Kyrene Traditional Academy

Dr. Marianne Lescher speaks with parents at an information session about Kyrene Traditional Academy, which will be opening for the 2012-13 school year.

Travis Roemhild/AFN

Early enrollment numbers have come back better than expected for Kyrene Traditional Academy, scheduled to open for the 2012-13 school year.

It was announced earlier in the school year that the district was looking to offer the option of a traditional academy, which centers around a more structured learning environment that includes uniforms for students.

One reason the campus of Kyrene del Sureno Elementary, 3375 W. Galveston St. in Chandler, was chosen is because of a falling total enrollment. Sureno currently has the lowest student population of all Kyrene schools at around 400.

However, the number of students who have registered for next school year already exceeds Sureno’s current enrollment, said Dr. Marianne Lescher, current principal of Kyrene Mariposa Elementary School who will become the principal for Kyrene Traditional Academy.

“Sureno’s enrollment has been declining over the years and (the district) is looking at effective and efficient ways to use their facilities,” Lescher said. “The public school districts in Gilbert and Chandler, when they opened a traditional school, they saw a wait list in their second year. I think that shows local families want this option.”

While some of the logistics are still being developed, classroom materials have been chosen — Saxon Mathematics, Spalding Reading and Writing, and a two-week training session for teachers is scheduled for early June.

Ahwatukee Foothills families interested in signing their child up for Kyrene Traditional Academy will most likely have to find their own mode of transportation. Although Lescher said there have been talks about busing in students from boundaries outside of Sureno lines, there are currently no plans to provide transportation to and from Ahwatukee Foothills.

It hasn’t stopped local families from attending information sessions the district has been providing at times throughout the year.

“What I like about the traditional academy is that it’s getting back to basics,” said Lorane Wilson, an Ahwatukee Foothills resident who has a daughter who attends Kyrene de la Colina Elementary. “It seems more structured and she is a very structured kid. We’re not 100 percent on signing up because of things like transportation but it is appealing as an option.”

To find out more or to enroll, visit, call (480) 783-3000, or stop by the campus office.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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