CUSD plans to build new high school

As development in Chandler continues, the school district plans to build a school and rearrange the district's boundaries to redistribute the high enrollment numbers away from Perry and Hamilton High School.


Tanner Petteruti

Dr. Craig Gilbert, the district's assistant superintendent of secondary education, holds a meeting to discuss the options for the new high school and boundary realignment options.


The Chandler Unified School District has been planning on adding a new high school to the district. As the area around Perry grows, more and more students attend the school. Perry was originally designed to hold a little over half of the number of students it holds today. Many expansions to the school have been required to meet the increasing number of students. Now at 3640, Perry is exceeding its capacity. In order to reduce the number of students who attend Perry and Hamilton High School, which is also nearing maximum capacity, the school district has begun work on a new high school. With the new school, boundaries will change so as to redistribute the disproportionate amount of high school students who attend Perry and Hamilton. 

At a recent presentation at Perry, Dr. Craig Gilbert, the district’s assistant superintendent of secondary education, reviewed plans for the new school. The school is to be built on the land recently purchased by the district on the east side of Gilbert road between Ocotillo and Chandler Heights. According to Gilbert, the main purpose of the new school is to “relieve the increased projected enrollment at Hamilton and Perry High Schools.” Four plans for the school which will open the 2021-2022 school year, were discussed at the presentation. One plan proposed was to create a new neighborhood school and move the boundaries to pull students from Hamilton and Perry to address future growth. This was dubbed the A1 plan. Square miles would be moved from Perry and Hamilton to the new school, Basha, and Chandler High, to limit the growth that is expected in those regions. The other three plans revolved around the idea of moving ACP Erie to the new school as well as pulling a couple square miles from the Perry boundaries, therefore combining the choice-school of ACP with a neighborhood school. Gilbert explained that this would “broaden ACP Erie’s model of success to more students.” 

In theses three plans, ACP Erie’s facility, which is currently at full capacity, would be replaced by ACP Oakland because they also are at capacity enrollment. Additional plans were presented if the A2-A4 plans of moving ACP Erie were chosen, in which boundaries would be moved from Perry and Hamilton to the surrounding schools. 

Gilbert elaborated on many parents concerns at the meeting about the boundary changes. He specified that students who are in attendance at Perry or Hamilton when the boundary changes take effect will not be affected by the changes. Only the incoming freshmen will be affected by the new boundaries.

These plans are still under review and families in the Chandler Unified School District were heartily encouraged by Dr. Gilbert to send in feedback, so that the district could optimize the success of their final decision. The boundaries chosen will be proposed at the school board meeting on April 8th. Until then, parents and students were told that they can stay up to date on news concerning the new school’s boundaries on the CUSD80 website.