School highlight: Ambassador Academy - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Real Estate

School highlight: Ambassador Academy

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Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 4:56 pm | Updated: 9:22 am, Tue Aug 26, 2014.

Ambassador Academy • 3820 E. Ray Road

With a guarantee of small class sizes and focused attention to its current 47 enrolled students, the 5-year-old public charter school also aims to “prepare future leaders today.”

The small, K-5 charter school moved to its new location in July 2010, offering a larger space to its diverse student body.

Principal and Superintendent Dr. Elba Iris Reyes said her students have performed in the top two schools for Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) reading in Arizona, and in the top three for math.

“Our teachers have high expectations for all students and provide the opportunities for the children to achieve those expectations,” Reyes said in an email.

The academy’s elementary-aged students have started a few clubs around the school including Earth Crew, which focuses on earth sustainability that spearheads a plastic water bottle and cans recycling program. Students have also created the Loose Change Campaign, collecting loose change which they in turn donate to World Vision. For the past two years, according to Reyes, the group’s campaign has resulted in providing chicks, goats, animal food, and husbandry training to starving villages in Africa.

“While most charter schools have a specialty focus, Ambassador Academy has two areas of focus: academic excellence in teaching and learning, and leadership/character development,” Reyes added.

For more information, visit ambassadoracademy.us or call (480) 961-2214.

• Compiled by Diana Martinez, reach the reporter at dmartinez@ahwatukee.com.

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A Step Ahead Preschool

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Maysa Fini, director of A Step Ahead Preschool, poses with students on Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Since 1998, A Step Ahead Preschool in Ahwatukee has been teaching its students through Montessori and traditional teaching methods.

The school houses nearly 60 students from 4-week-olds to 5-year-olds.

Director Maysa Fini said the school focuses on giving its students Montessori and traditional learning experiences to help them transition into the school system.

“Almost all of our graduates end up going to a public school, and the public school is not Montessori,” she said. “For us, we have a mix of both, some Montessori and some school-readiness activities, so when they go to kindergarten, they’re ahead.”

According to the school’s website, A Step Ahead’s draws students from Ahwatukee, Maricopa, Chandler and Tempe.

For additional information about A Step Ahead Preschool, visit www.astepaheadpreschool.com.

• Compiled by Daniel Ochoa.

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