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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wildcat charter school recruiting

    Classes begin August 17 at a new UA affiliated charter school, but school administrators are still looking to enroll more than 100 additional students.

    The Wildcat School, 5660 S. 12th Ave., a middle school that will have an emphasis on math and science education, and the UA will collaborate on various research opportunities to benefit both institutions, said Richard Reyes, director for the Wildcat School.

    Some of the research will include the development of effective teaching practices that will benefit the entire community, said Jaimie Leopold, project manager for the Wildcat School.

    About 51 students are currently enrolled to attend the Wildcat School, but the school will accept up to 160 students, Reyes said.

    “”It might not be on the first day of school, but sometime during the year, we’ll be close to that mark,”” Reyes said.

    The Wildcat School will accept any child who applies to attend the school, although one of the school’s aims is to provide opportunities for students from low-income families and for students who could be the first in their family to attend college.

    Construction of the school took ten weeks longer than expected this summer, which slowed the school’s ability to recruit students, Leopold said.

    Now that construction of the school is complete, faculty and staff at the school are working to recruit students through newspaper, television, and radio advertisements, presentations in the community, and through word of mouth.

    A “”Wildcat Survival Camp”” was held at the school Saturday to introduce students to some of the school’s teachers and staff and to provide information for prospective students and their parents.

    About 11 children attended the event, where teachers engaged students with activities that included deciphering code, creating pictographs and making masks.

    Gustavo Angeles and Lara Coggin, language, reading and culture graduate students, attended the event and have volunteered for the Wildcat School throughout the summer.

    Angeles said he has been “”knocking on doors”” and trying to recruit new students by informing community members about the school.

    Coggin said that witnessing the new school form has been integral to her understanding of charters schools, one of the areas of her studies.

    The unique and “”rich relationship”” forming between the UA and the Wildcat School will provide many research opportunities and benefits for both schools, Coggin said.

    Reyes said he hopes the Wildcat School will also collaborate with the UA for grant opportunities, and visits to the UA campus with students for research and other learning opportunities.

    UA students will also have opportunities to mentor and tutor students at the school, Reyes said.

    A major goal of the school is to effectively prepare students for high school and college with a rigorous science and math curriculum, Leopold said.

    The school is working to make attending a university an “”effortless step”” for the students by exposing to UA students, professors and programs, Coggin said.

    “”Even the Wildcat logo is integrated,”” Coggin said.

    Leopold said the parents of the children who will be attending the school are optimistic about the new school.

    “”They really want to be a part of a school that says we have high expectations for your kids,”” Leopold said.

    Cecilia Saldate said she enrolled her son, who is entering seventh grade, to attend the Wildcat School because she wasn’t satisfied with the level of attention her son received at his previous school.

    Saldate said she likes the idea that the school will be able to take the children on field trips and offer more personalized instruction that will prepare him for college.

    “”Its my goal for him to go to UA,”” Saldate said, “”They’re giving him a head start.””

    Currently the school is enrolling sixth and seventh grade students, but aims to add a grade level each year to include eighth through 12th grade, Reyes said.

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