A lot of building and renovating of existing commercial space is going on in preparation for the 2012-13 school year.
Rancho Solano Private Schools, which offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme for its high school students and begins college counseling in sixth grade, is opening a new 6th to 12th grade campus at 9180 E. Via de Ventura in Scottsdale.
Rancho Solano graduated its first high school class in May and will meet the increased demand for its program in an 80,000-square-foot office building being renovated to accommodate up to 300 middle school students on the first floor and 400 high school students on the second floor. The school plans to build a 23,000-square-foot gymnasium and performing arts center at the site with an anticipated completion date of December 2012. ranchosolano.com.
Also using renovated commercial space is Veritas Preparatory Academy, which is moving into a building at 3102 N. 56th St. in Phoenix. The facility was built by Motorola in the 1950s and then expanded over the decades. The 142,000-square-foot space is being renovated to accommodate the public charter school’s K-12 student body. Its K-5 school already is using part of the building, which sits on a 13.5-acre site.
The Veritas Prep curriculum is based on classical education that draws upon the cultural heritage of Western Civilization. All students at Veritas take six years each of fine arts, math and science as well as two years of Latin and four years of a modern language. veritasprepacademy.org.
The International Charter School of Arizona will offer the IB curriculum at its new middle school this fall. ICS will be located at Congregation Beth Israel campus at 56th Street and Shea Boulevard until its own facility can be built. The school will open with grades 6 through 8 and will add a grade each year until it goes through 12th grade. All students at ICS take eight hours of Spanish or French each week and are expected to be fluent in a second language by high school graduation. They also must have achieved an advanced level in a third language. icsaz.org.
BASIS Schools, which operates seven public charter schools in Arizona, is currently building a new Phoenix campus just south of Cactus Road on 32nd Street. The site was added after administrators noticed that many students from the area served by the new campus have been attending other BASIS Schools around the Valley.
In its first year, BASIS Phoenix will offer grades 5 through 10. A new grade will be added each year. According to Nick Fleege, director of new school development, the structure of the programming at BASIS ensures that students have all the credits they need to graduate from high school by the end of junior year. Students use their senior year for capstone courses that go beyond the high school curriculum and/or a senior project that includes an internship or external study program. basisschools.org.
A new school in Chandler, the Fulton Ranch Learning Center, is under construction in the Marketplace at Fulton, 204 W. Chandler Heights Rd. in Chandler. The K-6 charter school is part of Learning Center Public Schools and is modeled after San Tan Learning Center. FRLC will offer “interactive, inquiry-based learning,” daily PE classes and weekly music classes, according to a press release. The school also will offer self-contained gifted classrooms for grades K-6. fultonranchlearningcenter.com.