This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Cherokee Elementary School5
Posted January 24, 2015
- a parent
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.
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.
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.
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)
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!
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!!
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.
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.
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.