Principal's Message

Principal's Message
Posted on 11/22/2023
This is the image for the news article titled Principal's MessageThis page will be utilized throughout the school year to post important announcements from ALA Principal Barbara Wilkinson and other ALA leaders. The date will be updated to the most current announcement. Any relevant information will be sized larger than announcements that are no longer applicable. Please call ALA at 480-362-2130 with any questions.

Updated November 22, 2023

Ske:g Taṣ! Kamduum?* Dear Salt River Schools Families,

This message is to inform you that our schools have partnered with the Salt River Police Department and the Gilbert Police Department to conduct training for police dogs.

The K-9 units will train at all of our campuses—the Early Childhood Education Center, Salt River Elementary School, the Accelerated Learning Academy, and the Administration building—today, Wednesday, Nov. 22. No staff or students will be on-site during this time.

This letter was also broadcast to families using our SchoolMessenger system. If you did not receive it, please call your child's school to ensure we have your most updated information on file. If you have any questions, call 480-362-2500 or email Communications I hope you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving break. Dova ‘ep em ñei! Nyyuunthxa!*


Dr. Melody Herne
Superintendent/Director of Education
Salt River Schools

*Ske:g Taṣ translates to “Good Day” in the O’odham language. Kamduum translates to “How are you?” in the Piipaash language. Dova ‘ep em ñei (O’odham) and Nyyuunthxa (Piipaash) translate to “I’ll see you later.”

Updated October 5, 2023
Salt River Schools Leadership continues to monitor the air quality around the school sites. At this time, the air quality falls within the "good" range as reported by the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources team (EPNR). The Shelter in Place was lifted this morning. We will continue monitoring the air quality daily.


Salt River Schools

Updated October 3, 2023
Personnel from the Salt River Landfill continue to address a green waste fire that started Saturday, Sept. 30. Salt River Schools leadership is monitoring the air quality around our school sites. At this time, the air quality falls within the “moderate” range as reported by the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources team.

Our schools will begin the school day in a Shelter In Place procedure. This means students and staff will remain inside their schools with doors and windows closed. Salt River Schools will continue to monitor the wind direction and air quality; we will lift the Shelter in Place status when it is safe to do so and following the guidelines of the EPNR team.

Updated October 2, 2023
The safety and security of our school campuses continue to be our first priority. Due to the landfill fire, the air quality is reduced. The landfill fire may continue to smolder for several days.EDU Leadership is in collaboration with Tribal departments to ensure staff and student safety.

At this time, all education buildings are in a shelter-in-place under our emergency management plans. Public Works staff will be closing all fresh air dampers and fresh air intakes to the HVAC units on all sites to reduce the amount of smoke going into our facilities. This decision was made to improve the air quality in our buildings. Masks have been distributed to school sites and are available to all staff and students.

We will continue to send updates as we receive them regarding this issue. Please reach out to your child's school for additional information.

Thank you,

Salt River Schools

Updated September 26, 2023
Student and staff safety is our top priority at the Accelerated Learning Academy. In order to maintain a safe environment for students to study and learn, it is necessary that we practice our emergency and crisis response plans by conducting a variety of safety drills throughout the school year.

This message is to inform you that today, Tuesday, Sept. 26, we practiced a FIRE DRILL. It is important for you to understand this type of drill.

Fire drills are typically happen monthly. These drills are a requirement and are completed in partnership with the Salt River Fire Department. This type of drill is an evacuation in which every adult and student evacuates the building to safety. Once students and adults are accounted for, the drill is lifted and school/business resumes as normal.

We want each student to understand and be aware of the importance of this drill and not be afraid when the fire alarm is sounded. Practicing ensure students will know what to do and how to do it in a real emergency.

Our drill today ran smoothly. Each student and staff member followed the procedures effortlessly.

Please remember that these safety practice drills are done to help maintain our school as a safe place to learn and work.

If you have any questions regarding today’s drill or other safety concerns, please contact the ALA at 480-362-2130.

Updated September 19, 2023
This notice is to inform you that we had a noticeable police and emergency response presence on campus today. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the situation is serious.

At around 9:13 a.m., four students arrived at school together and showed signs of being under the influence of drugs. Our Safe Schools & Security team screens all students who enter the building; emergency responders with the Salt River Fire Department were called to provide any needed medical services to the students.

After searching the students, our security team searched the vehicle the students arrived in together and had parked in the ALA lot. The search produced drug paraphernalia and weapons. The Salt River Police Department was contacted at 9:20 a.m.; throughout the course of the morning, about two dozen officers from various units arrived to take over the investigation. Police left campus at approximately 1:30 p.m. Please refer to the Salt River Schools Student and Parent Handbook and the Student Conduct and Discipline Handbook for more information about our security and search protocols.

The presence of drugs, paraphernalia, and/or weapons anywhere on campus is something our schools, security, and SRPD take seriously. The ALA, like all campuses at Salt River Schools, has zero tolerance for drugs or alcohol on campus, and the possession of weapons on school grounds could lead to criminal charges.

We have several drug prevention strategies in place at our campus, including a discussion this Thursday, Sept. 21, with our SRPD School Resource Officer Daniel Brown, who will present important information to families as part of the Soda With Security event from 5:30-7 p.m. in the ALA Lecture Hall. Click here to view the flyer.

If you have any questions, please call me at 480-362-2130 or email [email protected].


