Gregg Anderson Academy holds ribbon cutting

Westside Union School District Board President Linda Jones (left) and Board Member Gwen Farrell cut the ribbon to commemorate the opening of the new Gregg Anderson Academy.

LANCASTER – Parents, students and Westside Union School District Board members gathered at the gates of the Gregg Anderson Academy Thursday morning for a ribbon cutting to signal the opening of the new school.

As board president Linda Jones and member Gwen Farrell cut the ribbon, students cheered and ran through the gates, eager to reach their new classrooms.

“It’s bigger than my other school,” said 11-year-old sixth grader Tanner Kearl. “They’re using energy from the sun so it’s eco-friendly.”

Tanner’s brother, Hunter, was also wowed by his new school.

“I like the new boards we’re using, it’s like an Ipad thingy,” Hunter said. “And the classrooms are better because they’re much closer together, and I like the chairs.”

Excited parents and students rushed through the gates of the new school early Thursday morning.

Parents also sang praises for the new school.

“We transferred our children to Gregg Anderson from a private school because the advanced technology and high standards here will be fantastic,” said Rosanna Blanco, mother of two Gregg Anderson students.  “It is our job to see our children’s potential and steer them in the right direction and we believe Gregg Anderson is the school that will work with us to do that.”

Gregg Anderson is the newest and most technologically advanced school within Westside, school officials said. Since Gregg Anderson is a “school of choice,” students from all over the Antelope Valley were eligible to apply for transfer, regardless of where they live.

The school has roughly 900 students from kindergarten to sixth grade, and functional skills students from kindergarten to eighth grade. All functional skills classes feature modern up-to-date facilities, including a kitchen, adapted physical education, occupational therapy rooms, and other specialized services to create independency, according to Gregg Anderson Principal Shelly Dearinger.

“They’re going to be learning life skills,” Dearinger added.

For its traditional students, the new school offers a curriculum that emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The Kearl siblings are excited about their new school.

The campus also features advanced technology in the classrooms, including new computer labs, Smart Boards and other high-tech classroom materials.

“There are two eight-foot white boards in each classroom, plus a six-foot interactive Smart Board, so it really engages the students,” Dearinger said. “We’ll be encouraging students to bring cell phones and electronic devices to school so that we can incorporate that into our classrooms because there is an actual education benefit to that.”

Dearinger said the new Gregg Anderson Academy also features a multipurpose auditorium, with state-of-the-art audio and visual technology, which will be used for virtual learning.

“We’ll be inviting people virtually into our classrooms,” she said.  “We’ll also have specialized STEM Fridays twice a month where every grade level will be focusing on a STEM activity.”

Many afterschool and extracurricular programs are offered, as well, including guitar lessons, Chess Club, Math Magicians and Chinese Immersion clubs.

“Westside continues to provide excellence that cannot be matched,” said Westside Union School District Superintendent Regina Rossall.  “Gregg Anderson provides fantastic programs and our students are eager to get started with what we know will be a great year.”

For more information about the school and its programs, contact the District office at (661) 722-0716.

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  8 comments for “Gregg Anderson Academy holds ribbon cutting

  1. Linda Jones
    August 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    We have a Facilities plan that is available to the public. It is updated every two years and lists all facilities in our district and their areas of need. The reason why we voted to place a reauthorization of the remaining bond money from Measure WS on the Nov ballot is so that we can complete the modernization of our other schools and save taxpayer dollars in the long run. Please visit our website for more information http://www.westside.k12.ca.us

    Linda K. Jones
    Westside Union School Board Trustee

  2. Avmom
    August 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    An exceptional principal, a staff excited and grateful to be there, and a student body with parents who are engaged and were willing to jump through any and all hoops to get their kids into the school. Sounds like a recipe for success, and a great example for other schools and districts in the AV.

  3. John Mlynar
    August 10, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Congrats on the grand opening. Between this school and the Palmdale Aerospace Academy, our young people will have a great opportunity to compete for the high tech jobs of tomorrow, which will help ensure our national and economic security. These are some of the most innovative, forward thinking and exciting education programs I have seen in my 50 years. (Ok, I don’t remember the first 3 all too well, but you get the picture.)

    • Linda Jones
      August 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you John and for your support of public education.

  4. Sherrill
    August 9, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    where is it ? West side covers a large area. I am sick they let other schools just die and then open a new one. Stupid.

    • Lisa
      August 10, 2012 at 5:12 am

      Agreed Sherrill. I’m sure this one will slowly die off too though. They open new school’s but then start cutting programs and don’t keep up on the up keep of the school.

    • August 10, 2012 at 7:57 am

      Hi Sherrill,

      The new Gregg Anderson Academy is located at 5151 West Avenue N8 in Palmdale. Thanks for reading!

  5. QHR
    August 9, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I’m glad to see a new school in the area. Hopefully Del Sur gets a well needed renovation and parking lot.

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