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Colorado Springs elementary named one of nation's best urban schools

May 18, 2017 Updated: May 19, 2017 at 6:16 am
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Centennial Elementary School in Harrison School District 2, which a few years ago struggled with low test scores, is one of 27 schools in the nation to earn a 2017 America's Best Urban Schools Award from the National Center for Urban School Transformation.

It's the first Colorado school in the 12-year history of the award to be recognized.

Centennial received a silver award, with others taking the bronze and gold.

School and district leaders accepted the award Tuesday at an annual symposium in Nashville, Tenn.

“We’re so proud of our students, staff and parents. It’s another reminder of the great work happening in District 2 and of the ongoing effort to increasing achievement for all students,” said Principal Kimberlee Noyes.

The award goes to schools that have high numbers of low-income students and test results in every demographic group better than the state average for all students, high attendance, low suspension and expulsion rates, and evidence of excellence in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum.

The organization was formed in 2005 at San Diego State University with a goal of identifying and studying America’s best urban schools.

This is the third national award Centennial has won in the past four years.

The school earned the 2015 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence distinction for overall academic excellence or progress in closing achievement gaps and demonstrating that all students can attain high levels of performance. It also was recognized in 2014 as a Distinguished Title 1 school for Colorado.

And the Colorado Department of Education honored Noyes in 2014 for her work as assistant principal and again as principal in 2015.

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