New West Valley school to focus on math, science

February 3, 2007

By hammersmith

[Source: Meghan E. Moravcik, Arizona Republic] — When Dysart Unified School District’s Elementary School 18 opens in the Surprise Farms III area this fall, its students will get an education more focused on math, science, and collaboration. This school could be the start of a new era of learning techniques for all Dysart students, with more emphasis placed on problem-solving and less emphasis on knowing facts.

Around the beginning of the school year, district officials began researching which areas of learning they should focus on to help students prepare for what they’ll encounter in 21st-century society and its job force, said Gail Pletnick, assistant superintendent of elementary education. “All the research we did indicates a lot of emphasis on math and science. That’s truly where they’re seeing the change in terms of work, and what they (students) will need to be prepared for,” she said.

Many details are not yet finalized, but officials do know they want to build partnerships with community members and Surprise and El Mirage to improve student learning. Even the school facilities will adapt to the new focus, she said. Schools will have multiple rooms where furniture can be moved and configured in various ways depending on its use for the day. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]