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
March 02, 2009
This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Let me start off by stating my daughter took the school test to make sure she tested into the curriculum. She passed with flying colors. Also when they told me about uniforms the original person said you could buy uniforms anywhere as long as they followed the school dress code. Come to find out you can only buy the uniforms at Dennis uniform which is very pricy. At the same time the spouse have to almost be t p o small. To be acceptable for the school or they will be asked to sit out and watch everyone play. At her first parent teacher.conference they tried to tell me my daughter was reading illiterate when in reality she reads to her siblings every night and enjoys it. Their teaching quality sucks, their staff sucks, their policies suck, and they will nit pick at you for anything and everything to complain about hot y o ur always in the wrong about something. My kid cried every day going to school for months after this place. I don't know what they were doing but she went from admiring going to school to dreading it and never wanting to go back.
I felt the need to write a review of my own personal experience after reading the previous review. I also challenged the school administration on a policy this year when I was concerned for my own child. I found the principal to be warm, approachable and very attentive with my concerns. I have over the years been impressed time and again with what a wonderful school experience my own children are receiving by attending Challenge. Thank you Principal Miller for your dedication and hard work to making this school the best. I admire and respect your tremendous efforts. Way to go!
My 3 children have attended this school for several years now. The teachers are great - some of the most loving and caring we have found. The school administration, on the other hand cares more about policy and procedure than the kids. There have been several instances this past year where I challenged one of the school's policies which negatively affected my children...this is NOT something that is welcomed. I was simply referred back to school "policy"...my children were moved to tears. This was not a behavioral issues..just a silly rule that has no room for negotiation. If you do not challenge anything...there will be no issues with CCS. However, if you choose to step outside of the square box that has been painted for parents to stand it, you will be disappointed. As a former educator myself, this is not acceptable in a state that has a declining education system. The parent/student voice is important and necessary! When my children see the stiff regulations which limit their opportunities, they begin to feel unimportant - we will not be returning next year. This is not acceptable to me! Children are more important than policy.
My son is in 2nd grade this year at Challenge Charter. I must tell you what a great school this is. I am so incredibly happy with the amount of knowledge he has obtained in 3 years. He is always coming home saying how much fun he had at school. He is always asking me "Did you know...?" this, or "Did you know...?" that. Somehow this school has managed to get students extremely engaged and interested in what they are doing. There are always tons of school activities to bring the parents and teachers together. All of the teachers I've met have been outstanding. I gotta tell ya, I'm a teacher at a public school farther south, and granted it's a title one school in a rough neighborhood, it really gets me down thinking about the successes my students are missing out on, because they are too caught up in assessments and the curriculum just isn't as rigorous as Challenge Charter School. I'm an art teacher, and my students at my school can hardly read and write, all the way up through 6th grade. I am SOOO happy my son is at Challenge. He will have a huge leg up on the rest of the world because I sent him there. You should definitely do the same.
CCS Is an amazing school! One of the comments I just read on here says that they use Common Core as the curriculum, and that is not correct. CCS uses Core Knowledge Curriculum. Common Core is the Arizona State standard that all schools have to comply with. It gets confusing because they both have the word "core" in them.
Everyone has their own opinion, but before you make statements make sure you are telling the truth. First of all CCS teaches Core Knowledge which is not to be confused with Common Core. Reading and Math are a top priority at this school. Just today I volunteered in my son's class and guess what, I helped some of the students with their reading and the teacher ( who has been there since the school opened) pulled a group to work with them as well. This school also has a variety of activities such as dance, music, art etc... And as parents we are encouraged to exchange phone numbers at back to school night :)
This school has really gone down hill. First this school uses Common Core, do not be confused into thinking they use anything other than the standard public school program. All the tenured teachers have left. I would say one student a month transfers to another school. No language, no music. Extremely challenging getting any type of math or reading support. The board is father, wife and daughter! The principal spends a lot of timing applying for awards not actually helping the kids move forward. Very restrictive communications policies. It's common core, might as well just go to a local public school where they actually have activities, playground, places where the kids can get out of the rain. Doesn't it seem strange that parents aren't allowed to exchange phone numbers? Hmmm
This school is one of the best! High standards with guidance for the children in excelling. They teach in a way that makes the children want to learn more. My children don't want to leave which speaks volumes in itself. One of my children has had some difficulties at times and both the teachers, principal, and board members have been supportive and encouraging and offered any sort of assistance needed when I inquired. I felt as if there was a teamwork effort to guide my child back in the right direction. Afterwards my child had such motivation to work harder to succeed! My children have been in tears when I brought up the possibility of changing schools before 6th grade to go to a 5-12 school. So we have been here since 1st and will go all the way through 6th. I am so thankful for being able to choose Challenge Charter School for my children and pray junior high and high will be just as great!
I love this school. My daughter has attended since Kindergarten and is now in the 4th grade. This is my son's second year as a first grader. This place is extremely organized, there is excellent communication with parents. Every teacher we have had has been professional, caring and truly gifted at inspiring a love of learning. This school is exactly what Charter schools should be and I truly wish they went all the way through high school.