We can only speak of the upper school and I would suggest anyone considering it run away as fast as you can. The teachers are poor. The administration is beyond unprofessional and the principal is a joke. There seems to be an atmosphere of fear about openly criticizing the school because of a perceived retaliation against one's child grade-wise.
They are not interested in you unless you can afford to go here. If you are applying for scholarship or financial aid don't even bother. There are better schools out there that will welcome you with open arms.
My daughter has attended Tesseract for the last two years. She was at an A+++ public school during kindergarten. While at the public school she learned inappropriate language and mannerisms more suited for a teenager. Within 1 month at Tesseract we had our 6 yr. old back! The school as a whole teaches the students compassion and caring for themselves, the community, the country and the world. The academic education is topnotch while the art and music programs are stellar! It is with GREAT sadness that we will be leaving Tesseract at the end of this year due to a move out of state. If we ever have the chance to move back we will join the Tesseract community once again.
We have had our kids in the middle school for about a year and a half. We have been incredibly pleased with the culture of the school. We believe the school is providing what is needed to succeed in the 21st century. Most "top" schools are still chasing the goals of the 20th century through a hyper-focus on test scores, GPAs, and an academic rat race. However, Tesseract is looking forward towards the creative, community-oriented collaboration that will be required for success in the world our children will inhabit. It is difficult at times for us as parents as we are used to the "old-school" idea that more homework is better and, in essence, a child that is too happy must not be working hard enough. We have found at Tesseract that our children come home absolutely full of new things they have learned. Yet somehow they don't even realize they've been at school. As a summary, I would say that while most schools today focus on making "good soldiers" and are rated according to a common generic standard, Tesseract is focused on making generals. One cannot compare it with those other schools. It is unique.
This is a great school. The upper school is smaller than most, but growing. I think the small size is negligible given the size of the city we live in - and it is clearly an asset academically because the classes are very small and the students get an incredible amount of individual attention, a rarity at the high school level. In my observation, the academic level competes with other private high schools and seems to exceed that of public schools. Extracurricular activities in the arts and sports areas are abundant and there is a high participation level among students. There are no students labeled "average" at this school - all are viewed as unique and able to contribute significantly to the world around them. All are expected to develop into happy, whole, productive, successful, ethical adults. To me, this is an incredible gift to give children during the formative and often vulnerable adolescent years.
Tesseract School is exceptional. You won't find another middle or upper school remotely like it. Class sizes are small and the educators are present, available, and genuinely interested in the overall development of the students. All parents have a strong voice - and can speak with the principal directly, anytime. Surveys are sent out twice yearly to parents & students. Children are respected as individuals, and encouraged in all areas. My children became comfortable with public speaking within the first few months. They are now critical thinkers. They have ideas about themselves, others, and the environment that they confidently and intelligently express. Locks aren't needed on lockers because there is an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect on this campus. Bullying is not tolerated, and it seems those who are in repeated violation of rules no longer attend the school. The minute you walk on campus you notice the atmosphere of trust and respect - there is virtually no serious or sexual misbehavior, drug use or violence - issues that are givens at other schools. The children are safe on campus - physically & emotionally, and they know it. For a parent, this is priceless.
As a student, I received and education far from what I thought I was getting. If you want your kid to be in advanced math or advanced anything once he or she gets to high school, don't send them to Tesseract. Send them to PCDS or some place that has more academic discipline. I did not go to PCDS, but my brother did and he is far ahead of where he should be academic wise. Even my parents regret sending me here. They believe this was a waist of money and time. In a nut shell, I think for the money you pay, this is a school far below average.
This is the second private school in the Valley that we've attended and we are very happy with the education our children are receiving. They are challenged daily to think outside the box while being taught traditional academics. The teachers and administrators are caring, thoughtful, highly educated and very professional. The families are warm and welcoming. My kids couldn't be happier and it clearly shows through the daily enthusiasm for school and knowledge that they share with my husband and I. There is no air of pretentious, but rather an air of warmth and family. If you are looking for a school that offers strong academics, educational responsibility for both students and faculty, a nurturing and team oriented environment, and a strong and wonderful familial community then this is the school for you.
My daughter has been attending Tesseract for 4 years, this being her fifth year. The high school might be a little small;however the early childhood program and lower school is amazing in every way. When I first came to visit the school, it was the administration that sold me. They nurture every child like they are there own. They have morning coffees during the year to discuss issues parents may have and open door policy with the teachers. As far as these controlling parents who donate alot,and there kids that get special attention,is not true. This is a PRIVATE school, fundraising is very important!! If you dont want to right a big check than simpily donate your time. These wealthy controlling people are the ones we elected to run are school. Nigel Taplin is a wonderfull soul. We are expanding,people because we have too.
