Cambridge Prep offers Kingman students a more rigorous path

Parents and students interested in Kingman Unified School District's increased rigor, high relevancy Cambridge Preparatory Academy, can get your questions answered Monday at a local campus.

To help explain the Cambridge program, KUSD is hosting a Parents' Information Night at 6 p.m. Monday at White Cliffs Middle School, 3550 Prospector St.

Speakers will include state Sen. Rich Crandall, Katy Cavanagh of the National Council on Education and the Economy and Amanda Burke from the Center for the Future of Arizona. All interested community members are invited to attend, especially the parents of 5th-, 6th-, 7th- and 8th-graders.

This fall, KUSD plans to pilot the program at the middle school and high school level. The Cambridge Academy prepares students for the Grand Canyon Diploma - the basis of Gov. Jan Brewer's Move on When Ready legislation.

The Grand Canyon Diploma, which can be earned as early as a student's sophomore year, allows kids to enter into a community college, a technical school or remain in high school to take advanced course work designed to prepare him or her for a four-year university.

To earn a Grand Canyon Diploma, students must pass a series of board examinations tied to the academy in math, science, English, history and fine arts. Those who do not pass the board examinations their sophomore year may try again during their junior and senior years.

The advanced curriculum in math, science, social studies and English also prepares students for advanced programs in high school, including the International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement programs.

As an internationally recognized advanced academic program for middle school and high school students, kids enrolled will take a series of checkpoint exams at the end of their 8th-grade year. The exams, which are scored by Cambridge University, are used to make sure the students are on track academically.

Applications for the program were sent home March 19 and are due back by Thursday. Students filling out applications are required to write an essay and get teacher recommendations.

For more information about the academy or the information night, email KUSD's school improvement grant coordinator Jack Burden, jburden@kusd.org.