October 1, 2018 U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, today recognized Zach Elementary and 348 U.S. schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2018. The recognition is based on the schools’ overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Zach Elementary is in Fort Collins, Colorado, as a 16-year-old neighborhood school that fosters excellence in academic performance for students from all backgrounds. As part of the Poudre School District, Zach uses the Core Knowledge Sequence to enrich students’ classroom experiences through a broad base of knowledge, rich vocabulary, and integrated curriculum. Their vision is to provide the highest quality instruction, best practices, and interventions that match the unique needs of individual students, ensuring all children reach their fullest potential. They have been continually ranked as one of the top performing schools in the state of Colorado and have been the recipients The John Irwin School of Excellence and The Governor’s Distinguished School Improvement awards annually for over a decade. Their teaching and learning process is firmly grounded in their values and agreements about academic and behavioral expectations. The professional learning communities utilize progress monitoring specific to interventions, evaluate outcomes and making data-driven decisions that provide comprehensive support to meet all student needs. The administration team utilizes the methodology of the Breakthrough Coach where they focus on being present in classrooms connecting with students and their learning. Zach Elementary School is also recognized as an All Things PLC Model School, an honor bestowed on 176 schools nationally. Zach is known for promoting an environment where safety, learning, and fun are the priorities. The parents, teachers, instructional paras, office personnel, custodians, itinerants and kitchen staff all work together to create a safe learning environment for all students. They live their motto everyday…“together we inspire”!