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Cactus Shadows High School

Public | 9-12 | 1744 students


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3 stars

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34 reviews of this school

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Posted December 19, 2013

The school is impersonal and the individual students are just parts in a machine. Administration considers the 'machine' acceptable and will use the "1700 students" as a reason to ignore individual needs. Administration are also thick as thieves and are unwilling to take responsibility when they make mistakes. As far as teachers are concerned, I don't think they can get a fair rating because of the regime they report to. My oldest child, a graduate of CSHS and a Dean's list student in college says, "I'm ashamed to be an alum of that school.". The worst thing about this school and the district is that they are always grubbing for money, then they cut classroom budget, and spend, spend, spend on facilities and "image". They boast their "A" rating to the point of being sickening, especially when you know what day to day is really like..
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 3, 2013

My school isn't the best around but it isn't horrible. Some teachers could use an update on their teaching methods, but not all of them are awful. We have a good courses and really good clubs. I wish that Cactus Shadows offered more sports such as lacrosse. The campus is somewhat old, except for the new building, but is stable. There are drugs present, which I'm sure most parents would like to avoid but to be quite honest with you there are going to be at every high school. Regardless no one tries to force anything on you. There isn't much bullying, except for online, and drama is pretty avoidable. Overall it isn't a horrible school. Much better than other schools I have heard about.
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 30, 2011

This school, as any in the US, has drugs but they are not forced upon students not interested. Drug use is not accepted in the school and every effort is made to eliminate the problems. There are great teachers, good teachers and this year a few less poor teachers. Any grass being planted surely was not paid for by the firing of teachers!!!???? The principal is concerned and willing to aid in the communication of families and teachers. My 4th child is going through this district right now.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 28, 2010

I am a student at cactus shaddows. If you are looking to put your kids in a school I am telling you now that this school is definatley not a good idea. There Is a HUGE and when i say huge im not joking, HUGE drug and alcohol problem. There is no way you can avoid it at this school. The School officer is a really nice guy but cant seem to crack down on these problems. I dont know if the school system is completely trying to ignore this but its extremely obvious. They try to keep us in the school as if its a prison. Literally. Locked gates throughout the school. Also as far as learning goes, in every class the teacher doesnt get any respect from the kids. The average in my english class is 32% the teacher cant controll the room.
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 14, 2009

The new principal is absolutely wonderful. Organized, Approachable, Friendly, Caring, the school is running better than ever. The last coment Dated September was obviously from someone who doesn't spend a lot of time at the school. you gave the new adminstration a week to form your opinion wow how long did your boss give you to be perfect at your job....., do you homework on the grass before making rediculous comments. Be part of the solution not the problem. Not Happy? take your kid somewhere else like horrible scottsdale school district or worse Deer Valley, paradise valley.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 10, 2009

My child has a lot of problems inside of this school due to the environment set by the administration of pure unorganized chaos. They are slow of getting out information to parents and quick to fire fine educators to buy new grass. Not the worst school my children have ever attended but definately not one I pride having my kids go to.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 14, 2008

My child usually doesn't understand the materials that are being taught. When we moved to the district, my son has been fully understanding what he's being taught. The teachers have been providing extra help for my child. He has made it on the Honor Roll for the first time in his life. I would highly suggest this excelling school over the old school he went to in Northern California. The staff is also great. They are all very friendly and are glad to help out.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 14, 2008

I am currently a student at Cactus Shadows and I know from personal experience that this school has drug and alcohol problems. There are too many students and nobody respects or listens to the teacher. Its very hard to learn in an enviroment where nobody cares if they have a 4.0 or a 0.5 gpa. Its funny because they all assume they will make it to college with such lousy grades.
—Submitted by a student

Posted February 8, 2008

Administration is very professional. Our child is getting an exceptional education. Teachers are very dedicated. Very pleased with the school
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 7, 2008

I am an Honors/AP student who playes 3 Varsity sports, I have been able to enjoy the best of both worlds here at the school.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 31, 2008

I have found it common that teachers are not qualified to be teaching to courses that they are. It is clearly obvious administration is having and exceptionally hard time dealing with population growth.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 17, 2007

My daughter Fernanda, a brazilian 16 years old girl, is attending this school now, and it's been a great experience for her and for us, here in Fortaleza, Cear Braszil, knowing about her good results up to now. Congratulatiions for both, her and the school
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 14, 2007

My daughter is attending this school right now, and i believe they have an awesome facility and fairly good teachers. It has progressed sufficiently over the years. My daughter loves Cactus Shadows and i do to. Its an over all good school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 3, 2007

worst administration I've ever come in contact with. Anywhere but here...
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 3, 2007

With the addition of the IB Diploma program, this school has become greater than ever before. CSHS has exceeded standards time and time again and will continue to do so. They are proving themselves as the excelling high school they are; not only through acedemics but through extracoricular activies. Although there are a few teachers on campus who do not seem to realize that the school is changing and that they need to make adjustments themselves.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 16, 2007

Cactus Shadows is a great school. The new principal, Sid Bailey, is doing a terrific job. My son graduated last year and I have a daughter who is currently attending. The school is fairly small, offers many opportunities for involvement in sports, and the PTO is a great way to get involved as a parent.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 11, 2006

This is a horrible school.
—Submitted by a student

Posted June 27, 2006

This school is the worst school my children have ever attended ( we moved 6 times). The teachers in this school, make the school to easy for my children whom are taking all honor and ap classes. The sports offered in this school is another thing to laugh about.
—Submitted by a student

Posted June 1, 2006

I have taken my children out of Cactus Shadows. The class average in my daughters math class was a 67%. I would have thought that the administration would see this as a red flag and find out why the kids are not getting the material. The administration is dealing poorly with the huge growth in the area and the kids are getting lost in the process. There is a lot of teachers being let go due to a change in District administration and I think the poor morale is impacting the quality of teaching that is being provided to the students.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 14, 2005

Overall, I would rate this as a good school, however it could be great with a few needed changes, particularly in administration. They do not fully understand, first hand, the quality of teachers they may lose because of this. Sometimes change is good. Now I think it is time for a change.
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.

The state average for Math was 62% in 2013.

417 students were tested at this school in 2013.









The state average for Reading was 83% in 2013.

419 students were tested at this school in 2013.









The state average for Writing was 70% in 2013.

418 students were tested at this school in 2013.








Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests

In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

  • In 2010-2011, this school was designated "Excelling".
  • In 2009-2010, this school was designated "Excelling".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was designated "Excelling".

About the tests

Arizona uses AZ LEARNS Achievement Profiles to indicate schools' overall performance each year. For elementary and middle schools, the profiles are based on current and historical aggregated AIMS results, MAP results and whether or not the school made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). For high schools, AIMS results, AYP status and graduation/dropout rates are used. Schools are identified as Excelling, Highly Performing, Performing Plus, Performing, Underperforming, Failing to Meet Academic Standards or Pending.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 89% 42%
Hispanic 7% 42%
Asian 3% 3%
Black 1% 5%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2010-2011

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 10%N/A46%
Source: NCES, 2010-2011

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »

This school has not yet provided program information.

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5802 E Dove Valley
Cave Creek, AZ 85327
Website: Click here
Phone: (480) 575-2400


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