Valor Preparatory Academy of Arizona had a great start to the 2021-2022 school year! We enter this year excited about how much we have grown and continue to grow as a school family.
Our growth can be seen in everything that we’re doing at Valor including our highest ever number of students, grade levels, staff, classrooms, and course offerings. We are at our highest enrollment of the past 3 years, with 55 new students added to the Valor family including the addition of 11th grade. We can’t wait to see our first graduates next year when we add 12th grade to the school!
Our staff grew when we heard from our parents that while they love the hybrid schedule and flexibility that comes with it, that they wanted more face-to-face time with math teachers. In response to their feedback, we added a math teacher to our team as well as two new Paraprofessionals to support learning.
Verano Learning Partners helped us to add two new classrooms to accommodate our current and future growth and construction on those rooms will be complete in early September. Our students and teachers are looking forward to moving into our new space!
One of the many benefits of hybrid learning is that we are adaptable to the needs of the families and the school. Along with the with increased math support, we also heard from our families that having six classes at one time can be a bit overwhelming when balancing the foundational online pieces along with the higher depth of knowledge applications happening in class. Based on that input, we created a schedule that includes math year-round and all other classes taking place in 9-week quarters. This means that a student will have no more than 3 classes per quarter which allows them to focus their attention on those courses. So far, our parents, students, and staff are enjoying the quality time they have together with classes that are fewer in number and greater in face-to-face time. This schedule gives our teachers more time to work on projects and allows them increased time with students to identify strengths and areas that need additional support.
To supplement our amazing StrongMind curriculum, we have added what we call “Unique-to-Valor” (UV) electives. These “UV electives” are directly aligned to our mission of applying knowledge using the 21st century skills of Communication, Critical Thinking, Creative Problem-Solving, and Collaboration. The UV electives that we offer this year include: Leadership, Environmental Science, Instructional Technology, Coding through iCode, Drones, Cardio Fitness, and Communications.
We’re not done yet! We are also excited to offer partnerships with Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) and West-MEC. Our high school students may attend EMCC which offers them the opportunity to get college credits and college experience. We know many of our students wish to continue their education after high school, but we also recognize that some may wish to go directly into a career as a part of a highly skilled, technical, workforce, so we partnered with West-MEC to support those pathways.
Verano Learning has been incredibly supportive in helping our students at Valor Preparatory Academy to be prepared for the 2021-22 school year and beyond!
Dan Mahlandt currently serves as the principal of Valor Preparatory Academy of Arizona located in Goodyear, AZ.