An inside look at ASU Preparatory Academy

ASU Prepratory Academy (Nicole Neri/DD)

ASU Preparatory Academy hosted an open house at their Phoenix campus Tuesday evening for students and families interested in enrolling in the upcoming school year.

ASU Prep is a public K-12 charter school system consisting of six locations across the Phoenix area, with three new locations opening next school year. The schools are focused on preparing students to succeed in college.

The high schools integrate with Arizona State University allowing students to take ASU online classes during their junior and senior year with the help and support of ASU Prep teachers. The graduation requirements are also tailored to meet the courses needed to enroll in ASU and other colleges.

“We want to make sure they’re prepared to go to a university,” Director of Secondary Learning Adrian De Alba said. “That’s our ultimate goal.”

One way the school does this is by mimicking a college environment during high school so students get used to the expectations early on.

“Especially at the high school level, the only accommodations and modifications provided are those that would be provided at a university,” De Alba said. “The idea is as they go through elementary we’re providing them with intervention so that they get to grade level. Then, once they get to high school, our goal is to really mimic that university and help them really prepare for a university.”

ASU Prepratory Academy (Monique Artis/DD)

Many of the students at the event Tuesday were on ASU Prep’s waitlist for the next school year. During fiscal year 2017, the Phoenix campus had about 1,000 potential K-12 students on the waitlist, according to data from ASU prep. The Phoenix campus enrolled 1,127 K-12 students last school year.

Tracie Goode, mother of two sons Jayden and Kris, has been on the waitlist for three months now and hopes to send her children to a top school.

“We want a quality education for our kids,” Goode said. “The affiliation with the university obviously wouldn’t attach its name to a school if it wasn’t performing.”

ASU Prep boasts a high school graduation rate of a 100 percent, according to data from the school. About 71 percent of students are admitted to a four-year university.

A majority of students at the Phoenix campus are low-income with 66 percent of the students at Phoenix High School qualifying for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program.

The school also offers individualized learning for students developed with teachers and parents. ASU Prep schools use the Cambridge Curriculum which is designed to help students find the deeper meaning in what they are learning as well as build critical thinking skills.

Marialuisa Olson, the family engagement coordinator, has worked at the school for five years and has a daughter who attends ASU. Her daughter graduated from the academy last year.

“My daughter received many scholarships to attend the school of engineering at ASU,” Olson said. “But she wanted to dance so I told her to follow her passion.”

Jayden and Kris Goode currently attend EAGLE College Preparatory in Phoenix. Kris, who is the twin brother of Jayden, is an aspiring Sun Devil.

“I really like the ASU college itself and I feel like going to ASU Prep would help me get into that college one day if I ever did go to college,” Kris said.

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