Advertisement
Advertisement

GreatSchools Rating

Stepping Stones Academy

Charter | PK-8 | 220 students

Our school is best known for its high academics on a small, friendly campus.

 

Living in Phoenix

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $199,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,230.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 6 ratings
2012:
Based on 6 ratings
2011:
Based on 4 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
OR
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

92 reviews of this school


Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted March 8, 2008

SSA has been a lifesaver for us! We were tired of the red tape at large schools and not being able to talk with the administration. At SSA there is not any red tape and the administration has open doors whenever we need to voice our concerns. Our children are very happy. They easily made friends and felt right at home after the first day. The small campus is just what our children needed.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 8, 2008

I would highly recommend SSA! We found SSA just by driving by and we are really glad we stopped to check about enrolling our sons. This is a safe school with great teachers! We know not everyone has been happy at SSA, but there are always two sides to every story. We are glad we have a chance to be at a small school where we know everyone in our son's classes and where we have a chance to be active in the many school functions.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 5, 2008

I would not recommend Stepping Stones Academy(SSA) charter school. We were forced to move our child from SSA due to the schools dishonorable practices and placing the child s best interest second to person agendas. SSA has been surrounded by controversy in the past. We choose to overlook these facts. Unfortunately, I now see exactly why so many other frustrated parents have moved their children. SSA was unwilling to work with us to make small accommodations. They went against their own words and made changes to my child s education without our consent or knowledge. They were not focusing on doing their job, but more concerned on proving that they are right and not respecting the parent s involvement. This is all done at the expense of the child. There are too many other options available to allow oneself and family to be treated in such an unprofessional, boorish and despicable manor.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 4, 2008

As a former parent of children that attended the school I saw many changes. The school was once full with a waiting list and now there is only a hand full of children in the classroom. The parent involvement is limited and there is no PTA for parents to be involved and to have a voice. There are no after school activities, advanced classes or special ed programs. It was not until we pulled our children out of the school did we realize how behind our kids become in the world of education. It is very hard for children to adjust when teachers are always coming and going. When interviewing a SSA ask yourself why attendance is low and how long the teachers have been teaching at SSA. Desert Hills is one of the fast growing cities with a largely populated public school ask yourself why SSA has so few.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 3, 2008

We came here after moving to the area last year. We visited other school in the area and talked with a lot of parents before making our decision. This school has many things we were looking for. It has small classes, it's safe, and we are able to be involved. Our kids quickly made friends and we like how they are held responsible for doing their work. This has really helpd our oldest son use better study skills.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 29, 2008

The school is great. I like how the teachers know all of the children and how they let me know so often about how my child is doing in class. We have had only great experiences at this school in our three years here.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 24, 2008

If you want your children to learn, then this is the school! Our three children have spent almost all of their years at SSA and have been so well prepared for high school. It was tough sometimes because we had homework about every night and the school expected our childen to read and practice their math every night, but it has been so worth it. The teachers have been great and the principals are so committed to what they are doing! That's one reason why the principals have taught classes when a teacher leaves mid-year. Instead of just putting anyone in the classroom, the principals taught the class until another good teacher was hired. Both of the principals are certified teachers, and our daughter was actualy sad when the principals quit teaching her class. Our advice is to visit SSA if you are looking for great school!!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 23, 2008

This school provides kids with a great education! The kids work hard and parents need to be involved, but that was just what my wife and I wanted. We were tired of seeing our kids passed on to the next grade because we knew they weren't learning what they really needed to know. When we came to SSA that all changed. Kids must earn C averages to pass and I have yet to visit a classroom and see teachers not teaching. Instead I have always seen the teachers up and teaching or helping kids. The principals are great. They lead by example and the kids respect them for this. And the kids like the principals. This is the first school we have gone to where the principals knew our names on the first day and my kids talk to the principals every day.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 22, 2008

My children love going to Stepping Stones Academy! The teachers are so nice and always willing to sit down with me and discuss any problems. The communication is outstanding. I always feel welcomed at SSA.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 21, 2008

