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The top elementary schools in and around Denver

September 2010

Top Public Elementary Schools

Methodology Schools were evaluated in a one-county radius around Denver, including Boulder, and were selected using the Colorado Growth Model (https://cdeapps.cde.state.co.us/growth_model_public), which assesses schools according to levels of academic proficiency—in math, reading, and writing—and “growth.” The term growth refers to the extent to which schools are helping their students catch up with, keep up with, or surpass their expected grade levels. (See “Growth Spurt,” page 74, for a more complete explanation of the growth model.) Schools were chosen based on high scores in both categories across all three subject areas. Special consideration was given to schools with higher Free-and-Reduced Lunch (FRL) numbers.

Format: proficiency/growth (on a scale of 1–100) for math, reading, and writing in 2009

Aurora Quest Aurora K–8

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100/7699/7296/5121.38

A John C. Irwin School of Excellence, Aurora Quest has had students win awards in everything from poetry to science and technology. The bilingual school emphasizes good citizenship and community involvement and has a well-established gifted-and-talented program. quest.aurorak12.org

Beach Court Denver pre-K–5

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76/8075/7568/8795.74

With virtually all of its students receiving some kind of FRL assistance, this bilingual school boasts extraordinary growth numbers across the board. Led by principal Frank Roti, Beach Court features programs for special needs and gifted-and-talented students and has received national recognition for the reading achievements of its Hispanic students. beachcourt.dpsk12.org

Boulder Community School of Integrated Studies Boulder K–5

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85/6390/6584/7914.79

BCSIS features a Waldorf-influenced curriculum, which places a heavy focus on using artistic expression as an avenue to learning. Beginning in kindergarten, students participate in PassageWorks, “activities that encourage social/emotional growth and positive classroom cultures” that conclude in the fifth grade with exercises that help children transition to middle school. schools.bvsd.org/bcsis/index.asp

Bradford Intermediate Littleton K–6

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96/7297/6894/761.88

Bradford sits on two sites: One houses grades K–three; the other is home to grades four–six. The school stresses accountability from students, teachers, and staff, and publishes notes on its website from faculty and PTA meetings. In addition, the school places an unusually strong emphasis on attendance and conduct and offers programs in art, music, and physical education, the latter of which has an outdoor research lab component for sixth-graders. sc.jeffco.k12.co.us/education/school/school.php?sectionid=182

Bromwell Denver K–5

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90/69.590/6186/71.510.09

Bromwell pays special attention to promoting a caring, supportive environment between students. The school publishes a student newspaper and an annual volume of verse that contains one poem from each student. It also convenes a committee of parents, teachers, the principal, and a community representative to regularly address all aspects of running the school. bromwell.dpsk12.org

Canyon Creek Aurora K–5

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81/72.577/6971/70.518.83

Canyon Creek features a year-round calendar, with longer breaks around Christmas and in late June/early July. The Parent Teacher Organization eschews most fund-raisers and instead requests small donations ($30 per student) from all parents and instructs them how to redeem grocery purchases, such as cereal and soup, for points that go toward funding the school. canyoncreek.ccsd.k12.co.us

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