Barbara Wilkinson
ALA Principal

Updated August 31, 2023
The safety and welfare of children, students, and staff are the highest priority at Salt River Schools. All our campuses practice safety drills throughout the year to help prepare staff and students for real emergency situations.

Today, August 31, lockdown drills were practiced at the Early Childhood Education Center and the Accelerated Learning Academy. The lockdown drill was led by our Safe Schools & Security Team, in partnership with the Salt River Police Department. Our school campuses each conduct four lockdown drills every school year, or as needed. This type of drill secures the school building and safely shelters all students, staff and visitors inside the building. Click here to read the rest of our notice.

Updated August 28, 2023
Every month, I will send home communication to keep you updated with ALA-specific events and information. Click here to read my message for the month of SEPTEMBER!

Another way to stay in the loop about all things Salt River Schools is to follow us on social media. Salt River Schools has a Facebook page and can also be found on Instagram. Event notifications and shout-outs are frequent on these platforms. Likewise, this ALA website is  where all ALA information, including our monthly newsletter, can be found.

If you missed us at the “Pop on Over” Open House, click here to learn about all of the amazing supports your students receive while here at school, including ways to get involved in school and through SRPMIC partnerships.

Thank you! - Principal Wilkinson

Updated August 14, 2023
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law on December 10th, 2015. ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act and is the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. ESSA requires each state, school district, and charter school to develop plans for all children to be taught by highly effective, certified teachers; this means the teacher has met the state qualification and licensing criteria for the grade level(s) and subject area(s) in which the teacher provides instruction. If at any time your child has been taught for four (4) consecutive weeks by a teacher who is not certified, you will be notified.

The Accelerated Learning Academy is fortunate that Elizabeth Stanislav has agreed to substitute teach until we are able to hire a permanent science teacher. Ms. Stanislav has several years of substitute teaching experience within Salt River Schools, has a bachelor’s degree, and has a background in the field of science. She is potentially scheduled to substitute teach environmental science, earth science, physical science, and biology. This plan will remain in place until the position is filled.

ALA administration will closely monitor classes to ensure student progress. I am confident that quality instruction will continue for students taking science classes. If you have additional questions or concerns about your child’s education progress or teacher, you may contact me at 480-362-2132 or email me at [email protected].


Barb Wilkinson, ALA Principal

Updated July 31, 2023
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to what will undoubtedly be an exciting 2023-2024 school year. I recognize that the ALA is a school of choice, and you have made the choice to trust us to help your student grow academically and culturally this school year.

We have many exciting initiatives planned. Our top priority is to protect learning. Our students are offered a variety of classes online through our Edgenuity platform, “live” direct instruction and project based courses, and through our CTE partnership with the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT). Your student is offered and will take a variety of elective courses that align with their areas of interest, as one of our main goals this school year is to embrace their future in post-secondary (beyond graduation) planning. Our collaboration with the Salt River Schools Higher Education department will allow students to connect with local community colleges, which may include campus visits.

Additionally, your student will participate in My Future AZ, an Education Career Alternatives Program (ECAP) through the Arizona Department of Education, which will help guide your student in their career interests and areas of strength.

As we begin a new school year, I cannot stress enough the importance of students being in school every day. Breakfast is served daily between 8-8:25 a.m., and class begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. Dismissal is at 2:45 p.m. For Early Release days and school closures, please refer to our Academic Calendar. Per the SRPMIC Truancy Ordinance and Salt River Schools Student/Parent Handbook, students must maintain a 90% attendance rate. If your student needs assistance getting to school, please contact the front office. Many of our students partner with the SRPMIC transit system; we can provide information about getting this service initiated. If a skateboard or bicycle is the preferred mode of transportation, we will ensure their wheels will be kept safe during school hours.

Nearly every week, ALA staff monitors every student's academic progress. This is a way of checking their weekly progress specific to their academic, attendance, and behavior expectations and needs. Teachers will check-in daily with students to set goals and help motivate and support students. Parents of students younger than 18 will receive frequent updates on their child’s progress in school.

The state of Arizona requires 22 credits to earn a high school diploma. Students entering school with 14 credits during the first quarter are considered “on track to graduate” and are expected to graduate come May. Likewise, students will be tracking their attendance daily. As an incentive, students who are present and not tardy in weekly increments will have their name submitted for a weekly drawing. Some prizes include gift cards to Dutch Bros., Amazon, and Walmart, among other things.

On most days, academic support is offered before and after school if your student wants to maximize additional time to work on their classes. Students can take advantage to work ahead, or this can be used as an opportunity for students who have fallen behind. Saturday School will also be offered 18 Saturdays throughout the school year. Please contact the front office for additional information.

Finally, I encourage you to “Save the Date” for our upcoming Open House on Tuesday, Aug. 15, from 2:30-5 p.m. Our theme this year is “Pop on over to the ALA”. Popcorn snacks will be provided. We look forward to seeing you at this event, where you can learn much more about the information outlined in this letter. Several SRS and SRPMIC partners will be in attendance and handing out lots of goodies and swag.

Thank you for being your student’s first teacher, for encouraging them in school, and for working with us to meet their needs. Please do not hesitate to contact me or the ALA with any concerns or questions. I look forward to celebrating your student’s accomplishments this school year.


Barb Wilkinson, Principal
Accelerated Learning Academy, Salt River Schools
(480) 362-2130
[email protected]
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