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Paradise Valley, AZ

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8801 N. 56th Street
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

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(480) 484-8700
(480) 484-8701
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Map of Cherokee Elementary School address.
February 19, 2015
LOVE it! We've had kids here since 2008. Our 4th & 1st graders have had tremendous success after starts in the Early Learning program there and and are challenged appropriately and supported where they need extra help. Our 4th grader's math scores are almost off the charts on state testing and both kids are at or above their target goals in all other areas. Our 3rd child started in the Early Learning Center this year. She's not quite 2 yet, but is learning numbers, knows her animals and is learning colors too. Cherokee has a tremendous community of highly-credentialed teachers and staff. But hands down, the families make this school what it is! I highly recommend it- regardless of what your child's needs are. Cherokee has solid programs for every kid! Really come see it for yourself!! I think you'll be quite pleased.

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2015
I now have my 3rd child at Cherokee elementary. We could afford a private school or score into one of the top charter schools, but we have been really happy at Cherokee. Consistently Cherokee's scores beat out the other schools and the administration, teachers and parents create a great environment for learning. My kids have needed remedial assistance at times and have received advanced assistance too, now called enrichment. When my kids needed help with reading, there were reading aides provided by the APT. When my kids were excelling in math, there were special sections and aids to help the teachers funded by the APT. Cherokee continued to thrive despite the recent budget cuts, because the parent community is strong and supports the school both financially with aids, supplies, etc. and in the classroom with extra hands as needed by the staff and teachers. I really can't comment on others experience, but I wonder if they are at the same school, as I have had a child a this school for the past 8 years. The worst experience we ever had was with an "ok" teacher once. But the standard is so high at Cherokee, she probably would have been considered good at another school.

- submitted by a parent
January 24, 2015
When I was looking to buy a new house in December of 2000, I happened to find one within the Cherokee boundaries. I didn't have any kids at the time, but I was told Cherokee was the top sought after elementary school to attend in Arizona. I kept that in mind when I finally had my first child and he was ready for elementary school. I've had a child at Cherokee every since Fall of 2006. That son has since graduated and moved onto Cocopah Middle School. I am still at Cherokee with my second son. I don't plan on leaving till he graduates. I have met some fabulous families throughout my years at Cherokee. My sons' best friends are classmates they met in kindergarten. Cherokee has an outstanding APT that makes everyone feel welcomed. New families are always greeted with open arms. It goes without saying the entire staff of Cherokee goes far and beyond their job to ensure every child succeeds. This proves why Cherokee is one of the top ranked schools in the State of Arizona.

- submitted by a parent
January 14, 2015
We moved to this area based on the ratings this school got. I was truly disappointed in the academics. They are all behind based on a standard curriculum for the state. My child is bored and is not challenged. Begs for homework. The gifted program teaches what should be taught in the home room class. Not a fan of having a child stay in the classroom all day long either as opposed to going to a different class for subject. No gym class every day. For gym my child learned cup stacking! Yup cup stacking! Wow was my kid exhausted when he came home!!!! Lol! The teacher is great and wonderful with children. Very experienced. But for an academic standpoint I was not happy. Looking for an alternative next year. I also heard from other parents the teachers just don't care enough to give work.

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2014
Cherokee Elementary is a strong school with caring teachers and administrative staff. After reading some prior posts, I cannot help but provide some feedback to the negative comments. I am a very small member of the APT and sit on the APT Board. I believe that everyone has the responsibility to be supportive and positive for every parent and student! We all need it! All schools have their "social" issues and some parents who may act like they are still in "high school." I suggest ignore and be the positive parent who focuses on things that matter. If you don't like the APT and what they are doing, then make your voice heard! Offer a better solution and get in there and volunteer with a smile! Share your talent, your smile and enthusiasm for our school! Maybe some of those people who seem "grumpy" haven't had their coffee yet? Maybe they worked 25 hours the prior week on M&O voting campaigns, fundraising events, and also volunteered in their child's class and they are just simply exhausted. I do hope that more parents, not just the "repeat" parents who always show up, will become more involved and help in small are big ways. Any time is valuable and matters to our kids.

