My kids been learning at Ocotillo since they were in Pre School. It makes me so happy when they come home telling me all about their school day. I remember one time, my son told me 'Mommy, guess what? Today I'm student of week!' He was so happy. (You have to work hard and have good behavior for student of the week.)My other son, neer gotten an A+ in anything, and when he got straight A's in six grade, I was so proud of him. He said that 'My teacher helped me so much. I knew he was acting strict for a mean reason. He was acting like to show me that joking around doesn't get me anywhere.' Both my sons had made me so happy, thanks to Ocotillo school. They make me so blessed, that I want to go back to school again, but this time a Ocotillo School!
My daughter is completing her sophomore year, and although she has the opportunity to graduate on time despite her receiving no credits from Flagstaff Schools for her freshman year, in my opinion, Ocotillo lacks some of the necessary requirements that local public high schools expect -- specifically homework. This year my daughter had homework less than ten times (for the whole year) and I specifically requested that she be given classes with heavy homework. My son in 2nd grade (another charter school) has more homework than my 16 year old does. They also seem to be too relaxed about some of their own 'strict' rules like dress-code. On the positive side, the smaller size compared to nearby public schools reduces the racial differences and unites the student body, according to my teenager. Their attendance policy (every class hour missed is made up before end of segment) is great and teaches the students commitment and perseverence. It's good for teens that had trouble in public schools; but there's absolutely no reason every student couldn't get A's and B's because the curriculum I've seen is extremely easy and the teachers are extremely lenient about bad scores and generous on the 'class participation' type extras. The flexible class schedule is very helpful and great if someone wants to get ahead in credits or catch up. 3 2-hour classes makes up the average school day, but a student could take up to 5 classes every day (approx 8 to 6pm) if they needed to. Likewise a student could work in the mornings and go to school from afternoon to evening. Basically, the students seem to really like their school, however, from my point of view, it is no 'college prep school' and should be avoided by anyone with serious plans for college and/or professional careers.
With the construction of the new building for the entire school a couple of years ago, it definetely improved the teacher morale and administration service and these improvements have been passed down not only to students and parents, but to the whole community.