Nisley Elementary earns state honor for its excellence

Nisley Elementary School has been named a 2010 Center of Excellence School by the Colorado Department of Education.

The distinction is given each year to schools with the highest rates of individual growth on Colorado Student Assessment Plan tests. The schools also must have at least 75 percent of the student population enrolled in the free or reduced-meal program.

Thirty-two schools qualified for the designation this year, which is the second year the Center of Excellence distinction has been offered. It is the first time a District 51 school has been recognized. Nisley and the other schools will receive banners and certificates Thursday during an event in Denver.

Nisley Principal Curry Newton said the honor helps her know the school is headed in the right direction, and efforts to track students’ scores and help them improve in weak areas have paid off. Last year, 83.3 percent of students made at least one year’s growth in CSAP scores, and 74.6 percent of students made more than a year’s growth. At the same time, 84 percent of Nisley’s students received free or reduced school meals, something Newton said never should be viewed “as an excuse not to achieve.”

“It can be a factor, and we deal with the factor and move on,” she said.

Newton said the school will have a celebration of some sort after Thursday, possibly during an assembly.


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