- submitted by a parent
September 17, 2014
Cherokee is a fine school; no doubt in my mind. I also have written about how great a man our principal is. He has true humility and kindness for all. The teachers are tremendous. If I am to be honest, the Vice Principal is not great. The front desk, administrative staff are tremendous, giving, kind, and a very positive group. There are many women in this school (parents) who are really laughable. I think we are talking about cliques. Childish, petty, insecure women who are desperate for some type of power. We all know who they are. As previous posters said, they mostly pretenders. Big hat, no cattle to quote my grandfather. They want to be seen, and they are on monster ego trips, but in reality they are wannabes. I do not think this type of stereotypical APT mother only exists at Cherokee, but you will find it in must school systems. Typically, the very successful steer clear of the pettiness, and gossip, but it s always the pretenders who are belittling, and trying to assert power out of a deep rooted insecurity. We just ignore those types and focus on the nice parents (and there are many)

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2014
I have already submitted a glowing review previously but after reading the last review I could not help posting some kind of response. While no one is perfect, the members of the Cherokee APT do not deserve any of those comments - they all work tirelessly, generously giving their time to help make Cherokee the #8 ranked school (according to schooldigger.com) in Arizona. With all their hard earned APT fundraising funds Cherokee is able to enjoy reading specialists, classroom aids, extra programs to make up for the early release Wednesdays and much, much more. I have never felt anything but welcomed and appreciated by all the members of the APT. My child's classroom has 26 kids, but with the reading specialist and parent volunteers there are at times only 20 kids in the classroom. While other SUSD schools may feel the squeze of large classroom sizes, Cherokee is unique with all the "extras" that more than make up for this. This truly is a special school, with teachers, staff, a principal and vice principal who give so much and care so much about your kids--- these are the most un-grumpiest people you could ever meet, they are positive, encouraging and communicative!

- submitted by a parent
September 11, 2014
Principal Chantler does a fine job, and majority of teachers are very good. Recently there's been some turnover. Academically the school is great for AZ, which rank as some of lowest in the country anyway. I wish I could give an objective review about Cherokee academics but The reality is, it's full of queen bees, constant gossip and a competitive edge. Instead of growing out of exclusionary, catty behavior, these parents are still in High School. The PTA has several grumpy, self entitled, overachievers if you catch my drift. And the "NEW GUARD" is NO better, sorry! It doesn't stop with the PTA either. You might think you've successfully ditched cliques and bullying after high school? Narcissistic Mothers are bullies, and their sycophant husbands are bullies, and they bully us to control us, to subjugate us, to disempower us. Cherokee is school is FULL of oddball cliquish snobs who make every point to be unwelcoming, give unwarranted criticism, nit-pick, fault-find, exclude, and isolate. I try and avoid these people or communicate by email only. Unfortunately our students have to deal with them. The student/teacher ratio is not low as stated below. My child has 32 in class!!

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2014
Agree with last poster. A lot of the old guard left last year, so many of the APT wannabes/pretenders are gone now. I love the ADMIN staff. Very nice people. The head Principal is truly great, not crazy about the Vice Principal... Big ego, always grumpy... Walt Chantler is a really nice guy, humble and sincere.. Very good leader.. This school is known for its academic superiority. Why someone would chose a charter school over this school is beyond me. Our boy loves his teachers and loves his school. I will say I am not crazy about short Wednesdays, but that is the Scottsdale school districts issue, but Cherokee s Over all, we are very fortunate to have our kids here.

- submitted by a parent
August 17, 2014
This school is incredible. We just moved from what is literally the top ranked school in our old state in the midwest...., and Cherokee might just be better. We have 3 kids here now and love it

- submitted by a parent
April 04, 2014
Cherokee not only has the kindest kids it also ranks #23 of all public/charter schools in Arizona. Cherokee focuses on differentiated learning with an emphasis on Reading, Math and Science. Cherokee has tremendous parental support and is able to provide many teaching assistants/specialists. This has resulted in most children getting special small group enrichment in core areas. In addition, a lower teacher/student ratio is achieved when others are at enrichment. Enrichment is provided for many levels. Beyond financial support there are many highly educated, talented parents that volunteer at the school. Most subjects are approached using multiple teaching methods to reinforce learning and keep interest levels high. Teachers/administration work hard to support learning both academically and emotionally. As a parent, I feel that my children are being highly motivated to achieve without feeling pressure of failure or burnout. Cherokee has struck the balance of fostering a love of learning with hard work and achievement. Children at Cherokee are high achievers that perform well above most schools in Arizona and nationally. Children at Cherokee are respectful, kind and happy.

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2014
Cherokee Elementary is a wonderful school! We feel like we have given our child a private school education. Monna Schweers, the LRC teacher is beyond excellent. She is the best! This school is way ahead of the curve, and the expectations are high. Leadership is outstanding, Walt Chantler is a great Principal. All of the teachers that we have had are great. Can t say enough great things about Cherokee.

