Flagstaff Academy recognized by SVVSD Board of Education
September 25, 2019
By Violet Oliver, 8th grade Flagstaff student
Special to the Courier
Flagstaff Academy received some well-deserved recognition on Sept. 11 at the St. Vrain Valley School District board meeting for its recent Colorado Trailblazer award.
The Longmont-based charter school received the Schools to Watch Colorado Trailblazer award in late spring of 2019. Schools can apply for this award through the Middle Grades Forum website, and if the application is approved, teams of administrators personally observe the school to better understand school life. Specifically, they look for schools that are not only outstanding in academic excellence, but also show social equity, developmental responsiveness, and have clear organizational structures.
Anyone that is familiar with Flagstaff Academy knows that these criteria sound like they were modeled after the school. Just pop in to any classroom to see students actively engaged in their work. Observe teachers reciting CHAMPS (Conversation, Help, Activity, Movement, Participation, and Success), a foundational teaching tool that helps students learn and grow. Or hear students passionately singing along to the periodic table song at the top of their lungs. So, it was no surprise when Flagstaff was designated one of four schools in Colorado and 60 schools nationwide to receive the Schools to Watch award. Flagstaff Executive Director Wayne Granger, Principal Katie Gustafson, Director of Special Education Jeri Tagawa, and teachers Leha Moskoff and Kate Salgado travelled to Washington D.C. this summer to receive the honor.
The district meeting this September was yet another recognition of the great school that Flagstaff has become. "It is exciting for us in St. Vrain to have Flagstaff be recognized as a model school in our state and in our nation," Dr. Diane Lauer, the State Director of the Schools to Watch Program, said that evening.
Yet, this great honor could not have been accomplished alone. In the words of executive director Granger, "This is not just about a School to Watch.This is about teachers to watch. Principals to watch. Paraprofessionals and support staff to watch. It's also about students to watch".
Flagstaff Academy is truly a team effort. It is about staff, parents, teachers, and students, joining together daily to learn, exchange ideas, meet new people, and connect with one another. The Schools to Watch Colorado Trailblazer honor is just another reminder of what administrators, parents, and students have known for so long-that the community is what makes Flagstaff Academy the award-winning school that it is.