Charter school applies for location near Ahwatukee area - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

Charter school applies for location near Ahwatukee area

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Posted: Sunday, January 22, 2012 12:33 pm | Updated: 11:31 am, Sun Feb 12, 2012.

This year, BASIS Schools opened a campus in Chandler, the first for the East Valley.

The wild attention and interest in that campus has prompted the charter school operator to open additional classrooms on the campus. Though the target was for 450 students this school year, about 670 are now enrolled.

The demand was so great, that BASIS has applied for another charter, this one to open a school around the Ahwatukee Foothills, south Tempe and south Chandler area.

The application for BASIS Ahwatukee will be up for approval Monday when the Arizona Board for Charter Schools meets. Another 13 new charter school operator applications will also be before the board for consideration.

Charter schools are privately operated schools that receive public money. They came into existence in Arizona more than 15 years ago. School operators must apply for a charter, with a vast majority of those applications coming through the state charter board.

BASIS Schools started in Tucson and has been nationally recognized for academic achievement. The fifth- through 12th-grade schools offer a rigorous, accelerated program, one that targets preparation for college.

BASIS Chandler, 1800 E. Chandler Blvd., opened last fall. BASIS has been granted two more charters - in north Tucson and Phoenix - to open in fall 2012 in Arizona. Should Monday's approval come, the Ahwatukee location could open at the same time, said Nick Fleege, director of new school development for BASIS Schools.

The key to that timeline will be acquiring property for a school, which will hopefully happen soon, he said. Otherwise, the charter could be deferred to a 2013 opening.

"The demand in the south East Valley has been incredible. I have e-mails from people across the country saying, ‘Come here, come here,'" he said. That was particularly loud and clear in the area the school is now targeting.

"It would be, hopefully, within a couple miles from the (Interstate) 10 so we would have good access for families that do have to travel a bit further," he said.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6549 or mreese@evtrib.com

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