More opportunities are open to students this year at the Safford K-8 School. This is the first year students can get ahead by taking high school credit courses.

This years Safford K-8 students are the pioneers of accelerated learning, leading the way for students looking to get a head start for high school.

I feel really honored to be one of the first to have these high school credit classes. It’s definitely a new experience and Im really glad we were able to bring it to our school, shared student Jacquelin Saldana.

Saldana said she filled her schedule with high school credit classes with the hope of graduating early.

The available classes include the following high school credit courses:

Humanities Integrated Science Spanish Algebra

We were finding that our students just werent being challenged at the level that they need to be challenged at; and Safford has done a wonderful job of doing a lot of remediation and catching up and as we begin to do that, we saw a real need of accelerating our classes, said Principal Katherine Kuhn.

For Traveon Banks, his motivation for the challenge is staying on the right path while he focuses on sports.

Keep my head in the right space because, in this generation, theres a lot of bad influences and I don’t want to fall into a trap like that because I really want to go far with what I’m doing, Banks said.

When Principal Katherine Kuhn stepped in, the school had an F grade based on performance from the year prior.

This year, her students have a reason to celebrate. The Department of Education shared the Safford K-8 state grade is expected to reflect double the growth and proficiency.

Were expecting our letter grade to go up significantly this next year, but one thing we know is, if you dont offer accelerated classes, our students will learn to the level we teach. And so, we have to be able to offer them something at a higher level, said Principal Kuhn.

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The school also recently opened its first preschool. Kuhn is hoping this will lead to consistent accelerated learning for all grades.