I am grateful for our new librarian Mrs. Christl. She recently joined the school and has already transformed the library into a wonderful open place for children to read, work on homework or spend some quiet time helping shelve books. It really feels like a community space. My daughter loves being able to go into the library before school and find a new book to read!
This is our second year at this school after coming from a vigorous and challenging Scottsdale school. Last year we felt that our child had some great intellectual challenges with some other gifted students, but this year it has been terrible and the leadership at this school has been subpar, inside and outside of the classroom. This common core knowledge is for the birds! I don't feel our child has learned any new concepts in the last 2 years and is actually behind. I had heard so many good things about this school but we are sadly disappointed and will most likely be looking into charter schools next year with a more challenging curriculum.
This is an amazing school! The test scores speak to the high level of teaching that occurs at this school. I have two children that have attended this school for the past three years and all of the teachers have been amazing. This school has quite a few Nationally Board Certified teachers as well as the Arizona History Teacher of the Year! There is a good reason why it is so hard to get into this school! It is a GREAT place for students.
My niece attends first grade at Fireside. It's such a warm and welcoming school! She is placed in the first/second grade gifted classroom, her teacher being Mrs. Jones. I absolutely love the classroom environment. The students are in close community with one another. The open houses are a lot of fun and interesting to attend. The kids have such a great time working together, being creative, and learning! My niece adores Mrs. Jones and it's quite obvious that Mrs. Jones cares a lot about her students. I would definitely recommend Fireside to any family!
My children started Fireside in it's inaugural year. They were ideal students (did not get into trouble, were very respectful, on the Principal's List every year, etc). Being a stay at home mom, I volunteered on a regular basis. Both kids were at Fireside for a year & a half until we moved out of state. My kids were very sad to leave their friends & teachers behind as they had gotten attached to the school and everyone within it. We received the yearbooks that I had paid for only to find out that the school totally wiped my kids' existence from that school. There were no class photos (they took ANOTHER photo after my kids left), no choir photos (again, they took ANOTHER photo after my daughter left), no individual photo (they simply just didn't include them). The yearbook club simply did not include ANY of the photos taken of my kids before they left. My kids were so upset & heartbroken at the school for doing this to them. Fireside is full of pretentious parents, mostly women. The PTO is made up of parents who gossip way too much. Parents volunteer for a social gathering. Parents beware if education and school experiences are important! My kids are both thriving now!
We were at this school for one year in the regular classroom (gifted cluster). The school cannot claim they differentiate whatsoever. I have been in two fabulous differentiated classrooms, and the 2nd grade here is not it. My child came from another PV school known for rigor and a great cluster where I wish we would've stayed. The cluster at that school was amazing for K-1. At Fireside, it's almost as if we lost an ENTIRE year of academic progress. Now in 3rd grade at yet another new school, it's heartbreaking to see how far my child fell behind in the past year in every academic area. My child is now having to re-master areas that she had down cold in 1st grade. Her writing completely fell off last year. Hardly any writing homework whatsoever the whole year, no reports, no paragraphs... no thinking. NO reading assignments. NONE, ZERO. Math was laughable. In our old school, it was not ok to be a "minimizer" or to do the least possible work to get by.... but in Fireside there seemed to be no high expectations. It instilled some incredibly bad habits in the past year that I'm going to be spending the next year breaking. Even the "security" is a joke - no locked gates, no oversight.
This school has wonderful teachers and a new principal who has demonstrated a lot of enthusiasm and great ideas. We have been at the school since it opened, and we love the PTO, the energetic teachers, and the addition of the self-contained program into our school. Very safe environment and an efficient office staff make this an awesome school!