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AWARE Ink Newsletter

AWARE Center for Excellence Is Now An Official Candidate For Accreditation

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Evaluators were onsite this past August to perform a candidacy review of the school, which is designed to demonstrate our capacity to meet the requirements for accreditation in relation to the Cognia Performance Standards.

Cognia is a global network of educators that help strengthen schools. Their holistic approach to continuous improvement encompasses accreditation and certification, assessment, professional learning, and customized improvement services. They are recognized by the departments of education in all 50 states and the US Department of Education. Any credentials coming from schools accredited under this agency are widely accepted by colleges and universities in the US and Internationally.

AWARE’s Center for Excellence takes a distinguished approach, concentrating on full inclusion that honors students’ cognitive strengths and gifts, rather than the perspective of student deficits.

During the review of AWARE’s Center for Excellence, Cognia noted that AWARE shows strength in its Culture of Learning category. Each person interviewed during the process expressed a deep level of satisfaction with the openness and collegiality of the organization. Strong team environment, passion for the field, and support for one another were common themes among the comments. Other areas reviewed included Leadership for Learning, Engagement for Learning, and Growth for Learning, all of which received exceptional remarks.

The Center for Excellence has been operating in Anaconda, MT since 2014 as part of a collaboration with the local school district to educate students and provide access to innovative technology such as Smart Boards, iPads, and laptops. In following wrap-around philosophies of care, AWARE has transitioned the Center for Excellence into a private, school-based mental health program to increase the availability of mental health services available in Montana’s schools. The facility provides licensed teachers, clinicians, and behavioral health technicians, available 5-days per week. Together, they are working with students and their families to provide the highest quality instruction possible along with emphasizing the concepts of diversity, inclusion, behavioral health, and lifelong learning.

For more information on AWARE’s Center for Excellence please contact Leighann Knight at

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