Pueblo School for Arts and Sciences to be featured in video about closing achievement gap

Pueblo School for Arts and Sciences (PSAS), a K-8 charter school operating in partnership with Colorado State University-Pueblo, will be featured in a Best Practices video commissioned by Colorado Department of Education Commissioner Dwight Jones that features schools that are closing the achievement gap. While eight Colorado schools will be reviewed in the video, only PSAS and one other school will be featured in the videotaping of best practices in public school education in Colorado.

Crews will be on the PSAS campus next Tuesday to capture footage of a variety of classroom environments. The project is a direct result of a report issued from the Piton and Donnell-Kay Foundations, entitled Profiles of Success: Eight Colorado Schools that are Closing the Achievement Gap, which was an intensive state wide review of student achievement that highlighted schools that had made significant strides in closing the achievement gap.

During its photo session next week, filmmakers will shoot morning announcements, Reading groups, science, music, math, social studies, Spanish, and language arts classes as well as vocal and instrumental music sessions with a focus on differentiated and coached instruction.

“I feel proud and honored to open our doors to those who hope to duplicate some of the practices that have factored into the successes we’ve had here at PSAS,” said PSAS Principal Cheryl Gomez. “There is no doubt in my mind that our success as a charter school is due largely to our philosophy and to our partnership with CSU-Pueblo and its Teacher Education Department.”

Key elements cited for success at PSAS include integration of humanities with core subjects, a longer school day, more frequent testing, Saturday classes when necessary for student achievement, and an environment which provides significant professional development for its teachers. Shared leadership empowers teachers to have a voice in decisions that affect the school community. Frequent norm-based assessments facilitate the targeted and prescribed individual learning for each student.

One of the oldest charter schools in the state, PSAS is chartered by Pueblo City Schools and operating in partnership with CSU-Pueblo. Approximately 67 percent of PSAS students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. PSAS embraces the Paideia educational philosophy, which emphasizes teaching via seminars that integrate the arts, foreign language, and humanities with core academic subjects. Students also engage in service projects within their communities.,

One example of a community service project carried out this spring was a first grade project involving the Pueblo Zoo. They raised approximately $500 for the Pueblo Zoo as part of their animal unit curriculum by designing and selling trading cards of the Pueblo Zoo animals. At 1:30 p.m. on May 28, the PSAS First Grade classes will present a mock check to the Pueblo Zoo for the amount of money raised.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.