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GreatSchools Rating

Robert and Danell Tarwater Elementary School

Public | PK-6 & ungraded | 803 students

 
 

Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 3 ratings
2012:
Based on 4 ratings
2011:
Based on 4 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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33 reviews of this school


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Posted April 18, 2013

Love this school! My son has attended K-3 and our daughter is started Kindergarten last year. Some of the negative comments on this school are warranted, not everyone is perfect and 100% all the time but overall we have had an outstanding experience at Tarwater. There is a large sense of community from the PTO and Dad's Club, the Teachers reinforce the concept of Parental Involvement (if you aren't willing to participate in your child's education, this is not the school for you) and there are many activities throughout the year for families to be involved at the school. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Hensley and his Administration, they run a tight ship and he is always out on the grounds talking to students and parents and making his presence known. I haven't had much interaction with the new Dean so I will not comment on her. Granted, this is the only school our children have attended so I don't have much to gauge it against except the comments of friends regarding their children's schools.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 4, 2013

Tarwater is a great school. I personally love all the events the school puts on. It is great to see so much parental involvement in this school. When we moved here from Oregon my child was over a month behind because Oregon schools don't start until after labor day. She caught up very quickly and the Principal Mr. Hensley knew her by name within the 1st week. Pretty impressive seeing how there are over 800 students at Tarwater. I am thankful we moved into the Tarwater district and wouldn't think about moving my children to another school. My biggest issue is the lack of parking for parents picking up their children. My other issue is with parents not following the traffic rules when picking their children up from school
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 23, 2013

Tarwater has a great sense of community my son has been very happy here for the past 2 years. Mr Hensley takes an interest in every child and is often found walking the school grounds each morning interacting with the kids. Have also been very happy with my childs teachers both years.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 10, 2012

Our oldest daughter went to Jacobsen and we found it to be a really great school, but since our youngest has been attending Tarwater I would have to say it is even better. Her teachers challenge the kids and keep us in the loop about any concerns. The Principal, Mr. Hensley, is always involved with the kids and school pride is apparent around every corner.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 9, 2012

I am also so surprised by the negative ratings that I have read here. This is my first child going through the school and I have never seen such a strong sense of community. I personally love Tarwater an I couldn't have asked for a better place. The office staff has been extremely helpful towards me when my child has forgotten to take things to school. Her teacher is amazing; the principal is very involved and knows most kids by name. Even if he misprounces a name he apologizes to everyone at that moment. My daughter has really excelled here and is doing great.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 3, 2012

I can't imagine a better school for my family than Tarwater. My kids have been at Tarwater for 5 years now and they LOVE school. I truly believe that the wonderful, caring, structured atmosphere has allowed them to thrive and enjoy school every day. The prinicpal is fantastic and very involved. The school is busy with homework, events, activities, etc. but we pick and choose what we can go to and what we can help with so I don't fell overwhelemed they way some of the other parents reviews have mentioned. I highly recommend Tarwater!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 11, 2012

We moved from a Kyrene school and did not expect to be this happy at Tarwater. Teachers and parental involvement are what make Tarwater a success. I can't believe any of the poor reviews. I am sure at all schools you could have a bad experience? I love the open feel and how welcomed we have felt here. I work a lot so we can't do all the activities they have but I would much rather have too many things then too little. They do send home homework, but I feel it's appropriate.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 16, 2011

I gave the school 1 star because my kids are overwhelmed with home work and too many fundraising events and ceremonies. The last orchestra event I complained to the the principle about how the orchestra kids felt on orchestra day. The orchestra teacher praised 8 out of 10 kids that got on the deems list, principles list or high achievers lists by asking the majority to stand up in front of a large audience. The 2 sitting were very sad and embarrassed. The orchestra teacher praised the 8 kids on stage standing and mocked ( no joking) the remainder 2 o kids sitting by saying to the kids sitting- to be like the ones standing and 'you will not be sitting next year'. She does this every year to the 5th and 6th graders. 6 of the parents I know felt bad for the kids sitting. I complained to the principle by email and he never responded. The teachers work very hard and they do an excellent job. The office/ Administration need to be more considerate and do not expect anything left for your child in the office to reach your child because they are not very helpful in that respect and forget.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 21, 2011

This is a fantastic elementary school with excellent teachers. The principal is always on site and available. Very nicely run and high on the academics. We were very pleased that this was our neighborhood elementary!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 29, 2011

I am extremely happy with this school. The principal is always walking the groundsand is always available and attentive to any questions or concerns I may have. I taught in another AZ school and was leary of putting my child in a puplic school but I would highly recommend Tarwater to anyone. The teachers are courteous and straight forward. The only issue I have had, and this is a district wide issue, is the KRT for Pre-k students. I have a child that misses the cut off by 2 days, took the KRT and did not pass. The district informed us that our child is socially and emotionally ready to start kindergarten but didn't know her alphabet sounds. I was always told and fully believe that if they are emotionally and socially ready to begin school, the academics would come. Frankly, isn't that what kindergarten is for? You may have a child that is academically ready but can't sit still or behave in the classroom...this would pose more of a disruption in class and is a skill that can't be taught. Alphabet sounds can be taught. Just my two cents. All other areas have been excellent and I look forward to both of my children completing their elementary careers at Tarwater.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 10, 2011