My family has been at Stepping Stones for four years and we are glad we came. We saw the school deal with overzealous parents who seemed to think they coud come in and tell people how to run the school. Luckily the school stood by its convictions and it is a better school today. This is a wonderful school! No one should judge Stepping Stones or any other school by parent comments. If you are looking for a great school you need to go and visit Stepping Stones. Some of the finest people work there and I feel lucky to have found the small school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 19, 2008

A very disappointing experience. The quality of the academic program is extremely low. Poor quality teachers who assign hours of busy work to hide the fact that they are not teaching in class. When teachers leave the school the principals teach the classes rather then hire new teachers with experience. Expectations of the children are held at high standards while the principals are deceptive, deceitful and rude. They frequently give lengthy lectures to the classes on behavior, many times talking poorly about children who have left the school. The principals have created a stifling and controlling environment where creativity is shutdown and independence frowned upon. It is true that the students respect each other and feel safe in an environment where bullying and disrespect are not allowed, however the principals are the true bullies at this school and do not give students and parents the respect they deserve.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 27, 2007

SSA has been a terrific educational experience for my children. I already had a 8th grader graduate with honors and was very well prepared for high school. I have two other children attending this school and we are now in our 5th year. The small school environment gives the kids a feeling of family. The curriculum is top notch as well as the teachers. If any problems arise, I know they will be handled quickly and the children will benefit from this. As for the extra curricular activities, I knew that ahead of time and found other alternatives for my children. Thank you SSA for being so terrific. Keep doing the job you are doing.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 26, 2007

We are on our 6th year and 4th child at SSA and are overall very happy with how its gone. It is important to remember that no school is perfect including SSA. The principals seem sincere, well intentioned and down to earth; very approachable along with the teachers. Extracurricular activities certainly are not abundant, however, why do we expect the schools to provide that outlet for our families? Aren't schools meant to teach our children reading, writing and 'rithmetic? SSA does a good job of focusing on the academics. I also like how well disciplined the student body is... we don't have to worry too much about weird stuff going on at school. And yes, parent involvement is very good. I am thankful that our children are at a small school with decent people in charge. I believe SSA is a nicer alternative to the public school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 26, 2007

My daughter has changed schools three times in the last five years of her education. After coming to SSA last year, we feel as if we have come 'home' to a school where she can thrive academically, socially, and morally. As a secondary education teacher myself (and a parent), I am able to look at her educational experience from both sides and I can honestly say that I wholeheartedly support and entrust my daughter's education to this school. The lack of extracurricular activities was an initial concern, but I had to ask myself hard questions about what is most important to me. The fact that my daughter is not just a number at this school was the selling factor. She is thriving and learning at an appropriate pace and level. Music and art are things she enjoys, but I can add them to her life myself. We love her school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 7, 2007

I have been going to Stepping Stones for five years.(Since kindergarten) I love it there. All my teachers are friendly and wonderful. They help me in all my school work,and they really care about me. Everything there is made special. Mrs. Alliger, and Mrs. Short do a great job.
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 6, 2007

SSA is a wonderful place for my child to learn academically and socially. They have high standards for our children to be respectful to one another and care about one another. My child loves this school and its staff! The school doesn't have a lot of extracurricular activities, but those can be found in the community if a parent really wants to find them. Parent involvement is very strong and the principals welcome all input for discussion. They have an open door policy. The SSA campus is a warm, friendly environment that welcomes your child and they feel safe there and feel like its their family, not just a school. Our concern is that our child gets the best education possible, and we believe that SSA is the best place for that. The classes are small and the children are happy and want to learn.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 2, 2007

SSA is far from fantastic maybe if your a parnet and its convient. The children are in the classes- frustrated with no extracurricular activities, bored with with the curriculm. So fantastic for who!!?? Our children don't have the choice we make it for them as a parent and I apologized to my child for choice I made -- it's my fault for not knowing SSA's history.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 1, 2007

