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Bennet Congratulates 5 Colorado Schools Awarded Blue Ribbons for Achievement and Progress

Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, today applauded five Colorado schools that have been designated 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. "Colorado's National Blue Ribbon Schools are leading the way with best practices to reach high achievement levels and close the achievement gap," said Bennet. "They are excellent examples of what we can accomplish around the country. The parents, teachers, and leaders in these schools have done the heroic work of educating our kids, and I am pleased that we are recognizing their accomplishments." The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools with students achieving at very high levels or making significant progress to close gaps in achievement. The program is part of a larger Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices. At the invitation of Secretary Duncan, the principal and one teacher from each school will be invited to Washington, DC for the November 12th and 13th Recognition Ceremony. Representatives from each school will receive a National Blue Ribbon Schools plaque and a flag to signify its status.

The following schools in Colorado are 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools: Avon Elementary School in Avon, Garnet Mesa Elementary School in Delta, Pear Park Elementary School in Grand Junction, Slavens K-8 School in Denver and Summit Middle Charter School in Boulder.

Five Colorado schools awarded 2012 Blue Ribbon Schools

Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond today congratulated five Colorado schools named by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as 2012 Blue Ribbon Schools

"Our nation has no greater responsibility than helping all children realize their full potential," Duncan said. "Schools honored with the National Blue Ribbon Schools award are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers.? Their work reflects the conviction that every child has promise and that education is the surest pathway to a strong, secure future."

The schools are Avon Elementary School in Avon (Eagle County RE-50 School District), Garnet Mesa Elementary School in Delta (Delta County 50J School District), Pear Park Elementary School in Grand Junction (Mesa County Valley 51 School District), Slavens K-8 School in Denver (Denver Public Schools) and Summit Middle Charter School in Boulder (Boulder Valley Re 2 School District).

The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories. The first category is "Exemplary High Performing," in which schools are recognized among their state's highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests. The second category is "Exemplary Improving," in which schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds demonstrate the most progress in improving student achievement levels as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.

In all, 269 schools were recognized as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools.? A complete list is available at


Garnet Mesa Elementary is a kindergarten through fifth grade school located in Delta, Colorado. Serving approximately 570 students, the Garnet Mesa staff, parents, and community have partnered with a goal of creating the optimum learning environment for Garnet Mesa students.

As you become familiar with our school, you will find that the school district’s mission of “Caring, Challenging, and Learning, Every Student, Every Day”, along with the school mission of “Achieving, Belonging, and Caring”, is prominent throughout the Garnet Mesa community. Garnet Mesa is a professional learning community where all staff has an integral role in every student’s growth. With a sincere commitment of ensuring that all students feel safe and know that they are cared for, we are committed to a philosophy of Success For All! This philosophy encompasses our entire staff, from our custodians and cooks to our teachers and aides, as we all do whatever it takes to make this a great educational environment.

We have implemented proven programs, strategies, and procedures that will provide our students with the skills necessary to be successful, and we consistently look at ways to improve. You can be assured that at GMES, your children truly will be cared for, will be challenged, and will learn. Have a great school year!