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.
ASA is such a wonderful school. They not only teach the children the basics, they also offer a nurturing environment and help bring the children out of their shell. My daughter is thriving in this school. In the traditional school she did well academically, however she would not participate in class and no one encouraged her to do so. I have seen such a change in her from the time that she started ASA to now that it is amazing. I can't say enought about it.
My daughter has attended ASA for 5 years with 2 to go and I can't imagine her in any other environment. Due to the excellent leadership and teaching professionals available to her, she has been successfully preparing for college since she began in the 6th grade. I have witnessed a transformation in her desire for academic excellence, accountability/responsibility, and self confidence. Arizona School for the Arts has been the best kept secret in education for years.
I attended ASA and it is a fantastic school. It isn't the traditional high school setting, but there is a lot of peer mentoring, and as it is a small school it becomes more of a family community for students, and provides a higher quality learning environment. As a student you feel safer and more able to explress your ideas and discuss more freely among your peers as well as your teachers.
ASA is an amazing place. It is the type of place where 6th graders can be friends with seniors in HS along with other kids their age. The arts progrm is FABO and the academics are fantastic! It is definitelty a school where all of the teachers and kids are friendly! Everyone wants to achieve and has a passion for the arts and school in general. You don't have to be a prodigy at the arts, but everyone is exceptionally talented! The teachers are amamzing and with the small environment everyone feels safe, welcomed and known one another! I would definitely reccomend ASA as a current 6th grader who plans to stay till HS! :)
This school has taught me that i can do anything i want to do. I can voice my opinion and I feel trusted by the teachers and faculty. Students constantly engage in thoughtful class discussions that open so many doors. I have been here for about 1 and a half years and I can't believe the change I see in myself everyday.
This school has rigerous acedemic challenges and has a great community despite the issues with hiring teachers
I go to asa and i have to say it is an incredible place to go! And i know that it will look beautiful on my collage application!
Don't get the Nov. 16th post. My oldest child has attended ASA for five years and has gotten fabulous math instruction. The students are expected to make connections and think on their own, it's definitely not the drill and kill or 'turn to the next page' type of math instruction. I have found all of the teachers to be fabulous. They are amazingly interested in every child's progress unlike any school we have seen. This school is for self starters and high achievers. We just learned that they are expanding! They are adding 5th grade in 2009 and are adding 50 more spots in 6th grade. I am sure it will fill in a heartbeat. I see it as a school for kids who love classic musical study, project based learning and having alot of their own responsibility for their learning. No hand holding; high expectations.
Sending my son to ASA, the worst choice I ever made. My son loves mathematics (95% in 2007 AIMS); the math teacher was more concern on enforcing his pencil only policy (my son prefers a pen) than fuelling his passion for mathematics. That man had nothing to teach my son.
Fabulous, talented kids. Fabulous talented Faculty. If you have a high acheiving student who loves the performing arts, look no further. Those kids who find ASA not a good match, are those who are not strong students or have behavior problems. I agree with another parent here that misbehavior is not tolerated. This is not a school for kids who need to be 'fixed'. My son loves ASA. It's for serious students and musicians.
I love ASA. I do feel it has gone downhill slightly as many excellent teachers have left(plus Dr. Francis!) and the students keep getting marginally less accepting, but the classes (especially arts) are very high-quality and the environment is great. I am staying until graduation.
My daughter is a junior and attended since 6th grade. The teachers had high expectations of the students and expected the students to meet these expectations. They are interested in her personally, and worked with her on every issue of concern, academic, health related, etc. The administration is proactive, vocal and very personally involved with the students. Self-advocacy is taught so the students learn to stand up for themselves through the proper channels, an excellent skill for the business world. The small class size adds to the positive experience academically and socially as well as the team teaching approach across disciplines. My daughters writing skills, developed here, far exceed her peers in other schools. The lack of a phys. ed. curriculum, is unfortunate but the arts training is phenomenal. Our experience with ASA has been exceptionally positive.
We are parents of a new ASA student. Our daughter is starting as a 6th grader and she loves it. Her math and science teachers were there last year and she thinks they are great, as we had heard. The 6th grade language arts/social studies teacher is a veteran teacher but new to ASA this year. We were hesitant because we had heard such great things about the teacher who left, but my daughter loves language arts and social studies, both; like never before and is writing up a storm. ASA expectations are very high and people w/ children with behavior problems or severe learning issues should probably look elsewhere. There is little tolerance for misbehaving or students who are not intrinsically motivated. My daughter says all of the teachers advertise their willingness to help students at lunch She says many students work during their lunch. Awesome school.
I am a current student attending ASA. This school has a foundation of communication and understanding that I do not feel I would find anywhere else. The teachers work with individual students who need any help and are always glad to have you come in at lunch and talk with them. The work load can become hard at times, but in the end you find all the hard work was worth it. During third quarter you do a major project, which is where a lot of stress can be found if the student does not meet deadlines and show up to class on time. Overall I love ASA and do not plan to leave until I graduate in 2013.
I am a student currently going to asa, as many reviews have said this school is a very safe-enviroment, however the school's methods are very, very confusing and it tends to get me and my fellow classmates confused. This school is much more different than any other public schoool, yet that can be a good thing. ASA has a huge stress level and there is no time to just relax and be a kid. Many students become depressed because they care so much about their grades ad the teachers put even more stress, telling the students that it is not enough and that they must revise. Arizona School for the Arts does have a good enviroment, yet the education is alright and it tends to protrays as if the educaion is one of the best in the west.
This is our first year at ASA and we are loving it. My daughter came from public middle school and the leadership, class quality and parent involvement is night and day. Transportation and location are tough but worth the drive. We find the ballet program to be very strong. The expectations are very high and if your child is not good with stress normally found at the higher grades, it may be a challenge. Great school!!!
This is our 8th year at ASA. We have had one graduate, who received a scholarship and is doing very well at college. He felt over-prepared! I have been so pleased with the faculty and leadership at ASA. Some amazing teachers left a year ago, but other excellent ones have replaced them. Some of the music programs have had their ups and downs over the years, but the strings have been consistently excellent. The choirs are wonderful and the new band director is very good. All the staff members we have had contact with have been awesome, cooperative and communicative. If you have a child who is hard-working and motivated, this is an excellent place to be. Low achievers should probably find a different school, as should slower learners, who will find this school very frustrating.
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