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Challenge Charter School

Charter | K-6 | 628 students

 

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Living in Glendale

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $140,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $960.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 3 ratings
2013:
Based on 7 ratings
2012:
Based on 5 ratings
2011:
Based on 10 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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School Official Point of View

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

119 reviews of this school


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Posted August 27, 2009

We love this school! My husband and I are proud to say that our kids (2nd and K) attend here. As parents we have choices and as adults we choose which will work in our budget and family dynamics. The curriculum at CCS is challenging but very rewarding. The kids thrive there. Any one walking their kids to class can see it. It's a shame that the kids do hear parents complaining about uniforms or whatever. All a child should hear is confirmation - especially about teachers and school who should be respected for their outstanding results. We as parents receive much more than we put in. I had a minor problem with the logo sticking on the shirt and the school and Dennis were very accommodating and quickly resolved it nicely. Good job!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 27, 2009

Dear CCS Parents, My two children have been at CCS for 5 years now. I could not be happier with the academics and the quality of the teachers. Yes, extra-curricular activities are scares, but we take advantage of whatever is available. On that note, please realize that CCS is grossly underfunded. If every parent took advantage of the tax credit -which is of no cost to you, but brings funds to the school - I am confident that the school's leadership would consider expanding Spanish, music, arts and more. The Millers really have the kids best interest at heart. To those who are unhappy with the new uniform policy ... I have to be honest, I was not thrilled with it either. I am now paying twice as much for uniforms than before. Please recognize that you have the option to send your children to your own district's public schools.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 26, 2009

This is the 6th year our son has attended CCS. The academics and teachers are great. The extracurricular activities are pretty scarce. A music program was instituted this year, but now there's no foreign language offered. The computer club no longer exists, either. The facilities are kept in excellent condition. As for parental involvement, I have spent many hours in the classrooms volunteering. The parents are treated with respect. Because this school is privately owned, the administrators do call the shots. It does limit the say of parents. I'm not happy with the decision about the uniforms coming from one source, either, but we decided that the fine academics override the overpriced uniforms. The administrators have the best interests of our children at heart. My son loves it there and is thriving. He's getting a top-notch education with lots of encouragement, and it's all in a safe environment.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 19, 2009

My kids have been attending CCS for the last 5 years and they have been very happy here. I have also been impressed with CCS for several reasons. Just a few months into Kindergarten and they are all reading, kids that I know from other schools were way behind them. They do presentations right from the start so they never learn to be anxious. The kids are also taught about character and as a parent that is very important to me. Every teacher that my kids have had have been great. I think that a uniform policy should have nothing to do with the way that a parent rates a school and all of the nasty reviews are just from people who are upset about that. I spent an extra $150 this year, my kids are worth it... JV
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 23, 2009

Challenge Charter school is a phenomenal school. My family has been a part of this school for 8 years and we love it. This year has been a year of change and nobody likes change. But when it comes down to what's important, oue kids are recieving a top-notch education at a school where the staff and administration take the time to get to know them and take an interest in the entire family. I look forward to this upcoming year and many years to come.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 22, 2009

My children have been attending CCS for the past 5 years. The education is fabulous. The teachers are excellent!!!!Miss Owens is a fabulous Kindergarten teachers. My children have loved all their teachers and have been given an amazing start. This past year I have been fustrated with changes in the school. I don't think that with the status of our economy thast this is the time to create the this type of financial burden. If this was my only complaint I would gladly find the funds to pay more the $400 for 5 shirts and 5 bottoms for my two children, however I feel that the integrity of the schools leadership has been compomised. The school seems to be more concerned with winning awards than with the performance of the individual child. This leaves me questioning whether to re-enroll or not. Very sad!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 5, 2009

Lastnight my 6 year old read a chapter book to me. I find this an amazing accomplishment considering a year and a half ago she did not read at all. Challenge really is a wonderful school with amazing teachers and I am so happy I was lucky enough to find it. That said, I am have to agree with most of the comments hear about the new uniform policy. I had already bought uniforms for next year when they were on clearnace, now I have to buy a whole other set at at least 3 times the price. I will do it because I love this school, but it's really going to hurt my budget. I feel for parents with mulitple children in the school. I'm sure many are in the same boat as me, make too much to qualify for free uniforms, but still barely getting by.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 25, 2009

