Sequoya Elementary swells Scottsdale School’s A+ Schools count

Sequoya Elementary School students and staff celebrate their A+ School of Excellence recognition. (Submitted photo)

Sequoya Elementary School, 11801 N. 64th St., is an Arizona Educational Foundation A+ School of Excellence for the 2018-19 school year.

The annual recognition of Arizona’s most prestigious public schools is valid for three-and-a-half years, through 2022, according to a press release.

“Sequoya is a special place. It’s a place that brings together children, families and educators to create a community that values and depends on each other to construct the finest educational experience for all,” Principal Veronica Leiper said in a prepared statement.

Sequoya joins nine other Scottsdale Unified School District schools — Cherokee, Cochise, Hohokam, Laguna, Navajo, Redfield and Tavan Elementary schools; Copper Ridge School (K-8); and Chaparral High School — on Arizona’s A+ list.

Sequoya was last an A+ School in the 2017-18 school year, a release states.

“We are thrilled that Sequoya is being recognized for something we have known for a long time. Without question, it is one of Scottsdale’s and Arizona’s top public schools,” SUSD Superintendent Dr. John Kriekard said in a prepared statement.

Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools are eligible to apply for the A+ designation.

The months-long process begins with applicant schools taking an in-depth look at how they focus and support students; what they do to create and support a school culture; how they support teaching and learning; and closely examining their curriculum, leadership, community parent involvement and assessment data.

Applications are the collective work of each school’s stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members.

A+ applications are due each January, with site visits conducted in February and March, and that year’s A+ Schools of Excellence announced in April.

“My top priority as a principal is to put a great teacher in every classroom, and I’m very proud to say I have an amazing teacher in every one of Sequoya’s classrooms,” Ms. Leiper said.

Sequoya will receive $500 and a banner from AEF officials at a 10 a.m., May 22 celebration that will also mark the school’s 30th anniversary.
The Arizona Educational Foundation was founded in 1983 by then-State Superintendent of Public Instruction Carolyn Warner, Arizona grocery store chain President Eddie Basha and Arizona Republic Community Relations Director Bill Shover.

The goal was to celebrate excellence in public education and provide programs to support schools on a path to excellence. The AEF’s signature programs include the A+ Schools of Excellence, Arizona Spelling Bee and Arizona Teacher of the Year.

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