Frequently Asked Questions

It’s our goal to make your life easier by keeping you as informed as possible. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions, so you can access important information quickly and efficiently. If you have additional questions, be sure to contact us with your concerns.


How will 6th grade be considered at Gateway Polytechnic Academy? Will it be more of a school grade or an elementary grade?

GPA will offer self-contained classes for students in grades K-5 where students remain in the same classroom with the same teacher all day.  In grade 6, students will start to rotate classes and have multiple teachers for various subject areas, including their STEAM electives.  This will also be the case for grades 7 and 8.

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Will the 6th graders go to Science Camp?

6th graders will have field trips that will revolve around the STEAM emphasis of the school, this may include 6th grade science camp. 

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Will there be different food choices in the K-8 cafeteria?

Gateway Polytechnic Academy will continue with the same menu as the current elementary schools in QCUSD. There will be five different entree choices four of the six weeks and six choices two of the six weeks.  A la carte and separate menus may be considered as enrollment continues to grow at the school.

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Will there be school dances or school activities focused solely on the middle school age students at Gateway Polytechnic Academy? What clubs and leadership opportunities will be offered for 7th and 8th graders?

These events and opportunities will be determined by site administration.

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Where will my 7th grader go to 8th grade and high school?

Seventh graders will attend Gateway Polytechnic Academy for the 2017-2018 school year as an 8th grader and then attend Queen Creek High School the following year as freshmen.

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What are the beginning and dismissal times for the new K-8 school?

GPA will have a common beginning and ending time for grades K-7. School will begin at 8:15 a.m., with the first bell ringing at 8:10 a.m. School will dismiss at 2:45 p.m. These will also be the times when 8th grade begins during the 2017-2018 school year. Early release times will also remain the same for grades K-7: school will dismiss at 12:20 p.m. on those days.

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How close will Gateway Polytechnic Academy resemble the other two middle schools in QCUSD?

Gateway Polytechnic Academy will be a stand-alone and unique campus experience that will not mirror the other junior high schools with regards to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade student programs and experiences. 

Site administration will determine STEAM elective offerings (see question below).

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How will the administration choose electives for the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders?

GPA will offer self-contained classes for students in grades K-6 where students remain in the same classroom with the same teacher all day. In grade 7, students will start to rotate classes and have multiple teachers for various subject areas, including their STEAM electives.

Administration at GPA will be working with the Gateway Polytechnic community to solicit their input into planning for the STEAM electives offered for 7th graders during the 2016-2017 school year. 

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What does 7th and 8th grade mean for STEAM at GPA?

As a STEAM school, and a unique and stand alone campus, GPA will place an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics in the 7th and 8th grade experiences for students. Many times students are unable to receive these experiences at other campuses, and that is what makes GPA unique. 

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Will there be athletics for the 7th graders?

At this time, athletics will be limited to intramural, etc., and organized by GPA school administration. The 7th graders at Gateway Polytechnic Academy will not compete in the East Valley Athletic Conference. Nevertheless, GPA will offer a unique STEAM experience where students may be able to study areas involving science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics that they will not have at other locations. Future athletic opportunities, will be determined/organized by site administration and contingent on numbers.

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If I live in the boundaries of Gateway and I do not want my 7th/8th grader to attend, will QCUSD provide transportation to another junior high?

Students are allowed to open enroll at any QCUSD campus, pending space. We currently do not provide transportation for open enrollment students to other schools.

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Will 7th graders be separated from the younger students in the school and during lunch? How much interaction will they have?

Part of the design of GPA was to provide spaces that separate the youngest students from the oldest by proxemics. The preschool, kindergarten, and 1st grade students have a separate enclosed play area. Additionally, the lunch schedule starts with the youngest students and progresses to the oldest, which ensures that students are not intermingling for their meal time. Interactions of mentoring and buddy reading are possible with the supervision of staff, dependent on the teachers content, and classroom needs.

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How will my kindergarten student be separated from older students on the bus?

The bus drivers will use an assigned seat process to keep the younger students separate from the older students. Our GPA bus routes will all be relatively short so the time spent on the bus should not be lengthy, thus allowing for better monitoring. Kindergarten students are also only released to their parents at the bus stops after school.

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How can I get more involved in the school?

