What’s New in North Phoenix Education

By: Barb Evans

School may be out for the summer, but educators are still busy over the break planning great things for improving our children’s school experience. Here’s a snapshot of what’s new in North Phoenix education:

New Schools:
• DVUSD Elementary School 30
Opening for 2015-2016 school year
The Deer Valley Unified School District is in the design phase of a new school located in the Sonoran Foothills subdivision at Bronco Butte Trail and North Foothills Drive (south of Dove Valley Road and east of North Valley Parkway). The school will be a K-8, but will open the first year as a K-7 so the current 7th graders can be promoted to 8th grade and graduate at the school. For more information: dvusd.org.


• Starting Blocks Academy at The Crossroads Church
Opening for 2014-2015 school year
The Crossroads Church, located at 42105 N. 41st Drive in Anthem, is starting a Christian-based preschool that promotes school readiness in accordance with the Arizona Early Learning Standards. The school will be for children ages three, four and five, including those with disabilities.
For more information: Rita Robinson, Director, 480-818-8428, startingblocksacademy@cox.net, startingblocksacademy.com.

• Bayer Private School

Bayer Private School is a private, non-profit, advanced academic school that teaches pre-kindergarten children starting at age 3 through 8th grade. The private school begins the 2014-2015 school year off at a temporary location while a school building is under construction at the future campus site located at 65th Avenue and Soft Wind (north of Pinnacle Peak Road). The school intends to move into the new permanent building in January 2015. For more information and to see renderings of the future building: bayerschool.com.

New Programs:
• Bright Child Gifted Pre-kindergarten at Canyon Springs School
The Bright Child Gifted Pre-kindergarten program prepares young students for gifted platforms throughout their elementary years and beyond, and is taught by gifted endorsed and highly qualified teachers who understand the unique needs of the gifted child. The class will allow students to move at a faster pace with higher academic standards. Prior intellectual testing is required, and ensures students are placed with other high ability students. Class is full day, Monday through Friday.
For more information, including testing and application requirements: Kim.Lanese@dvusd.org.

• Full Day Kindergarten at DVUSD
Deer Valley’s Governing Board voted last November to bring back free full day kindergarten at all elementary schools beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. Parents can register their child at any DVUSD school over the summer by visiting the district office at 20402 N. 15th Street, Phoenix. Students need to be 5-years-old by August 31.
For more information: dvusd.org.

• Kindergarten Mandarin Immersion at CCUSD
Incoming kindergarteners to Horseshoe Trails Elementary in the Cave Creek Unified School, District have the option of participating in “A Touch of Immersion,” a Mandarin Chinese language immersion program. Students receive the regular kindergarten curriculum with daily math instruction taught in Mandarin Chinese and reinforced in English.
For more information: ccusd93.org.

• Pre-kindergarten Mandarin Partial Immersion at Desert Sage Elementary
This partial immersion program will lay the foundation for students to develop high levels of foreign language proficiency by providing 50% of the instructional day in Mandarin Chinese, taught by a native Mandarin speaking teacher. Class is full day, Monday through Friday. Students will be encouraged to continue with dual language learning throughout their primary and secondary education. For more information and application requirements: Michelle.Medved@dvusd.org.

School News:
• Dameon Blair named Principal of Caurus Academy
Anthem resident and educator Dameon Blair was named principal of Caurus Academy for the 2014-15 school year, replacing Rhonda Rides. Rides served as principle for the last eight years, and is returning to teaching at Westwind Preparatory Academy.


• Caurus Academy Receives Computer and Science Lab
Students attending Caurus Academy will be able to utilize a computer and science lab on campus. “The intent is to integrate our entire curriculum with computers in each classroom as well as a computer lab for class technology use,” said Principal Dameon Blair. “With online tools the computer lab and mobile computer cart should really help the integration of creative and innovative tools accessible online.”

• STEM-based Anuual Field Trips
Caurus Academy has also announced STEM-based annual field trips for 5th-8th grades. These field trips will allow students to experience science lessons learned in the classroom through curriculum and research, and then provide the real world application through experience in the field. For more information: caurusacademy.org.

• North Valley Christian Academy Hires Middle School Teachers Darren and Lori Hansen

Husband and wife team Darren and Lori Hansen were added to NVCA’s faculty and leadership team. Both are graduates of Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. Darren holds a Bachelors of Science in secondary education, and a Masters of Science in family life ministry. Lori holds a Bachelor of Science in Education. Both will teach a range of subjects that include history, government, economics, civics, drama, geography, English, literature, religion, and physical education. For more information: northvalleyca.org.

• Anthem Prep Adds a Multi-Use Athletic Field
Anthem Prep received a $90,000 grant from the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority to install a multi-use athletic field on its campus. The fenced-in grass field will encompass 30,000 square feet when completed in mid-July. Surrounding the field will be a seating garden area for students. The field will be used for middle school and high school athletic practices, physical education classes, and community activities. For more information: anthemprep.org

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