31 schools win Civic Engagement Awards - AZEdNews
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31 schools win Civic Engagement Awards

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  • Heidi Hurst/ Mesa Public Schools

Collaboration Is Key In Rhodes Junior High's Rhodes To Success Program. Photo Courtesy Tim Hacker/Mesa Public Schools

For the fourth year in a row, the Mesa Unified School District has dominated the Civic Engagement awards. Of the 31 schools recognized statewide as 2017-18 Civic Engagement award-winners, 17 are from Mesa Public Schools.

The Arizona Department of Education Excellence in Civic Engagement Program recognizes schools that demonstrate effective implementation of the six proven practices in civic learning, including strong formal instruction in social studies, U.S. government, history, economics, geography, law and democracy.

Simulations of democratic processes and procedures, service learning, classroom discussions of current events, and meaningful participation in student government were also taken into consideration.

Applicants can earn one of three designations — Merit, Distinction or Excellence — based on their civic learning successes.

Rhodes and Shepherd junior high schools, and Red Mountain and Westwood high schools are Schools of Excellence, which is the highest honor possible.

Schools of Distinction are East Valley Academy; Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies; Carson and Franklin junior high schools; and Dobson, Riverview, Skyline and Superstition high schools.

Schools of Merit are Mendoza Elementary; Fremont, Kino and Taylor junior high schools; and Mountain View High School.

“Rhodes Junior High School is honored to be named a School of Excellence,” says Patty Christie, principal. “Our students and staff collaborate in meaningful ways to problem solve and innovate in an ever-changing world. We are committed to educating all students about the importance of being involved citizens.”

The schools will be formally recognized at the state civic learning conference March 1, 2019.(