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University Public School in downtown Phoenix announces vacancies for students

University Public Schools, Inc. (UPSI) a non-profit organization that works in affiliation with Arizona State University announces vacancies for students in all grade levels for the 2010-1011 school year at the University Public School Phoenix, in partnership with Phoenix Elementary School District, located in the heart of downtown Phoenix at 735 E. Fillmore St.

Prospective families interested in enrolling new students for the 2010-2011 academic year will need to attend an orientation session.  These sessions will include a presentation, video overview, and follow-up Q/A session.  The schools offer students a learning environment that incorporates the following: high academic standards; safe and caring environment; innovative curriculum; individual learning plans; enhanced technology; family involvement; and access to ASU’s services and programs.  Additionally, University Public Schools offer before- and after-school child care.

University Public School Phoenix information sessions:

  • 6 p.m., Feb. 4, Media Center
  • 6 p.m., Feb. 10, Media Center
  • 6 p.m., Feb. 16, Media Center

For more information, visit the school’s website or call Cindy Walker at 602-496-3322.

Tour downtown Phoenix’s newest school, Nov. 19

Downtown Phoenix middle school transforms into K-8 charter school

[Source: Betty Reid, Arizona Republic] — A new Phoenix charter school wants to attract college-bound elementary students.  University Public School Phoenix launched after a partnership between University Public School Inc. and Phoenix Elementary School District in May.  Classes start for 550 preschool-eighth graders near downtown on Aug. 10.

Twenty-seven teachers reported July 20 and started lesson plans, said Debra Gomez, University Public School Phoenix interim executive director.  Eventually, the campus at 735 E. Fillmore St., will grow into a preschool-12th-grade campus.  “Due to our affiliation with ASU, our students have the opportunity to access various resources and faculty and facilities on the campuses,” Gomez said.  “So that being in a college atmosphere becomes part of their expectation as well as their parents.”

The charter school, an affiliate of Arizona State University, also operates Polytechnic Elementary School in Mesa.  The Phoenix charter school’s connection to ASU is through the University-Education Partnerships, which coordinates programs for teachers at Arizona colleges and oversees the university-public school initiatives to create campus schools.  [Note: Read the full article at Downtown Phoenix middle school transforms into K-8 charter school.]

Newly-created downtown Phoenix K-8 charter school to hire 97

[Source: Angela Gonzales, Phoenix Business Journal] — The Phoenix Elementary School District voted unanimously Thursday to partner with a charter institution to open a K-8 school on the district’s Phoenix Preparatory Academy campus downtown. The new school, on Seventh Street north of Van Buren Street, will start hiring 97 employees next week.

The Phoenix Elementary board had voted April 27 to close the academy at the end of this school year because it was losing half a million dollars a year.  Now, the academy, which housed seventh- and eighth-grade students, will reopen this fall as Phoenix University School.  This partnership allows University Public Schools Inc.’s charter school to operate on the campus without paying rent, but will give 10 percent of its revenue back to the school district every year.  Instead of losing half a million every year, Myriam Roa, CEO of the Phoenix Elementary School District, expects it to make about $400,000.

So far, 500 students have signed up to attend the new school, said Larry Pieratt, executive director of University Public Schools. His goal is to attract a total of 850 students to the tuition-free charter school, which has an affiliation agreement with Arizona State University.   The charter school — established as a vision of ASU President Michael Crow’s new American university — had been temporarily funded by ASU since 2007.  As of July 1, it will be self-sustaining, Pieratt said.  Pieratt said he plans to hire 97 people. “We will start interviewing on Tuesday,” he said.

Roa said she expects students to flock to the new school because of its ASU affiliation, and because of its downtown location. “This will give a new choice for downtown working parents, and also parents who live in the district,” she said.  Pieratt said he expects this partnership to serve as a model for urban schools across the country as public and charter schools, as well as universities, unite.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Phoenix Elementary District #1 sees new use for Phoenix Preparatory facility

[Source: Sara Bresnahan, representing Phoenix Elementary District #1] — At the Phoenix Elementary District Governing Board Meeting on January 22, 2008, the Governing Board voted to hold a public hearing to consider closure of the Phoenix Preparatory Academy, 735 E. Fillmore St.  The hearing will be held at the school on March 26, 2009 at 6 p.m. 

Although the word “closure” is used because it is required by Arizona law, it does not mean the facility will be closed and not used as a school for the students of Phoenix.  The Governing Board’s intent is to open the school in August 2009 in partnership with University Public Schools Initiative (an affiliate of Arizona State University) as a pre-kindergarten through grade eight, nine, or twelve school.  The details of the partnership are in the development stage.  And, the school will continue as Phoenix Preparatory Academy until the end of this school year.  There will also be additional meetings for students, staff, and parents to discuss the future school.

The District Governing Board and Administration have been in the process of reviewing several options for the Phoenix Preparatory Academy over the past six months as part of the District’s Strategic Plan to move to pre-kindergarten through grade eight schools.  So, while keeping the students of our district at the center of the decision-making, the District analyzed, discussed, and debated the following:

  1. The financials of each of the four options under consideration
  2. The surveys and feedback from the staff
  3. The survey and feedback from the parents
  4. The viability of each option under consideration
  5. The curricular and instructional advantages of each option
  6. The “transformational power” of each option

The preliminary conclusion is that the best recommendation is to implement a University Public School in either a P/K-8/9 or 12 format.  It delivers a financial advantage, the opportunity to implement numerous instructional enhancements quickly, and enables the entire district to learn and grow from the collaboration and professional development.  We believe it is the best solution for the students in our district and will gain the most support.