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ANet is a nonprofit dedicated to the premise that every child in America deserves an excellent education and the opportunities it provides. We pursue our vision of educational equality in America by helping schools boost student learning with great teaching that is grounded in standards, informed by data, and built on the successful practices of educators around the country.

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As a mission-driven nonprofit organization, our primary concern is helping ensure equitable opportunity for all students.

Working alongside schools, we’ve learned that great teaching is grounded in standards, data, and insights shared among educators. We believe a blog can help us make a difference by spreading the ideas and effective practices of educators we work with.

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Bessemer Academy’s can-do culture boosts school rating

Becky Frutos

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” —Henry Ford

Students and teachers at Bessemer Academy in Pueblo, Colorado know they can.

Last year, Bessemer Academy jumped up a rating for the first time since 2012—from priority improvement to improvement. They were one of only five schools in the district to move off of turnaround. The big secret: a positive attitude.

The dedication of my team, their positive ‘we can do it’ attitude, and their ability to take and implement feedback was key to our growth.
— Principal Angela Garcia

Teachers at Bessemer embraced a new math curriculum with a sense of purpose and enthusiasm. Every week, you would find teachers digging into standards and planning lessons together. Collaboration is key to Bessemer’s school culture. “The culture and climate was developed to support student learning and a ‘can-do’ attitude,” says Assistant Principal Jaime Schwab.

ANet Coach Meredith Stolte supports the teams with targeted professional development and strategic best practices. Assistant Principal Schwab hails her as “the absolute best ANet coach in the world to tell us how to ‘get ‘er done.’”

According to Meredith, “The leadership team at Bessemer has an unwavering focus and belief in students, and they do whatever is necessary to support teachers.  They are the model for balancing learning, growth and urgency.”

This year, the feeling of optimism at Bessemer is stronger than ever. Congratulations to all of the students and teachers on their academic success!

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