PEYTON, Colo. (Dec. 20, 2012) – Banning Lewis Ranch Academy in Falcon School District 49 received one of Colorado’s top educational honors Dec. 18 during a ceremony in Denver.

“I felt proud of our staff and our kids,” said Andy Franko, Banning Lewis Ranch Academy principal, recalling the moment he received the Governor’s Distinguished Improvement award Tuesday at the Colorado Department of Education.

Banning Lewis Ranch Academy, one of District 49’s four charter schools, achieved the highest levels of growth for not just some students, but all its student groups. The academy is a kindergarten-eighth grade elementary and middle charter school.

Now in its seventh year providing a college-prep program in northeast Colorado Springs, within the Banning Lewis Ranch community, the academy has earned its first Governor’s Distinguished Improvement award.

“Students in our classrooms learn new things and apply skills in creative and innovative ways,” said Franko. “It was an amazing feeling to know all their hard work was being recognized.”

Each year, schools that demonstrated exceptional student growth earn the Colorado Governor’s Distinguished Improvement award. The schools must exceed expectations in the three-year performance framework’s academic growth indicator, while meeting expectations in academic growth gaps.

Banning Lewis Ranch Academy was one of 145 Colorado schools to earn the award this year, the only school in District 49.

“Our humanities based instructional approach, along with a clear understanding of our students’ strengths and challenges, has allowed us to best meet the needs of our learners," said Franko.

"This level of improvement and success would not be possible without the support of highly involved families who value and support the education of their children.

“We are extremely proud of our students, teachers, support staff, and families who continue to work to improve Banning Lewis Ranch Academy,” he said.


Attached photos:

121220-179 – Jake Barrett, 14, discusses high school curriculums with seventh grade language arts students Dec. 20 at Banning Lewis Ranch Academy in Falcon School District 49. Barrett graduated last year from the kindergarten-eighth grade elementary and middle charter school. Now a ninth grader at Liberty High School in Academy School District 20, he’s helping to explain the transition to high school. Banning Lewis Ranch Academy received its first Governor’s Distinguished Improvement award Dec. 18 for achieving the highest levels of student growth.

121220-191 – Third grader Lauryn Chavez, 8, creates a paper poinsettia Dec. 20 during her Spanish class at Banning Lewis Ranch Academy in Falcon School District 49. Students were studying the cultural legends of the plant, which is indigenous to Mexico and Central America. The kindergarten-eighth grade academy includes Spanish classes as part of every student’s education. Banning Lewis Ranch Academy received its first Governor’s Distinguished Improvement award Dec. 18 for achieving the highest levels of student growth.

Tags: Awards, Community, Education, Honors, School, Students, Teachers

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