When Telesis began in 1991 as “Hands On Learning”, it had a meager 9 students. The original idea of Telesis, was to focus on student strengths and bolster any weaknesses, all in a way that would challenge students without frustrating them. Focusing on the individual child and his/her specific needs and learning style in a small class size setting is an additional asset, all working together to teach children to enjoy and appreciate the process of learning.
Telesis operated as a private school with tuition based support for its first seven years. In 1998 an opportunity to become a part of the fast growing Charter movement, allowed Telesis to become tuition free, without losing its private school philosophy. Although Telesis receives charter funding, it is actually an Academic Magnet School, which means having a specific focus of academic achievement.
Today, Telesis nearly 500 students strong, has moved from the ten room duplex (which is now the administration building) to the beautiful 30+ classroom campus including art, science, computer labs, and a gymnasium. There are additional plans for expansion in the overall campus development.
A great deal of hard work and dedication (many done on a volunteer basis), by the Telesis staff, administration, community members and other supporters have helped Telesis to become what it is today. For many years as a private school donations and volunteer time were the staple of survival of the programs and facilities. Many of the courses and extra-curricular activities have been “student-driven” depending on student needs and interests. With its active Student Government, Telesis still listens to the needs and suggestions of its student body.
Along with the school’s founder, the Telesis Board of Directors, staff members, students and families are the other factor in the Telesis story. Without each, the school would most likely be just like any other school. Instead, Telesis is a structured, balanced, forward thinking program that looks to the future with hope and anticipation.
Telesis has plans to continue to monitor and develop the best and most effective programs for both educational and personal growth of its student body. We look forward to years of continued growth and to celebrating many more anniversaries!
1991 – Hands-On Learning!, a private school, opens with 9 middle school students; focus is on students who learn best with their hands, kinesthetic learners.
1992 – School continues to grow and more than doubles its size the next year with 20 students adding grades K-4 in addition to middle school students. School changes its focus from kinesthetic learners to all kinds of learners and searches for a new name. We hold our first open house and book fair.
1993 – School continues to operate privately. A parent of a student suggests the name Telesis which is derived from the Greek meaning “planned progress.” Hands-On-Learning! becomes Telesis Center for Learning and adds an additional grade, 9th grade. Telesis holds its first Winter Celebration.
1994 – Telesis incorporates under the name Telesis Center for Learning, Inc. and continues to operate privately announcing the addition of 10th – 12th grades the following year. Fundraising projects are held to create a scholarship fund. First yearbook produced. First summer school program organized. Telesis takes first place in the youth division of the London Bridge Days Parade. Student enrollment: 48.
1995 – Telesis adds final three grade levels of 10th, 11th, and 12th and watches closely as charter school movement gains momentum in Arizona. Marine Corps League begins tradition of raising the flag on the first day of school each year. Telesis holds its first graduation for one graduating senior. Land donation made to Telesis Center for Learning.
1996 – Telesis holds its second graduation for second graduating senior and becomes accredited through the APBA (Association for Performance-Based Accreditation).
1997 – Telesis holds its third graduation and the first to be off-campus for two graduating seniors.
1998 – Telesis continues to grow moving from one room in 1991 to eight rooms in 1998, utilizing the entire original building.
1999 –Telesis Center for Learning tries out the charter opportunity giving its students’ parents tuition-free education for their children. Waiting list climbs to 400. Telesis holds its fourth graduation for seven graduating seniors, six girls and one boy.
2000 – Telesis Center for Learning, Inc. applies and receives charter for its K-12 school with enrollment of 190 students. Ground breaking ceremony held for new classrooms and facilities on August 28, 2000. Telesis takes first place in the London Bridge Days Parade. Fifth graduation held for four graduating seniors.
2001 – Telesis adds 17 new classrooms on existing campus and adjacent land. Telesis students in grades 3-12 spend one school year off-site at a rented facility while classrooms are constructed. Grades K-2 remain on site in original building. First prom held for Telesis students. Sixth graduation held for four graduating seniors.
2002 – First prom planned by students and for students. Seventh graduation held for eight graduating seniors.
2003 – Telesis students and staff move into their new classrooms at last. Enrollment continues to climb to more than 200. Eighth graduation held for nine graduating seniors.
2004 – Telesis Center for Learning becomes the district name of two schools on one campus, Telesis Preparatory Academy (grades 9-12) and Telesis Preparatory (grades K-8). Graduation held for six graduating seniors.
2005 – Telesis continues to graduate seniors each year with graduating classes ranging from 7 graduates to 17. Telesis Preparatory Academy receives character education grant for implementation of the Character First! Program.
2006 – Telesis adds basketball court and an additional three classrooms. Basketball team has winning season with 17 wins.
2007– New playground for Telesis Preparatory Academy’s youngest students is added with the fundraising efforts and hard work of parents and community members. Sports and athletic activities take a giant leap adding more team sports to total 13 athletic teams that students can become eligible to be part of.
2008 – Telesis Preparatory Academy English class writes essays to earn a $5,000 defibrillator presented to the school at an assembly of the entire school. National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society inducts new members to form school chapters at Telesis Preparatory Academy.
2009 – Telesis Center for Learning receives accreditation status from AdvancED, the parent organization of NCA and the largest accreditation agency in the world.
2010 – Telesis Preparatory Academy launches student-recruitment program with a quality education program, tuition-free, for students K-12, free breakfast and lunch five days a week, and maintaining its full-day kindergarten free of charge.