Senior Education Department Officials to Visit Sheridan School District and Gateway High School to Highlight School Reform, Student Success and School Safety

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Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Deb Delisle and David Esquith, director of the Office of Safe and Healthy Students, will visit the Sheridan School District and Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., on Friday, Sept. 14, as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s third annual back-to-school bus tour. At Sheridan, they will take part in a celebration of the district’s elementary school level student achievement gains. At Gateway High School, Delisle and Esquith will participate in a discussion with school and district educators on school safety and creating a positive learning climate for all students.

Secretary Duncan and his senior leadership team are crisscrossing the country from Sept. 12-21 for a series of events around the theme that Education Drives America. Besides Colorado, the bus tour includes stops in California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

The first stop for Delisle and Esquith will be at Sheridan Middle School, where they will join Colorado Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond as well as parents, community members, educators, and the 640 students from both Alice Terry (grades K-2) and Fort Logan (grades 3-5) elementary schools to celebrate students’ dramatic growth and achievement at the elementary level in reading, writing, and mathematics. Sheridan is a recipient of part of $51.4 million in School Improvement Grants (SIG) awarded to Colorado by the Education Department during the past three years to turn around schools and improve student achievement.

The second stop will be Gateway High School in Aurora, where Delisle and Esquith will give closing remarks at a meeting about the Aurora Public Schools’ Recovery Plan, school climate and safety. The plan was developed in response to the July 20 tragedy at the Century 16 Theater in Aurora, which had a direct impact on many Gateway students, staff and families and included the death of a 2012 Gateway graduate. Delisle and Esquith also will visit the roadside memorial near the site of the shooting on their way to the school, at approximately 11:30 a.m.

For live, up-to-the-minute updates from the road, follow the Education Drives America tour on Twitter using the hashtag #edtour1, or visit the Department’s bus tour blog. To receive media advisories, press releases, notifications about postings to the blog, and other special updates during the tour, subscribe to the Department’s Education Drives America e-mail updates by clicking here.