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Anthem School receives A+ School of Excellence designation

Elizabeth Medora ~ Staff~ 5/6/2015

ANTHEM – Anthem School has been awarded the Arizona Educational Foundation’s A+ School of Excellence designation.

Anthem staff was notified on April 28 that the school was receiving this prestigious designation. A ceremony is planned for mid-May to celebrate when the school receives its official banner from the Arizona Educational Foundation.

“We’re very proud,” said Anthem School principal Deb Roets. “It was really affirming for all the hard work that the staff has done over the years.”

The school celebrated the award with a special assembly out on the school field. Staff, students, and parents partied with Silly String and noisemakers and an impromptu dance party.

The A+ School of Excellence designation honors schools with a consistent commitment to quality education, high achievement, and best practices throughout the school. Locally, Anthem School joins Barry Goldwater High School, Cactus Shadows High School, Desert Sage Elementary School, Diamond Canyon School, and Pinnacle High School as 2015 A+ School of Excellence winners.

The A+ application was the first step towards the designation. Teachers, staff, parents, and students worked together on the school application. Anthem was then selected for a site visit. Roets noted that the judges who came out to visit Anthem School spoke highly of the school’s programs and background.

“Three judges came and spent a day and a half at our campus,” Roets said, describing the school visit process. “We got really positive reviews from the judging panel.”

Anthem School has had an exceptional school year. Roets reported that the school’s growth scores have been the highest in the Anthem area.

“We thought this was a great year to go for the award since we had such extraordinary growth last year,” she noted.

Roets discussed Aerospace Academy at Anthem School, noting that this was used as the school’s signature program in the A+ School of Excellence application. Students participate in at least 10 Aerospace lessons per year and conduct school-wide hands-on experiments to reinforce learning. Anthem School hosts an annual STEAM night, in which they incorporate Arts into the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math skills, known as STEM.

Roets credits Anthem’s academic programs, caring staff, and particularly the school atmosphere for their new A+ designation. 

“It’s the overall school culture,” Roets said. She shared how excited students were upon being told that the school had received the A+ School of Excellence award.

“Students were so proud as a result of us achieving the A+,” Roets said, describing how parents called the school with congratulations after their excited students shared the news.

Anthem School Assistant Principal Aimee Fleming is in her first year at Anthem. She shared that the A+ application process helped her “see all the wonderful things that have been going on here.” She described Anthem School’s culture of “cooperation and collaboration.”

“The students support one another, and the teachers support one another and the students,” Fleming said.

Student involvement at Anthem School is very important to the staff. Students helped share their experiences with Anthem for the A+ application.

“We encouraged the students to be involved (in the application process),” Roets noted. “Truly, we involved the whole community.”

Anthem School will be holding a celebration when they receive their A+ School of Excellence banner from the Arizona Educational Foundation. The date is currently to be determined. The community will be invited to attend.

Anthem School has ongoing open enrollment for next school year. See Anthem.DVUSD.org for more details on Anthem’s programs and enrollment.