Just found this site and reviewing the comments. We have been in this school for three years with our youngest and five years with our oldest and have nothing but amazing things to say. All of our experiences from 5th grade through now going into the 11th grade have been amazing. Every teacher, staff member and administrator has the children's best interests in mind. They teach them to look at their own skills carefully, ask questions and grow. Both my children have grown so much at ASA in this environment where personal responsibility is REALLY a focus. I'm very grateful for ASA helping my child to become the confident, questioning student he is today. And am even more grateful they don't throw worksheets at him, but allow him to analyze what he knows and doesn't know and go from there. It's been a great choice for us, but it's not a fit for everyone.
Arrogant, impersonal, administration......They are sure, not what they claim to be : A "caring" school that believes in individuality... All they care about is to raise money and shine in public through their great students that are handpicked, and come together in that school for the Arts.. If your student is loud and had a sharp elbow and can push herself to the front rows, or you can afford to go to all their fund raising events and be heavily involved, you sure will get the benefits and all the attention ,.. The only good thing I can say about that school is the great liberal, open minded hand selected students that find their way to that school, .. because of the name of the school .and a few great teachers that have already left.. There are still a few good ones left, like every other school .But the head of school & principal & vice principal are so busy with raising money and advertise for themselves that don't care about individual students .
I am so grateful for ASA and their wonderful environment. I have had children at this school since 2005. Some years are better than others, but overall it is a great place for your child to get a great education. The teachers are caring and dedicated and the experience is priceless.
I have been a student at ASA for four years. My opinion of the school has steadily declined over time. Although ASA constantly vaunts their "outstanding academics," many of their classes are not challenging in the slightest; in fact, I often feel limited in my classes. The administration is extremely condescending and never listens to input from the students or parents. They seem more focused on boosting their public image than cultivating student happiness. They spend most of their time making and enforcing bureaucratic rules. Don't confuse the administration with the teachers; many of the teachers are wonderful and helpful. However, the majority of ASA's best teachers have left in the last few years. The teachers ASA has been hiring in their place tend to be of lower quality. I have had a good experience at ASA, but it's mostly because of my classmates. I've had the privilege of going to class with many brilliant peers, and that in itself has taught and motivated me. ASA's probably one of the best options for schools in Arizona, but it has many problems. It succeeds because of its great students, not its often mediocre programs. The administration would do well to remember that.
This school has been wonderful ever since y son started. He is in 8th grade and will be their for High School. He started in 6th grade. The education is tops!!!. The art program is the best ever. The kids are wonderful. Focused on their life to make something of them selfs. Teacher are so wonderful and love helping and getting the kids off to a wondrful start in their life journey
I am a four year student of Arizona School for The Arts, and I have to say that this school is not what is used to be. Many teachers who have been working there for years and have made ASA the school that people know it to be have left or are now leaving and the new teachers, I feel, are not the quality of the old. The administration at ASA is very hard to contact and treats students like "you are lucky to be here" instead of a friendly "we are lucky to have you". They spend a great amount of time correcting the dress code and building the new building instead of making students feel like they are part of a community. There has been a huge exodus of students since I have left middle school and I feel there will be many more. I know I have said some strong negative points, but this is how I feel about ASA. Though ASA has flaws just like any school. Its acting and music program is very strong! They help you become great musicians and excellent actors.
My daughter is really privileged to attend ASA. The school embodies excellence, from the development of every student's artistic side to becoming a well-rounded individual. My child who has been known to be very shy gave a very confident project presentation today. I am very proud of what she has become since she came to ASA in the beginning of the school year. Her teachers are admirable people who guide her through every step of the way. Thank you very much for your hard work ASA teachers and staff.
I am a parent of two current middle school students. Both children love their school. Overall it is really friendly. I find the teachers to be really on board with the kids, they know each child well and are rooting for them. Neither of my children are academic superstars, but so far they are coping really well, and don't seem to have any problems with the academics. They can't imagine going to any other school. The arts program is FABULOUS! The school strikes a perfect balance between achievement, life learning skills and fun. I couldn't wish for a better environment for my children.
ASA is a school that is worth going to. Yes it is hard, yes it pushes your limits, yes you feel like you are going to dies sometimes. I am a senior and I have been here since sixth grade and every year I have grown. The academics prepare you for what is coming ahead in college, so the dreaded presentations and all nighters that happen are WORTH IT.The theater department is fantastic, the teachers are amazing. The only problem I have, is that I feel the school is turning more conservative and less liberal than it used to be for the school, which is said, because the liberal environment is what drew me to the school in the first place, where I could be myself and explore politics, plays, musicals, etc. without feeling restricted.
