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Several changes on the horizon for Gem Prep Pocatello

Gem Prep Charter School in Pocatello is expanding.

Gerald Love, principal for Gem Prep, said they have just outgrown the school’s current location and with more growth on the way, it needs a new location.

“We’re busting at the seams,” said Shay Angelo, director of development for Gem Prep Pocatello.

This fall, Gem Prep Pocatello will be adding 7th and 8th grade classes.

In total, Gem Prep will have 143 new students next school year. That nearly doubles its current number, bringing the total number of students for the 2019-2020 school year to just under 400.

“We’re just really excited because we’re kind of on top of each other right now,” Angelo said.

There will be other changes besides more students and two new grades.

“We’re going full day kindergarten next year,” Angelo described. “It’ll be full-time, full-day and we feel like that’s going to be an investment in our students and give them a real good foundation for the college prep experience they’re going to get at Gem Prep.”

By moving into the new location in the old Sears building at the Pine Ridge Mall, the school will have more space.

So it will add one additional classroom for each grade K-3.

The new space will also add a gym and a cafeteria.

“I’m still crossing my fingers that everything pans out but overall the excitement and the buzz is in the air,” Love said. “We’re getting very positive reactions from the community in general so that makes me feel good so it gives me something to wake up and look forward to.”

“As a college prep school, this is just going to be a really exciting thing for us because students from all over Pocatello and Chubbuck will have access to our programs,” Angelo said. “So anyone who’s interested in that kind of a focus in personalized learning will be able to access our school now that we’re centrally located.”

Angelo said contractors are on schedule and they hope to be moved into the new space by July.

Love said it plans to gradually keep adding grade levels as it can and its eventual goal is to be a K-12 school.

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