Below is an excerpt from a column written by San Cayetano Elementary School Principal Mimi Renteria and published by the Nogales International on May 31, 2019.

Geography and family income can create obstacles to student learning, but ultimately they do not determine success. This belief drives our culture of high expectations at San Cayetano Elementary School, where we refuse to allow our location on a map to determine what our students are capable of achieving.

As an “A” grade public school serving rural families 15 minutes north of the U.S.-Mexico border, the majority of our students rely on free meals provided at school to ensure they have full bellies when they start their day of learning. Conventional wisdom says we should not be a high-performing school, but we know what our students are capable of, and are committed to helping them realize success in school that translates to opportunity in life.

With this vision in mind for all our students, we are seeing tremendous achievement and this year moved from a “B” to an “A” grade designation from the state.

We credit this move in part to Results-Based Funding – a state program that provides additional dollars to schools achieving great student gains and looking to sustain and expand their efforts. Extra money goes to high-performing schools serving low-income populations like San Cayetano….