May 15, 2017

Thanks to the efforts of STRIVE Prep parents, school leaders and many more supporters from our community, the Denver Public Schools Board of Education unanimously approved the opening of three new STRIVE Prep elementary schools. The approval gives STRIVE Prep the flexibility to strategically open schools that meet the needs of students and the community, including those in a restart context.

STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill parent, Melva Aguirre, shared how she feels knowing that her son, Giovanni, currently attends a Blue (Distinguished) elementary school that is committed to the community it serves.

“The school is an extremely welcoming environment and a place I want to take my son,” she said. “The quality of a school is also extremely important for every parent and it’s no casual thing that STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill is the only distinguished elementary school in the southwest.”

Opening new elementary schools that are modeled off of STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill (the only distinguished BLUE school in any of the three regions STRIVE Prep serves) will help STRIVE Prep  better serve our scholars in their middle and high school years.

As the principal of a turnaround middle school in southwest Denver, Katie Ryan knows this from first hand experience. During the school board meeting she spoke about the challenges teachers at STRIVE Prep – Kepner have faced in their first year of operation. Many students arrived from elementary schools that had not adequately prepared them for the sixth grade, with only 9 percent beginning the year classified as proficient on their PARCC results.

Make no mistake, Ms. Ryan and her team are ready and willing to push scholars to the levels they need to be proficient, but she also made it clear that her students deserve better.

“Our middle school teachers find themselves serving the emotional needs of adolescents while trying to meet the academic needs of an elementary aged child,” she said. “Our students deserve to arrive at middle school prepared for middle school – academically, socially and emotionally.”

Now, thanks to the hard work and action of our supportive community, STRIVE prep can continue to work and make good on the promise of preparing scholars to attend any four-year college or university after attending our schools – hopefully, starting from kindergarten.

You can read more about our elementary applications, in this recent article by Chalkbeat.

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