Stephanie Musser, June 24, 2013
Dear Readers, This site encourages principals to respond to reviews because "parents want to hear the inside scoop about your school from an official source." Normally, I don't read or pay attention to these sites, because the perspectives of a loud few can be limited and based on misinformation. I feel the only way to address this problem is to invite you to visit with me at the school. These postings are not a reliable resource for making the important decisions regarding your child's education. It matters to me that you know the truth. We are a state-approved K-8 school with ample space for our middle school grades on campus. We have chosen recently to purchase our building and the acreage next to us. We are under contract for both. Our new site plan adds 29,000 square feet to what we consider our "dream campus." These decisions take years to accomplish, critical negotiations, and multiple turns to finalize and execute. We work those through internally with management and governance. When decisions are set, we communicate to parents appropriately. Our middle school came about solely as a result of the high demand from our entire parent community. Our middle school rivals the rigor and challenge of competing preparatory schools, but includes our unrelenting attention to the whole child and the positive learning experience. We do, indeed, have specials and electives in middle school - Art, Music, PE, Drama/Performing arts, Winds Ensemble, and Choir. Our leadership team is top in the game - with a combined 50 years of experience in ELEMENTARY EDUCATION and advanced degrees (two of the three have doctorate degrees in Leadership and Innovation). Our team is stable, deliberate, and responsive. You see many comments on how teachers are great and leadership is poor. The success of a building can only be as good as its leadership good teachers require good leaders to be most effective. Also, we do not have high or even inappropriate turnover rates of teachers and staff. This is simply untrue. In the end, I care about your choice for education. I care that you know the truth. I care about your child's experience. We, as a school, are passionate about what we do - and we work tirelessly to do it well. Come see for yourself. Ask the questions you wish. Get the answers you need from an official source. You will see the difference. Thank you for listening. Yours truly in education, Dr. Stephanie Musser
This is our first year at Candeo and we think it will most likely be our last. If I could have given the principal a 0, I would have. She is very rude and arrogant and it is very clear that she feels as though it is her way or the highway and will tell you very easily to find another school. I did some research and she lists herself as founder of the school and despite registering the school as a non profit where she can be replaced, she chooses to believe she can behave however she pleases without any consequences. The very first day we arrived at Candeo to meet the teacher I was surprised by the lack of organization. The lack of leadership is evident in everything from pick up and drop off to homework. When I finally did meet the principal it all made sense. Her responses were very combative and insulting and she made it very clear she had to apologies for the lack of communication which caused us to miss a very important event. It was obvious to me that she did not have children because she had absolutely no sympathy for either myself as a mother or my child. We are very saddened by all of this because we really had high hopes for Candeo.
I left this school a year ago because I saw the same issues other parents do. Poor leadership with no definite plan. So glad I did.
From two parents: Candeo could be a great school by having Core Knowledge, Singapore Math, foreign language and wonderful parent involvement, but the principal, and top administration and a handful of arrogant teachers stop any other positive comments for this school. The principal lets you know immediately that this is HER school and there is no point in suggesting any ideas. If you disagree with anything or have an issue or concern about a teacher, you will be told to find another school. Parents are not told about anything, good or bad, at this school until the week/night before. Communication is all superficial. It is sad when most all of the parents want to be involved and have offered many simple ideas and given thousands of hours of volunteer time. We write this with our children having 13 different teachers at this school over the years.
Our daughter attended this school for 3years and the first two years were great. When we started having trouble during her 3rd year I meet with the teacher and then upper administration. I was not impressed with the solutions to our problems that were presented and felt very isolated. It was made very clear to me that if I was unhappy then maybe I should try another school. I did not feel that the administration heard or wanted to hear what I was saying. They even denied that certain situations were not happening when I witnessed the situation first hand. It was stressful and hurtful. Basically if you follow everything they tell you to do your ok but don't rock the boat and advocate for your child.
This school has been fantastic for my son. He is entering 7th grade and has been a student at Candeo since 3rd grade. He has enjoyed a rigorous education with teachers that care and look out for him. His friends have been great guys that include everyone (even the kids that struggle to fit in) in both classroom activities and outside play. Any interaction (with us or our son) with Dr. Musser or Dr. Hudak has been positive and informative. Enough of the haters. No school, administration or teacher is perfect. Find a school that works for your child...if Candeo is the one then great. If not, then please move on and leave the negative, often incorrect comments off the site. My suggestion would be to ask the people in charge (Dr. Musser/Dr. Hudak) to see if Candeo is a school where your child will excel.
Amazing teachers, but terrible administration and leadership! I feel sorry for families anticipating great things when they get called from the waiting list. Terribly secretive and dishonest.
Expanding school grades and all can not fit in building so parents notified they are renting four classrooms for grades 6 & 7 next year in a church. They will have NO art, must or PE since they are not on main campus. Why offere these grades when space is limited at campus? So the upper grades will be denied their specials. Also checked on AZ state website for charter schools, and Candeo is not even officially approved for grades 7 & 8 yet - the website states school is chartered for grades K - 6. Any suggestions for a school that has grades 6 - 8 that offers art, music, PE that is in an actual school?
Wow, I can't believe all of the negative comments! My child attended here for 3 years until we moved too far away. We have not been able to find a school half as good and we miss Candeo tremendously.
This time of year, every school year there is concern of is Candeo having 6th grade? Now it's are we having 7th grade? We are putting up portables, not we can't put up portables. The school is moving grades 5 - 7 to different location? Where, we don't know yet. The stress level for families/students is getting tiresome. Why is it that every year they go through this? Never get a straight answer from administration, poor leadership.
