One Scottsdale school among 26 statewide to earn ‘A-plus Excellence’ honor

Twenty-six Arizona public schools, including one from Scottsdale, have earned the coveted A-plus School of Excellence award from the Arizona Educational Foundation for the 2014-15 academic year.

A second round of winning schools will be announced in late April.

Since 1983, AEF has honored exemplary pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools in Arizona with the program, which gives recognition to outstanding public schools, and strives to create a comprehensive framework of successful programs and practices that other schools throughout the state and nation might adopt.

The list of honorees this year includes one school from the Scottsdale: Sonoran Sky Elementary School which is part of the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Robert Dawson is the principal.

“The A+ School of Excellence program celebrates outstanding schools throughout Arizona and calls attention to the positive stories and successes occurring in public schools,” explained AEF Executive Director Bobbie O’Boyle.

“We applaud these schools for doing whatever it takes to meet their students’ needs and achieving overall success despite some of the challenges that face the education community statewide.”

Applicant schools are evaluated in the areas of student focus and support, school culture, active teaching and learning, curriculum, leadership, community and parent involvement and assessment data.

Applications are made available to pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools statewide. Evaluation of schools is based on a lengthy written application submitted by the school and rigorous site visit conducted by a team of trained judges.

In the application, each school provides demographic information, a description of current programs and practices, documentation of parent and community involvement, and a profile of the school’s principal and his/her commitment to excellence, equity, service and sustained high achievement.

Preparation of each school’s application involves collaboration among all stakeholders including students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members.

Recognition through the A+ School of Excellence™ program can help increase confidence in Arizona’s public schools and create greater parent and community involvement.

Schools receive $500 and a banner designating them as an A+ School of Excellence™ winner. All staff and faculty at the award-winning schools will be eligible for partial scholarships from Argosy University Phoenix. The award is valid for 3 1/2 years.

For additional information on the A+ School of Excellence program or to learn more about and support the Arizona Educational Foundation, visit

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