Edkey Inc., the parent company of 16 Sequoia Charter Schools, has completed construction plans for the new $6.5 million kindergarten through 6th grade Sequoia Pathfinder Academy at Eastmark, located on Eastmark Parkway, north of Ray Road in Mesa. The new tuition-free elementary school, which will serve 400 students, is scheduled to open in August for the 2014-15 school year.

According to Edkey CEO, Doug Pike, the Pathfinder campus at Eastmark is designed to optimize learning experiences in all spaces. Similar to a “children’s museum,” changeable interactive learning resources and demonstrations will be built into the common areas and learning boulevards (hallways) throughout the school.  All 18 classrooms will have additional learning space to allow for small group activities and exploration of skills and concepts. The National School Lunch Program will be offered in the new cafeteria.

An outdoor interactive learning playground will help students make connections to learning and understand the relevance of curriculum on a day-to-day basis.  A library will be contained in the student commons area.  A computer lab will be accessible for all classes.  Technology also will be available in the student common area and in the classrooms.  A multi-purpose room for P.E., lunch, performances, school-wide events and activities open to the community will be a focal point of the campus.

“From the moment a child walks through Sequoia Pathfinder Academy’s doors, the campus will nurture the natural curiousness and creativity that every child is born with.  By designing a fun, creative learning environment, students will be more motivated to learn in the classroom,” said Superintendent Curt Cardine.

According to Assistant Superintendent, Tamara Becker, academically, the new state-of-the-art campus will feature a proven approach to teaching and learning that integrates the content and skills of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).  Programs will emphasize learning behaviors that include engagement in inquiry, logical reasoning, collaboration, and investigation. In addition, free all-day kindergarten, music and art classes, and after-school programs will be offered.