SSA is a fantastic school. They don't offer extracurricular activities, but parents know that when they choose to enroll their child. The academics have been great. My child was well prepared for high school and has excelled with straight A's. All SSA kids know what is expected of them and are given every opportunity to get a great education. They are taught to use an agenda and record daily homework assignments so that they know exactly what is expected of them. My kids have learned to take responsibility for their own work and accept the consequences when they don't complete assignments. Kids who can follow rules and work hard will excel here and will reap the rewards of a job well done.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 27, 2007

Stepping Stones Academy pushes kids too hard. Even the homework in kindergarten is astounding. I could make a list all that is wrong! Everything is one-sided. They principals took the passion and excitement from teaching it's challenging for parents, children and teachers not a healthy environment for an education or our children. SSA has issues far more than extracurricular activities and PE! Parents of this academy need to be aware.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 26, 2007

When looking at stepping stones please don't be fooled by the aims scores look close to academics/extracurricular activities and look even closer to how long has the teacher been teaching at ssa! This school lacks stability, activities and success! It's a pathway I took and it was something my child lost out on - a year of learning! ~kathy
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 69% in 2013.

25 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
72%

2012

 
 
80%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
58%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 75% in 2013.

25 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
90%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
63%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

25 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
84%

2012

 
 
90%

2011

 
 
80%

2010

 
 
55%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2013.

25 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
88%

2010

 
 
68%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2013.

22 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
86%

2012

 
 
75%

2011

 
 
75%

2010

 
 
69%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

22 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
95%

2012

 
 
85%

2011

 
 
92%

2010

 
 
88%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2013.

22 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
60%

2012

 
 
50%

2011

 
 
71%

2010

 
 
88%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2013.

22 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
81%

2012

 
 
47%

2011

 
 
53%

2010

 
 
89%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

22 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
95%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
94%

2010

 
 
89%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2013.

22 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
41%

2012

 
 
32%

2011

 
 
76%

2010

 
 
79%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

23 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
73%

2012

 
 
64%

2011

 
 
59%

2010

 
 
63%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 85% in 2013.

22 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
71%

2011

 
 
82%

2010

 
 
88%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 52% in 2013.

23 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
65%

2012

 
 
64%

2011

 
 
65%

2010

 
 
75%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 58% in 2013.

16 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
44%

2012

 
 
50%

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
54%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 72% in 2013.

16 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
63%

2012

 
 
67%

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
92%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

  • In 2010-2011, this school was designated "Performing Plus".
  • In 2009-2010, this school was designated "Performing Plus".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was designated "Performing".

About the tests


Arizona uses AZ LEARNS Achievement Profiles to indicate schools' overall performance each year. For elementary and middle schools, the profiles are based on current and historical aggregated AIMS results, MAP results and whether or not the school made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). For high schools, AIMS results, AYP status and graduation/dropout rates are used. Schools are identified as Excelling, Highly Performing, Performing Plus, Performing, Underperforming, Failing to Meet Academic Standards or Pending.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 83% 42%
Hispanic 14% 43%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 2% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 5%
Black 1% 5%
Two or more races 1% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Female 49%N/A49%
Male 51%N/A51%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students PE instructor(s)
School psychologist
Special education coordinator
Speech and language therapist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab

Arts & music

School facilities
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
Performing and written arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
Clubs
  • Dance club
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Honors track
School leaders can update this information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 3:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school: ends at 5:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Dedre Alliger
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Visit campus
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 4 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (623) 587-8514

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • College prep
  • Honors track
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Extra learning resources offered
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Computer lab
  • Internet access
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Badminton
  • Flag football
  • Kickball
  • Soccer
Girls sports
  • Badminton
  • Flag football
  • Kickball
  • Soccer

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
Music
  • None
Performing arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Dance club
  • Homework help/study buddy club
  • National Junior Honor Society
  • Student council/government
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Tutor
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


9 out of 10students were accepted for the 2012-2013 school year.


Students accepted for the 2012-2013 school year
215
Applications received for the 2012-2013 school year
245
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

35812 North 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85086
Website: Click here
Phone: (623) 465-4910

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »

Compare

Add this school to compare

Nearby schools



Ridgeline Academy
Phoenix, AZ




The Caepe School
Anthem, AZ


ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT