Nineteen district schools earn Civic Engagement Awards

More than half of the 2015-16 Arizona Civic Engagement Schools are from Mesa Public Schools.

For the second year in a row, district schools dominated the 2015-16 Civic Engagement Awards. Of the 32 schools recognized statewide, 19 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 history, economics, geography, law and democracy, experiential learning and government classroom instruction. 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.

Red Mountain and Westwood high schools were recognized as Schools of Excellence, which is the highest honor possible and was awarded to just four schools in the state.

Schools of Distinction are Dobson High School, Franklin Junior High, Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies, Rhodes Junior High and Shepherd Junior High. Schools of Merit are Carson Junior High, East Valley Academy, Fremont Junior High, Kino Junior High, Mesa High School, Mountain View High School, Sirrine Elementary, Skyline High School, Smith Junior High, Stapley Junior High, Summit Academy and Taylor Junior High.

"Sirrine Elementary is honored to receive recognition for our efforts in helping our children learn about their rights, roles and responsibilities as American citizens," says Renee Parker, principal. "Our goal is to ensure that students develop knowledge and motivation to make a difference in the quality of life in their community. Sirrine students learn our critical role as citizens and that each generation has the power to sustain and strengthen the values that define the United States."

The schools will be formally recognized at an award ceremony Sept. 16.


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