SUSD: Supai Middle School will transition to Tonalea K-8

The Scottsdale Unified School District is now at 7575 E. Main Street in downtown Scottsdale. (File photo)

The Scottsdale Unified School District is now at 7575 E. Main Street in downtown Scottsdale. (File photo)

The Scottsdale Unified School District in the afternoon of Friday, May 20 sent out a letter to parents at Tonalea Elementary School, 7501 E Oak St., informing them the school’s population will move to Supai Middle School — effective in August, and become a K-8 school.

The letter, signed by Interim Superintendent Denise Birdwell, states the new school will now be called Tonalea. A community Facebook page, Respect Our Scottsdale Students, first reported the news with a copy of the letter.

“First, this decision was carefully weighed by District leadership. This move benefits the community in two ways,” stated the letter written by Dr. Birdwell on May 20.

“First, this decision will provide continuity of instruction for academic improvement. Combining Tonalea and Supai ensures grade-to-grade teacher collaboration and academic intervention. Second, the original intent of the Oak campus was to provide a temporary location for Tonalea while waiting for a rebuild of the 68th Street Complex. This construction is delayed due to a lack of enrollment and the passing of a bond.”

In the meantime, the buildings will be demolished but the fields will be maintained, so the property remains a community asset, the letter states.

Dr. Birdwell continues by stating the priority of the district is academic improvement within. Once population, enrollment and community can support a new school, the board will consider the rebuild of the 68th Street Complex, the letter states.

“Many details are still being worked out. Please be patient as we work through this transition. We will share updates regarding bell schedules and bus schedules this summer via web, email and phone communications,” states Dr. Birdwell.

The district will be hosting a meeting at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25, in the Tonalea cafeteria to discuss the academic data supporting the move.

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