Award Year: 2017

Valdez Elementary School

2525 West 29th Avenue
Denver, CO, 80211-3711

(720) 424-3310

Ms. Jessica Buckley, Principal at time of Nomination

Choice School

Denver Public Schools District

School Website

School FaceBook


The Power of Together: Committing to equity through Dual Language immersion and culturally relevant, individualized education for all learners.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 33%
  • Hispanic: 63%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Two or more races: 2%
  • ELL: 34%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 48%
Our 4th graders outside in our zocalo/playground area.

Our 4th graders outside in our zocalo/playground area.

Escuela Valdez is located in Northwest Denver. Our community thrives on language and cultural traditions, and we have celebrated many academic achievements, including high growth scores in the district and the state.

Our Dual Language program model ensures that not only every child succeeds, but that every child leaves our school bi-literate and bilingual in Spanish and English. Across the school, regardless of their native language, our students experience their school day in English and Spanish. We start with Native Language literacy first and by 2nd grade all students spend 50% of their day in English and 50% in Spanish.

Our data-driven instructional strategies include a focus on conceptually based mathematics instruction derived from the Standards and supported with research-based strategies. Our literacy work is based in every teacher's understanding of early literacy, including strong Guided Reading. Our weekly data cycles ensure that every child is getting the support they need to succeed, and our integrated intervention program offers both push-in and pullout models of extra support for students who are not making growth.

Our Positive Behaviors Interventions and Support (PBIS) structure includes strategies to teach our students strong socio-emotional choices and growth. We use the acronym POWER (Perseverance, Optimism, Wise Decision, Excellence, and Respect) to describe our expected outcomes for students. We teach specifically what that looks like in school settings and how to achieve it, including rewarding excellent behavior.

At Valdez, we believe these strategies create the individual success of every child, regardless of language or ethnic background.