When her name and number were called, Katherine Nadreau hugged her mom and ran outside to call her dad. She was one of 57 students who were chosen through a lottery Friday to attend the seventh-grade class at Gilbert Classical Academy in the fall.
The school, at 55 N. Greenfield Road, which will open with seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade classes next year, had 190 applicants for 60 available spots in the seventh grade. The 59 applicants each for eighth and ninth grade were all accepted.
Children of Gilbert Unified School District employees were automatically accepted and accounted for 23 of the applicants, so district officials decided that for the seventhgrade class for one year only, they would increase the class to 80 students.
“I’m excited,” Katherine, a sixth-grader at Spectrum Elementary School, said when the lottery was over. “I feel like I don’t have to worry anymore.”
Her mom, Angela Martel, said Katherine has been stressed out about whether she would get in.
“I am ecstatic,” Martel said. “I wanted her in this school when they started talking about it a year ago.”
Katherine, who has an older brother at the Technology and Leadership Academy that is being phased out, said she likes the structure of the school and the higher academic standards and she’s excited to learn Latin.
“I like how it’s not as big and there’s not as much conflict between students,” she said.
While Katherine and 56 others were excited over being accepted, more students left disappointed — with their names on a waiting list.
Sierra Upton, a sixth-grader at Islands Elementary School, was drawn for the 14th slot on the waiting list.
“One of my best friends is already in,” Sierra said.
“I wish we were higher on the list,” said Vicki Upton, Sierra’s mom. “We’ve wanted to do this really bad.”
Upton said she attended the parent forum held a couple weeks ago and felt the process of accepting applicants was fair.
Brian Rosta, principal of the Gilbert Classical Academy, will mail letters early next week to parents confirming they were accepted, or letting them know their status on the waiting list.
“It’s always tough because we can’t have everyone,” Rosta said.
Rosta anticipates a few slots will open up on the waiting list because families will move or decide not to attend the school.
The academy is still accepting applications for eighth- and ninth-grade waiting lists.