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GESD News and Updates

Two Tuition-Free Bezos Academy Preschools Coming to Glendale

Glendale Elementary School District and Glencroft Center for Modern Aging will host full-day, year-round preschools with space for a total of over 200 of Glendale’s youngest learners

Dec. 15, 2023 – Glendale, AZ – The Glendale Elementary School District and Glencroft Center for Modern Aging will each be hosting a tuition-free Bezos Academy preschool, the groups announced today. Together these two schools will have capacity for 220 three- to- five-year-old students. Mayor Jerry P. Weiers was an early supporter of the potential for Bezos Academy in Arizona, playing an instrumental role in helping the organization find community-focused, mission-driven partners in Glendale.

Bezos Academy Glendale – Sahuaro Glenn (located at Glencroft Center for Modern Aging) will feature five preschool classrooms, and Bezos Academy Glendale – Desert Garden Park (located at Desert Garden Elementary School) will feature six classrooms. The preschools are set to open in 2025 once construction is complete.

Bezos Academy will cover operating expenses for the preschool at no cost to eligible families, providing everything the children need during the day, including meals and educational materials. The preschools’ Montessori-inspired approach is designed to meet every child where they are, and to help them learn and grow at their own pace.

"The Glendale Elementary School District’s strategic partnership with Bezos Academy will help advance early childhood education in Glendale. Through a dynamic collaboration, we aim to create preschool enrichment that fosters curiosity, creativity, and a love for learning in our youngest minds, said GESD Superintendent Cindy Segotta-Jones. “Together, we are committed to shaping a brighter future by providing more educational opportunities for Glendale children and families.”

John Thorhauer, President and CEO of Glencroft Center for Modern Aging shared, “From the moment we met the team at Bezos Academy, they were interested in being great community partners. Glencroft prides itself in working with and being a respected partner in the community, so this was a natural fit.”

 “From our first conversations with community leaders, we’ve been impressed by Glendale’s commitment to meeting the needs of its families,” said Mike George, President of Bezos Academy. “With help from Mayor Weiers, the Glendale Elementary School District, and Glencroft Center for Modern Aging, we’ll be able to offer tuition-free, Montessori-inspired preschool programming to over 200 three- to five-year-olds in the Glendale area. We can’t wait to open our doors.”

Families earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level, or about $120,000 per year for a family of four, with children aged 3-4, are eligible to apply. Updates about the school opening date, and how to apply for the lottery-based selection process will be posted at

About Glendale Elementary School District

Glendale Elementary School District (GESD) provides educational services and signature learning programs to more than 9,000 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grades in 12 schools and one online school in the heart of Historic Downtown Glendale. The district’s 1,200 employees are focused on meeting the needs of a diverse student body. Visit or follow @GESD40 on social media for more information.

About Glencroft Center for Modern Aging

Founded in 1970, Glencroft Center for Modern Aging is one of the Nation’s largest senior living communities with locations in Glendale and Phoenix, Arizona.  It is a nonprofit, faith-based continuing care retirement community offering affordable independent living, HUD Housing, assisted living, memory care, long-term care, inpatient hospice care and short-term rehabilitation. Glencroft is "Powered by ZoeLife," a community that empowers residents to pursue vitality through a full, active, and purposeful life. For more information, visit .

About Bezos Academy

Bezos Academy is a non-profit organization that is building a network of fully-funded tuition-free preschools. Our preschools offer year-round, full-day programming, five days a week, for children from low-income families ages 3-5 years old. Bezos Academy also provides students with all necessary educational supplies and services to set each student up for success, including Montessori materials, books, arts and crafts, field trips, and meals. As of December 2023, we have 19 schools operating across Washington, Texas, and Florida, and agreements in place to open locations across these states and others, including Hawaii, Kentucky and Arizona. For more information, visit


Desert Garden