My child has been attending this school for five years now. It seems that the school was much, much better 5 years ago. Gradually things seem to be going downhill. Granted, the academics are strenuous, which is a good thing, however each year something else seems to be eliminated. There used to be a retreat where the kids actually went away for a couple of days. Now it is one day and they stay at school all day. Last year at the end of the year several really good teachers left. They were teachers that had been there for awhile.
this is definantly a great school, but it sint for everyone. This is my 2nd year, and middle school was fun and exciting and different, but highschool is a big leap. The arts are phenominal, the students and facilty are amazing! I must agree, though, that the lack of physical education, visual arts, and class size is not everyones favorite. Don't get me wrong, this school is great and really is a safe environment of non-judgmental and mature students!
My teenager has been at ASA for 5 years now. 5 years ago ASA was much different than it seems to be today...it seems that the middle school does more activities together, which gives the parent the feeling that it is a real 'community' at ASA. However, as high school progresses, it turns into something different. Gradually, many classmates leave, and relatively few replace them. The classes get smaller each year. (the higher you go up into high school) The middle school just keeps growing. I think that the level of academics is high -- I agree with the parent that was concerned about the stress level, however, and the lack of physical activity. While arts instruction is very good, it is sad that there are no visual arts. We have been fundraising for a new building for all 5 years that we have been involved.
I go to this school, and it's amazing, I've never felt so warm and accepted in my life as I do hear. The students are friendly and accepting, the teachers are great and easy to understand. The work is kinda hard but it's the best. It definitly is excellence in education, and the talent that these kids have is amazing. I love this school and never want to leave.
Is it possible to get a first-rate academics while attending an Arts school? Absolutely! ASA accomplishes both and sets the standard in the process. Their refreshingly unique philosophy of encouraging life-long learners, not simply test-takers, pays off with kids who truly know how to use critical thinking skills. (Oh yeah, a side benefit is they post exceptional scores without 'prepping' for the standardized test each spring!) The Arts classes are also exceptional. The teachers and administrators are phenomenal and set the tone for the school. They know each student by name and help keep the 'family atmosphere.' Discipline problems, which are rare, are handled immediately and fairly. The front office staff is the best!
I am a student currently in 7th grade at ASA. I am new here and it is wonderful! Every one is friendly and very helpful. You can enjoy waking up and putting on anything your heart desires and safely knowing that you WONT get made fun of. I have been to three other schools but none can compare to the education and fun here. Even though there are no sports which is kinda on the downside they do alow you to play flag football at lunch. At lunch you are not told where you can and connot sit heck you could sit on the stage if you wanted to. All I am saying is this is a wonderful opportunity to exceed and suceed.
ASA is an exceptional school. My student who graduated 2 years ago is still benefiting from the top-notch education they received. I still am very involved with the school and the leadership at the school is still as strong as ever. The new faculty members joining the ASA community are fantastic. Come to any event at ASA and you can see for yourself!
ASA was a very good experience for my child, but something is very wrong when all the best teachers leave at the same time. No one is talking about it, but it should be addressed openly, hopefully so that what ever went wrong won't happen again. Without the leadership that was there, it is hard to guage if the same great program is still there.
I am currently a student at ASA, going into 9th grade next year. I've been here since 6th grade and I've enjoyed every year. I would never leave the school for the world. The school has many good qualities, including great academics combined with excellent teachers (this has helped me learn so much), and a truly remarkable arts program. The level of training in arts classes has resulted in many highly professional Showcases. There are also some bad qualities though. The stress level at ASA is extremely high. The school also does not provide very many extracurricular activities. In terms of student relationship, I've found that the students do tend to create clique-like groups. Although not as obvious, it does create a feeling of exclusion.
This school does work hard to achieve a balance does not meet the needs of many of the students. Faculty do not like working with the parents with their children. It is their way or the highway mentality. This does not foster good relations between parents and the teaching faculty.
