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Mountain Middle School granted excellence award

Executive Director says the school’s disadvantaged population has doubled
Mountain Middle School was awarded for its consistent “Exceeds Expectation” rating on Colorado’s Academic Achievement indicator. (Shaun Stanley/Durango Herald file)

Mountain Middle School has been awarded the John Irwin School of Excellence Award.

The award is given to the highest performing schools in the State of Colorado 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.

“Our staff works incredibly hard to help all of our students reach their academic and social potential by creating a sense of belonging and personalization,” Mountain Middle School Executive Director Shane Voss said in a news release. “Our economically disadvantaged population has doubled since giving families who qualify for free reduced lunch weighted preference in our annual lottery enrollment system which is open on the school’s website through the end of February each year.”

The school touted its minority students scoring in the 93rd percentile for academic achievement and demonstrated a year and a half’s worth of growth. However, more recently, the Colorado League of Charter Schools announced its Hall of Fame nominations fourth Grade teacher Kimi Hanson and fifth grade Teacher Brooke Barton were among those selected.

“At Mountain Middle School we focus on establishing a connected community of learners with our project-based learning framework, inspiring cooperation and collaboration while building relationships among our students and staff,” Hanson said in the release. “This active approach to learning provides experiences for students to demonstrate their strengths in diverse ways through various projects in the year and grow with their peers to become confident, creative, and caring members of our larger Durango community.”

Voss is also a finalist for Colorado Charter School Leader of the Year.

The winners will be announced at the annual League of Charter Schools Conference in February.

“We want to congratulate all of our students, staff and Board of Directors for their hard work in continuing to provide a transformative education at Mountain Middle School,” Voss said.