Two Apache Junction Unified School District schools — Peralta Trail Elementary and Desert Vista Elementary — have qualified for more than $213,000 in results-based funding.
The schools will receive the funds because they ranked among the top 27% in AZMerit scores among schools with more than 60% of its students in the free and reduced lunch program, according to a release.
“We are very proud of our schools and very excited about this,” AJUSD Superintendent Dr. Krista Anderson said in the release. “We know as we continue to progress academically more schools will qualify for the rewards-based funding.”
Desert Vista, 3701 E. Broadway Ave. in Apache Junction, will receive a one-time payment of $124,560.88 while Peralta Trail, 10965 E. Peralta Road in Gold Canyon, will receive $88,584.17. Fifteen percent of the money will be used as bonuses to certified and classified employees who worked on campus during the 2018-19 school year, the year for which the results-based funding was given.
Certified employees at Peralta Trail will receive a bonus of $525 and classified employees $325. Certified employees at Desert Vista will receive $470 and classified employees $270.
The rest of the money will be used for professional development and the purchase of curriculum at all three of AJUSD’s elementary schools, including Four Peaks Elementary, 1785 N. Idaho Road in Apache Junction.
This is the fourth year in a row Peralta Trail Elementary School has qualified for the rewards-based funding, the release states.
“I am excited for the teachers that they get this validation for all their hard work,” Peralta Trail Elementary Principal Natalie Clement said in the release. “I just look forward to continuing the trend. I’m proud of what the teachers and students are doing in our school.”
Desert Vista Elementary has qualified for rewards-based funding the last two years.
“I think it shows the hard work we’ve put into place at Desert Vista,” Desert Vista Elementary Principal Pat Smith said. “It shows the focus of the staff in putting students first and foremost in the decisions we make. Two receive this two years in a row is validation of that hard work.”