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Public charter
Gilbert, AZ
Students enrolled: 500

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4525 E. Baseline Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85234

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(480) 222-4233
(480) 222-4234
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Map of Great Hearts Academies - Arete Prep address.
December 10, 2014
Unfortunately, after three years of sending our chidlren to this school, we have to give an unsatisfactory grade. This school has a huge leadership problem. Everything is geared towards mindless performance. While my children have no problems getting straight As, we have observed how you are supposed to perform: never question anything. Never engage in discussion. Since the move, things have become worse. Teachers who engaged with the weaker students, trying to help them succeed, were fired. Among the faculty a sense of intimidation is prevalent. The "headmaster's" message is clearly: you follow my way of thinking by the book, no matter if it is making sense or not. Numerous attempts to engage him in discussions of obvious shortcomings have failed, be that about technical issues in the building or teacher attitudes or anything else. The only time he will communicate is when he is asking for donations. Don't be fooled by the outward appearance of the school. The school had a lot of promise, but under this leadership it will not fulfill it. If you want your child to be able to mindlessly repeat tons of information, you will be happy. If they are supposed to grow their own minds, not.

- submitted by a parent
May 19, 2014
Staff are very rude, Unhappily, and just mean. Not a great leaning environment for any kid.

- submitted by a parent
January 31, 2014
This is our 6th year at MPA. Over the years we have seen many changes and growth. The most positive change was in leadership! Mr. Wagner is an amazing leader with great vision and love for his students, families and staff. He is very willing to listen, and address areas of concern. We are incredibly blessed to have him as Head Master. Is any school perfect and without areas that need improvement? We have yet to find one! At least MPA faces issues head on and is willing to make changes. We have been able to compare this school alongside several different public schools/charter schools over the years. We have had our ups and downs with our feelings/frustrations etc. but have persevered through the growing pains and couldn't be happier that we did. Need to know: The curriculum is challenging, but RICH and solid in philosophy and truth. The teachers are dedicated and EXCITED about teaching their subject area (which inherently rubs off on the students), and what I appreciate is that if they are not cutting it, they are FIRED! Parents, get involved! You will find a community that is welcoming and needs you! MPA is adding a K-5 and a new campus next year so more good things are to come!

- submitted by a parent
November 30, 2013
This is a response to the student review dated November 24, 2012. I believe your intention was to paint a positive picture of Mesa Prep. The students do receive a lot of support, encouragement , 1:1 guidance from the teachers, and are offered many opportunities for tutoring. I was very impressed with how Great Hearts/Mesa Prep also encourages the students to simply be solid citizens with good character and most importantly to respect each other. However, this student was not very respectful to his or her peers or their parents in their review. The assumption that students who struggle are "lazy" along with their other very obnoxious insults are in fact a sign of poor character and a bad attitude (especially for a mentor). Considering the insulting vibe of the review, I found it ironic that he or she opened with how the school is so friendly and encouraging. To give a little background - I am not a complaining parent - my child has been at Mesa Prep for 3 years with A's and B's. The students here need to work real hard at this school - there is no coasting through. However, I would never write off a child who is struggling with this curriculum as being "lazy."

- submitted by a parent
March 08, 2013
My son, who is finishing 6th grade loves Mesa Prep and the teachers! The academics is challenging but it is presented in a way that is interesting and allows the children to think on their own. The teachers and staff really do know my son. I know this from their reviews and speaking with them one on one, throughout the year. Tutoring is free and encouraged even for the most advanced students. There is a no cut rule in sports which allows all the children to be part of "Team", but academics will always be priority at this school. Warning! Be prepared to cut the apron strings. Parent involvement is done through the lunch program, school activities, fundraising, teacher appreciation, but not in the classroom. Also, student organization is key to your childs success at this school. My son has learned life-long organizational skills this year that many adults still do not have. All the parents and children have been very welcoming to us. They have an excellent student mentor program which makes the transition to Junior High very smooth. The Headmaster has made sound decisions since we have been here and I have been able to speak with him on several occasions. We love it!

