A-rating: ASU Prep Casa Grande High School excels on school report card

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We are thrilled to announce ASU Preparatory Academy Casa Grande has been recognized as the only A-rated high school in all of Pinal County. This remarkable achievement is a testament to excellence in education, backed by data, a nurturing culture, and a team effort.

Quantifying excellence: Looking at the data

According to Jeni McClue, ASU Prep’s Director of State Assessment and Accountability, ASU Prep Casa Grande excels in various key areas on which the Arizona Department of Education bases school rankings.

The class of 2023 showcased exceptional readiness for the next chapter of their lives. Here are some highlights:

  • ACT Composite scores surpass both the state and national averages, exceeding the state passing rate by 25% in English Language Arts and by 14% in math.
  • Tremendous graduation rate above 95%.
  • Nearly all students earned college credits in core academic subjects while still in high school.
  • Many students took advantage of career-readiness opportunities, such as internships and the Armed Services Vocational Assessment Battery (ASVAB) assessment.
  • 100% of students were admitted to a post-secondary school, with the majority earning acceptance to a four-year university.
  • 77% of students were offered scholarships, totaling over $4 million.

It’s more than just data: Casa Grande’s unique culture

Beyond these impressive statistics, ASU Prep Casa Grande 7–12 Principal Gayle Taylor highlights the unique culture and atmosphere that sets the campus apart. With a small school size of 272 students and a staff of only 15, ASU Prep Casa Grande actively fosters strong relationships among students and faculty. Principal Taylor explains, “There’s lots of communication. It’s a very supportive and personalized environment. It’s the connectedness that leads to success.”

Principal Taylor also emphasizes the wide range of college and career opportunities ASU Prep Casa Grande provides for students. From taking college classes in high school to participating in the ASVAB assessment and career fair, ASU Prep Casa Grande ensures students are well-prepared for their future endeavors. The school’s student-driven clubs, including an award-winning robotics team, further enhance the diverse extracurricular offerings.

The school’s unique partnership with Barça Residency, a soccer academy, adds another layer of support for student-athletes who make up about half of the student population. 

ASU Prep Casa Grande’s rich tapestry of student backgrounds, with student-athletes hailing from different parts of the world and other students coming from nearby communities, enriches the overall experience at ASU Prep Casa Grande. Principal Taylor marvels at the commitment of many students who travel quite a distance by bus to attend the school: “Students are really interested and want to be here and work with us.”

Success is a collective effort

Brian Ross, Dean of Students, credits the achievement of earning an “A” school grade to the collective efforts of the entire school community. He proudly shares, “All our teachers, administrators, staff—everybody in the building—is committed to student success. We’re committed to the ASU Prep mission to prep students for college and careers.”

ASU Prep Casa Grande’s distinction as the only A-rated high school in Pinal County is well-deserved. The school’s commitment to academic excellence, nurturing culture, and team effort has created an environment where students thrive and are academically and personally prepared for their future endeavors.

Learn more about ASU Prep Casa Grande’s rigorous university preparatory curriculum that puts students on a personalized path to success with opportunities to explore college and careers while in high school.

Summer Tips: Get Kids Out of the House

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Learning should be – and can be – fun. Summer is the perfect time to engage young learners in meaningful opportunities to be curious, to explore, and to discover new interests. Check out this list of fun yet educational (and often free) activities to get your kids out of the house and learning this summer.

Try Geocaching: A combination of technology and active outdoor time, “The world’s largest treasure hunt” involves searching for hidden items in a specific geographical area using GPS coordinates on your smart device. Create a free account on www.geocaching.com and download the app. Choose a cache to find based on area and level of difficulty and head out for adventure.

Go on a Scavenger Hunt: Apps like Monkey Spot or Goosechase include scavenger hunts kids can do outdoors or in everyday places like the grocery store, finding assigned objects. You can also search online for free printable scavenger hunts by topic — seasonal, outdoor or color/alphabet-themed. 

Explore Outdoors: Discover history and culture and connect with nature at a state or national park. The National Park Service offers a Junior Ranger program with interactive activities that give kids a chance to earn a badge and certificate. Bonus: Fourth graders can visit America’s National Parks for free with an Every Kid Outdoors pass. 

Roam a Local Garden: Let kids explore exhibits, feed fish, and identify types of flowers. The Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix offers free admission 5:00-7:30 p.m. on the first Friday of every month, and The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix hosts Community Day with free admission on the second Tuesday of the month. Search online to find more beautiful gardens and special deals to explore. 

Tour a Museum or Science Center: Check online for nearby museums of art or history as well as science centers for hours, special activities, and free admission opportunities. Some options near our ASU Prep campuses include Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. 

Through Museums for All, families presenting their SNAP EBT card can gain free or reduced admission to participating venues, and some banks offer their cardholders free or discounted museum passes. Check out an Act One Culture Pass from a public library to gain free access to Arizona’s arts and cultural treasures. 

Visit a Zoo or Aquarium. Check out animal encounters, tour habitats, learn about endangered species, get involved in conservation efforts, and take advantage of play areas.

Try Something New: Research local kid-oriented classes and workshops like pottery, painting, cooking, bird-watching, coding, or photography. Consider looking into Lowe’s or Home Depot’s building workshops or events held at nearby craft stores. Perhaps a new physical activity like gymnastics, martial arts, indoor rock climbing, dance, or ninja warrior training would be a good fit.

Stop in the Local Library: Local public libraries don’t only offer books for free check-out, but also host story time and hands-on activities like crafts, as well as interactive demonstrations like a magic show or science experiment.

Can’t Get Out of the House? Take your kids on a virtual field trip from the comfort of home to places like the Louvre in France or the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Tune in to one of the many educational programs offered on YouTube or keep kids busy with an at-home scavenger hunt. 

No matter where this summer takes you and your family, try to include fun learning opportunities for the kids. When planning outdoor activities, be sure to consider the weather. Wear sun protection, hydrate, and have fun!