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A+ School of Excellence

Awards to Arizona PreK-12 Public Schools and
Public Charter Schools for Educational Excellence

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

01/11/19 5:00 PM


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Awards of $500 to Arizona PreK-12 district and charter public schools that demonstrate educational excellence. Winning schools will demonstrate sustained high achievement or significant improvement, as well as an exceptional ability to meet students' academic and non-academic needs.

The A+ School of Excellence™ Program is a comprehensive school assessment program that celebrates outstanding schools and brings to light the positive stories and successes happening in public schools every day. The designation and recognition can create greater parent and community involvement and confidence in schools that win the award. Internally, the process of completing the very comprehensive A+ School of Excellence™ application allows schools to identify and address challenges, generate new support from the community and business partners, increase student and parent pride, validate school programs and accomplishments, and re-energize staff, students, and parents.

This program was created to:

- Identify and recognize exemplary public schools throughout the state;
- Make available a comprehensive framework of key criteria for school effectiveness that can serve as a basis for participatory school self-assessment and planning; and
- Facilitate communication and sharing of best practices and outstanding practices within and among schools based on common criteria related to success.

Schools that wish to apply should have the following characteristics:

- Schools submit applications that provide demographic information, a description of current programs and practices, documentation of parent and community involvement, a profile of the school’s leadership and commitment to excellence, equity, service.
- Schools must demonstrate sustained high achievement or significant improvement through assessment data.
- Winning schools are recognized for their superior ability to identify and meet the academic and non-academic needs of their student population.

Schools that ultimately earn the A+ School of Excellence™ designation consistently:

- Model quality and equity
- Demonstrate a strong commitment to academic excellence
- Meet rigorous teaching and learning standards
- Respond successfully to the changing environment of education
- Cultivate learning-centered, safe school environments
- Support the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs of all their students
- Focus on the individual needs of every child
- Are recognized for their superior ability to go above and beyond the norm in providing services to children, families, and the local community
- Demonstrate high or improving levels of student achievement
- Model innovation in classroom instruction and programs
- Implement goals through extensive collaborative involvement of parents and community
- Provide evidence of high levels of satisfaction and consensus
- Unify all stakeholders in assuring quality and equity in all aspects of the school’s programs
- Engage all stakeholders in strategic thinking and planning toward continuous improvement

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175507

Estimated Size of Grant:

Each school receives $500 and a banner designating it as an A+ School of Excellence™.

All staff and faculty and their family members at awarded schools are eligible for partial scholarships (20%) from Argosy University/Phoenix.

Term of Contract:

Schools that earn the A+ School of Excellence™ designation retain their status for a 3 and 1/2 year period, after which time they must reapply for the award.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Arizona schools that demonstrate sustained high achievement or significant improvement through assessment data may apply. Schools must demonstrate a commitment to excellence, equity, service.

Additionally, all of the following criteria must be met:

- The school must be a district or charter public school with some combination of grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12.

- School must be rated by the Arizona Department of Education as an “A” or “B” school for the most recent school year for which letter grades are available and demonstrate high student academic achievement or growth over time for all students through other assessments (see questions 34 and 35).

- The school must be in at least its 6th full year of operation in its current (or similar) grade configuaration when the application is submitted.

- The school or school district is not refusing Office of Civil Rights (OCR) access to information necessary to investigate a civil rights complaint or to conduct a district-wide compliance review.

- The OCR has not issued a violation letter of findings to the school district concluding that the nominated school or the district as a whole has violated one or more of the civil rights statutes. A violation letter of findings will not be considered outstanding if OCR has accepted a corrective action plan from the district to remedy the violation.

-The US Department of Justice does not have a pending suit alleging that the nominated school or the school district as a whole has violated one or more of the civil rights statutes or the Constitution’s equal protection clause.

- The school must not have been recognized as an A+ School of Excellence™ in 2016, 2017, or 2018. Previously recognized schools are eligible to reapply after their three and ½ year status has expired.

- The school’s principal must have completed at least 3 full years as leader of the applicant school when the application is submitted.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Join the Arizona Educational Foundation staff to learn more about the A+ School of Excellence application process. Information sessions, which are free of charge, will be hosted around the state in August and early September.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at 3:30 p.m.
Flowing Wells Unified School District Governing Board Room
1556 W. Prince Road
Tucson, AZ 85705

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at 3:30 p.m.
Peoria Unified School District Governing Board Room
6330 W. Thunderbird Road
Glendale, AZ 85306

Thursday, August 23, 2018 at 3:30 p.m.
Chandler Unified School District Governing Board Roam
1525 W. Frye Road
Chandler, AZ 85224

Monday, August 27, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
Deer Valley Unified School District Governing Board Room
20402 N. 15th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85027

Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 3:30 p.m.
Flagstaff Public Schools Business Office Conference Room
3285 Sparrow Avenue
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Thursday, September 6, 2018 at 3:30 p.m.
Phoenix Elementary School District Governing Board Room
1817 N. 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85006

More about information sessions:

Register for an information session:

Pre-Application Information:

- June 2018: Applications are made available to schools statewide and posted online.
- January 11, 2019 at 5:00pm: Applications are due to Arizona Educational Foundation.
- January 25, 2019: Schools are selected and notified of site visits.
- February 4 through April 19, 2019: Site visits are conducted. Note: once a school qualifies, site visit dates will be arranged so that a school can prepare for the site visit team.
- Late April 2019: A+ School of Excellence™ winners are announced.

Application tutorial:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Gayle Holland, Program Director

Arizona Educational Foundation
6155 E. Indian School Road, #106
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 421-9376

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Arizona