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GreatSchools Rating

Benchmark School

Charter | K-6 & ungraded | 420 students

We are best known for hands on sensorial curriculum.

 
 

Living in Phoenix

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $98,700. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $800.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 10 ratings
2013:
Based on 15 ratings
2012:
Based on 3 ratings
2011:
Based on 4 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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155 reviews of this school


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Posted yesterday

Benchmark could be such a great school. The parental interaction with the teachers is wonderful and I believe the teachers do their very best. The students are great and seem to love their teachers. Sure there could be a better physical plant and more technology integration, but the teachers and kids are pretty great. The science rooms is excellent. Were the school falters is with the parental interaction with Principles. Some examples, The Principles changed the lunch program right before school started without notifying parents. Now the expensive fast food lunch doesn't even offer milk. All without parental input. PTA fund raising monies were mostly spent on facility maintenance without meaningful parental input. There was a recent lock down, there was no parental notification. Security is poor and the main gate remains unlocked all day despite parents concerns. I will be taking my child out ASAP because the Principles don't see the parents as customers. The Principles appear uninterested and they are quick to dismiss or ignore parental input. The waiting list must create this mindset. There is no meaningful school board, so there are no checks and balances.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 16, 2014

I agree with all the recent posts about this school. Maybe at one time it WAS a great school. Maybe the waiting list to get in went to at least one principal's head. But as a family who did wait outside overnight to send our kids here a few years ago, we are finding out this school is not what we thought. The teachers want Stepford children who act like robots. Any child who is different in any way will not be accepted, and will be bullied by both teachers, administration, and other students. The school has lost multiple students recently, and it's no surprise. My children, who love learning, no longer love school. Something is wrong if that is the case. We'll be pulling out as soon as we research our other options.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 10, 2014

Very interesting. That 5 star defensive post which was obviously and inappropriately made by the principles didn't once address the parents reasonable and accurate issue with the security of the school. Sadly, it attacked a parent to whom they have had issues. Were is the Professionalism? Maybe there is something to all these posts about the Principles.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 3, 2014

The most recent review of 5 stars is Benchmark administrations' approach to any parental concerns brought to their attention. The best advice for parents who choose Benchmark comes from that review... present your issues and concerns anonymously otherwise you are viewed as a complaining and angry parent with excuses-- who will be outcast. Real accountability and work ethic is doing something about the lack of supervision on the playground during recess and allowing first grade teachers to show over 13 Disney movies in class. When parents bring these concerns to administration, they are told to stop complaining and that their reputation will follow them each year. My child learned a sad work ethic at Benchmark because he was told to watch a movie for two days so the teachers could complete report cards during class. He was told it was part of Common Core, which is complete absurdity. The whole idea of partnership exists if you agree to everything the teachers do, even if it's wrong. It is not a solution based school but a school that bullies parents who are not on board with teachers and administration at all times.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 30, 2014

I have found by talking to other parents, that this is the place for kids who have parents that consider themselves partners in their child's education. If you want your child to excel academically, become responsible for their own behavior and work ethic, and become a better friend and citizen, this is the place for them! If not, and you just want to complain and make excuses and get mad when teachers hold your child accountable for work they missed while you were in Disneyland for a week, homeschool them.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 7, 2014

I completely 100% agree with the 1 star rating and everything said by "submitted by a teacher". We were thrilled to enroll our daughter at such a highly rated school. We were never informed of any issues with our child until our mid year teacher conference. At that point we were told our child would not be welcome to continue at Benchmark no matter what our child accomplished or learned in the last half of the year. They even implied our child had a learning disability. We immediately withdrew her and put her in a top rated "10" public school. We had her tested through the district and she actually tested above her age level. She is so much happier now! If your child doesn't fit perfectly into the Benchmark mold, the teachers and staff make you feel like there is something wrong with your child. Getting our daughter out of that school was one of the best things we have ever done. In my opinion, the only reason Benchmark is rated a "10" is because they only keep the children who are able to perform at a specific level they expect, which is unrealistic for some children. The ones that require teaching or any extra attention are pushed out. - Disappointed parent
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 22, 2014

