Alta Vista Charter School Selected for Academic Achievement Award



Alta Vista Charter School Principal, Talara Coen, announced the school was selected for the John Irwin Award for Academic Achievement under guidelines from the Colorado Department of Education. “We’re really excited to have been selected,” she said, adding that the school was also chosen for the annual award in 2007. “You need to be in the 80th percentile or higher in an aggregate level of academic grading,” she explained.

Schools do not fill out a form for consideration but are chosen from an annual survey of grade performance. One hundred-seventy schools were selected in 2019. The John Irwin awards are given to schools that demonstrate exceptional academic achievement over time. These schools received an Exceeds Expectations rating on the Academic Achievement indicator of the School Performance Frameworks reflecting exceptional performance in Math, English Language Arts, and Science. 

Coen explained the award serves to remind teachers of how well they are performing. “Improvement awards indicate academic growth and we struggle with that one a little as our standards and results are always consistently high, but this award is for overall academic excellence which provides insights on another level.”

The charter school has a capacity of 140 students, K through 6th grade. “Our current enrollment is 132 and we’re just a few short I the 4th and 6th grades, but all the other grades are full. We’ve had a good enrollment process since 2011 when we had 82 students.” Parents, under charter school guidelines, are asked to volunteer four hours a month to school activities and Coen says parents can work on a schedule that fits their hours, whether it’s serving on a committee or helping with the annual chili supper. “We produce an amazing Christmas program and that will be displayed on December 5th this year,” she added.

In terms of academic achievement, Coen says the school likes to keep track of their students after they move to middle schools. “We’re interested in all our students, but for the most part, we can watch the progress of the Lamar students more easily than we can for McClave or Wiley or other districts. As an example, a while back the Lamar Middle School presented nine of eleven Eagle awards in one year and that’s for students who had da 4.0 GPA and/or displayed community involvement. That’s pretty good.” Coen said there were also high percentages of Alta Vista students in the National Honor Society at Lamar High School.

By Russ Baldwin



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