Tempe High creates partnerships to back programs, including bio

August 16, 2008

By hammersmith

[Source: Andrea Natekar, East Valley Tribune] — A class to motivate more students to take honors courses. A program with an international focus. A biotechnology lab. These are among a wide array of educational programs that Tempe High School’s staff is working to bring to students this fall. “We’re on the move,” said principal Mark Yslas, who added he wants to provide something for every student.

Yslas said he wants to make sure students are choosing Tempe High because of the programs it offers, not simply because they live in the attendance area. And he’s working to attract students from other parts of the Valley, too. With just 1,300 students, the school is one of the smallest in the Tempe Union High School District. Yslas hopes to bring enrollment up to around 1,600 students eventually, which he believes is the perfect size for a high school. As the district faces budget troubles, Tempe High has found grant money and created local partnerships to fund the new programs…


This year, Tempe High also forged a partnership with South Mountain Community College to get more Hispanic students interested in the biotechnology field. Now, Tempe High is offering dual enrollment options, where any interested student can obtain college credit by taking a high-level biology class on campus.

In addition, the college is training teachers and providing a new lab, equipment, and a lab technician. “Governor (Janet) Napolitano has expressed a desire to have Arizona become a leader in biotechnology,” said teacher Scott Greenhalgh, who is helping to coordinate the program. “This will help get more students interested earlier.”

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