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Arizona Education Foundation 2019 A+ School of Excellence™ Winners

Congratulations to Playa del Rey Elementary and Towne Meadows Elementary, who have earned Arizona Educational Foundation's 2019 A+ School of Excellence™ awards.
A+ School of Excellence™ Winners at Gilbert Public Schools District
AEF has identified and honored exemplary pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools in Arizona since 1983.

“The A+ School of Excellence™ program celebrates outstanding schools throughout Arizona, calling attention to the positive stories and successes occurring in public schools,” said AEF Executive Director, Kim Graham. “The application and evaluation process for this program is comprehensive and rigorous. We applaud these schools for exceeding expectations to meet their students’ needs and for achieving overall success despite the many challenges that face the education community statewide.”

Playa del Rey Elementary Principal Darrin Praska

“It is truly an honor for Playa del Rey to be once again recognized as an A+ school of Excellence™. This is the fourth time that our school has been honored but my first as acting principal. I can say that with complete confidence, we strive to support all of our students in the areas of academics, social/emotional support and learning experiences that extend beyond the school day. This A+ designation validates the commitment and dedication of the entire staff and school community.” Darrin J. Praska, Principal, Playa del Rey Elementary.

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.

Evaluation of schools is based on a lengthy written application submitted by the school and a rigorous site visit conducted by a team of trained judges. In the application, each school provides demographic information, a description of current programs and practices, documentation of parent and community involvement, and a profile of the school’s principal and the school community’s commitment to excellence, equity, service and sustained high achievement. Preparation of each school’s application involves collaboration among all stakeholders including students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members.

“We are proud that judges from outside of our community were able to see what a positive and wonderful school Towne Meadows is for kids. The hard-working staff and supportive community deserve to be recognized by this prestigious organization with this award. We are proud to be an A+ School of Excellence™!,” Chip Pettit, Principal, Towne Meadows Elementary.

Currently 13 schools in Gilbert Public Schools are recognized as A+ School of Excellence™ award winners. The award lasts for three and a half years, and in order to apply the current principal must have been in place for at least three years.