President Crow, community gather to celebrate ASU Prep expansion
Students, teachers and parents of Arizona State University’s Preparatory Academy Polytechnic Elementary School gathered Sept. 9 in Mesa for a dedication ceremony to celebrate a major renovation and expansion. They were joined by community members, CEO of ASU Preparatory Academy Beatriz Rendon and ASU President Michael M. Crow, who spoke at the event.
The new expansion provides additional classrooms for grades PreK-6, enabling the school to enroll 235 more students.
To date, two phases of a three-phase project have been completed. Phase three will be completed by the summer of 2015, which will allow the school to accommodate and expand to PreK-8.
"There is no reason that education cannot be fun, exciting, linked to other things, dynamic, engaged with technology, innovative and non-bureaucratic," Crow said at the event. "We build schools like this for any student from any family, any background, any circumstance.”
Upon completion, the renovation project will have converted 65,000 square feet of an existing Veteran’s Medical Clinic on ASU’s Polytechnic campus into a dynamic, progressive educational environment with cutting-edge technology and innovative school design that enables both personalized and group learning experiences.
ASU Preparatory Academy principal Claudia Mendoza also addressed the crowd of more than 200, expressing her and other school administrators’ excitement about the additional classroom space and the learning opportunities it offers to more students.
“ASU Preparatory Academy Polytechnic Elementary prides itself on providing a highly rigorous and innovative approach to project based learning,” Mendoza said. “We strive to cultivate a community of critical thinkers, and our new space allows us to provide STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) classes, music, foreign language and physical education for all our learners in a beautiful environment that fosters creativity, cooperation and teaming between teachers and students.”
Fifth and sixth grade student leaders also had a chance to speak at the event.
Sixth-grader Tyler Kupfer said, "We have a new STEM class that we are very excited about. We get to do fun hands-on projects that teach us the skills that we need to be successful in life, and we get to create things to solve daily challenges, and learn about math, science, technology and engineering in a really fun way.”
Mia Edrozo, a parent of two children who attend ASU Preparatory Academy, had plenty of praise for the school.
"ASU Prep has allowed my children to learn more than just bubble-test regurgitation and rote memorization,” she said. “They have been propelled into an active learning environment where personal accountability is expected, bullying is actively disrupted and the seven habits are not just some poster on the wall, they are incorporated into daily activities and woven into the fabric of everything they do."