Nurturing our Kids: SUSD and early education | Preferred Business Program

Education is so important, especially when it comes to your own kids. That’s why the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) is dedicated to providing high quality programs for all students. You don’t have to wait until your child is kindergarten aged to start!

Meet the Director of Early Learning

To learn more, we spoke with Dr. Christine Bonow, Director of Early Learning and Community Education at SUSD. Dr. Bonow was a student who attended SUSD and sent her own kids to SUSD schools. She’s been working for SUSD since 2005 as an assistant principal, then principal and now director.

Dr. Bonow’s favorite thing about her job is “the incredible people I get to work with every day,” she says. “I am so proud of the commitment and dedication that each person in our district demonstrates each day to support our students, families and school staff. I am also so lucky that I get to visit each of our early learning classes throughout the district and see first hand the amazing things our teachers and staff do to nurture our kids.”

SUSD’s Early Learning Programs

Your kids can get started before kindergarten. Dr. Bonow elaborated, “Parents should be aware of all of the great programs we offer to children even before they start their formal school experience in kindergarten. Exposure to high quality early learning programs is so vital for children and we welcome families to learn all we offer in SUSD!”

Early learning programs are offered at 17 SUSD elementary schools. In addition to these early learning programs, SUSD offers the following:

  • Clusters of gifted programs. Dr. Bonow explained, “For early learning students in Pre-Kindergarten, we offer a cluster gifted model where students who have been identified as gifted participate in Pre-K with their same age peers in a class with a teacher who has been trained in gifted education. for early learners. The cluster classroom model is offered at Kiva, Redfield, and Tavan. Many of these students go on to participate in the Comprehensive Gifted Program (CGP) that is offered through our department of gifted services.”

  • Dual language programs. “Desert Canyon Elementary is home to our Mandarin Dual Language Program and Pueblo Elementary has a Spanish Dual Language program,” Dr. Bonow says. “Dual Language starts in Kindergarten but students in pre-school and pre-kindergarten students at these schools are exposed to these programs and are ready to join come kindergarten.”

  • PANDA program. “For students who require specialized instruction or support, we offer the PANDA program which provides early intervention services for three-five year old children with special needs who are not yet eligible for kindergarten.”

To find out more about SUSD’s early education programs, visit to learn more.

SUSD is part of the City Sun Times Preferred Business Program.