This school has a great learning excperience but the kids just get too stressed with there homework and grades. I am a student there and I tend to cry or get mad bacause of too much homework or too much at one time...I am currently going to be leaving this school because of too much stress.
I am a student here and am in 8th grade. I like this school very much and it is a great school. The kids are friendly, but there are many clicks. The academics are great and the teachers are very supportive of each student. The arts are only good, you could probably get a scholarship from any other high school. There are few extracurricular activities and absolutely no sports. There is also no physical education, only ballet. the level of parent involvement is so-so it is pretty much half and half. Some contribute and others stay as far away from the school as they can. I would recommend this school only if your child is an overachiever.
As a current student at ASA, I can agree that it has its good qualities, and it's bad ones. If your child is a good student who really loves the arts and has strong self confidense than this school will be a good fit. The teachers and the academic programs are unmatched in the Phoenix area, the arts, however stongly incorrporated, lack quality and do not balence out the horrible lack of physical activity. The two main problems with this school are definatly the lack of sports and the lack of variation in the student body. You are with the same 26 people for 6 years and, generally the school atracts a similar kind of person: white, over-acheiver, and image-obsessed. In short: if your child enjoys varied company and physical stimulation, this is the wrong place for you.
ASA's first and foremost goal is a college prep curriculum. Students have little to no outlets to express their concerns with other students, faculty, or curriculum. The performing arts program is mediocre, even sub-par when considering the nature of the school. Although the ballet program is exceptional, the music program matches that of most large public high schools. The theatre program has a talented faculty that reads like a who's who of the Arizona theatre scene.
Okay, so I'm not a parent, but this is a student speaking here. I adore ASA. The teachers are amazing; I want to come to school every day, and I enjoy all of my classes. I learn so much, and the balance of academics and arts is just perfect. Also, not only does ASA have great academics, but it's just amazing. I mean, I was really quiet and shy when I came. It was so easy to open up and be me. There were no clicks or 'popular' or 'nerdy' or 'gothic' groups; there's just individuals, people who aren't afraid to be themselves and be open about their opinions and feelings... I'm in 9th grade, by the way, attended since 6th grade. If you can get your child in, do it. I love ASA with a passion. I wouldn't leave it for anything in the world.
ASA is a wonderful school if your child is willing to work extremely hard and has the aptitude. I have two children at ASA. One loves it, she is making a 4.2 GPA and is very motivated. She adores ballet. The school showcase is amazing - like professionals. The other student is in middle school and is struggling. She was asked to attend three summer school programs and it was very overwhelming for her. Her AIMS tests were much higher than meets but not exceeding, and she was still told she was almost failing by ASA teachers. I would like to see the school have a track for students who are struggling to help them with alternate methods of learning. Not every student can read and test out well and they need the encouragement too. Not everyone can make an A at every subject!
As a current student (attending since 7th grade and going into my senior year), I have to say that ASA is an amazing school. Originally interested because of the high quality arts programs (ballet, especially), I stayed because of the college-prep academics. It's hard work, but as the cliche goes, that's what makes it great. The school's like a family, not surprising since I've been in class with relatively the same people for five years and the director of school greets each student by name at the door? Yet ASA's not for everyone- a lack of sports, high stress (and high yield), and an expectation that you will do well and you will strive for excellence, drives some people away. But I've stayed, and I think it's been worth it. Though parents have to realize that it's not all the kids- parents are expected to participate and help.
This school is the place we all wish we had gone to when we were in high school. The sense of safety, community and teacher involvement is matched by the expectations for excellence.
My daughter has learned so much here. I'm very impressed by the yearly presentations and science curriculum. We also love that she can take ballet at school! Her teachers have always been very commented to ensuring she is actually learning the skills, not just turning in assignments.
ASA is the best school I've ever experienced. My son was floundering in a large, public high school. At ASA, he has become an accomplished musician and a much improved student. The quality of the teachers is outstanding and the small class/school size create an atmosphere that is conducive for learning and achievement. As a performing arts school, ASA is an especially great place for unconventional/artistic kids. It's a phenomenal school!
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