Sections    Thursday March 22nd, 2018
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Cortina Elementary School earns A+ School of Excellence™ Award

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  • Michelle Reese/Higley Unified School District

The Arizona Educational Foundation announced that Cortina Elementary School in the Higley Unified School District is being awarded the coveted A+ School of Excellence™ award for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Cortina is one of 34 Arizona public schools to earn the A+ School of Excellence™ award this year.

“This outstanding recognition is a testament to the high quality education that occurs at our school because of hard working teachers and staff, caring and involved parents and families, and wonderful students,” said Principal Cort Monroe.

Since 1983, AEF has honored exemplary pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools in Arizona with this program which gives recognition to outstanding public schools, and strives to create a comprehensive framework of successful programs and practices that other schools throughout the state and nation might adopt.

“The A+ School of Excellence™ program celebrates education and calls attention to the positive stories and successes occurring in Arizona’s public schools,” explained AEF Executive Director, Bobbie O’Boyle. “The Foundation identifies and recognizes outstanding schools throughout Arizona and those responsible for a school’s success.”

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. Applications are made available to pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools statewide.

Evaluation of schools is based on a lengthy written application submitted by the school and rigorous site visit conducted by a team of trained judges.

In the application, each school provides demographic information, a description of current program and practices, documentation of parent and community involvement, and a profile of the school’s principal and his/her 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.

Recognition through the A+ School of Excellence™ program can help increase confidence in Arizona’s public schools and create greater parent and community involvement. Schools receive $500 and a banner designating it as an A+ School of Excellence™ winner.

All staff and faculty at the award-winning schools will be eligible for partial scholarships from Argosy University Phoenix. The award is valid for three and a half years.

The Arizona Educational Foundation is supported by: Circle of Excellence donor the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation and by Platinum level donors Argosy University, The Arizona Republic/AZCENTRAL, APS, the AEA and AEA Foundation, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, Intel, University of Phoenix and Wells Fargo. AEF also receives support from Gold level donors Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Element Design and Communication, Grand Canyon University, SRP, and US Airways.

For additional information on the A+ School of Excellence program or to learn more about and support the Arizona Educational Foundation, visit