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GIPS schools win national award for excellence

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 8:53 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Four schools in the Grand Island Public School district received the first and only Learning Sciences International’s Demonstration Schools for Rigor Award in Nebraska’s history on Wednesday.

Stolley Park, Starr, and Jefferson Elementary as well as Walnut Middle School started the process three years ago to achieve this national honor, and they finally received a banner with the accomplishment making it official.

“It feels amazing," Stolley Park Principal Michael Persampieri said. "Our staff and students put in a tremendous amount of work the last three years really re-imagining instruction and really imagining what the student experience could be like at school, and they’ve shined through, were persistent and did an amazing job.”

This award recognizes the schools for being an example of growth, innovation and commitment to students' learning.

“We really wanted to push the envelope on giving students autonomy in their work, ownership of their work, but also being stewards of what we have at the state level, meaning we’re seeing what the expectations are at the grade level, but then pushing forward,” Persampieri said.

The award also makes the schools a model for other institutions to observe. They share their best practices and tips with educators in the community.

“We get the opportunity to really support grand island as a whole, as a demonstration school to really hope to push the work forward and what we’re seeing in classrooms here and other demonstration schools,” Persampieri said.

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