- submitted by a parent
April 01, 2014
From what I hear this is one if the best schools in paradise valley for the youngsters. My son is special and needs be to be comfortable and have his educational needs met a certain way. I will be sending him to this school the starting of this next school year. CAN'T WAIT!

- submitted by a parent
December 06, 2013
We finally found Cherokee after going to 2 other $$$ private schools for a few years. Ironically, my children were behind in math and reading when we joined Cherokee. They caught up within a month with teacher support and extra help. They are blossoming and loving their school. It is an amazing, diverse, caring environment and the parents are very involved but not in an annoying way. Everyone wants to volunteer for events, working in classroom centers and to help the school overall, especially due to budget cuts. We have had top and very creative teachers for our children and Walt and Paul (Principal & Asst. Principal) are the best we've seen. This school is a hidden gem in SUSD...so much so, maybe I should not tell people about it in order to keep it special. They do have open enrollment so our class sizes stayed small: 21 and 25! I just wish PV/Scottsdale residents would clue in that an excellent school system is a #1 draw for families and people moving to the area (resale, people!!!). So it is going to be interesting with the impending budget issues due to the override not passing. We love Cherokee and know our children will succeed in such a wonderful environment.

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2013
I could not agree more with the previous posts. If we wanted to, we could send our children to a private school. We feel it is much more important for the overall development of a child to be a part of the neighborhood school close to home. Our goal is to raise self cofindent children who feel connected to their community. Cherokee is a great place for a strong foundation.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2013
I've had 3 kids attend Cherokee, by choice. I have driven my kids from a different district after shopping many schools, public, private and charter, in and around my area and found Cherokee to be the perfect fit and the best public school we have encountered. The teachers are mostly top notch who really care about seeing their students excel. The special programs for those who need extra help at the high end or low end are spectacular and the principal has the kids and their needs met first, while maintaining a good relationship with the parents and teachers. The classes are a bit crowded as are all public schools but the funding from the parent teacher association helps maintain a nice ratio with extra aides in the classrooms. I believe wherever your kids are in school it is essential to be as active as you can to make it the best it can be. You will not be disappointed in Cherokee. It is a highly excelling neighborhood school where the parents and staff alike care a great deal about seeing each student excel to his/her highest ability.

- submitted by a parent
October 08, 2013
We have the means to send our children to any private school and are so happy and thankful we chose Cherokee. Besides the fantastic academics and brilliant staff the fact we chose our neighborhood school has helped feel invested in the neighborhood and have met the most wonderful families. We are so blessed to have Cherokee in our own backyard!

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2013
This is one of the finest schools in Arizona. Cherokee elementary is definitely ahead of the curve. Very polite staff and teachers. Principal Walter Chantler is an extremely kind individual who cares a lot. He is a great leader. Classroom size are a a bit large, but that is par for the course these days. Can not say enough good things about this school and its leadership.

- submitted by a parent
February 18, 2013
I have to say I am amazed at the experience my daughter and i have had at Cherokee. I pulled my daughter from Hopi in hopes that another school would not label her, but would observe and make suggestions for a way to break through her shell to enhance her learning ability. Her teacher immediately took action and made suggestions and got her in a reading and math program to fit her needs and level. She is now w excelling and loves reading and math. I do not know what I would have done if it weren't for the teachers and staff at Cherokee. We are so blessed.

- submitted by a parent
December 20, 2012
My son attended the special education preschool here (PANDA). The school is amazing. The community is fantastic, the teachers are excellent and we could not be happier!

- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2012
Cherokee Elementary School is one of the finest schools in the state! Our daughter receives special education and we could not be happier with Judy Crosby and her team. Walt Chantler is a 5 star principal. Well respected by all. Our daughter has been with 3 teachers now, all of which are first class.

- submitted by a parent
August 09, 2012
The parent that wrote the autism classroom review is way off. First of all, both the autism teachers at Cherokee are certified and highly qualified special education teachers. I have worked, as a parent of a regular education student, with the primary special education teacher. I watched her included students throughout the day, even students who have limited language and had difficulties with academics because of cognitive delays. Her assistants are amazing and the students made leap and bounds of growth. This teacher was new to Cherokee last year (2011/2012), and she created a program that included all her students. Although I am a parent volunteer at Cherokee and not a teacher, I can tell you that this teacher was amazing. I have never seen children make so much growth. I feel sorry for the person that wrote this review as it is obviously unfounded, as to my knowledge ALL in the Scottsdale Unified School District teachers are highly qualified. I know parents who were begging to get into her program! How sad! It's parents like these that drive amazing teachers out of the classroom. Things should not be posted if a person does not have the correct information!

