Educational Foundation renews Tavan, Cherokee A+ awards

A view of the Scottsdale Unified School District logo. (File photo)

Scottsdale Unified School District elementary schools Tavan and Cherokee can call themselves A+ Schools of Excellence for another three years.

The Arizona Educational Foundation announced April 13 that Tavan and Cherokee are among 39 Arizona public schools to win the coveted A+ award for the 2016-17 academic year, according to a press release.

Tavan, located at 4610 E. Osborn Road in Phoenix, and Cherokee, located at 8801 N. 56th St. in Paradise Valley, submitted applications to have their A+ status, first awarded in 2013, renewed.

“We are thrilled that Tavan and Cherokee will display their A+ banners for another three years,” said Dr. Steve Nance, SUSD assistant superintendent of educational services, in the press release. “The work that goes on at these schools every day and that is supported by their communities is just outstanding.”

A+ winning schools are recognized for their superior ability to identify and meet the academic and non-academic needs of their student population. The AEF requires schools to submit in-depth applications that provide demographic information, a description of current programs and practices, documentation of parent and community involvement, a profile of the school’s leadership, and commitment to excellence, equity and service, the release stated.

Schools must also demonstrate sustained high achievement or significant improvement through assessment data. Schools that meet the criteria receive site visits from a selection panel that includes award-winning principals, teachers and community leaders.

Fifty-six pre-kindergarten through 12th grade schools submitted applications for the 2016-17 award; 44 received site visits.

Tavan Principal Margaret Serna could not be more pleased.

“I am extremely proud of our Tavan learning community for being awarded a second consecutive Arizona Educational Foundation A+ School of Excellence designation,” she said in the press release. “This honor is bestowed on Tavan’s young dedicated scholars, extraordinary teachers and staff, and we are committed to continuing our journey of academic and social excellence.”

Cherokee Principal Walter Chantler echoed those remarks.

“Cherokee Elementary School is extremely honored to be recognized, once again, as an Arizona Educational Foundation A+ School of Excellence. I am proud to be part of a community that supports our amazing staff and students, and the desire for ongoing and continuous school improvement,” he said in the press release.

In addition to receiving new banners designating them as A+ Schools of Excellence, Cherokee and Tavan will each receive $500. Also, the faculty and staff at both schools will be eligible for partial scholarships for the next three and a half years from Argosy University, Phoenix.

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