In fall 2017, Caurus Academy opened its new middle school in Anthem Commerce Park, in the former digs of North Valley Christian Academy. Now, the charter school plans to grow again―into its high school.
The school was recently approved by the state to add ninth and tenth grades for the 2018‒19 school year, said principal Dameon Blair.
Now more space is needed. The expanded middle school, which grew by roughly 75 kids (one additional section per grade) this fall, occupies 14,000 square feet of the building, which is owned by Crossroads Church. Caurus, in the first year of a three-year lease with the option of a two-year extension, has right of first refusal on another 9,000 feet, Blair said.
“We’re 99 percent sure it’s going to happen,” Blair told In&Out. “Now it’s just a matter of execution and timeline.”
The project, close to moving to bidding stage, involves 10 new classrooms and a student lounge.
By the 2020-21 school year, Blair anticipates the high school will accommodate grades 9–12. Curriculum specifics are still in the works, but he plans a rigorous program, including an honors track, dual-enrollment courses and career and technical courses. Other offerings include volleyball, basketball, cross country, baseball, softball, soccer, cheer, band, orchestra and drum line.
Eight to 10 new certified teachers would be hired, Blair said.
Blair’s long-term vision is to build a new 10-acre school on Anthem’s west side for roughly 500 students.
Amid this growth, North Valley Christian Academy built a new campus on 27th Drive south of Carefree Highway and added high school to its offerings in fall 2017. And, in a letter to parents, Ridgeline Academy just announced plans to add ninth grade in 2019-2020, aiming for a fully developed high school, grades 9-12, by 2022.