This is interesting. I posted a comment on this blog and it has been removed. It stayed on this blog for a couple of months so it wasn't outside of the guidelines, but it was honest and something all parents should know. Administration and teachers are quite dysfunctional in the manner in which they approach families and children. If a parent has issues and attempts to communicate with the teachers, their response is very intimidating and quite bullying. I found it interesting that a problem I had was how my nephew got to watch Fifteen movies in class thought the school year. When this was brought to the teachers attention a group of five teachers met with the parents and made them feel inferior and demeaned their complaint. I myself am an educator for public schools, so a decision on a charter was difficult for me, and after denoting the several attempts made to communicate legitimate issues, it validated that public education is the better way as someone is held accountable. Administration and teachers here are related in some fashion so if you go above heads it creates more issues than solutions. Talk to other parents before enrolling kids here, trust me!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted April 30, 2014

Benchmark is known for its amazing core knowledge curriculum and awesome teacher enthusiasm. My kids love going to school everyday!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 30, 2014

Benchmark continues to go above and beyond all state and federal standards. The students are always highly motivated by the enriching curriculum. The leveled groups also help to provide every child with the education they deserve.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 19, 2014

Prior to having children I knew Benchmark School would be my first choice. Now as a Mother of 3 (2 of which are school aged) I have no doubt in my mind I made the right decision for my family. We have been with Benchmark for 5 years now and love it! The school is amazing in every aspect. Parent involvement is very high and the students benefit greatly from that. We are blessed to have two teachers is every class from Preschool through Elementary. Any negative reviews always come from those pushy, overbearing, and argumentative parents, which unfortunately every school has. My kids tell me all the time their school is the best and that makes me happy as a parent. I don't look forward to the day my kids will no longer be in elementary school, unless the school adds 7th and 8th grade. hint, hint.. THANK YOU BENCHMARK FOR BEING SO WONDERFUL!!! --- PROUD PARENT
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 2, 2013

Benchmark School - PHX, AZ To the parent, who I suspect posted both the 10/8 & 10/10 reviews, I would like to ask why, when you feel as you do, would you keep your children in Benchmark? If my assessment was as vociferously negative as yours, I would enroll my children in another school. What is in the best interest of my children will always trump what is convenient for me including driving a greater distance to another school. Sometimes parents don t like to hear that their child may have an issue or problem, and become defensive, attacking the messenger, instead of working in concert with one of the wonderful Benchmark principals & teachers who take great personal interest in the well-being of children placed in their care, under their supervision. As the Aunt of a Benchmark student, I know that there is a long list of parents waiting hopefully for spots to open so they can transfer their children to Benchmark. We were overjoyed when our little girl was accepted. The fact that you voluntarily chose to keep your children in Benchmark speaks much louder than your vindictive diatribes. Stop the venom. Shame on you. Support the school like every parent I know or move on.


Posted October 10, 2013

I would have to agree with the poster that wrote about this issues with the management, the principals in particular. If you spent 5 minutes in the office waiting for your child you know who it is. Having a child that spent 6 years there, if you have an issue with a teacher, you might as well be talking to a brick wall. While 1 star may be harsh when evaluating the education, overall it is within the spirit of the "unsatisfactory" rating because of how incredibly condescending they (she) is when discussing your child's issue or problem. Unfortunately the tone in the front office and makes this place very unwelcoming, unfair in how kids are discipline, with kids of parents they like getting favors and leniency and those that they disagree with not. Do yourself, and your child, a favor and go with one of the recently opened charters such as great heats, basis and other and leave the mind games to them.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 8, 2013

As a parent of 3 children that have gone to this school, you will realize one day that the mind games and poor administration of the principals, one in particular, are not worth the anxiety and stress you will go through. There are so many charter school options now for elementary school now, much better than Benchmark, that you will rue the day you sent your kids here.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 27, 2013

This school is amazing. Both of my children are happy and learning at their fullest potential. As far as other children leaving for other charter schools, most that we know have all since returned. The teachers are dedicated and have the ability to be creative with their instruction. We highly recommend this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 10, 2013