Had high hopes for school (was on waiting list), but the school is declining dramatically. High turn over rate for teachers and office staff. Being told that Singapore math not preparing students when entering Basis. Hearing that entire school is relcoating to new location, but nothing confirmed from office .
I have all of my children at Candeo representing a variety of grades since Candeo's early years. One child will be effected by the new charter and I also had expansion questions. I have those questions to the school leadership and feel comfortable with their direction. I have no intent of making anyone feel bad about their post, but if you have important questions such as these, I think it is best to schedule time with Mrs. Musser or attend one of the Candeo Connect forums and ask these questions as I think you will get accurate answers there rather than on this site. During my meeting, I learned that they have great things planned and are working on the roll out. Just as they take care and concern with our children's education and teacher selection, I learned that they are doing the same with the expansion. I hope the people with concerns take the time to meet with Mrs. Musser, ask all of your questions. I think the Candeo Connects are the first Friday of every month, so one is coming up next week. Please do not take offense to this. I see concerned parents who want answers, and I hope my suggestion will help.
We have been attending for several years and the comment below is true. We were told the charter for grades 7 and 8 was a "done deal" and just notified that they applied recently. If just applied will it be approved by the start of school in August? Hearing school is moving to another location, don't understand why this building was built to their specifications, why the move in only a few short year? The administration rarely gives a straight answer to families - very disappointing. I now understand why most families stay at public, there is no stress of waiting to see if a charter is going to have a specific grade the following. This is very stressful on the student and family.
I have been one of the original parents that drove to 51st and Bell and have been very happy with the school until this year. What is most disheartening is that the school administration is not forthcoming about their future plans for 7 & 8 grade. My husband and I personally attended a meeting early last year where we were told that the administration had applied for the 7 & 8 grade charter, but then we hear this month that they just did it. Supposedly the reason for the hold up was because they are going to build a new building and move the entire school? So what is the real story? Has Candeo applied for the 7 & 8 grade charter? Is the school moving? We have a child that will be entering 6th grade next year and if Candeo is not going to include 7 & 8 grade, then we need to look at other options now as many schools have wait lists. We would appreciate an open and honest answer from Candeo once and for all. After all Candeo administration you have asked for our honesty and commitment every year, so we expect the same in return from you.
http://www.azed.gov/research-evaluation/aims-assessment-results/ please refer to the above link for 2012 AIMS results: MATH: 94% READING: 96% WRITING : 90% SCIENCE: 88% HAPPY VALLEY : MATH: 92% READING: 98% WRITING: 88% SCIENCE: 94% PINNACLE PEAK ELEMENTARY: MATH: 92% READING; 97% WRITING: 95% SCIENCE: 98% GREAT HEART -ARCHWAY SCOTTSDALE MATH: 96% READING: 96% WRITING: SCIENCE: 96% NEED TO IMPROVE WRITING AND SCIENCE***
I have to respond to negative comments below. First, I would like to ask what school truly prepares you for Basis?Compared to the district schools around here, Candeo did a great job of preparing my son for Basis. Second, I'm pretty sure the 4th grade team did NOT leave because of failed AIMS scores. Where did you find that information? Candeo from what I can see on their AIMS scores, did not fail. Third, I'm starting to think all these negative reviews are coming from the same small group of disgruntled parents that left a few years ago. They have nothing better to do than keep posting on here. Fourth, I'm laughing out loud at the parent below that has never had a child at Candeo, but thinks they are qualified to write a review on this school. This sounds like one of the disgruntled parents. I'm an original parent to Candeo. Most of the parents here are quite happy. It seems the only people that are posting negative reviews on here are the negative Nancy's that can't seem to move on, and who have already lost their spot at our school. Go visit your local public school and I guarantee you will never find another loving and caring school like Candeo.
I'm happy to say "Candeo was the highest-scoring elementary school in the Peoria and Deer Valley School Districts. This rating includes all public schools, both charter and district schools. We scored 157 out of a score of 200, accomplished within just five years of opening our doors".-quoted from our newsletter. Bottom line, we've been at this school since it opened. Every time I walk down the hall I see all these wonderfull Core Knowledge projects hanging up on the walls. I hear teachers engaging their students. It really is a gem we are lucky to be a part of.
One of the fifth grade teacher left and there is a sub and two other teachers teaching - 3 teachers in one class room for 5th grade, some teachers not on the same page in teaching style. School says not hiring a teacher keeping as is. Last year entire fourth grade staff left and now this started. What is going on? Time to look for different school.
OMG... All the fourth Grade teachers "moved on to other opportunities" this summer. I now see why. Kids actually failed their AIMS tests. How is that possible in a Charter School that prides itself in having an "Excelling" status. The lower grades may offer a great education, but when you get to 3rd and above, monitor your child and teacher closely. After four years they still don't have there stuff together.
I just attended the Parent Info Meetings at Basis and asked about the readiness of the Candeo students. To my surprise I was told that they are struggling in Math because Candeo uses Singapore Math and they use Saxon, and that the jump from very little if any homework to the rigorous coursework at Basis has had an impact on the Candeo students success. So now where do I send my student since Candeo did not prepare them to move on to the next level, back to public school? That defeats the purpose of sending them to Candeo to begin with. I hope that the Candeo Administration takes a hard look at themselves and steps it up for the sake of the future students. In the meantime my student will have to struggle to catch up. Thanks for nothing Candeo!
This school is incredible. The staff is so caring and nurturing and they have a great curriculum. So happy to be a part of this school.
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