Pueblo Elementary School, 6320 N. 82nd St., Scottsdale, celebrated its recognition as a 2020 Arizona Educational Foundation A+ School of Excellence.
Named among 44 Arizona public schools, Pueblo will receive a $500 check from the AEF and a banner designating it as an A+ School of Excellence, according to a press release.
Scottsdale Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Scott Menzel and assistant superintendent, Dr. Ibi Haghighat attended a surprise celebration at Pueblo on Oct. 12, as teachers and staff learned of the school’s A+ application success.
“We are thrilled that the AEF is distinguishing our Pueblo Elementary School as one of Arizona’s very best public schools, and we congratulate Principal Hummon, her staff and the entire Pueblo community for their devotion to the school’s ongoing commitment to excellence in Biliteracy education,” stated Dr. Menzel.
The prestigious designation by the Phoenix-based nonprofit organization runs through May 2024 and is contingent upon the school’s maintaining its record of academic excellence, said the release.
Pueblo is among five SUSD A+ Schools of Excellence, joining Cherokee, Laguna, Redfield and Tavan Elementary schools, which are recognized for overall achievement.
Schools submitting A+ applications undergo a comprehensive and rigorous process involving teachers, staff, parents, students and administrators.
The AEF evaluates a school’s student focus and support, school culture, active teaching and learning, curriculum, leadership, community and parent involvement, and assessment data to determine if it makes the A+ School of Excellence grade, noted the release.
“Pueblo is an amazing school that values second language acquisition and multiculturalism as the foundation for our program,” said principal, Shelley Hummon in a prepared statement.
“We are proud to be the start of the path for our students to become biliterate in Spanish and to earn the Arizona Department of Education’s Seal of Biliteracy when they graduate from high school.”
She described how complicated the application review process was because of the coronavirus pandemic and Pueblo’s resulting closure that began March 16.
Ordinarily, the release said, the school would have been visited in person by a panel of AEF judges in March, but instead Pueblo’s school tour was conducted virtually during two days, last month, as judges “visited” with certified and classified staff, students, parents and school administrators through video conferencing platforms.
“Despite the challenges we have faced as a school, I am very proud to share this distinction with the Pueblo staff family, our students and the Pueblo community of families,” added Ms. Hummon.
Opened in 1971, Pueblo is the flagship elementary school for the Scottsdale Unified School District Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program, the release said, noting that 400 pre-kindergarten through 5th grade students spend a portion of each school day learning core curriculum in Spanish and English.