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Arizona Autism Charter School opens 4th location in West Valley

Posted at 8:15 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 23:15:14-04

PEORIA — 6-year-old Phillip Hallam will be one of 120 students at Arizona Autism Charter School's newest location in Peoria. ABC15 gets a first look inside Hallam's new classroom.

Hallam is a second grader who is neurodivergent with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

“Instead of just having a child that’s neurodivergent sit in a seat and try to learn off a board, they have different stations they can go to, which allows someone who is neurodivergent to keep moving throughout the day which makes them much more successful,” says Philip’s mother, Catherine Hallam.

The Arizona Autism Charter School opening their fourth location in the West Valley to help reach a dire need.

“About 30% of the kids here are coming from our Central Phoenix schools,” says Diana Diaz-Harrison, founder and executive director at Arizona Autism Charter Schools. “We had families traveling for more than an hour each way to reach our downtown schools. Many of them will not have that long commute anymore.”

This is welcome news for the Hallam Family. “The fact that this is free, is financial freedom to my family,” says Hallam.

The tuition-free charter school was built by a $17 million bond financing project by the Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority.

Catherine Hallam moved her family to Arizona from Tennessee for more resources.

“When you think about inclusion, you really think about the government’s definition of inclusion, right? Which is making sure that minority groups are not missing out on equal. But this is equal,” Hallam says.

If your family is interested in this option, visit Arizona Autism Charter Schools' website. There are limited spots available.