Would you like your child’s education to be “classic” or “traditional?”
In the past, parents who faced this question for multiple children — with one child fitting better in the latter and the other doing better in the former — would have to drive to two different campuses.
But at the newest district school to open in Chandler, parents can have both.
Classes begin Monday at John and Carol Carlson Elementary School in south Chandler, the 30th elementary school built by the Chandler Unified School District. It is also the only newly built district campus in the East Valley this year.
Because of the popularity of the Chandler Traditional Academies, where students are taught together in “whole group” instruction, the district decided to open Carlson Elementary School with two options for parents: standard or “classic” Chandler classrooms and traditional classrooms.
While all the teachers will use Spalding curriculum for reading, the traditional teachers will use Saxon for math, which instructs students a grade above their current level.
Teachers are either assigned a classic classroom or a traditional classroom. A few more students have selected a classic classroom than traditional classroom. But principal Leo Schlueter pointed out that while kindergarten through sixth grade is going to be offered this year for the classic classrooms, the traditional classes only go up to fourth grade this year, with fifth and sixth grades to open in subsequent years or if there is more parent interest in the program.
“Parents like that if they have one child who would be better with traditional or classic, we can have them both at the same school,” Schlueter said. “They’ve made a choice on what’s the best learning environment for their child.”
In addition to kindergarten through sixth grade, Carlson Elementary will be home to three preschool programs with about 100 students.
MaryAnn Lopez chose the traditional classroom for both her first-grader and kindergartner. Her older child was at Ryan Elementary School last year, but with the boundary change — and the traditional option — the family is now at Carlson.
“We like the fact that it had the Chandler Traditional Academy component, but it is also the neighborhood school,” she said while visiting the campus last week. “They’re excited because they saw some of our friends, too.”
Charlotte Patterson Elementary School, which opened just a few years ago in the Gilbert’s Adora Trails neighborhood, is the only other Chandler district school that offers these choices together.
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