Pueblo, SUSD's Spanish Dual Language Elementary School, Named A+ Recipient

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Oct. 14, 2020) Pueblo Elementary School, 6320 N. 82nd St., Scottsdale, is one of 44 Arizona public schools to be named a 2020 Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) A+ School of Excellence™. The prestigious designation by the Phoenix-based nonprofit organization runs through May 2024 and is contingent upon the school’s maintaining its record of academic excellence.

“Pueblo is an amazing school that values second language acquisition and multiculturalism as the foundation for our program,” says Principal Shelley Hummon. “We are proud to be the start of the path for our students to become biliterate in Spanish and to earn the Arizona Department of Education’s Seal of Biliteracy when they graduate from high school.”

Opened in 1971, Pueblo is the flagship elementary school for the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) Spanish Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program. Four hundred pre-kindergarten through 5th grade students call themselves Pueblo Dust Devils this school year. Students spend a portion of each school day learning core curriculum in Spanish and English.

Pueblo is one of six SUSD A+ Schools of Excellence™, joining Cherokee, Laguna, Redfield, Sequoya and Tavan Elementary schools in being recognized for their overall achievement.

Schools submitting A+ applications undergo a comprehensive and rigorous self-examination that involves teachers, staff, parents, students and administrators. The AEF evaluates a school’s student focus and support, school culture, active teaching and learning, curriculum, leadership, community and parent involvement, and assessment data to determine if it makes the grade to be named an A+ School of Excellence™.

Hummon says the application review process was complicated this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and Pueblo’s resulting closure that began March 16. Ordinarily, the school would have been visited in person by a panel of AEF judge in March. Instead, Pueblo’s school tour was conducted virtually over the course of two days last month. Judges ‘visited’ with certified and classified staff, students, parents and school administrators through video conferencing platforms.

Hummon says the A+ rigorous application process requires the extreme teamwork that is always evident at Pueblo, and that has been especially so in 2020. “Despite the challenges we have faced as a school, I am very proud to share this distinction with the Pueblo staff family, our students and the Pueblo community of families.”

SUSD Superintendent Dr. Scott Menzel and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Ibi Haghighat joined a surprise celebration at Pueblo Oct. 12 at which teachers and staff learned of the school’s A+ application success. “We are thrilled that the AEF is distinguishing our Pueblo Elementary School as one of Arizona’s very best public schools, and we congratulate Principal Hummon, her staff and the entire Pueblo community for their devotion to the school’s ongoing commitment to excellence in Biliteracy education.”

Pueblo will receive a $500 check from the AEF and a banner designating it as an A+ School of Excellence™. A celebration for students is in the works.

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