This school was extremely harsh on my child. He attended a few years ago as a Kinder. He was suspended for breaking a branch the size of a pencil off a bush at recess. Then again, I was called to pick him up from the principal's office, when he stood at the top of the slide and held kids up at recess. They said "more than 4 kids were waiting to go down the slide and we had to tell him three times to come down". Truth is, my son had a rare form of epilepsy and was probably checked out at the top of the slide. He had a hard time focusing in class due to his disability, and all i was looking for was the best education for him. They were determined to qualify him to be expelled so he wouldn't mess with their test scores, I'm convinced. Why else would you suspend a KINDERGARDENER for 5 days for tearing a branch off a bush? Folks, this is a true story. I've just never really taken time to write a review. I quickly pulled my son out and he attends a different school. He has thrived since, and not once been sent to the principal's office in 4 years of elem school.
This school was good for my daughter who has attended for four years. However, my son who is hyperactive and needs extra help in the classroom has been crushed here. I would not recommend this school for a child who has even the slightest learning disabilities or is hyperactive. If you do not fit the perfect mold here, they will do nothing but be overly punitive to your child.
I have mixed feelings about this school. I have a child that has attended there almost 4 years now, and another almost 2. There are a lot of worksheets and not a lot of hands on learning. They give a lot of homework. We spend our entire afternoon doing homework. There is not a lot of time leftover for playing. The principle is very strict . All the kids are scared of her. I have had a couple situations with my kids were she was involved and I feel like she is very harsh with her punishments. One of my children has a hard time focusing, so the principle was called in and she kept clapping in his face and hovering over him in front of the whole class, trying to get him to do his work. He came home devastated. There are 31 kids in my younger child's class, which I think is too much for one teacher, and there are a lot of difficult kids in his class. He is not getting the attention he needs. I would not recommend this school to kids with ADD or ADHD or any other learning disability. There are a few teachers there that I love. That is basically the only reason we have stayed there.
Challenger is a great place for kids. They are loved and taught well in way that are motivating to them. The staff gets along well and seem to enjoy working there. It feels safe and small and the families are committed. I have had no issues with behavior in the classes and the teachers are great.
THis school succeeds because it plucks the students who have supportive and motivating parents. The curriculum is advanced and the kids are taught to be accountable. Behavior problems are less than that of the neighborhood elementary schools and it feels small and sheltered. The facilities may be small and there is no library, gym or cafeteria, but the trade off is a superior education for your children.
If you want your kids to sit all day long, doing worksheet after worksheet, after worksheet, then this is the school for you! There isn't any "hands-on" anything. Science mostly consists of: worksheets! The teachers are great, and work very hard. However, the principal can be downright cruel and rude to the staff. Students aren't allowed to work in cooperative groups, ever. Also, teachers will get in trouble if they're doing any activity that seems the least bit "artsy" if it's not "Art Day". The school doesn't offer any after-school activities, or a real music program. So, no band or orchestra or anything like that. Also, there isn't a cafeteria. So, children have to eat outside in the heat. I feel that the teachers are great, but they are restricted by what they can do, due to the rigid rules of the administration.
My daughter has been attending this school for several years now and I can't say enough about the school and the teachers. Each one is superb at their job. The husband and wife the run the school hold the students and staff to extremely high expectations and will remove any of the staff or students who do not meet those expectations. My daughter has friends who have transferred out and they are always well ahead of the students in their new schools.
This is a Wonderful school. I attended the school in 2009 and I can say many good things. I attended this school 5 years ago and stopped because we moved to Utah. Then we came back and I went to the school. The teachers there still knew who we were and were very kind. The principals were the greatest. They were very kind. Things were changed after four years, they put up a portable and changed the paint. This school is good for all ages.
My Daughter has attended this school since K and I really cant say enough good things! From the small class sizes (although this is changing) to the committed and caring teachers, everything at this school has far exceeded my expectations. My daughter is learning far above grade level and is challenged to do her best every day. It has a small-town personal feel to it and I love that I can walk into the office and they know exactly who you are, who your child is and what class they are in. The only less than amazing thing I can say is this: If your family is not Morman (as mine isnt) it may be a little harder to connect with other parents since there is a huge Morman presence here and a bit of clique-ishness going on. Thats only a minor glitch, the school is awesome and parents are involved.
Once again, our kids have finished yet another FANTASTIC year at Challenger Basic School! This tiny school is Gilbert's best kept secret!!!! The entire staff is dynamite and appears to work incredibly well together to provide an outstanding education!