Scottsdale school district officials may consider student uniforms and foreign language immersion in the coming months after parents showed interest in such programs on an elementary school survey.
Survey results were collected in November and released last week. The survey’s main goal was to determine whether the community would be interested in a second back-to-basics school similar to Cheyenne Traditional School, said Cathy Rivera, Scottsdale Unified School District executive director for elementary schools and excelling teaching and learning.
The questionnaire also sought parents’ interest in other innovations like school uniforms, foreign language immersion and kindergarten through eighth-grade students attending the same school.
While the district is studying how, when and where to implement different programs in response to survey results, no definite plans have been made.
The governing board may see a proposal for a foreign language program in late January, Rivera said.
“The one traditional school has such a long waiting list of people who want to get in. We’re trying to be responsive,” Rivera said.
Mike Duff, Cheyenne principal, said there are usually 250 to 300 students on the school’s waiting list. It has about 950 students.
Forty-five percent of respondents said they would enroll at a new traditional school, which Rivera called a positive response.
The survey had 2,533 responses, although not everyone answered every question.
A question about uniforms garnered the most positive feedback, with 62 percent favoring them.
Cheyenne is the only Scottsdale school requiring uniforms. Students wear collared shirts in one of four colors and either khaki or navy bottoms.
Individual schools would have to be interested in uniforms for the district to consider the option at other sites, Rivera said.
Other survey questions asked whether parents would be interested in foreign language immersion, with 48 percent supporting it, and whether they preferred a kindergarten through fifth-grade or kindergarten through eighth-grade configuration for schools, with 51 percent saying they liked the latter option.
One big difference between the traditional school environment and other schools is the curriculum. Cheyenne has a phonics-based language arts program in addition to the district’s reading curriculum, Duff said.
And instead of the handson everyday math program that most Scottsdale elementary schools use, Cheyenne students use a textbookbased, teacher-driven math program, Duff added.
Cheyenne is different in that it has kindergarten through eighth-grade and is a school of choice, meaning students come from throughout the district.