Sequoia Pathway Academy broke ground on a 7,000-square-foot classroom addition Friday with hopes of having it open by the beginning of second semester.
The new space will include three science labs, a computer lab, art room and a music room as well as traditional classrooms for the secondary school. The academy has had classes in mobiles for several years.
“We are excited about having this here,” EdKey CFO Patric Greer said. “This is going to be a great, great building, a great opportunity. This is going to be here a long, long time.”
Principal Markchele Kamson said the new building combined with the unique entry into the school year due to COVID-19 is an opportunity for change. This year’s theme, she said, is “Pathway is a place of HOPE,” which stands for honor, opportunity, perseverance and excellence.
Kamson took over as principal of the secondary school in the middle of the 2019-20 school year, as did Elementary Principal Taylor Stanton. They and their administrative staff took part in the groundbreaking.
School at Pathway starts Aug. 4 online only through the Google Classroom platform as all Arizona schools await a definite in-person opening from the state. Gov. Doug Ducey has set an “aspirational” date of Aug. 17 to get back into classes.
Kamson said whatever the real date may be, Pathway has its rollout plan in place and ready to go.
“Virtual learning, we still have supports for all student groups, special education, ELL, all of them. And basically, we are doing professional development training for teachers when they come back,” Kamson said. “We’re actually targeting so we can deal with this gap that we have, but we’re very intentional with our approach.”
The new classroom building will be west of the gymnasium and comes with an additional parking lot.