A collaboration between ASU Prep Digital and Pendergast Elementary School District, which includes three Glendale campuses, was formally recognized by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) with a 2021 Magna Award, which honors school districts that are advancing equity and breaking down barriers for underserved students.
Pendergast was one of only 15 school districts in the U.S. to be recognized for this award. It was also the only school district in Arizona to be named a winner this year by an independent panel of school board members, administrators and other educators.
Schools within the district include Desert Mirage, 8605 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale; Sonoran Sky, 10150 W. Missouri Ave., Glendale; and Sunset Ridge, 8490 W. Missouri Ave., Glendale.
Pendergast is a low-socioeconomic school district with 88% diversity on its 12 campuses. Approximately 71% of students in its district receive free/reduced-price meals.
“Pendergast District is known as a highly innovative, solution-oriented district that is focused on student success,” Acting Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Cruz stated in a news release. “We’re always looking for ways to engage students in higher levels of thinking and learning. Because we do not have high school teachers on staff or accredited high school curriculum readily available, the partnership with ASU Prep Digital gives our students an accelerated path and the chance to earn concurrent high school and elementary school credit.”
Started by Arizona State University, ASU Prep Digital is an accredited online K-12 school that allows students to take a single online course or enroll in a full-time, diploma-granting program. ASU Prep Digital also serves private schools, single public schools, and entire districts nationwide, with partnerships that offer a K-12 curriculum and one-on-one instruction in a virtual environment. For school districts like Pendergast, ASU Prep Digital helps underserved students advance and get a head start on their high school credits.
About 150 middle school students in the Pendergast District participate in the tuition-free program each year. Since 2018, the partnership with ASU Prep Digital has helped to deliver unprecedented results for the district, including 100% of students participating in Geometry passed the course; 96% of students participating in Algebra I passed the course; and 90% of students participating in English passed the course.
ASU Prep Digital has established partnerships with 110 schools in Arizona and 73 schools in other U.S. states. Visit bit.ly/3sWhoY1 for more background about the partnership with the Pendergast District.
The district boundaries are from Glendale Avenue to the North and I-10 to the South, 83rd Avenue to the East, and Agua Fria River to the West. The District provides educational opportunities for approximately 9,000 preschool through eighth grade students on 12 campuses. Visit pesd92.org.