The school is making efforts to improve from the teachers up through to the principal. It has been a year of change but hopefully the changes that are coming will strengthen the entire school. There are some truly caring teachers and the students need the consistency.
My son's second grade teacher, Mr. Ybarra, is a truly wonderful and caring teacher. He made this year worth keeping my son at this school as I almost transferred him to a local charter school. Mr. Ybarra looks for innovative ways to interest the kiddos in the curriculum. He is also very fair and has handled student issues such as rudeness with calm integrity. My son thinks he is the best teacher and I have to agree as he has been more communicative and responsive than any teacher either of my sons have had thus far (and my oldest just graduated from high school). Kuddos Mr. Ybarra!
I have three children that have either gone or are in the school. Wonderful teachers, great action plans, and the students are learning. The children at this school are educated, and ready for middle school.
My husband was in the Army for 7 years, so my children have had their fair share of new schools. This school is hands down the worst school I have ever experienced in my life. They demonstrate corporal punishment toward the kids, and serve lunch detention on stage in the lunchroom in front of 1 or 2 entire classes! The 5th grade teacher Mrs. Saunders communicates very poorly, and her aloof attitude infuriates me. On my child's first day of school, he and his classmates were forced to write a letter describing how "bad" they were and the "teachers were sick of it" Mass punishment! My child is an honor student and has never given any teacher grief, yet he was punished more at this school than I can even wrap my mind around. Do not take your children there! However; the kindergarten teacher Mrs. Williams was a very nice lady and tried her best despite the challenges the school is facing as a whole.
I wrote a review for this school March 11, 2010 (if you are interested in reading my previous thoughts.) I have had children at this school through all the grades for about six years. The school has changed dramatically this year. More than 1/2 the teachers left at the end of the last school year (2011-12), all of them were a loss. Because of enrollment numbers some of the teachers were not replaced. Some were replaced with teachers just as competent as before, and a few were replaced with teachers that leave something to be desired (yelling and rude behaviors), which is sad, because the school had a phenomenal teaching staff last year. The principal proclaims he is there any time to help parents with concerns; he will talk to parents, but has no follow-through. I have consistently supported this school and this district, and will continue to do so, but will also oversee my children's teachers. There are enough good ones available to be a team, but I am hoping to see a change next year. (currently I have children in 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades at this school, and am somewhat familiar with all teachers.)
We are new to Maricopa and have been very disappointed with Santa Cruz. There is so much teacher drama and they involve the kids. They give mass punishment out instead of punishing individuals... entire classes or grades get detention. The lunch time is ran like a detention center, kids are not allowed to talk and interact. The principal has a lack of enthusiasm and does not make effots to understand concerns, nor correct them. The teachers are overworked with having to be monitors and cross walk supervisors, which, in my opinion, takes away from the class interaction. Our 3 kids get A's and B's and have always enjoyed school until this year. I have spoken with the Superintendent once, and left 2 messages, my husband left 2 messages and never received a call back. Our kids have not enjoyed the school year thus far. The only positive thing about the school is how great the new music teacher is. We are moving to a charter school next year.