Snowflake — After just two years of sweeping changes by school leadership, the George Washington Academy in Snowflake has gone from being ranked an F school to an A school by the Arizona Department of Education. One of the main reasons for GWA’s dramatic turnaround is implementation of the Success for All SFA reading program.

Principal Beth Kulish said, “This research-based program promoted differentiated instruction by meeting the individual needs of students.” After one year with SFA, GWA earned a “B” letter grade, and after 2 years, an “A,” which is where they are today.  Over that same period, students' English Language Arts proficiency levels have increased by 27%. 

In Kindergarten, SFA is called Kinder Corner, and allows children to participate in reading and math activities throughout the entire day in a fun and engaging way. The 1st grade program, Roots, targets phonemic awareness and phonics.  In Roots, the students also participate in Lightning Squad tutoring which is a targeted one-to-one program with an interventionist that helps the child learn at their own pace.  In Grades 2 through 5, the students participate in SFA’s Wings Program.  Wings focuses on reading fluency, comprehension and writing skills.  SFA’s middle school program is called Edge. Edge also focuses on reading fluency, comprehension and writing skills, and encourages thoughtful discussions.  All SFA programs focus on team building and include a class council where students may bring up concerns and collaboratively create solutions.  

Kulish said, “SFA has been so beneficial for the GWA program, that we are implementing SFA Math this year for grades 6-8. Through SFA Math, students will focus on the individual concepts through conceptual learning.”   

GWA has become the best kept secret in the White Mountains. Small class sizes of 25 or less, great teachers, and proven reading and math curriculum have made it one of Arizona’s top schools. Meet the Teacher letters and supply lists will go out on July 22, and The Back to school event will be Friday, July 30 from 3 to 5 p.m.. The first day of school is August 2.  

GWA is an Edkey Inc. school. Edkey Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, that supports 20 schools and programs, each with its own unique mission and vision, operating exclusively in Arizona. Please contact Jerry Lewis at jerrylewis@edkey.org 480-861-6931 with any questions.

(1) comment

Tony R

Principal Kulish is Awesome!! The front desk couldn't be any better. Check them out.

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