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New ASU center puts emphasis on education

July 28, 2008

All the laptops are imaged, classrooms wired, chairs and desks neatly arranged and the scent of newness is in the air at the temporary space for the new Center of Educational Innovation’s Polytechnic Elementary School in East Mesa.

The center, which is managed by University Public Schools Inc., an affiliate of ASU, opens its doors Aug. 11 to its first class of about 220 students ranging from kindergarten age through sixth grade.

The principal, staff and teachers have been trained and are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to meet their new students and parents. Before opening day, ASU’s mascot, Sparky, will attend the “Meet the Teacher Night” Aug. 7 to “spark” everyone up for a great year.

“The opening of Polytechnic Elementary School is a tremendous step toward our goal of improving student achievement for all students in Arizona,” says Larry Pieratt, executive director of University Public Schools Inc. “We are most grateful to the ASU faculty, University Public Schools staff and teachers who have worked endlessly over the past months to prepare for this opening. Most importantly, we are grateful to the parents and students who have demonstrated their faith in the center and are now partners in our mission of developing leaders for our state’s future.”

More than 150 families and their children have been involved in the process of creating University Public Schools’ first school. In addition, ASU faculty members from nutrition, physical education, fine arts, early childhood, speech and language, science and mathematics have contributed their time and insights to the project.

“ASU’s efforts to partner with the pre-K-12 community to advance educational success in the state takes a significant step forward with the first center opening,” says Eugene Garcia, an ASU professor of education and vice president of Education Partnerships. “Using and sharing the multiple and substantial intellectual resources of ASU to address real Arizona educational challenges embodies the central mission of University Public Schools.”

University Public Schools will continue to form partnerships with ASU faculty for curriculum development and research opportunities, and to seek partnerships with school districts across the metropolitan Phoenix area.

Shortly after classes begin at the temporary facility located just north of the Polytechnic campus, University Public Schools will break ground for the permanent school site on about 24 acres in the southwest portion of the Polytechnic campus.

Once completed, the school will accommodate students from preschool age to eighth grade in fall 2009, and through high school by fall 2010.

Upon build-out, the Polytechnic school is expected to have 1,400 students students enrolled in prekindergarten through 12th grade.

For more details about the new school or future partnerships, contact Julie Kroon Alvarado, director of community and university engagement, at (480) 727-1195 or visit the Web site