Two Colorado public schools that serve large numbers of at-risk students are being honored in a national program that recognizes both public and private schools for their achievements.
Soaring Eagles Elementary School, a Colorado Springs magnet school in the Harrison School District, and DSST Green Valley Ranch in Denver, part of the state’s largest charter school network, were named Blue Ribbon schools by the U.S. Department of Education.
Both are Title I schools, meaning they receive federal funds to educate large populations of students from low-income homes. Sixty percent of students who attend Soaring Eagle qualify for federally subsidized lunch prices, while 69 percent of students at DSST Green Valley Ranch do.
To win Blue Ribbon recognition, schools need to either either post high state test scores or show progress in closing achievement gaps. In all, six Colorado schools were singled out as part of the program — all of them for their high state test scores.
The other Colorado schools recognized were:
- Parker Core Knowledge Charter School K-8 in the Douglas County School District
- Denver Public Schools’ Cory Elementary School
- Devinny Elementary School in Jefferson County Public Schools
- St. Mary’s Academy Lower School, a private school in Englewood
“We commend these schools, their staff and teachers and, of course, their students for all of their hard work at achieving such excellence,” Katy Anthes, Colorado’s interim education commissioner, said in a statement. “This type of recognition is gratifying. Each school, their parents and their surrounding community should be proud of such an accomplishment.”