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Autism-focused charter school network expands to Tucson

By Bridget Dowd
Published: Friday, August 11, 2023 - 2:45pm

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Arizona Autism Charter Schools ribbon cutting
Bridget Dowd/KJZZ
Arizona Autism Charter Schools celebrated the opening of its new West Valley Campus with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, July 21, 2022.

A network of charter schools that caters to students on the autism spectrum is expanding to Tucson.

The new campus will be open to Pima County students on Friday, Sept. 1.

The Tucson campus will be the third in the Arizona Autism Charter Schools network, a tuition-free option for children with autism and related conditions.

Diana Diaz-Harrison is the founder and executive director of the network.

“In the Tucson market, we heard from so many families who were looking for a specialty option," Diaz-Harrison said. "Based on community demand, we found that as kids go into the middle school and high school grades, parents have a harder time finding quality choices where their kids have small class sizes and student-to staff ratios that are good."

For now, the campus will serve students in Grades 6-12. But Diaz-Harrison said the school could open to elementary students next year.

The network's first campus is located in central Phoenix. The second one opened just over a year ago in Peoria.

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