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November 14, 2002

Rio Costilla Elementary in Questa Schools
Honored for Implementing School Reform Model

(Santa Fe, NM)-The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) announced today that Rio Costilla Elementary in the Questa Independent Schools has been designated by the Accelerated Schools Project of the University of Texas at Austin Southwest Center for Accelerated Schools as a "demonstrated school."

"Accelerated Schools is an education reform model that is meeting with success across the country and in New Mexico. By reexamining how learning and teaching occur, Rio Costilla is providing innovative learning opportunities for its students and implementing the school community's vision for educational excellence," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis.

Rio Costilla Elementary will be recognized and receive a Demonstrated School Award at the 4th Annual Southwest Center for Accelerated Schools Conference in Austin on November 16.

The designation of "demonstrated school" is the highest level of successful implementation for an Accelerated Schools Campus and indicates that the school has met the National Accelerated Schools Center's Criteria for effective implementation. As a result of the designation, Rio Costilla will be listed as a recommended site for other schools interested in visiting a campus that is effectively implementing the Accelerated Schools process.

The Accelerated Schools Project, founded by Dr. Henry Levin, is a national network of more than 700 schools implementing a nationally recognized school reform model. The Southwest Center for Accelerated Schools provides training on the philosophy, principles and values of accelerated schools.

A school leadership team including the principal, an external coach, internal facilitators and cadre leaders were responsible for guiding Rio Costilla through the process at the campus level. The project was funded through a federal Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration (CSRD) grant administered by the SDE.