School districts across the East Valley are keeping busy over summer break as they prepare to open new schools in the fall.
Higley Unified School District is opening Williams Field High School, 2076 S. Higley Road, and Chaparral Elementary School, 3380 E. Frye Road in Gilbert.
“There’s just excitement in the community of new schools,” said governing board President Ed Moore. “My son is going to be a freshman at the new high school and (is) certainly looking forward to it.”
Moore said the first crop of students gets to establish the traditions at that campus.
The summer will be busy for the district as furniture and books are moved in and finishing touches are completed.
Less than four miles away from Williams Field, Chandler Unified School District will open Perry High School, 1919 E. Queen Creek Road. Both high schools will open with freshmen and sophomores only.
The Chandler district will also open Riggs Elementary School, 6930 S. Seville in Gilbert, and Ira A. Fulton Elementary School, 4750 S. Sunland Drive in Chandler’s Fulton Ranch community.
The Gilbert Unified School District is opening two schools — one an elementary school to accommodate growth, the other a specialty school designed to attract students who might otherwise attend charter or private schools.
Quartz Hill Elementary School, 3680 S. Quartz St. in Gilbert, will relieve overcrowding at nearby Spectrum Elementary School.
The Gilbert Classical Academy, 55 N. Greenfield Road, will open with 200 students in grades seven, eight and nine, and will add a grade yearly to become a seventh-through-12th-grade school.
The school will use the Socratic method, which encourages students to ask questions and use reason to come up with answers. The academy will also offer personal laptops for each student, small classes and a rigorous curriculum that includes required classes in music and Latin.
The Mesa Unified School District is also opening a specialized school, the Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies, at the corner of Power and Brown roads.
The school will open with grades four through eight and add ninth grade in 2008-09. The rigorous curriculum will include course offerings such as Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.
J.O. Combs Elementary School District will move its middle school to a new facility and is also opening Ellsworth Elementary, its fourth school.