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Twenty years ago, the first Sonoran School had just had its charter contract approved and was in the very preliminary stages of opening a campus in a repurposed building on the north-west side of Tucson. In filing the charter application for the school, the Board declared the mission of the school was, “To prepare students for success in the high tech community of the new millennium”. One of those founding Board members, intent on ensuring students were proficient in science and math, is still a board member today, and remains just as committed as he did twenty years ago, and as we are today, to the mission and vision of Sonoran Schools.
Those founding members recognized that students in the United States were lagging behind their peers from other countries and that schools offering a rigorous, skill-level curriculum that focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) would provide the foundation to graduate independent thinkers, capable of innovation and prepared to take leadership roles. Their shared belief was that excelling in math and science would prepare America's next generation to achieve success in college and career in the 21st century.
Today, economists, employers, and educators locally, nationally, and globally embrace, support, and promote the critical importance to our society of graduating students who have STEM skills.
That first Sonoran Science Academy initially served middle school students but added grade levels each year so that, by 2006, the school was serving students from kindergarten through 12 th grade, and graduating its first senior class.
Recognized as an excelling school by the Arizona Department of Education and with its unique focus on STEM education, the school received requests from families to eplicate it successful model in the Phoenix metro area.
Sonoran Science Academy-Phoenix opened in 2004. Initially serving middle school students, it also expanded annually to serve students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
The growth and replication of the successful model continued in 2007, with the original Sonoran Science Academy moving to a custom-built, 11-acre campus, complete with gym and soccer field, and the opening of a campus on the east side of Tucson for grades K-8 in 2008.
That same year, Paragon Science Academy opened to serve the Chandler community while in 2009, a new Sonoran Science Academy opened on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. One of the first charter schools on a U.S. military base, the campus serves students in grades 6 through 12 and proudly serves the families of our nation’s active and retired military. The most recent addition to our community of schools is Sonoran Science Academy-Peoria, a K-8 school, serving students in the north-west greater Phoenix valley.
Sonoran Schools continues to provide a superior academic environment accessible to a diverse population, academically, culturally, and socio-economically. We encourage our students to explore and grow, intellectually and emotionally, by providing a myriad of extra-curricular opportunities. We surround them with an environment where a passion for art or drama can grow alongside a talent for math.
We seek to instill a life-long love of learning and an understanding of each individual's responsibility to be a productive member of society. We are proud that we are continuing the vision of our founders, graduating students who can compete equally with their peers around the globe and who have the STEM skills that are now a prerequisite for a successful life and career in 2020.