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Longhorn concert band makes state finals

Musicians qualify for second time in school history

For the first time since 2013, the Payson High School band will perform at the Arizona state competition and the audience at the spring concert got to hear why.

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Test furor continues

Parents can’t opt out, but districts might

The state Senate this week killed a bill that would have allowed parents to prevent their children from taking standardized tests designed to compare student performance to national standards.

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School Ag program selling compost

Come on out to collect compost for your garden and help the Payson FFA chapter at the same time, March 28 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and April 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Charter balks

Parents told school will delay or cancel Payson plan

The American Leadership Academy (ALA) has reportedly postponed or canceled plans to build an 800-student, K-8 charter school in Payson.

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Parents plead for charter school alternative

Crystal Whitlock decided to support American Leadership Academy coming to Payson because her elementary-aged children, who accelerate at learning, were frustrated and started losing interest in going to school when they were placed in Payson Elementary School classes with slower learners.

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Charter school differences

State rules make budgets, spending hard to compare

Despite murky reporting requirements and bewildering budget formats, several studies suggest charter schools spend twice as much on administration as district public schools.

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Celebrating progress on university

Construction road opens as talks with ASU intensify

Backers of the plan to build a university in Payson on Thursday celebrated the construction of a road needed to start work on the 253-acre site.

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Schools need critical thinking about critical rankings

Here’s a critical thinking skills test:

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School makes tech torch handover

After 17 years with Payson Unified School District, Director of Technology Joni deSzendeffy has retired and passed the reins to Vicky Andrews, a highly qualified education techie herself.

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Business classes pay off for students

Parents hail state’s recent reversal of vocational cuts

Kayla Percell can’t say enough about the training she received at Payson High School’s DECA (formerly Distributive Education Clubs of America).

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Author’s tale of struggles and triumph inspires students

Reading hater to author: Ben Mikaelsen

Ben Mikaelsen didn’t have it easy in school — especially with reading. However, key people led him to a life of writing and adventure.

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College board tinkering with tuition

After a long discussion at its annual retreat, the Gila Community College board voted to re-adjust the tuition schedule.

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Turnover spurs charter debate

The eight-school American Leadership Academy district had a 44 percent teacher turnover rate during the 2014-2015 school year, more than double the rate at the Payson Unified School District, according to statistics provided by each district.

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APS boosts reading

Arizona Public Service (APS) has invested in the children of the Rim Country through a $4,000 grant to Changing Lives Through Literacy, better known as the Rim Country Literacy Program (RCLP).

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Charter schools effectively segregate

Statistics show sorting by race in school enrollment

Two decades after Arizona helped pioneer the charter school movement, enrollment data show the schools don’t match the school age demographics of the state and, in many cases, their neighborhoods.