My oldest daughter had a wonderful experience and so far my middle child is thriving and excelling at CCS. I have never had any problems with the teachers, adhering to school policies, and the administration. As a single working mother of three, it saddens me to see that CCS has decided to finalize its decision with using one source for uniforms. While I completely understand what administration is trying to accomplish, the uniforms are far too expensive. Other parents have said that if their child was attending a public school, they would mostly likely spend the same amount of money. I beg to differ! In this day and age...with the country's economy declining, I find myself and many others being wiser and more frugal in all aspects of spending. There must be a better way! We should not have to sacrifice a good education due to expense. How sad
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 23, 2009

I have a daughter that attends Challenge and have to say that it is on of the best schools I have ever been involved with. The education that goes on in the classroom is second to none. My daughter is excited each time she gets to do a project for school. Challenge is more than an educational institution though. There are many things that the school has done for so many families that go unnoticed. My sister has a daughter who is at Challenge as well and has been sick recently. The school made sure to ask how she was doing and cared enough to find out how they could help out. Challenge is and incredible educational institution and has a staff and administration that cares about the students and their families. Thank you so much for all that you do for our families. It really does make a difference.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 3, 2009

My children have been going to CCS for many years now, and we could not be happier!! The Miller's take a personal interest in every student that attents their school. And there have been times when money has been tight and the Miller's have given my children free uniforms and school supplies, without even blinking and eye!!! Not to mention the top notch education they are getting. My children are reading and writting at a much more advance level than their friends that attent other public, private, and charters schools. CCS could change the uniform policy every year and my children will always return because of the Miller's and the great education!! To everybody that does not like the new policy remember it is YOUR choice where your children go to school!!!! If you don't like it, go to a different school! I am sick of my children hearing you complain!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 26, 2009

I love this school! It has done wonders for my child and her development.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 23, 2009

I have to agree with those parents who are NOT thrilled with the new uniforms for the upcoming school year. I beg for the staff at CCS reconsider. How about a compromise...we'll buy the shirts you want, and the pants where we can find them cheaper. You have to remember we buy shorts for the begining of the year, pants a few months later and shorts again come March (because our kids have outgrown the ones from the before). I was unable to attend the SAC meeting last week to know what was said about this proposal but I don't see a problem with it. If the school can meet the parents half way I think there will be many less complaints. And to those parents who are giving a bad rating for the school overall based on the uniform change, shame on you! CCS is a great school!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 23, 2009

I consider it a privilege to have my daughter attend this school. The academics are top notch and the teachers/administration involved and caring. There is emphasis on citizenship and community involvement that I have not seen in other programs. I highly recommend this school. - Shawn Patterson
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 13, 2009

This is a wonderful school!! This is coming from a mom who has homeschooled for the past 5 years. This year I decided to have my two boys--(10 and 5) to go to 'regular' school. I was exhausted and my oldest refused to learn from me, he refused to read, write, and pay attention...and I'm not a dictator kind of mom :) What this school has given my family is the joy in learning new things, fulfilment, a safe environment, and a great way to meet other like-minded parents. My oldest, in the past 4 months has gotten a compassion award, and is reading way beyond what he was doing at home. They treat each child as unique and address each specific issue. Never once have I gotten the vibe that it all for 'test scores' but rather for my child!! Who could ask for a better place!?!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 13, 2009

I agree with the parent who posted that this is bad timing to implement the new uniform policy. We are all struggling to make ends meet. This is not the time to ask us to spend more money on uniforms. Wait until the end of the recession or at least modify the policy, so that we will still be able to buy uniforms at a lower cost. It is my hope that they reconsider due to the financial impact it will have on so many.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 2, 2009

We are thrilled with this school. This is a school of choice; you can and should choose another if you are not thrilled. Teaching how to test is part of all schools in America these days; so do not kid yourself. However, the teaching here is so much more. What about the discipline program that is consistant, and based on core virtues that are studied? How awsome! The core knowledge curriculum is outstanding; my childs knowledge of history, science, reading & math theory just in 1st grade is so far ahead of his peers. You can provide toys at home. And YOU should be teaching at home, supporting homework, and practicing the values. Elementary school prepares for a future where your child can choose what they learn, now they need the basics so they can make good choices later on!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 29, 2009

If you only care about test scores then this is the school for you. Your child may not know how to read or write but will coached over and over for the AIMS and TerraNova tests so the school receives high ratings. Sad.


Posted January 18, 2009

There is no doubt that the small size of the school, it's location, and enclosed campus, helped me feel comfortable initially sending my child to Challenge. I have to admit over the last two years, I have been disappointed. My child has 3 to 5 major tests every Friday. Teachers continually give practice AIMS tests. There is so much emphasis on tests that my daughter actually became ill during the TerraNova last year, because she said 'If I don't do well, I'm letting my school down.' I really think there is way too much emphasis on tests. And not enough emphasis in the 'joy' of learning.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 6, 2008

This is my grandson's 2nd year at CCS. His parents and I are extremely happy with the teachers and the curriculum. My grandson enjoys school very much and is learning beyond our expectations. This truly is an excelling school in every way.


Posted October 29, 2008

My daughter loves CCS and so do I!!! I have found the teachers to be caring and capable (but not coddling) and the new principal to be responsive and approachable. It is quite easy to go on a website and anonymously vent your frustrations - you can say whatever you want with no consequences! If you are unhappy with the teachers, leadership, and/or policy at CCS, you should withdraw your child and find another school that better suits them -there are A lot of children on the waiting list that would be thrilled to get the chance to attend CCS!
—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.

103 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
91%

2012

 
 
90%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
92%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 75% in 2013.

103 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
95%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
98%
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.

90 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
95%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
99%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2013.

90 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
99%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
98%
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.

64 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
97%

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
94%

2010

 
 
84%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

64 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
99%

2010

 
 
96%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2013.

64 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
98%

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
91%

2010

 
 
92%
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.

43 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
86%

2012

 
 
91%

2011

 
 
87%

2010

 
 
93%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

43 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
98%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
100%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2013.

43 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
95%

2011

 
 
89%

2010

 
 
98%
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 74% 42%
Hispanic 11% 43%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 8% 3%
Two or more races 4% 2%
Black 2% 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 1% 0%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 5%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 19%N/A47%
Female 53%N/A49%
Male 47%N/A51%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Nurse(s)
PE instructor(s)
Special education coordinator
Speech and language therapist(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school officials and community members.

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Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Founder Miller inducted into the Circle of Honor (top 1% AZ Principals.) (2006)
  • National Charter School of the Year - awarded by Washington D.C. based Center for Education Reform (2007)
  • US Dept of Ed National Blue Ribbon School - highest academic honor (2007)

Special education / special needs

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Special education
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Garden/Greenhouse

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
Performing and written arts
  • Dance
  • Drama

Language learning

Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered
  • Yes
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:30
School end time
  • 3:30
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
  • Before school
School Leader's name
  • Principal Miller
Special schedule
  • Extended/longer school day
Fax number
  • (602) 938-5393

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Core knowledge
  • Gifted / high performing
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Special education
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • Yes
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Targeted Assistance program (TAS)
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Cafeteria
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Playground
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Physical Education classes
Girls sports
  • Physical education classes

Arts & music

Performing arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Parent involvement
  • *school advisory council: hands-on management team *school facilities and curriculum committes such as technology, uniform, discipline etc. *community-business partnerships. strong parental support organization and volunteerism *classroom instructional support *bi-annual parent-teacher conferences & at partent/ teacher's discretion *key members of admin. in civic organizations
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Volunteer in the classroom
More from this school
  • *Environmental policy allowing scent/toxin-free learning environment *Uniform policy *Full-day kindergarten program *Character development curriculum *Limited transportation provided *National school lunch program
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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5801 West Greenbriar Drive
Glendale, AZ 85308
Website: Click here
Phone: (602) 938-5411

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