In an effort to compete with charter schools and deal with declining enrollment in communities that are aging out, Deer Valley Unified School District has begun a process to repurpose one of its existing schools into an open-boundary choice school with a traditional focus.
Bellair Elementary in the southern portion of the district will be the first school converted to the competitive concept, starting in the 2020-21 school year. It promises advanced learning opportunities and emphasizes parent involvement and input with regard to curriculum, homework and dress code. Much like a charter school, bus service won’t be provided to students enrolled in a choice school.
A school within Anthem will likely be next, DVUSD School Superintendent Curtis Finch told a small group of parents at a recent boundary meeting at Boulder Creek High School. Finch did not speculate on which elementary school would be repurposed, but he said the change would not likely be discussed for three years.
“We’re heavily chartered in Arizona,” Finch said. “We may be one of the most chartered districts… and I want to play in that game because I know we can do better.”
Anthem K-8 schools are in the midst of an enrollment decline.