It’s that time of year again when parents rejoice and children and teens bang their heads against the wall! That’s right, school is in session. For those parents looking for a change from the public school system without the huge tuition costs of private school, check out these charter schools in Phoenix!
What is a Charter School?
A charter school is a publicly funded, but independently run school that is granted greater flexibility in regards to curriculum and operations than most public schools. The “charter” establishing each school is a performance contract detailing the school’s mission, program, students served, performance goals, and methods of assessment.
What is the difference between a Charter School and a Public School?
Uncommonschools.org defines the differences between Charter Schools and Public Schools as such:
“Charter schools are public schools of choice, meaning that families choose them for their children. They operate with freedom from some of the regulations that are imposed upon district schools. Charter schools are accountable for academic results and for upholding the promises made in their charters. They must demonstrate performance in the areas of academic achievement, financial management, and organizational stability. If a charter school does not meet performance goals, it may be closed.”
Top Charter Schools in Phoenix:
These charter schools in Phoenix have locations in many of the metropolitan areas surrounding Phoenix, which makes them accessible to any family! (Not to mention, they increase your property values!) Schools ranked on this list received an A score from the Arizona Department of Education in 2014. This is just a list and not a ranking of our favorite charter schools in Phoenix- we’re not that biased!
1. Great Hearts Academies – Multiple Valley-wide Locations
Great Hearts has locations throughout the greater phoenix area including Anthem, Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and many more. Studies include: math, science, foreign language, fine arts, and the humanities. Grades K-12 are welcome and tuition is free.
2. Fountain Hills Charter School – Fountain Hills
Fountain Hills Charter School is a K-8 Montessori based School. Their website describes the Montessori Program as such:
“The learning theories, materials, and strategies of the Montessori approach emphasize the child’s ability to select appropriate learning materials from those provided by the teacher, and to move at his/her own pace. Teachers act as preservers, guides, and facilitators planning learning activities that address the children’s individual needs, ability levels, and learning styles. The Montessori curriculum flows in a smooth progression from the younger preschool age group, to the elementary age child, and on through secondary education. The curriculum and curriculum materials are adapted to developmentally sensitive periods that are known to exist for children.”
3. Arizona School For The Arts – Phoenix
Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix on 3rd st, the Arizona School for the Arts is a public, charter school, open to all, which serves over 800 students in grades 5-12, providing a nationally recognized college preparatory and performing arts education. ASA provides a distinctive model for education with focused concentration on college preparation and immersion in the performing arts.
4. Arizona Agribusiness & Equine Center – Multiple Valleywide Locations
AAEC Early College High Schools is a thriving five-campus independent public high school district specializing in a college preparatory high school program with sites connected to Mesa Community College, Paradise Valley Community College, South Mountain Community College, Estrella Mountain Community College and now Yavapai Community College. AAEC has a reputation in the Valley for preparing students of various academic backgrounds and abilities for college level studies in all disciplines.
5. Heritage Academy – Multiple Valleywide Locations
Serving grades 7-12, Heritage Academy has locations in Laveen, Queen Creek, and Mesa. With an emphasis on teaching the principle beliefs and history of America’s founding fathers, Heritage Academy teaches the mastery of primary and secondary skills in the fields of history, math, writing, literature, reading, science, music, foreign language, visual art, performing arts, and physical development.
6. James Madison Preparatory School – Tempe
This small 7-12 grade Tempe school’s mission is to challenge committed students with a robust, traditional education emphasizing America’s history and system of government. The US News and World Report gave the high school a bronze rating last year.
7. Keystone Montessori Charter School – Phoenix
This Montessori School’s mission is to inspire in children a passion for a lifelong love of learning in an environment which nurtures independence, creativity, confidence and tolerance while developing a sense of responsibility for self and community based on the principles and philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori. Children from ages 18 months to 15 years are welcome.
8. Imagine Avondale Elementary – Avondale
Imagine Avondale is part of a 70 school national charter system. Their mission is to provide high quality schools that prepare students for lives of leadership, accomplishment, and exemplary character. Students grades K-8 are welcome.
9. Happy Valley School – Peoria
This K-6 school is a “Back-to-Basics” public, tuition-free, charter school in Peoria, Arizona, serving approximately 750 students in Kindergarten through 6th Grade. Curriculum is based upon: An intensive, “phonics first” reading program, beginning in kindergarten; Mastery-based learning which requires teaching, testing, reteaching and re-testing, until students master the concepts presented at a passing level; Minimized homework consisting of practice in reading each day, memorization of math facts, and review of spelling and vocabulary.
10. Patriot Academy – Queen Creek
Patriot Academy is a K-8 charter school with a 9 year tradition of excellence and high-standards. Students are taught a curriculum that includes: Spalding Phonics, Six Trait Writing, Open Court Reading, Saxon Math, and Core Knowledge.
Want to know more about charter schools in Phoenix?
If you want to add your favorite charter schools in Phoenix (and the area), comment below or on our Facebook page! We love hearing the good, the bad, and the ugly from our readers to help families living in or buying a home in Phoenix! Give us a call with any questions or inputs! 623.299.2148