Arizona Charter Academy reopens Monday as K-8

Arizona Charter Academy students, from left, Brenaysha Ross, Elizabeth Rosales, Zion Brown and Genisis Aguirre talk as they walk down a hallway of the Surprise school. [Submitted]
Independent Newsmedia

The first day of school on Monday, Aug. 7, will be a big one for students and staff at the Arizona Charter Academy.

That’s when ACA will launch its Integrated Academy of Studies program for middle school students. The program was developed by the school’s staff to assist students in discovering their passions and interests as early as possible, said Melissa Montenegro, ACA Enrollment and Marketing manager.

“Students will participate in hands-on, engaging and real-life elective course work in the areas of civics, business, the arts and STEM,” she said. The four academic areas are referred to as “houses of study.”

“Our students will spend the first half of their day in their general education classes and the second part of their day will be comprised of their electives, which all fall under the umbrella of one of the houses of studies,” Ms. Montenegro said.

Some of the electives available are: Principles of Economics, Show Choir, Street Law, Computer Science for Innovators and Makers, and Leadership and Social Activism.

In addition to the program having its own logo and branding, Ms. Montenegro said middle school students will be in a new building on the ACA campus, 16025 N. Dysart Road.

“We also have new uniform options for our middle school students that will allow them to have an even bigger sense of belonging into our middle school program,” Ms. Montenegro said, adding students can still wear their former uniforms if they like.

The larger building formerly housed the Arizona Charter Academy High School.

In January, Arizona Charter Academy made the decision to move to a K-8 school featuring the new middle school academy and drop the high school. ACA Chief Operating Officer Melissa Holdaway said two key factors attributed to the closure, including running out of space and the current and growing high school teacher shortage.

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