I think this school is fun for the kids. The environment is friendly, and the teachers are very attentive. Some of them are outstanding. Academically I think they are about average for a public school in a neighborhood of pretty highly educated families, and there are pockets of excellence. My only problem is usually trying to keep up with all of the planned activities and forms to fill out- it seems I would have to take off work about once every two weeks to manage everything for my two kids, and I always feel like I'm the one being assigned homework! There are more fundraisers and picnics and festivals and trips and whole-school athletic events than I can keep track of. With two working parents, it gets unwieldy. Overall we have been drained but pretty happy, and the kids have been pretty happy too. Administration is a little inflexible and bureaucratic, but the teachers compensate for it.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 10, 2010

I noticed all the reviews are 4-5 stars and are good. My question is where are all the bad reviews? I know i wrote a bad review in the past and it never got posted on here. I also know of other parents writing bad reviews and none of them were posted, Why? I have had a terrible experience at Tarwater and i will say that this school does not deserve the rewards it is getting. I give this school and principal and staff and teacher quality none other then 1 star.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 7, 2010

This will be my daughters 3rd year and we've had the BEST experience with the Teachers and especially the Principlie Mr Hensley. He's been such a great role model. Encouraging the kids to do there best and better yet...he challenges the students which pushes them to do there BEST. Definetly a A+ school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 8, 2010

Tarwater is a really good school.My kids have been going there for 4 years now and we've had one better teacher than the other. The teachers are great. We've never had a communication issue with anyone of them. The principa,l Mr. Hensley is a very involved , dynamaic,very charismatic personality and very open to ideas and suggestions.He is a good role model for the kids.We have obesrved the way he knows every kid by his or her name and how well he interacts with them. Its things like this that go a long way.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 12, 2009

I never give 5-stars on reviews. But I must make an exception for this school, because I've simply not seen one thing wrong with this it. They continually impress us with the level of education and attention to the other details. First, education... I was surprised at the jump in education level when we moved our son to this school from a Mesa, AZ school he was attending. Since then, I remain impressed with the quality of the teachers, and the real-world application of book knowledge that this school employs. I don't have the room in this review to explain detailed incidents, but I can attest to the fact that both the teachers and the principal, Mr. Hensley, really care for their students. I'm so glad we moved to the neighborhood we did so that we get to enjoy this school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 21, 2009

Tarwater has been an excellent education and social experience for my daughter. She moved from Tempe and I've seen so much growth in her this year. Mr. Hensley is a very active, caring Principal. His heart and passion is seen throughout the school, through the teachers, students and to the parents. I'm so proud of Tarwater's continued success (A+ by the AZ Educational Foundation, Excelling by the AZ Dept of Education, STARS school for Phys Ed, and the list goes on...)! I know MANY other parents that have moved from the area but still travel out of their way to take their kids to Tarwater. That speaks volumes!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 1, 2009

This is our first year at Tarwater and so far it has been a pleasant experience. I appreciate and enjoy the spirit spread within the school. I am impressed with the communication from our teacher - I can have as much as I need/want. I am more impressed with Tarwater as I share experiences with friends who currently have children at three other Chandler elementary schools - when we compare, Tarwater is the school I am happy to have my child go to. The only downside is not specific to Tarwater but to the education system itself - I would like the schools to cater more to the advanced children with the same amount of effort as they put forth helping the children who need extra help staying up with the class.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 31, 2008

My child has been at Tarwater for 5 years now and has never had a teacher that was experienced in her grade level. 3 of these 5 teachers do not even work there any longer. I do not feel that my child has had the 'great' education that most other people say about Tarwater. I guess by reading the other reviews, I can now see that there really is a favoritism in this school. AS far as the PTO, they do try really hard but it has completely dwindled since we got there... This year seems however to be looking a little better as far as PTO.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 30, 2008

Tarwater is an excellent overall school with plenty of community support and interaction. Principal Hensley and the experienced teaching staff are models for an outstanding Chandler District school. I'm confident that my children are gaining the experience and knowledge to becoming properly educated citizens.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 8, 2008

My child attended Tarwater for 4 years and I believe the statement made by a parent regarding the teachers and communication is true. It is so important to have great communication especially when your child is struggling in certain areas academically. They will and can slip through the cracks. There is also a lot of favoritism. I saw this in first, second, and fourth grade within my child's classroom. i have finally decided to move her and it was the best decision I made. Not only are the teachers great in communication they are willing to be involved with tutors and care about the child's confidence in acedemics.
—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.
Math

The state average for Math was 69% in 2013.

116 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
86%

2012

 
 
84%

2011

 
 
85%

2010

 
 
81%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 75% in 2013.

116 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
90%

2010

 
 
89%
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

Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

121 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
84%

2010

 
 
84%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2013.

121 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
93%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
88%

2010

 
 
86%
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

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2013.

116 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
86%

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
88%

2010

 
 
78%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

116 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
91%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
94%

2010

 
 
88%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2013.

113 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
82%

2012

 
 
86%

2011

 
 
79%

2010

 
 
93%
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

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2013.

106 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
83%

2012

 
 
80%

2011

 
 
76%

2010

 
 
77%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

106 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
90%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
86%

2010

 
 
92%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2013.

105 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
79%

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
83%

2010

 
 
89%
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 66% 42%
Hispanic 16% 43%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 10% 3%
Black 6% 5%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 5%
Two or more races 1% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 17%N/A47%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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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2300 South Gardner Drive
Chandler, AZ 85286
Website: Click here
Phone: (480) 812-7600

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