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Principals from Franklin, Irving and Heritage pose with the Board of Education for a photoTo recognize schools in Colorado that have demonstrated strong growth in student achievement since 2019, Governor Jared Polis established the Governor’s Bright Spot Award, which comes with an accompanying $50,000 endowment.
Of the more than 1,800 public schools in the state, only 21 were selected for this recognition, with three – Franklin School of Innovation, Heritage Elementary and Irving Elementary – hailing from the District.
During Tuesday’s D60 Board of Education meeting, principals and staff members of the awardee schools were introduced and saluted for this prestigious state-wide recognition.
“As the Governor noted in his announcement, these schools demonstrated ‘incredible resilience’ during a time of unprecedented challenges,” said Ted Johnson, Executive Director of Innovation and Continuous Improvement. “All three of these schools showed strong academic growth on the annual CMAS assessment scores in 2022 and saw significant progress since the 2019 assessment.
“Both Franklin Elementary and Heritage increased their School Performance Framework plan assignment type two levels and Irving Elementary’s plan assignment type moved up three levels. This year, all three schools have been identified with a Performance rating or plan assignment type.”
Executive Director Johnson praised the commitment of school leadership and staff through a series of challenges en route to the award.
“Over the years, we’ve come to use an expression which is to 'always find the third way,'” he said. “When things don’t go as planned and the backup plan doesn't work either, we seek to find the third way. The outcomes at these schools are the result of the tireless efforts of the staff and leadership at Franklin, Heritage and Irving that found a third way through all of the challenges such as school closures, quarantines, and interruptions to instruction.
“These folks continued to find the third way for their students. And that has made a huge difference. In truth, they are much more than just bright spots, but rather Beacons of Brilliance and wonderful ambassadors of the work taking place in our District.”
The Board was then introduced to Franklin Principal Dana DiTomaso-Junkman; Heritage Principal Richelle Paradiso; and Irving Principal Jaime Schwab, whose efforts and leadership were lauded by Board members and Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso.