Posted March 2, 2009
Dear Parents: Thank you for taking a few minutes of your time to learn more about &/or share some of your experiences at Challenge Charter School. CCS was founded in 1996 by Superintendent, Greg Miller & Executive Director, Pam Miller, my parents. The Millers are still active in the leadership of CCS; and I am honored that they have chosen and support me in my new role as Principal. I am proud to have been working with CCS s outstanding team of educators since 1999. The team at CCS is passionate about putting kids first, offering an optimal educational environment, grounded in the fundamental skills of a hands-on, science-oriented, academic core curriculum. As Arizona s First Official Core Knowledge School our curriculum is integrated and sequential providing a challenging and differentiated learning environment also rich in history, character education, and technology. Recently, a few parents have commented on our testing culture. In response, I confirm that our students, of all backgrounds, consistently score 25 to 40% higher than the state average of both: all schools (~1700); and all charter schools (~485). This accomplishment is something our teachers, school community, parents, and especially students are proud of! So, yes, we do talk about it on campus; we empower and encourage our students to celebrate their achievements. Challenge is proud to offer many unique programs and services. Some of the opportunities at Challenge include: Extended-day Kindergarten, before & after school care, extracurricular classes during the school day (such as art, foreign language, PE, technology), Breakfast/lunch program, caring and highly qualified staff, parent/family nights, and a uniform policy. I encourage all interested parents to join us for one of our several Founders Tour & Informational Sessions this spring. At these tours, we discuss school policies & programs in detail and no question goes unanswered. Lots of information including tour dates is available on our webpage at www.challengecharterschool.net. Call our office today at 602-938-5411to sign up! Principal Wendy Miller
I'm a parent with a five year history at Challenge. I feel fortunate to have both my children attend because their mission is to actualize the potential in these kids. My kids both attended charter schools previous to enrolling in Challenge, and made huge gains with the transition. My son is very bright, but needed discipline and more challenging work to flourish. He performs great in a structured, well- planned learning environment and is motivated by the rewards allowed by the school for good behavior and results. My daughter is extremely artistic and easily distracted, but Challenge kept her focused with the curriculm's hands-on learning and cognitive discussions. My only constructive critique is that administraion secretary's in the office be friendlier and personable(a great school should have great personalities who service the parents and students)...but certainly a meager and selfish price to pay when your kids are learning above and beyond the majority of other students at other schools.
The teachers at this school are top notch. The students are very well disciplined and behaved compared to most public schools. Academics are top of the valley, they are Excelling (state designation) and have received national awards. BUT the administration that runs the school can be unprofessional. One yelled at me in the past and recently yelled at my best friend because her daughter was talking in class. I was with Challenge for TEN years with my two kids. My daughter was there from Kindergarten thru 6th grade, and is honors in H.S. now. My son is going to a new school in the fall. It was time for some change. If you choose this school, beware of the administration and be prepared to pay a ton for their required, specific uniforms that don't hold up at all.
I like this school. Teachers are really helpful.Mrs owens is best teacher we are really happy the way she help to my daughter.
I am a former teacher of Challenge and decided to leave my position there so that I could be a stay at home mom to my beautiful boys. Time has gone by so fast that now my son will be entering Pre-K and I am already thinking of Kindergarten. With all honesty and sincerity I can tell you that I would not want my child to go to any other school, but Challenge. I don't live close to challenge, but am willing to make the trip every morning so that my children receive the BEST educational experience. I know it can be overwhelming reading the reviews and looking at so many schools, but if you are not willing to compromise for anything less than the best, then send your children to Challenge. I with out a doubt will be.
Challenge Charter School's staff is unprofessional and unorganized. Instead of owning up to mistakes, the staff uses excuses as the reason for unacceptable behaviors. For example, this school holds an annual "Meet the Teacher night" where I provided hand written instructions on my children's after school routine. I expected them to be followed, however my childcare provider advised me that the staff refused to allow my children to board the childcare bus and instead my children were placed on the school bus headed to a bus stop where me nor my husband were. Scary!!! When my husband faced the staff about the situation, we were told that the teachers have too many responsibilities after school and that they tried to call me when the childcare company arrived but they could get ahold of me. That response and what occurred is absolutely unacceptable. Please don't believe the hype about this school.
This school has too much turnover in teachers. My kid had three different teachers for one class. The school doesn't work with the teachers to improve their performance, instead, just fires them and hires someone else.
Please ensure that when you make a decision to enroll your child into any school that you make a well balance decision between your child's education and the values the school instills in your child that will shape your childs self development. While Challenge Charter School has a education program that is above school level, the methods the staff embraces to prepare schools for children (As they say) is not ideal. In other words, Challenge Charter School does not believe in the principle of teaching children to have successful interactions with each other. Instead the staff embraces a philosophy of punishing students and giving them several rules that they will naturally break as children. The lack of grace in this school system encourages inappropriate behavior. How a child views themselves regardless of what they know (education) will shape what they think of themselves and how they interact with others beyond their school years. Choose wisely!
I understand everyones concerns about the uniforms and there cost, but in reality lets stop complaining and start focusing on our child's education. My two children attend CCS and I am proud to say that there fundementals in teaching are awsome. CCS also ofers an outstanding core program ,which I have notice a signaficant change in our children's characters. One is the Pledge of Respect and so on.... I am first to say, if you are not content with CCS Curriculum, then plesase do yourself a favor and enroll your child back into a Public School. Where your child will definetly learn about the public school settings. Examples, boys wearing earings, boys wearing skinny jeans and even coloring there hair. Can you handle that. I know that I can't. CCS keep up the great work with our children. Principle Miller keep up your excellent work in eduacating our children. Teacher you are all doing an awsome job. Thank you for teaching our children .............................................................................
Our daughter attended CCS for Kinder and 1st grade. It was recommended for her to repeat 1st grade, even though she was getting good grades in every subject except for Language, which she does require additional speech support. The teacher felt she took up too much time in class to re explain missed information to my daughter (her receptive speech issues). We moved to a new city which had excelling public schools and decided to have her tested. Funny thing... she was reading at reading level for early 2nd grade and placement test showed this is where she should be. We put her in 2nd grade last yr and she did GREAT! They had accommodations for her in class to HELP her with retaining information when first explained. Now she is starting 3rd grade, a happy secure stress free child! What a shame it would have been to hold her back.
CCS is a wonderful K-6 grade school! My 2 kids - one in 1st grade and the other in 3rd grade, both enjoy learning in school. They love going to CCS because they enjoy the curriculum that's being taught there and the teachers are great! I'm glad that I've found a school that challenges my kids to excel!
The staff is great!! Nurturing, caring, and all the teachers are there to help each student not only those in their class. Administration really cares and will help your child succeed to the best of their abilities!
My 2 children are excelling beyond my wildest expectations at Challenge! They are excited about school and the AIMS testing. Whoever heard of a kindergarter talking about how much fun he had taking the AIMS test and how good he felt that he could read all the questions on the test all by himself. I'm very happy with CCS and its superior administration that keeps a smooth running ship. The teachers are the most caring and best I have ever known. The education is priceless.
My children have attended this school for three years. I will not be bringing them back next year thanks to the administration of the school.
Our children love Challenge Charter School. We believe the teachers here are the best in the area. They make learning fun and the kids come home excited to tell us about their day. The school does challenge their minds and the homework is real homework. Wendy Miller is an excellent principal. It's wonderful to see her involved with the special activities.The teachers are on board with Wendy and the team atmosphere shines with the academic achievements these kids are accomplishing. Thank you Challenge for giving us the peace of mind that our children are getting an education that will last a lifetime. As for the uniforms. They still look great even after a whole year of washing. They have withstood the test and in the end we saved money!
This school really takes education seriously, they teach the kids by logical, critical thinking. They do not just pass your kid along to the next grade if does poorly, like other schools in AZ. Challenge reminds me of the east coast school, creating intelligent future leaders.
This is the best school in the Valley. My daughter would go there 7 days a week , if she could. For those students that are lucky enough to have Ms. Propp for second grade, you will excell! Ms.Propp is the best teacher my daughter has ever had. Now if Ms. Miller would have Ms. Propp teach 3rd grade this year and move her up every year until my daughter is done with 6th grade , I would be thrilled.She is the best and nicest teacher, the school should be very proud of the job she is doing. As far as the rest of the teachers go, they are tops. Keep up the good work, great school, great staff!
We researched a lot of schools when we decided to move our boys and we thought Challenge was superior, however our older son, who went to a different school for kindergarten, was reading books by the 2nd month of kindergarten and our younger son, who went to Challenge for kindergarten, didn't start reading books until the summer after kindergarten. Challenge doesn't use the spalding method of phonograms and I believe this is why it took my younger son longer to read. We have now moved to a school that does use the spalding method and I'm so glad. Also, although Challenge saya they challenge students who excel..they really don't. At my son's other school he was moved to a higher grade level when studying reading & math, but at Challenge they are just given projects to do. I was disappointed in Challenge.
Up til this year we have really enjoyed CCS. We are starting to feel a little concerned about our child's lower grades this year. Also wondering if more opportunity may exist in a public school in regard to physical educations, music, art, and other extracirricular activities. I know CCS is very academically driven, which is good, but also wonder if the concern is more about the kids and making sure they comprehend, or about getting awards. We are not sure how we feel about the daughter of the founders of the school being placed as Principal. The uniform policy is ultra annoying and expensive. We are only 2 months in to this year and have already spent $300 in uniforms. CCS has many strong points, but we are questioning whether we will be back next year at this point. Very anxious to see our child's report card. Time will tell.
This school is great, I am very happy that my kid is going to this school. 10 stars for the quality of teachers, study material etc. etc. But I am very disappointed on the management action on the new Uniform policy. The Uniform decision was shoved into the throats of parents and kids. Parents views were ignored. Parents are suffering due to the low quality, high cost of the uniforms. Hoping that the school management will seriously reconsider this policy and take some swift action.
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