We believe parent involvement goes a long way in building a strong and successful school environment. Our dedicated faculty members work in tandem with parents to provide the best for each child who walks through our doors. We encourage parents looking for volunteer opportunities to contact our school’s PTO or their child’s classroom teacher. We’re grateful for your support!

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What do I need to do when my child is absent or tardy?

For student absences, parents must call our attendance line as early as possible detailing the reason for the absence. Siblings may not excuse absences. We require a note upon the student’s return with the student’s name, date, teacher, and reason for the tardy or absence. Illnesses lasting over three days may require a doctor’s note. Students must obtain a tardy pass from the school office if they arrive after the 8:15 a.m. bell.
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What are the dress guidelines at GPA?

Here at GPA, we believe that appropriate attire guidelines are crucial in preparing our students for the future. It is for this reason that we ask our students to refrain from wearing:

  • T-shirts displaying alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, or any sexual connotations
  • Fishnet shirts
  • See-through clothing, bare-midriff shirts, shirts with spaghetti straps, or clothing that is backless or otherwise revealing
  • Hats of any kind inside the building
  • Sagging pants, as they can cause injuries during recess, P.E., and bus boarding
  • Potentially dangerous footwear (examples include but are not limited to: flip flops, shower shoes, platform shoes, high heels, backless sandals or shoes)
  • Short shorts (shorts must be knee-length)

*For the safety of our students, we do require students to wear tennis shoes for P.E. days. We will contact parents for a change of clothes if administration deems it necessary.

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    What time can I drop my child off at school?

    For security reasons, we do not permit students on campus before 7:45 a.m. However, after that time, parents may drop their children off at the front entrance, as long as students proceed directly to the playground. We do not allow students into the school buildings or hallways until 8:10 a.m. Please note—there is no parking in the drop-off lane at any time. Please see the student handbook for more details.

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    Can I visit my child at lunch or during class?

    At GPA, we encourage parents to join their child on campus. If you plan to visit your child’s classroom, please contact your child’s teacher to schedule your visit to avoid classroom interruptions. We require visitors to sign in at the front office and wear a visitor’s badge while on the premises.

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    What if my child has a doctor or other important appointment during school hours?

    Whenever possible, we ask that parents schedule all appointments before or after school hours. However, when it is unavoidable, students should bring a note on the morning of their appointment with the time and reason for their early release. Once the parent arrives to retrieve the student, the office will notify the teacher and ask the parent to sign the student out in the student checkout notebook.

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    What if my child requires medication due to injury, illness, or a chronic medical condition?

    Our school health aide administers all over-the-counter and prescription medication in our health office. Parents must sign a medical consent form for any and all medication. We have consent forms available in the school health office. Parents must provide prescription and over-the-counter medication to the school health aide, as we do not allow students to transport medication of any kind to or from school. Prescription medication must be in its original packaging and must contain the name, dosage, and instructions of administration. We do not administer expired medication. Should a student require emergency medical attention during school hours, it is our policy to consult the parent preferences on the student emergency card. For this reason, we ask that you keep your contact information up-to-date with our health office.

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    How much do school meals cost? What do you serve?

    Our district provides healthy meals for its students that meet state and federal nutrition guidelines. Families interested in applying for reduced breakfast/lunch should contact the school office or the nutrition office at the district to apply. Applications are also available online. Eligibility is dependent on income level. Meal prices are listed on the district Nutrition page.

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    Can my child bring a cell phone to school?

    We do not allow electronic devices and toys of any kind on campus. It is our policy to confiscate these items. Parents may retrieve them from the principal directly. Gateway Polytechnic Academy is not responsible for lost or stolen items on campus.

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    Can I plan anything special for my child’s birthday?

    In keeping with our district’s policy of minimal class interruptions, our school provides a service called Catering for Parents with the goal of celebrating each child on his/her special day while encouraging funds to stay in our district. Our Food Service Department offers birthday packages for delivery that range from $0.50 to $2.00 and include lower calorie/sugar meal options and a birthday flyer. For more details, please contact the district Nutrition Department.

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    Gateway Polytechnic Academy
    5149 S. Signal Butte
    Mesa, AZ  85212
    Phone:  (480) 987-7440
    Fax:  (480) 986-1848
    Engineering Tomorrow’s Leaders Today