Benchmark is a dream come true for parents and students alike. Every teacher is wonderful in my 4 year experience at the school. Each year I think it can't get better than the current year and somehow it does! In my experience, the only disgruntled parents are the ones with struggling students. They move on to other schools looking for something better and then wish they could come back. The wait list continues to grow every year with very good reason, getting in is like winning the lottery. I volunteer often and am always impressed with the wonderfully behaved students. Kids don't need 3+ hours of homework in elementary school, too many parents are confusing busy work for quality education. I only hope Benchmark can get a junior high and high school developed in time for my 3rd grader to not have to switch schools, it would be a shame to break up their wonderful group. Other schools are thrilled to get Benchmark students due to their advanced skills, so no hurry to switch here!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 8, 2013

Many families have decided that they don't need to tolerate the administrative issues with the principal now that there are new charter choices. There has been a real brain drain with a lot of higher performing students leaving. To remain competitive, the school needs to realize changes need to be made in the office and also recruit a higher level of teachers particularly in math and science.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 31, 2013

Benchmark School provides an environment where any family will feel at home. There are 2 teachers in every class so no child falls behind. All of the teachers are top notch or they will not be allowed to continue to teach there. The principals truly care for each child as if it were their own and are always available to talk at a moments request. The front desk greets you with a smile and can help with any questions or point you in the right direction of someone who can. This school is very unique in that we feel like one large family. It is worth every moment you might stand in line to enroll your child. I have read the negative comments and can honestly say they are just not true. When my children continue on to another school after sixth grade I feel they will be ready to exceed any expectations their future school might have from a child entering at their grade level. I feel truly lucky that we are able to attend this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 29, 2013

Where else can you get a 15:1 student to teacher ratio, without paying private school prices? Not many, I know because I have looked. The supportive and involved parent community at this school allows us to shelter our children from some of the negative experiences I hear about in public school. I love this school and so do my kids!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 22, 2013

KYRENE DE LOS CERRITOS I have 2 kiddos in this school 1st & 3rd grade, principal and teachers are amazing.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 11, 2013

This is our 6th year at Benchmark. Having been an elementary school teacher, I had very high expectations for what I was looking for in a school. Benchmark has hit all of those expectations. Two of my children have moved on to middle-school and they left Benchmark fully prepared with a love of learning. I can not say enough about this school!
—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.

65 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
93%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
98%

2010

 
 
94%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 75% in 2013.

65 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
99%

2012

 
 
97%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
97%
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.

64 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
97%

2010

 
 
95%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2013.

64 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
99%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%

2010

 
 
100%
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.

40 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
83%

2012

 
 
91%

2011

 
 
90%

2010

 
 
91%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

40 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
98%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
98%

2010

 
 
98%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2013.

40 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
91%

2012

 
 
96%

2011

 
 
94%

2010

 
 
94%
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.

34 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
90%

2011

 
 
96%

2010

 
 
89%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

34 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
93%

2010

 
 
100%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2013.

34 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
86%

2012

 
 
95%

2011

 
 
86%

2010

 
 
100%
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 "Excelling".
  • In 2009-2010, this school was designated "Excelling".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was designated "Excelling".

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 79% 42%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 7% 3%
Hispanic 7% 43%
Two or more races 6% 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 5%
Black 0% 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Female 52%N/A49%
Male 48%N/A51%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Foreign languages spoken by school staff Arabic languages
French
German
Japanese
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Top Ten Charter School in Arizona, A+ Charter School
  • Odyssey of the Mind finalist

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Clubs
  • Gardening

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Orchestra
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Arabic languages
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Clubs
  • Gardening
School leaders can update this information here.

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

School basics

Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
  • Before school
School Leader's name
  • Carole Challoner and Barbara Darroch
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (602) 765-1932

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Core knowledge
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Resources

Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Arabic languages
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Computer
  • Library
  • 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
  • All NYS sponsored sports

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Orchestra
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Gardening
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Parent involvement
  • Parents are involved at benchmark through many committees involved with the benchmark parent teacher organization. they coordinate the cultural arts program which brings many visiting artists to school. parents are on campus daily as reading companions, library helpers, lunch time helpers, playground supervisors and art and music masterpiece presentors.
More from this school
  • *Preschool on site *Full day kindergarten *Music *Visual and performing arts *Physical education *Multicultural appreciation *Technology *Spanish
School leaders can update this information here.

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4120 E. Acoma Dr.
Phoenix, AZ 85032
Website: Click here
Phone: (602) 765-3582

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