Expanding excellence: The Academy of Math & Science

The Academy of Math & Science is one of five recipients of a grant from the A for Arizona Expansion Fund. 

The Academy of Math & Science (AMS) stood out to A for Arizona for its knack for delivering high-quality STEM-focused education in high-poverty communities. The AMS network put its money toward launching a new campus in Glendale.

We found that the schools around [Glendale] were lower-performing and we wanted to be able to offer students and families another option,” AMS Glendale Principal Ashley Kane said. “We applied [for the grant] because we know that what we’re doing is right for kids and we needed support with that… We wanted to work with [A for Arizona] in order to really be able to bring a quality education to Glendale.” 

The Expansion Fund is designed to accelerate the growth of Arizona’s best public school —district, magnet and charter schools — by providing targeted grants to ‘A’-rated schools.

According to AMS, it used the $75,000 it received to provide staff salaries to the teachers needed at the Glendale campus, especially for those who worked over the summer to help prepare for the campus’ opening, and community outreach programs to recruit students and additional teachers.

Founded in 2000 with only 30 students, AMS has grown into one of the highest-ranked charter schools in Arizona. Now, with the opening of the Glendale campus, the AMS network will operate seven campuses in the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas.

The new campus is the largest opening of a charter school in Arizona with more than 1,100 students, but what makes the school unique is its STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) program and an extended schedule that allows teachers to better meet the needs of all students.

We actually have an extended day,” Kane said. “That really gives us the opportunity to fill some of the gaps that our kids are coming in with and just gives us an opportunity to expose them to more learning opportunities.”

The school offers two foreign languages, Russian and Mandarin, as well gives students the opportunity to learn guitar or piano. The school also offers extracurriculars and sports for all age groups. 

“We have an amazingly dedicated staff… The teachers are amazing. They really have an awesome heart for kids and are here for the right reasons,” Kane said.

The campus started classes on July 25, 2019, and Kane has high hopes for the future of the school. 

“I hope that AMS Glendale really makes a name for itself and makes a name for the community of Glendale,” she said. “I want to make sure that what we’re doing best serves our community and really…work together with families and not just for them, but I want to work with them to be able to do what we really need to accomplish for our area.”

AMS is currently ranked No. 1 by 5-star parent reviews on GreatSchools.org and was named the Arizona Charter School of the Year by the Arizona Charter Schools Association in 2016.

For more information on AMS Glendale, click here. For a full list of Expansion fund winners, click here.

Emily Richardson

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