A private school in Glendale is heavily recruiting in Scottsdale and other Valley cities for its new high school location. And one of the school's selling points is private coach bus service, complete with wireless Internet access.
Rancho Solano Private School currently has campuses in Scottsdale, Gilbert, Phoenix and the West Valley.
Rancho Solano Preparatory School will open at 35th Avenue and Union Hills Drive in August with 75 to 100 students, said Jim Carruthers, a representative for Meritas, the international company that owns the school.
The plans are to open with a ninth-grade class and possibly a 10th-grade class, then expand by one grade each year. The campus will eventually serve 600 students.
Carruthers said the high school program will be unique for the Valley. Students will get a full curriculum of standard subjects but will also choose a "major" area like entrepreneurship, performing arts or math, science and technology.
But even Carruthers was shocked that families in the East Valley would be interested in sending their kids so far away to school.
"They all said, 'We want to come,'" he said. "They said there's really not a school of this caliber down in that area."
So to keep with that demand, the school decided to offer coach service from its Scottsdale, Gilbert and Phoenix campuses, he said.
And it may eventually offer a boarding program, he said.
There's three families from the Gilbert school interested so far and Rancho Solano is marketing heavily across the Valley, Carruthers said.
Chandler resident Krysti Kauffmann said her daughter, Kaitlyn, a seventh-grader, will attend the new school.
Kauffmann said she wasn't thrilled with the distance - about 50 miles from her home - but felt this would be the best education her daughter could get in the Valley.
And she was glad the bus would be a coach service with wireless Internet access.
"So it's not going to be a waste of time sitting on the bus," Kauffmann said. "She could be sitting at home at the kitchen table doing her homework or she could be sitting on the bus doing her homework."