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  • Sagebrush Elementary earns 'No Place for Hate' designation

    ADL Trophy           ADL Excellence Award

    Building a more welcoming, accepting and kind community at Sagebrush Elementary required an across-the-board approach.

    Students, teachers and administrators united over the past 16 months to find ways to fundamentally improve the school’s culture. They worked to build an environment where all are accepted, regardless of race, background or viewpoint. They worked to eliminate bullying, to make sure that every single Sagebrush student knew that their school is a place where their differences will be accepted, where their individuality will be celebrated.

    That didn’t happen overnight. It took a combination of coordinated events, student initiative and schoolwide collaboration. The campaign included a multitude of activities to acknowledge and celebrate National Bullying Prevention Day; it featured a communal Unity Tree, a World Culture Night and a log of more than 4,000 random acts of kindness by the entire Sagebrush community.

    “For some of the kids who got involved, it was a positive outlet. All of these efforts helped our students make a choice about which direction to take to be more inclusive and to bring more kindness into their everyday lives,” said Sagebrush Principal Chris Powell, adding that efforts continued until the school year shifted to remote learning in the wake of the COVID crisis. It’s a push that will continue when students return in the fall. “It gave them a sense of purpose and thinking on a bigger scale than just themselves.”

    The extended campaign at Sagebrush earned the school a special recognition. The school is one of only three in the Mountain States Region to have earned the Anti Defamation League’s No Place For Hate Excellence Award. The honor is bestowed on a school that’s earned the No Place For Hate title for the first year, and it recognizes an extraordinary effort on the part of the entire school to create an environment of acceptance and kindness.

    “The activities completed by the Sagebrush No Place for Hate student coalition and staff sponsors were exceptional in their thought, design, and implementation,” ADL Mountain States leaders Scott Levin, Tara Raju and Dan Cohen wrote in a letter to the Sagebrush community announcing the award. “The variety of activities throughout the year show a great deal of dedication, perseverance, and, well, EXCELLENCE in working the No Place for Hate framework to fit Sagebrush’s needs and culture.”

    These extraordinary efforts came during an unprecedented year, as Sagebrush joined the rest of the Cherry Creek School District, the state and the globe in dealing with the upheavals caused by a worldwide pandemic. Despite the challenges, the Sagebrush community persevered in their commitment to creating an atmosphere that properly reflected the values of the school and the broader CCSD community.

    “During my two years as principal, I’ve joined students and staff in talking a lot about the culture of the school,” Powell noted. “This award provides everyone something to be proud of; by building up the student culture and by making students feel like they have a place at our school, it’s bound to improve the academics and their ability in the future.”


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  • At Sagebrush, we hold our students and staff to our P.A.W.S. expectations.  PAWS stands for:

    • P - Pride
    • A - Attitude
    • W - Working Hard
    • S - Safety

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