Arizona Republic
December 15, 2006

Author: Josh Kelley, The Arizona Republic Estimated printed pages: 2

Mesa school officials who are working on details for an advanced learning academy on the city's east side said this week they will likely open a second such school on the west side.

School district officials Tuesday for the first time laid out detailed plans for the Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies scheduled to open in August in east Mesa.

At the presentation, Superintendent Debra Duvall said a similar school could open on the west side by fall of 2008.

Students from inside and outside the district may apply to attend the new school, which will feature Grades 4-9.

The school's curriculum will go more in-depth than other public schools in Mesa and will offer students the chance to take accelerated course work beyond the norm for their grade level. Students would also be required to take courses in a second language, which could include Mandarin Chinese.

An informational meeting for parents who want to enroll their children in the academy is planned for Jan. 31 at the Red Mountain High auditorium.

School officials say they are laying the foundation necessary for the academy to adopt the International Baccalaureate program, a process that will take two to three years, said Paul Wright, development director for the school district.

The school, whose construction was delayed this fall because of stalled contract negotiations, is under construction at Power and Brown roads.

Research projects and competitions will be a point of emphasis. So, too, will be technology, including notebook computers in every classroom, buildingwide wireless connectivity and applied technology courses required for all students.

Wright also said the academy will be in an unusual situation for a small school, which would typically be limited in the electives and sports opportunities it could offer students. The academy's close proximity to Fremont Junior High will afford students the chance to take part in electives like band or orchestra and sports teams alongside Fremont students.
Edition: Final Chaser
Section: Mesa Republic East
Page: 3

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Record Number: pho160917715