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2013
We couldn't be happier at Mesa Prep. The curriculum is challenging, teachers are amazing and the administration is approachable and helpful. I'm surprised by the comments about inexperienced teachers, athletics, lack of parent input and disorganization. We have been at Mesa Prep for many years and have certainly not had the same experience. There have been a few teachers over the years that did not seem to fit and the headmaster replaced them quickly. The athletic department is incredibly organized and there is never a lack of communication, sometimes there seems to be more than we need. Any time the school considers making a major change the families are polled for their opinions. The school communicates with families regularly about what is happening and my child enjoys going to school at Mesa Prep. While the facilities could certainly use a facelift, the school itself is a great fit for any family who is looking for a school with good leadership, challenging curriculum and happy students and teachers.

- submitted by a parent
November 24, 2012
I am a freshman student at MPA and it's the most friendly and encouraging school I've been to. There are no cliques and everyone knows each other. I'm part of the mentorship program, and it's great that new students have a student's perspective and guidance. Also, I'm pretty sure that we're the first school to implement the Exeter math program, and I think it's great, despite the reviews on here (which are bad reviews because your kid is obviously too lazy to struggle with a problem without having instructions right on the page for you... Good luck in life, not all the answers will always be right there for you). Also, I think the teachers are great! They ALL offer tutoring for extra help. I think that some kids (or their parents complaining on here) are upset because the teachers usually answer questions with questions and try to guide us to figure out things on our own or with our peers, instead of just giving us the answers. Sorry, your kid is lazy, good luck after high school. And finally, the front office ladies are wonderful and pleasant. I think last year was moreso unorganized because there were very few people trying to run the front office, but this year we have more help

- submitted by a community member
October 22, 2012
The previous comment (posted on 8/26/12), regarding complete disorganization, is absolutely true! It's at this school and the main office. Whether it be uniforms, sports, field trips, volunteer fingerprinting, etc., the only consistent is a complete lack of organization. To make it worse, none of it makes logical sense. For a school that claims to be built on pillars of logic, their own actions repeatedly defy it. Also, if you re coming from a private school then you're in for a surprise. The class sizes are BIG (25-26 students). The facilities are cramped and overcrowded! Every day my students class locations change due to disorganization and a lack of space to accommodate as many students as they can stuff in. Likewise, the school does NOT seek parental involvement or input. They don't seem to care what parents have to say. I'm not impressed or easily dazzled by rapid growth or test scores. If it weren't for their competition being in a state with horrible public schools (AIMS), I don't believe they'd look nearly so good.

- submitted by a parent
July 03, 2012
We left Mesa Prep because they are disorganized. The Exeter program was just one example of how they may have good intentions but fail to operate their school professionally. Exeter may be the best curriculum for math but in the hands of inexperienced, untrained teachers it was a mess. Perhaps the experiencing Exeter math, Mesa Prep style, has made parents negative about the program. The disorganization is widespread. A simple field trip causes total chaos for attendance and the office. A school handbook was not published until 3rd quarter. They manage the school defensively, making decisions as they go rather than setting solid policies in advance. The uniform changes every year, especially the expensive skirts. At times the management is so bad it would be humorous if it wasn't so frustrating. The one area they excel in is asking for Community Investments, a lot of time and attention is spent asking for monthly donations.

- submitted by a parent
July 03, 2012
Follow the advice of the parent who suggested doing your research. Rely on solid numbers from the AIMS and Standford scores; not the highly subjective grading system the school has in place. Although a Great Hearts School, Mesa Prep is probably one of the worst administrated schools in the network. Do your due diligence before you place your child here. All Great Hearts Schools are NOT created equally.

- submitted by a parent
June 27, 2012
Do the research, don't believe the negativity - find out what using the Philips Exeter Math model means - I did The Harkness teaching method that is used by Exeter develops a student's use of theorems and principles organically. The end result being a student who is able to apply mathematics to develop solutions to real problems. The staff and faculty are incredible, we couldn't be happier.

- submitted by a parent
June 27, 2012
We have been very impressed with the teachers and curriculum Mesa Prep. This school is continually improving the way the subjects are being taught. I completely disagree with the parent who does not like the Exeter math curriculum. My student has enjoyed math more this past year than ever before and has learned the concepts more completely. The teachers in all areas have been incredibly helpful and they offer tutoring to their students every single week. I would highly recommend Mesa Prep for any student who wants a great education and is willing to work hard. My child will be well prepared for college and for life.

