Great Hearts charter plans expansion to Buckeye, Anthem

Two new Great Hearts Academies charter school campuses will open to students this fall.

The charter school network, which has 22 locations in metro Phoenix, is currently completing work on its 23rd location and first campus in Buckeye, named Great Hearts Roosevelt Preparatory Academy.

The organization is also in the final stages of construction on a 10-acre property at the corner of Gavilan Peak Parkway and Arroyo Norte Drive, where an expanded Anthem campus will serve new pupils and students enrolled in the current Great Hearts Anthem Prep. Academy two. miles away.

Both locations have places open for registration.

Roosevelt Preparatory Academy, which is on Jackrabbit Trail between Yuma Road and Van Buren Street in Buckeye, will offer classes for pre-K and K-8 students when it opens this fall. Operations will expand to all grade levels as the incoming eighth grade class progresses.

Roosevelt will be the largest campus in the Great Hearts network, sitting on 25 acres of land that will allow the school to invest in a high school building once the student body grows. The plans call for a classic look that includes Roman columns throughout.

The school will have an indoor gymnasium and an outdoor sports field. There will also be accommodations for students with disabilities, who will have dedicated space to work with specialist professionals such as physiotherapists and speech therapists.

Roosevelt will serve approximately 800 K-8 students when it opens, but will accommodate 1,100 students when it operates at full capacity.

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Classic pedagogical approach

The charter network prides itself on offering “classical educationwhich, according to the Institute for Classical Education, an organization linked to the Great Hearts Foundation, “takes a unifying approach to intellectual and moral formation by developing both the mind and the heart.”

The approach, according to the institute, has also been adopted by religious schools and homeschooled families.

Big Hearts Curriculum covers languages ​​including Latin and Greek, science, history, mathematics, literature and fine arts. High school students are required to read “the greatest works of philosophy and literature of Western civilization”, such as the works of Plato, Aristotle and Dostoyevsky, in order to write a 15-20 page thesis which they will have to defend in order to be able to to graduate, said Roosevelt K-5 director Stephen Philabaum.

Philabaum said the organization was founded to make its approach accessible to everyone because there was a “period when it was reserved for a private elite who could afford it”.

“We embraced this beautiful view of classical education and these time-tested methods to teach the highest quality of literature and music and surround our students with beautiful things,” he said.

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Great Heats Expansion

Great Hearts, one of the largest charter networks in the state, began opening charter schools in metro Phoenix about 15 years ago. In 2014, the organization opened its first location in Texas, where it now has 11 campuses across the Dallas and San Antonio metro areas.

The network provides an online learning option for families in these two states and has three “microschool” locations, which bring together small groups of students to learn virtually in the same space, in Phoenix, Glendale and area. Metropolitan Dallas.

Although there are currently no plans for further expansion in the Valley, Great Hearts will open new schools in Florida, Louisiana and Texas this year.

Great Hearts currently boasts the claim of “the largest provider of classical liberal arts education campuses in the nation”,

Roosevelt Prep Director Tony Cruz said Great Hearts opened its first location in the East Valley and its early expansions focused on similar communities, but the organization eventually invested in schools of The valley.

He said the decision came from the organization’s founders, who realized they were still opening campuses in “homogeneous suburban areas, for upper-middle-class people who understand the value of a classic liberal education.” . their goal to reach students from all walks of life.

Contact the reporter at [email protected] or 480-267-4703. Follow her on Twitter @renataclo.

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