Blue Ribbon School: Ralston Elementary

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High up in the foothills of Golden, nestled among the pine trees and often visited by a local heard of elk, you’ll find Ralston Elementary School. They won the Blue Ribbon of Excellence for Achievement.

“Our award was given based on the data for achievement for being exceptionally high and proficient in advanced scores across all grade levels and all student groups.” said principal Dawn Odean.

With a student population of 400 and staffed by 22 teachers, one thing you’ll notice if you visit is the amount of parent volunteers.  That, says Principal Odean, makes a good school a great school.

“I think that parents in the school really show kids how important education is,” she said. “First and foremost: the value of education.”

Take Patricia Glapa. Seventeen years ago her daughters attended Ralston.  Now, they’re grown up, but she decided to stay on as a teacher’s aide and continue the Ralston legacy.

“The parent involvement and the students that come in are so excited to be here,” Glapa said. “The hands-on learning is outstanding.”

The formula at Ralston is simple: Make it interesting, and they will learn.

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