New trilingual charter school coming to Scottsdale

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- What if your child could speak not one, not two, but three languages?

Anthony Kennard is reviewing his vocabulary with his mom, Kathleen, but the 11-year-old could soon be telling his mom how to say them not only in English but two other languages.

“I thought it would be a really good opportunity for me,” Anthony said.

He will get the chance along with other sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students this August. He's enrolled at the International Charter School of Arizona (ICSA) in Scottsdale.

“I want Anthony to have exposure to primarily Spanish first because it’s at that early age when the kids can learn quicker,” Kathleen said.

The new tuition-free college preparatory school will have a huge component dedicated to foreign languages.

"We'll have a Spanish track and a French track and both for advanced and beginning,” ICSA principal Kris Johnson said. “So someone who has never had a foreign language before will be OK.”

Johnson said students will get up to eight hours a week of foreign language instruction by native speakers along with the traditional subjects like math and science.

“Charter schools are a huge option in all of the states because it gives parents options to find a school that is going to meet the needs of their child,” Johnson said.

ICSA was founded by parents from a private school called the International School of Arizona. They wanted their kids' foreign language education to continue beyond the fifth grade

“So it's the ability to take a philosophy of parents who are passionate about getting their children the best that they can get and being able to start something from scratch,” Johnson said.

This new charter school is hoping to eventually go up to the 12th grade.
“The goal by the time they graduate from 12th grade is to have fluency in one language with working knowledge of a second language,” Johnson said.

Something Anthony's mom really likes.
“It will give our kids the edge they need for their careers,” she said.

As for Anthony, he hopes to use his foreign language to help others.

“Like my mom with her job,” Anthony said. “She's a private investigator, so maybe I could teach her some Spanish.”

If you would like to find out more information about the International Charter School of Arizona (ISCA), check out their next Open House on March 31.

Where: ISCA
10460 N. 56th St.
Scottsdale, Arizona 85253
Time: 10 a.m. to noon
Call: 602-910-6597 or visit