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Thursday, September 20, 2018

South Pointe Expanding

Less than ten years after it first opened its doors, South Phoenix’s South Pointe High School is already expanding its campus.  The new expansion, which includes a media lab/library and eight new classrooms, started earlier this year and is expected to be completed just prior to the start of the 2011-2012 school year in early August.

Located on Central Avenue between Dobbins and Baseline Roads, it has been thriving since it opened its doors in 2003, providing parents in the South Phoenix area and across the Valley with another educational option for their teens.  Since then, according to principal and school leader Larry McGill, Jr., the student body has been at or close to capacity.

A tuition-free charter school, South Pointe is one of Michigan-based Leona Group’s 22 schools across the state of Arizona.  Like all Leona Group schools, South Pointe believes in educating the whole child, and specializes in individualized attention for each of its students.

It’s this philosophy that has made the school’s recent addition necessary.

“What it really is going to do is help us at a staff level so we’re not juggling classes and courses to meet the needs of the students,” said McGill. “With the new expansion, we’ll be able to have a true all-day, every day, all-year-long [remedial/advanced program].”

Specifically, the new classrooms mean that McGill has been able to hire another math teacher as well as a math interventionist.  Collaborating with the school’s math teachers, the interventionist is certified to take students in need of assistance or advanced instruction to another room for specialized teaching.

The same can be said of the school’s reading specialist who will now have her own reading room as part of the media lab/library. Students in need of specialized reading assistance will be able to meet in a permanent location to practice this critical skill.  The reading room also has three separate tutoring rooms that other teachers and groups can use for special instruction.

That’s not all the media lab/library brings to South Pointe and its student body.  The lab will feature state –of-the-art technology, providing students with interactive, hands-on resources to expand their technology skills.

“We wanted to bring in something the kids would like,” said McGill. “They love the technology and we want to do our own productions, announcements, clips of activities on campus, etc.  The kids can do the work themselves and we can add it to the website.”

South Pointe’s additional space will also afford students the opportunity to participate in a number of new extracurricular activities.  South Pointe already offers a full athletics program for sports-minded students, including baseball and football for boys; cheerleading, softball and volleyball for girls, and basketball and soccer for both genders.  They also currently provide a series of credit and non-credit options for student involvement, such as student government, year book, and art, science and honors clubs.  The expansion will create space for new programs such as band, orchestra, drawing and painting, dance and drama.

The continued growth of the South Pointe learning community provides McGill and his teaching staff greater flexibility in supporting their students with the tools and resources they need to succeed.

“Not every child has the greatest working environment once they get home,” said McGill. “They may have to work, watch siblings or they may not have the technology [to complete assignments].”

Understanding the individual needs of their students, McGill and the teaching staff at South Pointe provide before and after school time, room space and technology with a certified instructor to help students complete their independent work.

In addition to supporting students in the classroom, South Pointe strongly encourages its students to prepare a plan for after high school.

“Whether that’s a four-year university, community college, trade school or military service,” said McGill, “we want them think about what comes next.”

According to McGill, about 90 percent of graduates have a plan to attend, college, university, trade school, military.

“I’m proud that alumni from South Pointe High School are now starting to graduate from university,” said McGill, “including those graduating with a teaching degree; we’re looking at possibly having them return to the South Pointe learning community.”

The school is currently enrolling students for the 2011-2012 school year.  For more information about the South Pointe High School visit online at  http://www.leonagroup.com/southpointehsor call 602-243-0600.


Written by Christine K. Bailey



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