Parents can investigate the plethora of school choices available to them in the East Valley — and take in some student talent while they’re at it — today during the Tribune Education Expo.
The free event — from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa — will feature booths and interactive displays from public, private and parochial schools, as well as educational speakers and student entertainment.
"Parents who are interested in learning more about school choices can’t afford to miss the Education Expo," said Tribune Executive Editor Jim Ripley.
"But even if they’ve made that decision, parents and their children who come to the Expo will be rewarded with a program that ranges from entertainment for young minds to exploration of today’s critical issues of parenting and education."
At 11 a.m., Tribune editorial page editor Bob Schuster will moderate a panel discussion on Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards test. Panelists include state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, Greater Phoenix Leadership vice president Jim Zaharis, charter school operator and legislator Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, and Mike Oliver, principal of Mesa’s Zaharis Elementary School.
At 10:15 a.m., Mesa teacher Diana Brown will host a discussion on positive discipline methods for preschoolers, and at 1:15 p.m., Deb Pangrazi, director of elementary physical education for the Mesa Unified School District, will advise parents on how to choose a school that teaches kids to be active, healthy adults.
Several student groups will perform throughout the day, including a cheer team, a concert band, a fencing demonstration, a choir, a drum line and a mariachi band. EVIT will sell refreshments.
"People have a number of choices anymore," said Apache Junction Unified School District spokeswoman Carol Shepherd. "As a result, they have to do their homework as to what kind of school they feel their children would be most successful in."