- Your Voice
Every year, the Washington Post ranks the nation’s most challenging schools. While Tucsonans might not be surprised to hear that a local school has consistently ranked in the top 25 in the nation, they may be surprised when they hear that this top ranked school is Accelerated Learning Laboratory, a small charter school nestled away on the northwest side of town.
The desert is home to many hidden habitats which allow local life to flourish. While many Tucsonans are aware of habitats of the animal variety, many have yet to encounter one which is nestled away on the northwest side of town: Accelerated Learning Laboratory, a small charter school that offers preschool, elementary, and secondary school.
As August comes to an end, Accelerated Learning Laboratory, a small charter school tucked away in the hilly northwest side of Tucson, is moving into its second month of school.
While schools all over Tucson are starting up the new academic year, many families are still searching for the right school for their children. If you’re looking for a small, tight-knit community that will allow your child to learn at his or her own pace, then you should schedule a visit at Accelerated Learning Laboratory, on the northwest side of Tucson.
If you’re looking for a “traditional” school for your child this fall, Accelerated Learning Laboratory is probably not the charter school for you. However, if you want a school that will free your child from the restrictions that go along with a “traditional” education, and if you want a school that will teach them how to learn (and how to love it at the same time), then you need to schedule a tour of A.L.L.
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When considering where your child will attend school next year, consider sending them to Accelerated Learning Laboratory. While Accelerated Learning Laboratory may not be the perfect fit for every student, it welcomes every student that wants to enroll and take advantage of the opportunities it provides. Upon entering, many students discover that this relatively tiny and “unknown” school provides them with just the opportunities they need to learn, excel, and gain acceptance into the country’s top universities.
Accelerated Learning Laboratory is a name that has been gaining national attention for its academic performance. Due to its small size, however, many Tucsonans might be surprised to hear that this nationally recognized school is a local charter school with open, tuition free admission.
“It’s that time of year again.” chortles Serei in a maniacal tone, “Seniors are frantically applying to colleges, writing essays and fretting over which colleges they should consider. This is probably the second, really important decision they will ever make.” Although it’s clear that I’m being setup by this strikingly attractive, diabolical lady, I obligingly say, “OK I’ll take your bait! What was the first? With her deviously impish smile she mocks, “Selecting Accelerated Learning Laboratory of course, you silly guy. But really, a student’s entire future is balanced on this one point in time. Students at this age are at a funny point in life, they are neither adult nor child. Most are only slightly aware of the long-term impact of their pending decisions. Most of their parents either don’t know how to help, or don’t have time. Most high schools don’t have the resources or expertise to give students direction.”
Accelerated Elementary and Secondary Schools (AES) student, Jose Antonio Gonzalez Mendoza, a senior this year, took third place in the “Annual World Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition Finals” held in Yunnan Province, China. Jose became The Southwest United States Regional Representative after winning first place in the “Regional Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition” held at San Diego State University, May, 2013. Since the competition’s inception in 2002, more than 600 contestants representing over 50 countries have participated. Jose said, “I have to give my brilliant teacher, Claire Wang and her incredible teaching techniques, credit for my success. Without her nurturing support, I would never have dared take on such a challenge.”
As I walk into the main office at Accelerated Learning Laboratory (ALL), I am dwarfed by two walls covered with framed acceptance letters to colleges like MIT, Princeton and Duke, along with financial award letters for $50,000 to $60,000 per year for four years. I’m dumbfounded, that’s about a quarter of million dollars to each student. Distracted by a voice calling my name I pivot around and fall into Asian eyes belonging to a gorgeous ALL administrator, Serei Kay, who has come to fetch me for our interview. Trying not to stare, I sheepishly follow. I ask about the letters. In a matter-of-fact voice Serei says, “Yup, most of them get into highly selective schools with loads of financial aid. But! I thought you wanted to talk about the wisdom of academically accelerating students?”
Serei Kay, an administrator at Accelerated Learning Laboratory (ALL), smiles as she explains, “Not long ago, many educators claimed that exposing children to abstract concepts at too young an age would damage intellectual development and rigorous expectations would damage self esteem. We now know that exposure to abstract concepts in early childhood actually enhances intellectual development and a rigorous curriculum builds confidence. Unfortunately, there is a long delay between research and application in the normal classroom. This is why most schools are operating on false assumptions.”
Accelerated Elementary and Secondary Schools (AES) student, Jose Gonzalez will compete in the worldwide Chinese Bridge Semifinals Proficiency Competition for Secondary School Students October 20. Jose will be the guest of the Hanban and Confucius Institute for two weeks as he travels through Yunnan Province in China. Jose reached this intensely competitive level by first distinguishing himself in an array of preliminary competitions including the Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition for High School Students held at San Diego State University Confucius Institute, where he placed first.
Accelerated Learning Laboratory students participate in a variety of extracurricular activities.
Accelerated Elementary and Secondary Schools (AESS) was recently identified by the Washington Post as having the 6th most rigorous secondary school in America. AESS is K-12 and includes a preschool. It is located on Camino De Oeste, west of Silverbell Road, just south of Sunset Road.
One of Tucson’s most unfamiliar schools is producing some of the city’s most impressive results.
ALL Administrative Assistant Audrey Bailey reviews with Trey Todnem, a 2011 graduate.