Lower school is excellent. Had a bad experience in the middle school-- took my kids out. Overly authoritarian mid. school director. Too small an environment for that age.
outstanding faculty - completely student focused. Teachers get to know each student and in the middle and high school often serve in a very valuable mentoring relationship that extends beyond the classroom. Relevant curriculum and very innovative. Students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning and they do. Very technologically advanced.
I have been a parent with children at Tesseract for the past 11 years. I have never been disappointed with what the school offered even as it weathered various financial difficulties. At this point, I find the Lower School to be very good and nurturing but I am extremely displeased with the Middle/ Upper School. The issues are not with the educators themselves but more with the Administrators. The current Middle School Head seems to be in over his head. He is not responsive to the real academic issues and does not solve problems. New teachers are not adequately oriented to the school and culture and ultimately creates problems for the students. None of my children will be continuing there next year. Their focus on growth has been way to aggressive and they have lost sight of learning fundamentals. It is really sad as the philosophy used to be so tremendous.
We transferred our daughter into Tesseract last year from one of the strongest public elementary schools in the State. Not only has she continued to thrive academically, Tesseract has given her exactly the right environment to develop into a well-rounded and caring young lady. The school administration and teachers are superb; and yet they continuously seek ways to improve. This fact is evidenced in many ways, from the way they teach, to the experiences they give the students, to the special guests they bring into the classroom. Tesseract treats each child as a special individual with specific needs and characteristics. We recommend Tesseract without reservation to all those who are looking to give their children precisely the beginning in life they will need for this very challenging twenty-first century.
My son has now graduated from Tesseract and gone on to a very challenging high school program. He was incredibly well prepared for that experience. My daughter has attended Tesseract since she was 5 and loves it. Loves to learn, Loves to go to school each day, and she is now in 8th grade. This is a school that teaches to the individual child, not to a test or some other arbitrary metric. There is no place else in Arizona where I would send my children.
This is my daughter's second year at Tesseract. It has been a great experience for her and us. Besides outstanding faculty and a good sports program, Tesseract really focuses on the individual child and helps them realize their potential. I would highly recommend Tesseract to anyone looking for a well rounded quality education for their son or daughter.
Tesseract is a wonderful school, offering many educational and extra-curricular opportunites for students. Tesseract uses teaching techniques which encourage a true love of learning (unlike many schools which focus on rote memorization and piles of un-meaningful homework). We love the K through 9th grade opportunites for public speaking, collaberative learning projects(working with others), and the 'Kids Who Care' Program promoting community service. We feel that when the above three opportunites are combined with Tesseract's academic achievement, this school is creating a 'well-rounded student' who is better equiped to be asuccessful throughout a lifetime. The staff and faculity at Tesseract is caring, knowledgable, and committed to making this school a fun and positive place for learning. We love the low student-teacher ratio and feel that our son is getting a quality education.
Tesseract is an outstanding school. The teaching methods used are the ones which have been proven best by the latest educational research. We have not found any other school in the greater Phoenix area with a more developmentally appropriate curriculum, and the students are being trained to become community leaders. The teachers are fantastic, the low teacher-student ratio is key to the strong academic success of this jewel of a school. My daughters are thriving and excelling here, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
I currently have 2 children at Tesseract. My oldest has been there for 6 years. Both children are stimulated, engaged and brilliantly happy. The school has a bright future, but needs the support of the community at large and continued parental involvement.
I have had a child at Tesseract since 2002. My child loves to learn. I feel the the quality of the teachers and their passion for learning has given my child the desire and tools to understand the world around her. I can't imagine her anywhere else. The low student teacher ratio has been the key to her success.
We have had two children at Tesseract since 2001. One graduated in 2003 and is now a sophomore in college while our younger daughter is in 9th grade and a proud member of Tesseract's first high school class. The academic success our children have had is measurable and easy to discern...they can think, analyze, form opinions based on analysis, and express themselves well, both verbally and in writing. Of higher value to us as parents is the character development we have seen in the kids, much of which we attribute to their Tesseract experience. Integrity, respect for themselves as well as others, and the ability to work in a team environment are attributes that will serve them well throughout their lives. Tesseract and the families, teachers and administrators that make up the school are part of our family.....what a wonderful situation to have in today's world.
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