Arizona Autism Charter to debut post-secondary academy this weekend in Phoenix

Jul 28, 2022, 4:25 AM

PHOENIX — The Arizona Autism Charter School this weekend will debut its post-secondary academy in Phoenix.

A ribbon cutting ceremony is set for 10 a.m. on Saturday at the tuition-free charter school’s main campus at 4125 N. 14th Street.

“The new Post-Secondary Innovation & Entrepreneurial Career Education (PIECE) Academy is a dream come true for our older high school students, who need exposure and experiences using STEAM curriculum and the opportunity to earn Career and Technical Education credits while in high school,” Diana Diaz-Harrison, founder and executive director, said in a press release.

“This high-tech curriculum will be differentiated and made accessible to students at all levels of the autism spectrum.”

Career-based programs taught at the academy will help neuro-diverse people enter the workforce and fill a multitude of quality tech-based jobs that are open and projected to grow in the future, the school said in the release.

The academy gets underway on Aug. 1 with 100 students participating, the school said.

Features of the academy include five vocational classrooms, a STEAM lab, a culinary arts training kitchen, a gymnasium and a dance studio.

The academy was part of the school’s second phase of construction projects and funded by a $17 million bond financing project through the Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority, according to the release.

“With 1 in 41 children diagnosed with autism in our state, we know our PIECE Center will make a huge impact in this community,” Diaz-Harrison said.

The charter has four schools around metro Phoenix, the latest opening in the West Valley with the help of the bond.

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Arizona Autism Charter to debut post-secondary academy this weekend in Phoenix