- submitted by a parent
July 23, 2012
Many 'specialty' programs for autism here. When touring, aides were just sitting around chatting. I saw one teacher texting in class, aides that has little experience and not a lot of inclusion for children with autism. By and large, special kids are kept in self contained autism classrooms. Seldom taught on-grade in those classes, either. No 'highly qualified' SPED teacher designation, so I guess that means whomever takes the job. Sad. Administration is good, if you have typical children.

- submitted by a parent
June 22, 2012
Cherokee is a wonderful school. The principal makes a point to be approachable and visible, and holds informational meetings a few times a year to update families on what's going on. The PTO is very active and has a strong base of support, raising funds and running many programs. The kindergarten teachers coordinated and mapped out the year together so that each class was covering the same materials, and several times in the year they collaborated to have events that all four classes participated in. A five-star school.

- submitted by a parent
February 18, 2011
I found the teachers 1 step short of a total disaster. In particular the helpers/assistants. Ours was just down right terrible. Here is an assistant teacher that would send home notes with spelling mistakes! What? And this is a person I want to teach my child? This happened more than once. We also found the teachers inexperienced and uncaring when dealing with any issues beyond the academics.

- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2010
My three children have attended Cherokee tha past few years. Two of my children have continued to middle school and are excelling in all of their classes and are at the top of their peers. I feel that the teachers, faculty, and staff of Cherokee have prepared my children academically and emotionally for this experience. The leadership has been more than welcoming and accommodating for a typically difficulty population, and I have been incredibly impressed with Cherokee's principal. However, this year the principal has changed and I have not been happy with his inconsistency and lack of leadership. He leaves Cherokee early and does not care about his faculty or parents. I fear the future for my youngest child who has a few more years left at Cherokee.

- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2010
Cherokee is a good public school! Leadership is however lacking but this will be resolved from the 2010-2011 school year. Class sizes are on the large size. There are some very good teachers, others are just OK. Parents are very involved in this school and fund many extras i.e. classroom aides, supplies for classrooms, technology for the classrooms etc. There are also a lot of fun family events planned by the PTA during the school year.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2008
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
September 22, 2007
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2007
I've moved one of my children from Cherokee and will consider moving the other two. Leadership is seriously lacking, student to teacher ratio is very high, no Spanish and no desire to have it, PE only one day a week if your child does band. Teachers are ok but languish without direction. There is a lot of parental involvement but they have lost many many families over the past couple of years.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2006
This school has great parent involvement,agreat energy and a great principal,not to mention great techers and curriculim. Coming from MI we had high expectations to be met and cherokee is at the top of the list-great computer lab,love this school

- submitted by a parent
July 13, 2006
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
May 29, 2006
I believe the school has some great individual teachers. Coming from out-of-state, we were a bit surprised with the academic level. If this is the 'best of the best' that Arizona has to offer (as test scores have shown), we need to look into private schools.

- submitted by a administrator
January 30, 2006
Great quality of academic programs always offering variety of extracurricular activities parent involvement is extremely high

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2006
Level of Parent-involvement-high P.E.-1 day/week hit and miss on teachers

- submitted by a parent
January 07, 2006
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
December 20, 2005
A top-rated school with consistently high test scores. Some very good teachers here, although class sizes are high as they are throughout the district. Extrcurricular activities are present, but primarily outsourced to private companies.Parent group is ambitious and fairly homogenous in their outlook. School has recently taken a more proactive stance towards bullying.

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2005
This is a fabulous school, full of interesting, committed families, safe, great outdoor space.

- submitted by a parent
October 29, 2005
Wonderful school with involved, committed parents and great teachers with experience.

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2005
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2005
The quality of the academic program is exemplary, but the teaching is to the test and the teachers are rigid, especially in 4th and 5th grades. There is a teacher culture not a student culture environment. Extracurricular activities are many and varied. Parent involvement is high, but somewhat exclusionary. Good administrators have left; the culture has stayed even with new administrators. I moved one of my children to a much more positive environment and will be moving my other.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: February 23, 2015

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Cherokee Elementary School
8801 N. 56th Street, Paradise Valley, AZ  85253
(480) 484-8700
Last modified Cherokee Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades PK-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Cherokee Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 41 reviews. Top