April 28, 2015 Sinagua Middle School was awarded the A+ School of ExcellenceTM designation from the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEFTM). AEFTM Executive Director, Bobbie O’Boyle stated in the letter written to Principal Tari Popham, “You, your staff, your students and your community are to be commended for overall excellence and for all the hard work and collaborative effort it took to earn this award. Based on your outstanding application and a very memorable and impressive site visit to your campus, your school has truly earned the Arizona Educational Foundation’s A+ School of Excellence designation.” Ms. O’Boyle stated in their press release, “The A+ School of Excellence™ program celebrates outstanding schools throughout Arizona and calls attention to the positive stories and successes occurring in public schools,” “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.
The A+ School of Excellence™ Program was created by the Arizona Educational Foundation in 1983. Its purpose is threefold:
§ to identify and give public recognition to outstanding public schools in Arizona;
§ to make available a comprehensive framework of key criteria for school effectiveness that can serve as a basis for participatory self-assessment and planning in schools;
§ to facilitate communication and sharing of best practices within and among schools based on a common criteria related to success.
According to the Arizona Educational Foundations website “Schools submit 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, service. Schools must demonstrate sustained high achievement or significant improvement through assessment data. Winning schools are recognized for their superior ability to identify and meet the academic and non-academic needs of their student population. Schools that earn the A+ School of Excellence™ designation retain their status for a 3-year period after which time they must reapply for the award.”