Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Business

New charter school comes to Westchase

Parents and students have a new school option beginning the 2017-2018 school year. Avant Garde Academy Westchase is a new charter school that's open to students entering kindergarten through 6th grade.

Over the next two years, the school will add 7th and 8th grades. The school is currently under construction across the street from Sickles High School and is slated to open in late July.

"We are doing an open enrollment now," said Jennifer Lucas, chief academic officer.

Avant Garde will offer a STEAM curriculum which includes science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. While Avant Garde will offer the same core curriculum as other public schools, planned elective courses include coding, Legos, engineering, science labs, art, music and physical education.

"We have other supplemental curriculum that the kids will have access to in their core courses, not just as an elective," said Lucas. "That's what was important to us."

After-school programs and enrichment will be available, such as competitive choir, band, robotics teams and a drone club. The school also will feature competitive sports teams.

The school will have approximately 90-100 students per grade level and there will be daily recess for K-5. School will begin Aug. 10, and Lucas said the school calendar will be similar to that of Hillsborough County schools. The school day will run approximately from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Unlike Hillsborough County schools, there won't be an early release day, and there will be a staggered student dismissal to help ease traffic. Bus transportation will be provided in the Westchase area and uniforms are required.

Avant Garde Academy Westchase will be located at 13901 Sheldon Road. For more information or to enroll a student, visit agawestchase.org.

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