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Viewpoint: Carver a two-time Future Award winner

Christine Osorio

Christine Osorio is District 622 Superintendent

Last month brought unprecedented excitement to District 622. Carver Elementary was awarded Minnesota's Future Award by the Minnesota Business Partnership. This award recognizes a high-performing, diverse public elementary school that is beating the odds in closing the achievement gap. The award itself has never been given to the same school twice — until now.

As the only two-time winner of Minnesota's Future Award, Carver was chosen as a result of their continued outstanding performance. The school also won the award in 2016.

On Sep. 26, Carver Elementary was honored before more than 1,000 business, civic, and political leaders at the Minnesota Business Partnership's Annual Dinner at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Carver principal Dr. Gena Abrahamson delivered brief remarks at the event with 20 Carver teachers in attendance. The school will receive $50,000.

"The three things staff at Carver have that really make the difference are: leadership, passion, and courage," Abrahamson said. "The Carver staff learns together, shares, and never gives up on students. They reflect on everything they do and always put students' emotional and academic needs first."

The staff at Carver all know they are responsible for all students. Staff have a growth mindset and are committed to the success of each of our learners.

"We are not afraid of trying and trying again until we find the path that will work best for individual learners," Abrahamson said. "We take student data very seriously. It's telling us where our jobs need to change."

About 65 percent of Carver's students come from low-income households, two-thirds are students of color, and 20 percent have limited English proficiency. Carver has repeatedly outperformed the statewide average for student achievement, both overall and for 2017 among all student subgroups.

Last year, thanks to the 2016 Minnesota's Future Award, Carver Elementary was able to buy five laptop computers and chargers for each classroom. In addition, they purchased books that enable students to see themselves and their families across curricular areas. They also developed and taught social emotional lessons and purchased materials including classroom calming bins filled with tools students use and Zones of Regulation posters building wide. Carver also purchased the RAZ Kids computer program so students have books at their reading level on devices to access at school and at home.

Congratulations to Carver for preparing students to be great students, positive role models, and ready for tomorrow. See the great work happening at Carver and learn more about the award here: https://vimeo.com/235417674.

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