Academically gifted middle school students in the Kyrene Elementary School District will have one more option available to them next school year: a college-track preparatory program.
Kyrene Middle School will roll out the advanced placement program in the fall to students excelling above their grade-level requirements in math and language arts.
Principal Susan Poole said creation of the program was prompted by a scheduling problem earlier this school year.
Normally, the school can only fill one section of geometry for eighth-graders, which is two years ahead of the grade’s normal curriculum. But “we had an unusual year where we had enough students to make two (geometry) classes,” Poole said.
Poole decided to cluster the advanced students for their core classes during the school day and the results surprised her.
“They started growing academically and socially,” she said.
Those results led to creation of the preparatory program, which will be open to all students in sixth through eighth grades throughout the district. Students will have to take an assessment test, have a teacher evaluation and complete an application to be accepted.
Already, many parents have expressed interest in the program.
About a week ago, the school held its first information meeting and more than 50 families attended, Poole said. “Parents are worried they won’t get in,” she said.
The program would only be able to serve about 90 students. If more apply for the program, students will be chosen based on test score rankings.
The school will hold the assessment test Saturday for all interested students.
Kyrene Preparatory program testing
When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday
Where: Kyrene Middle School, 1050 E. Carver Road, Tempe
Information: (480) 783-1000