Challenger Elementary

Making a difference across multiple groups of students is the standard at Challenger Elementary, and it’s among that very population that Challenger shows remarkable progress, making this school a true outlier in the state. The Education Trust-Midwest’s analyses show consistent and above average growth in math and English Language Arts for Black students, students from low-income backgrounds, and English learners. These student groups all demonstrated growth above the state averages in both ELA and Math for three straight years.

Challenger Elementary stands out due to its focus on data, as well as supportive, welcoming relationships with students and parents. The principal sets a welcoming tone from the time students arrive with her energy, excitement, and enthusiasm. Progress is monitored regularly to help identify gaps in students’ learning and how to push those already meeting grade-level standards. Teaching grade-level standards to all students and providing support where needed help students make progress.

We believe in making sure all students have a strong sense of belonging at Challenger and that all students feel seen and heard.”

— Teressa Gatza



of the student population are from low-income households

Low-Income Students’
2019 Above Average Growth Rates
Low-Income students at Challenger Elementary
Statewide Rate for all MI Students


are students of color

We want all students to feel proud and comfortable about their culture, … We validate and celebrate differences.”

— Jessica Surdam

EL Teacher

Total Enrollment

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