Congratulations to Campus Middle School and Smoky Hill High School. They have been honored as “Highly Effective School Library Program Schools” by the Colorado Department of Education. They join Buffalo Trail Elementary, Eaglecrest High School and Cherry Creek High School as Highly Effective School Library Program Schools in the Cherry Creek School District.
Attaining Highly Effective School Library Program status is a tremendous honor that is difficult to achieve. Schools are evaluated in 18 different categories, including school leadership, administrative support, reading development and special programming. They must demonstrate that school and library staff members work collaboratively to improve student achievement through quality instruction using the 21st century skills.
At Smoky Hill, that includes working with all students at all grade levels and with all teachers across all content areas. During fall semester alone, library staff members taught more than 250 classes on information literacy and research techniques.
“Not only did we see freshmen four times during FAST, our freshman orientation program, we see them two or three times in social studies and two or three times in English, so they’re getting a lot more practice,” said Kyle Harmon, library coordinator at Smoky Hill.
Very few schools receive the Highly Effective School Library Program School designation each year; those that do serve as role models for other schools and libraries across the state.
“The bar is intentionally set very high for this honor; you should be very proud of this accomplishment,” said Judy Barnett, Highly Effective School Library Program Coordinator for the Colorado Department of Education.
In other library news, Evelyn Scott, the library coordinator at Cherry Creek High School, was honored as the “Librarian of the Year” by The Education Center at the Salute to Excellence in Education Scholarship and Awards Gala on March 6. The event honors Black educators in the state of Colorado who exemplify high standards of excellence in education.
Scott said the award affirms the important work she and other librarians do every day.
“In the age where we have so much technology, some people think libraries are a thing of the past,” Scott said. “But our skills are needed more, not less. We have to stay on top of trends, have resources available and know how to use them. The most important thing is to be able to help students, parents and teachers.”