National Pi Day: Two Colorado Springs schools recognized for statewide math excellence

Chipeta Elementary and Roosevelt Charter School are two of the 12 schools honored by the governor.
Two Colorado Springs get statewide recognition for math achievements
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 7:07 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - It’s National Pi Day! But some schools got something sweeter than actual pie.

Twelve schools across the state -- including two in Colorado Springs -- were honored by Governor Jared Polis with the “Math Bright Spot” Award for growth in math achievements since 2019.

As students’ math performances dropped during the pandemic and virtual learning, Polis has already been upping efforts to boost math scores statewide, including bipartisan legislation.

This award is part of that initiative.

It means schools such as Chipeta Elementary of District 11 and Roosevelt Charter School here in the Springs went above and beyond state math expectations.

“It makes us feel great to be recognized,” said Sarah Scott, Chipeta Elementary School principal. “It’s nice to have that external recognition of the hard work that my staff has done and my students have done over the years.”

These schools also got $50,000 to continue improving their math curriculum and to create other services as they see fit.

“For some additional curriculum to support math, quite possibly on the intervention side when kids are needing a little bit more [guidance],” Scott explained. “No child learns the same way, and so to be able to differentiate our supports for kids, potentially through some additional whether it’s an online program or just different hands-on methods, for kids to learn, that is probably the way we’ll go.”

Scott tells 11 News that though times were weird with online learning, they kept expectations high and math fun. Students, for instance, made math videos. Even now back in the classrooms, Scott says students are encouraged to see what’s beyond the equations on paper. What does the problem really mean? How can they work together to solve it and enjoy that process?

11 News visited a fifth grade math class, in which students collaborated then explained their answers visually and mathematically.

“We really work on intrinsic rewards... [For] some kids math comes really easily, and some kids have to work incredibly hard at it. And we want to recognize all kids across the spectrum, no matter how hard they have to work to achieve,” Scott emphasized.

While Chipeta doesn’t have any special plans for Pi Day, Scott says they’ll have a Festival of Math right before spring break to celebrate the governor’s award.