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Garden Lakes Elementary Receives A+ School of Excellence Award

Garden Lakes School of Excellence
Pendergast Elementary School District

The Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) announced Garden Lakes Elementary as one of the 36 Arizona public schools receiving the coveted A+ School of Excellence Award.

The A+ School of Excellence® Award is given by the AEF. The award program has been in existence since 1983. It is the highest state-level honor an Arizona public school may receive. A+ School of Excellence® is also the only statewide school award program that identifies and recognizes schools for achieving overall excellence. 

In addition to showcasing outstanding public schools, the program provides school teams with a framework that serves as a basis for school self-assessment and planning.

Garden Lakes Elementary is the first school in the Pendergast District to receive this recognition. Garden Lakes is located in a friendly residential community in Avondale, Arizona and is known for its longstanding legacy of educational excellence. 

“The A+ School of Excellence Award is significant as it sends a message throughout communities that the local neighborhood public school down the street is an exceptional choice, brimming with opportunities for students to learn and grow, and for faculty and staff to thrive,” said AEF Executive Director, Kim Graham, in a prepared statement. “AEF was established to shine a spotlight on the great work of public schools and the hardworking educators and employees who devote themselves to serving students and families. The A+ School of Excellence Award is our way of honoring that incredible dedication.”

The AEF A+ School of Excellence® evaluative process is multi-faceted, identifying strong success in teaching and learning strategies, student achievement, leadership, and community integration, the press release stated.

Applications are made available to pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade public schools statewide. Evaluation of schools is based on a written application submitted by the school and a site visit conducted by a team of trained judges.

In the application, each school provides demographic information, a description of current programs and practices, documentation of parent and community involvement, and a profile of the school’s principal and the school community’s commitment to excellence, equity, service and sustained high achievement.

Preparation of each school’s application involves collaboration among students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members.

Schools receive $500 and a banner designating them as an A+ School of Excellence winner. The award is valid for four years. Recognition through the A+ School of Excellence program helps increase confidence in Arizona’s public schools and creates greater parent and community support.

Arizona Educational Foundation Press Release

For more information, please contact:

Ramiro Alvarez, Public Information Officer