Playground equipment will be installed this week at a new K-8 charter school campus expected to open in August in north Phoenix.
Painted Rock Academy, 14841 N. Black Canyon Freeway, is the second charter school that will operate under Reid Traditional Schools. The other is Valley Academy, 1520 W. Rose Garden Lane, which opened in the 1990s.
Before children start school Aug. 13, 80,000 square feet of renovation is under way on the school facility, which occupies a former grocery distribution center. About 65 percent of the work is completed, school officials said.
The nearly $10 million renovation cost was loaned by the Phoenix Industrial Development Authority to Painted Rock Academy, according to the authority's website. The loan covers financing and refinancing of land, building and other improvements, according to the website.
The renovation started in February and is expected to be completed by mid-July, said Heidi Mitchell, Reid Traditional School's chief executive officer.
Painted Rock Academy's building won't have a standout feature, but Mitchell assures that parents will be satisfied with the school. It will help ease the overflow at Valley Academy.
Valley Academy puts students who don't get into the school on a waiting list and enters them in a lottery for the following school year, she said.
"Parents stand in the lobby and watch the lottery that we do. To watch a mother stand and cry because their child did not get in is heartbreaking," Mitchell said. "Charter schools are allowed to limit the number of students in each classroom."
Cuyler Reid, one of Reid Traditional Schools' founders, said Painted Rock Academy will "provide the same classic, orderly, sequential curriculum that Valley Academy has used through the years."
The back-to-basics curriculum focuses on math, reading, writing and science. The lessons are "teacher-directed, standards-based, textbook-driven curriculum supported by individual accountability and high academic and behavioral standards," according to the Reid Traditional Schools website.
The academy plans to hire 26 teachers and five special-area instructors for art, technology, music and Spanish classes.
Parent involvement is important to the operation of the school, Mitchell said. Parents will be asked to donate three hours per month in volunteer time at the campus.
Painted Rock Academy will have uniforms, but the colors have yet to be determined, Mitchell said.
The school will have room for 700 students and enrollment is under way at http://paintedrockacademy.com/. About 500 students have signed up and expressed interest in learning at Painted Rock Academy, Mitchell said.
By Betty Reid
News Article from: The Republic \ azcentral.com