Founded in 1996, Edkey Inc is a non-profit organisation which manages 28 schools and programmes across Arizona including 17 Sequoia Charter Schools. It works together with families to provide high quality educational services for their K-12 children by creating a positive, nurturing environment where every child is known by all members of staff. The highly deserving winner of Acquisition International’s ‘Best Public Charter School Support Organisation 2022 – Arizona’ award, we take a closer look.
Edkey is a family of schools which believe in equipping every single student with the tools and personalised attention they need in order to flourish. Each school is entirely unique, but they all come together with one goal – to provide a holistic education through core values of Transparency, Integrity, Communication, and Kindness (TICK). They go above and beyond to tailor each child’s educational experiences according to their individual interests and needs.
Edkey’s schools deliver an unparalleled education which features a bespoke curriculum for each student, involvement in the community, high academic achievement among students, and excellent college enrolment rates. Edkey is no ‘cookie cutter’ provider, with each of its schools demonstrating different traits and adapting to the individual needs of their children and families.
The schools’ children are given a truly enriching learning experience, whether with hands-on and engaging activities, or learning from their mistakes and finding out how they can improve. They are taught how to live a sustainable life, from growing nutritious food to gaining leadership skills, and their studies are accompanied by a wide variety of extracurricular activities. This all comes with small class sizes and intimate campuses, giving everyone the opportunity to get to know each other and make friends.
While some schools may see children as a chore or a job to manage, Edkey’s schools are passionate and devoted to meeting the needs of each child and providing a safe, bully-free environment for them to thrive in. Every staff member at an Edkey school is focused on being courteous, kind and transparent at all times, and they rise to any challenges that families may encounter on the day-to-day to support the development of their children.
Also among Edkey’s offering is its distance learning school, Sequoia Choice. Since 1999, Sequoia Choice has been utilising technology to provide flexible education options to students in grades K-12. Its certified and highly qualified teachers and accredited curriculum have been enabling the flexibility and personalised education needed in order to ensure children are successful. And because studies with Sequoia Choice are online doesn’t mean its learning programmes aren’t still of the same high quality with the same top-notch teaching and individualised attention. Through conversations, meaningful assessments, and highly interactive teaching, students have the ability to achieve their maximum academic potential and life goals.
Of course, none of this could be possible without Edkey’s staff, who are everything to the organisation. They come with a love for teaching and their students, and they are well-versed in their teaching areas. They are ambitious and excited to be part of such a cutting-edge organisation while benefiting from a respectful, flexible and supportive working environment and competitive salary. Ultimately, they pride themselves on feeling part of something very important – ensuring children get the best possible start in life.
Edkey does appreciate its outstanding team, however it is currently facing the difficulties of teacher shortages. Across Arizona and the rest of the United States, there are a lot of teachers leaving their professions, which can be due to regulations making the teaching environment challenging. And then there is the wait for new teachers to be fully trained. Edkey therefore sees it as very important to look after its staff and to do all it can to retain them.
As Edkey now looks towards the future, it intends to continue perfecting its core values and refining the learning experience for every child. This is especially a focus since children have got out of the habit of going to school due to the pandemic, during which all learning was temporarily moved online. Edkey’s team have been doing all they can to help children ease back into going to school.
Edkey is also focused on those students who are getting ready to fly the nest – whether they are moving on to higher education or entering the world of work – and many are even graduating a year early. Indeed, Edkey’s schools are a place for empowerment and success, where children are inspired daily to become the very best that they can be.
For further information, please visit www.edkey.org