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Thursday, August 21, 2014

School changes from private to charter

Scottsdale Country Day School Phoenix charter school

Steve Prahcharov, headmaster at Scottsdale Country Day School, also teaches third and fourth grade students. Here they are working on iPads while Prahcharov works with individual students. Photo by Daniel Friedman

Scottsdale Country Day School was having a busy day. In addition to the 60 students attending school, parents with kids were getting tours of the facility at 56th Street and Shea Blvd in Phoenix, on the Temple Beth Israel campus. Phones were ringing with parents asking for information about the school and requesting tours of the facility.

Scottsdale Country Day School charter

Though students were using iPads for math, Prahcharov used the chalk board to illustrate how to work a problem. Photo by Daniel Friedman

Though Scottsdale Country Day School is a private school now, next year it will be a charter school. The application for a charter was approved Feb. 11. Steve Prahcharov, the headmaster, who was principal at Kachina Country Day charter school in Paradise Valley, says the 18-month process included presenting a business plan, explaining the educational philosophy and providing examples of the curriculum to prove it meets state standards.

The plan always was to create a charter school but the decision was made to first open as a private school (with a low annual tuition of $5,500 to make the school affordable to more families) until the charter was approved.

Scottsdale Country Day School, which serves students in pre-K through 8th grade, has operated as a private school for two years. Next year, grades K-6 will be under the school charter; pre-K and grades 7-8 will continue as a private school. The school intends to expand the charter to cover pre-K and grades 7-8 soon. Steve’s wife Kathy, the school’s director of operations, expects to see about 100 students enrolled next year.

No class will have more than 20 students so that individualized attention is available to students. Kathy says the school provides a “well-rounded, holistic approach.” The students will have academic core subjects in the morning and enrichment activities like music, art and physical education in the afternoon. 480-452-5777 or scdsaz.com.

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Daniel Friedman

Daniel Friedman is a staff writer and photographer for RAISING ARIZONA KIDS magazine.

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