- submitted by a parent
June 25, 2012
I have heard so many great things about Mesa Prep. It's always difficult when someone has a negative experience, but keep up the great work at Mesa Prep.

- submitted by a community member
May 23, 2012
People are leaving this school in droves because the headmaster is unethical and the teachers have little or no experience (hired right out of college). The Exeter mathematics curriculum is a total joke. There are no resources for students like text books, examples, study guides or other materials the kids can rely on to study on their own. The teachers are encouraged to curve grades to make it appear that the kids are learning math. Most people leave after 8th grade and go to a public school for better choices of elective courses.

- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2011
We have been at Mesa Prep since the very beginning. I have seen a very high teacher turn over along with many different administrators. We were very pleased the first two years but they were unable to meet my childs needs for high school. My children get good grades at this highly academic school. Unfortunately, now the comment that we hear most from staff about getting involved with larger public schools is that "we don't want to associate with those kinds of people". Many people who attend this school have entitlement issues. Now Mesa Prep has a very good education, but all the attitudes, groups and favorites can make it very difficult for a child to act like themselves. Most kids are trying to prove how much money they have even if they don't. I also don't appreciate the bad mouthing of past students that have left from faculity members. "They left because they don't care about their education" or "public schools only prepare you for a job out of high school, we prepare kids for college". Bad mouthing another school does not make me what to go to Mesa Prep, it actually does the opposite. Like I said from the beginning great education but lacks the extras.

- submitted by a parent
May 06, 2011
OH. EM. GEE. Really, that's about all I've got. We could not be happier with our daughter's experience at Mesa Prep. People who are writing about cliques and bullying... I have no idea what school those people are talking about! An atmosphere of respect is cultivated actively. It is modeled by teachers and administrators and demanded of students. One of the things I love here is that the nerds ARE the popular kids! Each child has a chance to shine and stand out for their achievements, and they are acknowledged by their community for that. The academics are top-notch, and contrary to a previous poster, the classics are NOT outdated for the modern world! People have to learn HOW to think, and think critically, and evaluate for quality, truthfulness, and relevance. That is what is missing in this country today, and the Great Hearts schools are filling the need. As I told Mr. Wagner, "You couldn't PAY me to take my kid out of this school!"

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2010
Mesa Prep is the perfect fit for our student. He was not challenged at his previous school and he became lazy in his study habits. The first year at MPA was a wake up call! :o) He has grown so much thanks to the extra attention of the amazing teachers and staff. His grades have improved and he looks forward to participating in extracurricular activities.

- submitted by a parent
October 08, 2010
The best school I've ever been to by far. I miss it more then you could imagine. You get close with the people there and it gives you a lot of great opportunities to do things you never knew you could do. This includes academics and athletics. The students that don't do well bring it on themselves. If you want to do well you can.

- submitted by a community member
June 20, 2010
Mesa Prep has far exceeded our expectations for what a school community can do for a student. We have seen our child challenged, encouraged to grow, introduced to think outside of the traditional box of learning and provided repeated words of encouragement. We have seen our child grow not only academically but in character and his values strengthened. The students at the school are very supportive of each other. The teachers answer questions either in person, on the phone or over email. The administration is quite supportive. Our student has begun to feel more challenged but at the same time he feels respected for his thoughts and views.

- submitted by a parent
June 12, 2010
Very disappointed with this school. A lot of parents are removing their kids and sending them to regular public schools next year.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2010
Our child is finishing up 6th grade and will continue with Mesa Prep in the fall. The homework is demanding and it took some getting used to. Our daughter really has stepped up to the challenge and has been getting excellent grades. She doesn't enjoy the homework but has gotten used to it and has been following a schedule. She is very involved in extra curricular sports/ activities so she has been able to make time for those as well. We are thrilled to see how much she is learning. Would love to see a day off once in awhile from the uniforms :)

- submitted by a parent
March 10, 2010
I have been very disappointed with MPA. My daughter enter this school with a high self-esteem and self worth. She entered MPA as a straight A student from an excellent Charter school. She is leaving MPA with a C- average and a low self esteem. I went several times to talk to her teachers about her grades and each time I was brushed off. The teachers there do have favorites, the students are very cliquish and disrespectful towards each other. There are no disciplinary actions taken towards the children that are out right mean to one another. We had high hopes for our daughter in regards to her future education and we believed that MPA would really help her reach her goals, instead, we now have to pick her, brush her off and help her to move forward from this school experience that has truly set her back several steps.

