: Governor Polis Announces New Educational Funding Celebrating Science Achievement Through Third Round of the Governor’s Bright Spot Awards
Today, Governor Polis announced the third round of the Governor’s Bright Spot Awards, celebrating students from 16 Colorado schools who showed above-average achievement in science. The Governor was joined by Senators Janet Buckner and Rhonda Fields and Representatives Barbara McLachlan and Mike Weissman. This week, Governor Polis announced his budget proposal which eliminates the Budget Stabilization Factor and fully funds the school finance formula for the first time through a K-12 total program increase of $564.1M - an average of $705 more per pupil or $15,500 for a classroom of 22 kids, this is on top of last year’s budget’s increase of $1,019 per pupil. The Governor’s budget proposal provides $8M to support science enrichment programs and $7.8 million for work-based learning.
This award highlights the resilience of Colorado’s students and schools. Governor Polis awarded 16 schools $50,000 of Federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund money to purchase educational technology, offer summer school, after-school programming, professional development, and other opportunities that will benefit students’ learning experience.
“By highlighting the top sixteen schools in the state for science achievement, we are shining a light on what works. We look forward to finding out what works at these schools and helping more students excel in science. Improving science education will help students and our state. Many of Colorado’s booming job sectors like aerospace are based on science so I am thrilled to provide these science-education related grants to schools so our teachers have the tools in the classroom and students can learn and get into good-paying jobs,” said Governor Polis. “We are also proposing a new investment in after-school programs to boost science achievement.”
The Governor’s Bright Spot Awards are funded through GEER, with the goal of highlighting schools and students who excelled during times of difficulty. Funds allocated to the awarded schools must be spent by September 30, 2024, on qualifying expenses. Such expenses include tutoring services and other enrichment services, purchasing educational technology, summer school and after-school programming, non-executive instructional support employment, and professional development or training for teachers.
The following 16 Colorado schools were awarded Governor’s Bright Spot money:
- Pioneer Elementary School: Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Aurora Quest K-8: Aurora, Colorado
- Simla Elementary and Junior High School: Simla, Colorado
- Bear Creek Elementary School: Boulder, Colorado
- Peak to Peak Charter School: Lafayette, Colorado
- Rudy Elementary School: Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Paonia K-8: Paonia, Colorado
- Cedaredge High School: Cedaredge, Colorado
- Parker Core Knowledge Charter School: Parker, Colorado
- Eads Middle School: Eads, Colorado
- Dennison Elementary School: Lakewood, Colorado
- McClave Undivided High School: McClave, Colorado
- Rye High School: Rye, Colorado
- Stratton Senior High School: Stratton, Colorado
- Colorado STEM Academy: Westminster, Colorado
Congratulations to Eads and McClave School districts on their awards. The entire area has a collection of outstanding schools year in and year out as exemplified by these awards.