High Desert Daily
(Victorville)—This week marked a milestone for the High Desert in regards to education. It marked the official opening in the brand new facility for Excelsior Charter School in Victorville, and the end result is nothing short of fantastic.
“Today was very exciting for students and staff alike to walk into the new facility. The thing I am most happy about is that students that had not ever visited this campus before, when they walked in and cleared the overhang, their mouths literally dropped open at the size and the condition of the brand new facility. I think they finally feel like they have a permanent home here in a structure that is state of the art,” Excelsior’ Superintendent Michael Hayhurst stated exclusively to High Desert Daily towards the end of the landmark day.
The massive 87,000 square foot new campus is two stories, with dozens of classrooms, a large outdoor courtyard complete with benches, and with a multi purpose room to be finished in time for an open house around March. Technology is the forefront of this state of the art complex, complete with iPads for student use. Junior High Principal Jess Descalsota, a longtime staff member of Excelsior, touched on these technological advancements.
“It’s a state of the art school loaded with technology. We made sure that our technology would be good for the next 20-30 years. We believe that in education, technology is going to be huge. Very happy for that, very excited for the kids: we’re giving themiPads. Starting with the 8th graders, every year all the incoming eighth graders get iPads, and as they move up they get to keep their iPads.”
Navid McCarthy has been with Excelsior since February 2000, and has seen the changes throughout the years, both structural and internal. “It’s amazing, not just building wise but how the program has changed. There is a lot more accountability on the part of the student. We have more of a population going right into universities; we have past valedictorians going to UC Santa Barbara and Stanford. Victor Valley College and Barstow Community College have been cooperating with us as well.”
Established in 1995, Excelsior has served the High Desert proudly for the past 17 years. Providing an alternative independent study educational program for grades 7-12, Excelsior currently serves over 1,300 students at the Victorville Campus, as well as over 150 at each of the Barstow and Phelan sites. For more information on Excelsior’s programs, visit their website at www.excelsior.com.