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Arizona autism school opens expansion for older students

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PHOENIX — An expansion at an Arizona charter school for autistic children officially opened its doors on Wednesday.

Gov. Doug Ducey cut the red ribbon at a ceremony at the Arizona Autism Charter School.

“When we talk about opportunity for all, at the state capitol, that’s what we mean,” he said. “Opportunity for all our citizens.”

AZACS officials said the newly-opened upper-school campus will focus on life-skills development, academics and career exploration.

Student Malachi Berkey was there when the school opened in 2014. He said Arizona Autism Charter School has helped him tremendously and he’s only in sixth grade.

“I’d get so upset and lose control [in other schools]. Teachers didn’t know how to help me, and other students didn’t want to be around me,” he said. “When I came to AZACS, teachers taught me to take breaks before I lost control.”

The school is the only one in the state that focuses on autistic students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

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