Legacy Traditional School has opened its first school in the Tucson area. If you live in the northwest, you won’t have to drive very far to get there.

Located at 3500 W. Cortaro Farms Road, just east of the intersection of Thornydale and Cortaro Farms roads, the 12-acre, public charter school opened its doors to 560 students, with a maximum capacity of 840 students.

Within Legacy Traditional Schools, school officials follow an accelerated, back-to-basics academic curriculum for kindergarteners through eighth grade.

Superintendent Bill Bressler oversees the six Legacy schools throughout Arizona.

“‘Back-to-Basics Traditional’ is an educational philosophy,” Bressler said. “You see a lot of schools with cooperative learning centers in the classrooms. The traditional approach is more direct construction. The teacher is responsible for leading the entire group with instruction and keeping everybody at the same pace.”

Legacy schools teach at an accelerated pace, allowing students in one grade to learn at a grade level above the one a student is in.

The other five schools in Arizona are in Avondale, Casa Grande, Chandler, Maricopa, and Queen Creek. Administrators did their homework before opening a new campus in Southwest Tucson.

Bressler and other school officials began meeting in the spring with community members at local libraries.

“We were out here probably every other week providing information to parents through formal presentations and answering questions,” Bressler said.” At every event we held, we had 40 parents, basically, arrive to ask questions and to get more information about our school, and what we were all about and what we were providing.”

The parents also committed to volunteering at the school a minimum of 12 hours per school year.

During those meetings, Bressler said they heard parents tell them they wanted a school that “taught in the manner that Legacy Traditional Schools do.”

The $12 million project has brought 45 jobs to the northwest.

The charter school is open enrollment and does not charge tuition.

For more information, visit www.legacytraditional.org/tucson.

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