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2010
Mesa Prep needs teachers who show more warmth and compassion for the students.The faculty for the most part are much too young. They are destroying our kids self esteem. Remember they are still young and do need some recognition. This school has some serious issues and I think alot of parents are starting to realize this.That accounts for all the withdrawn students this semester alone. The teachers and headmaster have their favorites and it is no secret.Mesa Prep would be a great school if they would treat the students fairly, that is not the case here. Alot of parents are fed up with the attitudes of the faculty and fact that Mr Wagner does not interact with most students only his brainiacs, and the parents who donate the most money.Why are the teachers allowed to wear there hair collar length ? That sends a good message to our kids .

- submitted by a parent
December 13, 2009
The previous post must have come from a parent whose child has been in constant trouble. The school. and Mr Wagoner, are not there to babysit. Rather, they are there to ensure our children get a well rounded education (including respect for others). Since he has been headmaster, we have found him approachable for all students as well as parents. The students respect him and find him fair to deal with. Yes, there have been withdrawals. Some have happened because the children weren't able to keep up with the program (it is highly accelerated), some had difficulty behaving (discipline and respect for others begins at home), and others relocated out of state. We have been with MPA for two years and have seen a marked improvement since Mr Wagoner stepped in. He knows students and parents by name and acknowledges their activities and achievements when he sees them. Love it!

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a teacher
July 28, 2009
This school is good only if your goal is for your child to go to a liberal arts or Ivy league college- provided they are not burned out by then. The curriculum does not prepare our kids for the world they will be entering. They spend years reading the classics, learning latin, poetry etc. but yet have no computers, little instruction in communication/writing, typing, spanish, etc. I like the concept of teaching them to be so well rounded but not at the expense of necessities. Our other issue is the lack of teacher certifications and actual teaching experience at an age appropriate level. This is a huge problem. We started here with straight A's from a top charter school and one year at this school ended with C''s and D's, not to mention low self esteem and lower SAT scores. His IQ clearly did not go down...... It was a disaster.

- submitted by a parent
July 26, 2009
Changes have been made for the better. The education my kids receive is top notch. As with anything new, there have been growing pains. However, I know my kids are getting a great education. KUDOS to Great Hearts for making tough decisions and changes!

- submitted by a parent
July 07, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2009
Mesa Prep is a great school as long as your child does not require any special services. The school is very new, 2006 est. and most of the teachers are new to the Great Hearts system. Some of the grades have had more than one teacher turnover in a year. Very demanding school. Great for well organized brainiacs,the rest will weed out by 9th grade.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 13, 2009
I have been extremely disappointed with Mesa Prep. The first year was very good, but this school year took a turn for the worse. The academics are amazing, but the teachers are not good. They act like they don't care, and you have almost no support. The kids that go there are no different than at a public school, there are cliques, and fights, though more rare it still happens. The school is too small for so many people. I feel that with the absence of Ms. Mercado [former principal] the school has disappointed me. Mesa Prep is basically a smaller high school with AP courses.

- submitted by a parent
January 28, 2009
This school has very good academics, and very few cliques

- submitted by a community member
June 02, 2008
MPA has turned out to be everything that we had wanted in a prep school. Small class sizes, engaging teachers and challenging curriculum. There are plenty of extra curricular activities available despite this being the first year of the school. If you or your child is looking for a school that you just drop them off and pick em up everyday, stay at your neighborhood public school. This school has a great sense of community and parents play an active role in the school. If you are looking for a school that will challenge your child academically, look no further than MPA.

- submitted by a parent

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Great Hearts Academies - Arete Prep
4525 E. Baseline Rd., Gilbert, AZ  85234
(480) 222-4233
Last modified Great Hearts Academies - Arete Prep is a Charter school that serves grades 6-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Great Hearts Academies - Arete Prep Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 32 reviews. Top