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Thursday, April 27, 2017

New School Set to Open in Laveen

This fall, parents and students in the Laveen and Roosevelt school districts can expect another choice in education – Eagle College Prep Elementary School.

As a charter school, Eagle College Prep is considered a public school with no tuition. And as a charter school, they also have the authority to develop and uphold their own mission and philosophy: promoting academic greatness, character development and a college education.
In an area troubled by educational issues, Eagle College Prep is seeking to raise the bar for area families, students and the community.

“We’re very excited about this unique option in education,” said Jeff Gunn, pastor of CrossWalk Church in Laveen and the chairperson of the school’s founding governing board. “What’s unique about Eagle College Prep is that character education is at its center. By positively impacting kids and building a solid core, we will help them get a better education now and also prepare them for the future – high school, college and beyond – by giving them the tools to avoid the landmines that come later in life.”

The idea for a new school grew from community leaders like Gunn, who called for another educational option – one that set high standards and introduced a future for students in the Laveen and South Mountain Village communities.

The expectation at Eagle College Prep is that the students will attend college. By introducing the concept of college early in life through events like campus field trips and guest speakers, the question becomes “what college am I going to?” rather than “am I going to college?”

“When you expect a child to do well, that child will meet and exceed those expectations,” said Paul Kremer founding executive director at Eagle College Prep Elementary School.

In addition to the expectation that children will attend college, students will be required to sign a contract (as will their parents), wear uniforms, learn to shake hands and look others in the eye when speaking to them.

“Everything at Eagle College Prep is motivated out of love for the child,” said Kremer. “Children are going to make mistakes and they need to be encouraged along the way. By drawing the line at respecting rules like wearing their uniforms properly, shaking hands and making eye contact, we’re setting the bar high to avoid arguments over issues like swearing, truancy and fighting, or worse.”

“While we have set the academic bar high, we don’t want any child to fall through the cracks,” said Kremer. “For those students who need remedial education to reach the bar we will provide it for them. For those who have already achieved academic greatness the bar needs to be set higher. And we will challenge and engage them in a way that keeps them interested in school.”

Eagle College Prep has designed its curriculum to meet the needs of all of its students, including those with special needs. The school has embedded a variety of teaching methods such as direct instruction, cooperative and computer-based learning to accommodate different learning styles. And with twice as much time spent on core subjects like math, reading and language arts, all students are better equipped to learn.

“By spending additional time on the fundamentals,” said Dr. Wendy Noble, director of Curriculum & Instruction at Eagle College Prep, “we’re creating a strong base for children so that as they move through their education they’re able to gain a deeper understanding of the material and better develop their critical thinking skills.”

Based on home visits, phone calls and the number of pre-enrolled students, Kremer said he expects the school to open its doors in August to an estimated 230 students in grades kindergarten through 3rd grade.

The current construction phase, to be completed this summer, includes space through 5th grade. Grades 4 and 5 are scheduled for rollout during academic years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 respectively. Eagle College Prep has been approved by the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools for K-5 with plans for eventually adding grades 6-8.

Eagle College Prep Elementary School is located at the intersection of 24th and South Mountain Avenues. For pre-enrollment details or for more information, visit the school online at www.eagleprep.org.

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