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After reaching the highest level of calculus classes available in high school, five University High School students will meet on the University of Arizona campus this year to take college-level courses.

University High School math teacher DeAnna McDonald reached out to the UA after five of her students — four seniors and a junior — had tapped out their math offerings and were seeking a third year of calculus.

Now the students will meet twice a week in a study room in the honors residence hall for a four-credit vector calculus class that spans two semesters.

The students will receive reduced tuition from the UA and additional financial support from the Thomas R. Brown Foundations.

Elliott Cheu, interim dean of the UA Honors College, said the arrangement is a win for both the university, and the students.

“These students will experience a glimpse of college life,” Cheu said. “In exchange, we have an opportunity to attract high-performing students who will have a unique connection to the UA.”

New blended learning center opens in Tucson

Arizona Virtual Academy and Insight Academy of Arizona opened their fifth blended learning center, serving as an onsite facility where the schools’ online students can go for additional in-person instruction and social interaction.

The Tucson Blended Learning Center will serve students in grades 4-12 who are enrolled at either of the tuition-free online public schools for students statewide.

It will feature a “makerspace” room for science lab during the academic day and STEM clubs after school, and will host several student clubs, including improv, journalism, gardening and robotics.

TUSD board appoints principal, legal counsel

Jesus Vasquez has been named principal of TUSD’s Dietz K-8 School.

Vasquez, an assistant principal at Valencia Middle School, was appointed to his new post on Tuesday, Aug. 22, by the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board.

Earlier this month the Governing Board also appointed a new general counsel.

Attorney Robert S. Ross Jr. is returning to TUSD after leaving the district in 2010 to follow former Superintendent Elizabeth Celania-Fagen to the Douglas County School District.

Most recently, Ross served as general counsel for the Humble Independent School District in Humble, Texas.

Contact reporter Hank Stephenson at