My son has attended ASA for two years now. He could not be happier here. In previous schools he was bullied or teased because of his out of the box thinking and ADHD. He has deficits in social interactions because he comes from a family of Aspies. The school and teachers have been able to work with him to help him make friends in appropriate ways. The teachers nurture his love of math and science and he has learned so much more than I ever did in school! The training in voice, piano and strings has contributed to his cheerful disposition and love of learning. 7th grade was especially tough, but my son cheerfully did most of his homework independently, even if it took 2 or 3 hours. I am a single parent and an elementary teacher who does not have much time to volunteer or money to contribute. The teachers and administration have always been supportive of me, even offering free tickets to events I could not afford. My younger child cannot wait to leave the kill and drill of elementary and be challenged at ASA. The only minor request I have is making German an option in HS.
As a student who has been attending ASA for four years, I feel that it has greatly gone downhill. I feel like I have not been challenged at all this year and it is my first year of high school. In middle school, teachers stress the difference between high school and middle school, but I have found high school a lot easier than middle school. I wish the administration would take a better look at the students' opinions on some of the teachers even after they've been hired.
I have been going to Arizona School for the Arts for a year now, and I love it! The teachers are always very helpful nice and like socializing with us.My life has changed in the past year. I feel that everyone deserves the education that I get at ASA.
This is the best school for those that need a challenge and to learn to think outside the box. It school prepares them for college and how to be the best they can be. The test scores and the achievements of their alumni only prove it. This school is not for those that want a sports school, but are more into the performing arts. My son has been here since 6th grade and loves it. The teachers care about their students and want them to succeed. My daughter started in 8th grade and also loves this school and I have seen a big improvement in her confidence and academics.
As the parent of an a 7th grade student this year I am am overjoyed that she attends ASA, She was in a gifted program at her local elementary that did not challenge her this extent. She is in the ballet program and loves it. I am glad that excellence and self advocacy is taught, I am surprised how many parents are upset about the stress at school. Many kids are not cut out for this enviroment of excellence and success if you work at it. The test scores alone is proof of the success of theses kids, theses kids choose an art over the "sports" programs. Typically they would not do sports at school anyway, many kids would not participate if they had it, and may are involved in dance , theatre and music after school. I am very glad we attend ASA
If we had more schools like ASA in the state of Arizona we wouldn't be rated 48th in the nation for education. Yes, ASA expects more from their students. I don't think that is a bad thing. Finally we have a school where kids are expected to think, to be responsible and be held accountable for their education. Those are the type of citizens our country desperately needs. ASA has an excellent, challenging academic setting as well as a top notch arts program. Thank you ASA for raising the bar and not settling for mediocrity!
My child has been attending ASA for the past 4 years. Her math teacher at ASA noticed she was struggling with the way she was taught in her previous school, suggested a tutor and my daughter has been an A math student since. My child continues to significantly improve her art year after year, solely due to the education and training she is receiving via ASA. I do not donate additional money or even time as I just don t have it. I have never experienced my emails being ignored even by the Principal herself. I have never had any issue contacting staff via telephone. The Ballet program is quite vigorous. There are no athletics but this is not something that the school hides. Bottom line is that ASA is an excellent school with results not only academically but individually. I do not believe that I would have seen results at any other school.
Curriculum and Arts programs cannot be beat. However, this school has no mandate to accomodate gifted/talented kids who find it difficult to follow prescriptive learning models. This school is academic performance, not ability based. Students whose strength is following directions will thrive; others are placed in lower classes that are below their cognitive abilities. Ironic for a gifted/talented school, which is what ASA really is; these kids teem with talent and potential.
When you think 'performing arts' school, you probably don't think about rigid administrators who dislike individualism, but that's what this school is like in my opinion. There appears to be blatant favortism, so if you don't give $$$ to the school, sit on the board or teach, your inner city kid will quickly be singled out to make room for someone else. They have an elitist attitude and act like it's a private school instead of a charter school funded by our tax dollars. There is absolutely zero physical exercise which seems cruel to do to the younger grade levels especially, who are expected to behave like 17 year old kids. Putting my child in this school was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made and I wish I would have trusted my gut from the get go. If your child is truly creative and gifted they will probably be repressed by this school.
We each want a great match for our children. This is an excellent school, for those students who are motivated in *both* performing arts and academics. It is not for everyone: if not performing at least at grade level or has learning issues, this is probably not the right place, as the pace is pretty quick and the expectations high. The rubric evaluation system results in focus on details of execution and weaknesses, which, again, can be very frustrating. If your child cannot sit for a long day, has big troubles with materials management, or really needs PE, think again. There are many happy students here, but there are also students who end up leaving after painful attempts to force them into a system that is highly disciplined. There is NO tolerance for misbehavior. This is in no way a 60's style 'alternative' school.
I am a graduate of ASA and overall I had a very positive experience. It was a lot of work but I think it was worth it. I think the best thing about ASA was my fellow students. We were all great friends and we enjoyed learning together. I miss the opportunity to discuss issues with my fellow students whether they be from current events, history, or literature. I am sad to see many reviews saying that ASA is cliqueish because that was not the case when I was there. I hope that as ASA expands and moves into new facilities that the school will be able to maintain the character that made it so special. The buildings may have been old when I was there, with no computers, but that didn't matter. Inside those decrepit buildings we learned skills that will serve us well for a lifetime.
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