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GreatSchools Rating

Explorer Middle School

Public | 6-8 | 917 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

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

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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37 reviews of this school


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Posted yesterday

This school is ridiculous! The assistant principal is worthless the teachers rude and I don't think the kids are anything worth mentioning. They don't care if they loose students and have even been told that if I am not happy with the school to find another! The teachers will stand in front of you say they adhd tell you they want perfection from your child but will not give perfection in return and then make a child with adhd feel stupid and even tell the class they have it! Can't wait to get my child out of here!!! Wish I could give negative stars!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 17, 2014

I agree with the comments below about bullying. If your child doesn't wear provacative clothes or have a boyfriend or sexts then be prepared ot have your child bullied. Looking for another school where my daughter will feel comfortable being a smart, compassionate child.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 11, 2014

This school has been amazing! I was a there for 2 years and loved it. Explorer has a wide range of activities and classes that make learning fun! The teachers are amazing and always lend a helping hand. The staff is nice, polite and all-round amazing. They offer tutoring for students who need extra help and the councilors provide a safe place for you when you need help. I have been very impressed with this school and wish I could have stayed longer!


Posted April 4, 2014

Explorer Middle School has been absolutely wonderful! Not only do they focus on the student's education, safety, and overall sense of school spirit, the teachers and administrators make it a point to communicate with parents on a consistent basis. My son has had a fantastic two years at Explorer. Not to say he hasn't had his "challenges" that come with being a normal outgoing boy. However, those situations were always handled in a professional manner. I believe that due in large part, Explorer's curriculumn and emphasis on education is one reason why my son was accepted to both Notre Dame and Brophy Preparatory.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 22, 2013

Explorer Middle School is a great school. They have 75 minutes of Math, Science & English. Other schools only have 42-45 minutes. That is key. This is a STEM school specializing in Science, Technology, English and Math. Imperative to student success in growth. Teachers are good. New Principal seems very nice. Overall happy in our 2nd year there.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 31, 2013

Our personal experience at Explorer has met all of our expectations. Our daughter came from an exceptional elementary school and we fully expected her educational experience to remain the same at Explorer and we have not been disappointed. The curriculum is challenging and some of the teachers can have high expectations for the kids and that is perfect for preparing them for high school. Our daughter met a great group of kids and we have not witnessed any bullying issues. If it has occurred then it is very isolated and unfortunate. The school does have a bullying policy in place and our daughter is very aware of it and has not witnessed any bullying personally. We rated it four stars because every school has room for improvement.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 29, 2013

The bullying is out of control at this school and absolutely nothing has been done. There are mean kids that the administration chooses to look the other way with. Something needs to be done. There are good teachers whose hands are tied. Don't open enroll your students here...
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 27, 2012

I am confused and dismayed at the negative reviews posted regarding bullying at Explorer Middle School. It simply doesn't go on at Explorer and I am pretty sure the reviews below are from one or two disgruntled parents. I have been an EMS parent and volunteer for 2 years and am extremely impressed with the quality and dedication of the faculty and the variety of programs that are offered for the students. As many have noted, the technology classes are exceptional and the growing music and drama departments are the best of any middle school in the district. About 1/2 of the students at EMS have open enrolled which means that they choose to go to school at Explorer. EMS also has the highest test scores of any middle school in the district. There are numerous opportunities to volutneer and you can get involved as much or as little as your schedule allows. The PTO is active and very supportive of the staff and students. They also have a fabulous fall festival that this the talk of the community every October.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 22, 2012

The bullying is out of control at this school. Something needs to be done. I am removing my child.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 22, 2012

This is my 1st year at Explorer and my husband and I are happy with our choice. My 2 older kids attended Mountain Trail Middle another good school however, this time we allowed our youngest child the opportunity to choose for himself. He came home yesterday beaming as he told us he got straight A's this time. He's had to work hard especially in English Honors but the work has paid off! The leaders and staff are all hard working and dedicated. As a member of the PTO and district Rep -- this school has a very active group of parent volunteers and we work closely with the administration to provide the best learning environment for our kids.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 21, 2012

We open-enrolled our daughter at Explorer this year like 400 other families, and have been more than impressed with her experience. Not only was she able to make wonderful friends (after not knowing anyone), but her teachers have been very kind and helpful with the transition. Her counselor, Nicole Hansen, has gone out of her way to make sure she felt comfortable in a new environment even having a girl's lunch bunch once a week for the first few months of school so the girls could get to know each other. Our daughter's favorite classes have been choir and drama. Both teachers are young and energetic. They make learning fun. My daughter has learned more in choir this year than she has by taking private voice lessons. Ms. Burdick, the choir teacher, is outstanding. The variety of electives offered at this school far exceed what I've seen offered at other area middle schools. Although this school prides themselves on being a STEM school and has 75 minutes allocated for math as well as English, there are lots of options for kids who's interests lie elsewhere. The staff and administration treat the kids like young adults yet still allow them to be kids. We are glad we chose Explorer.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 20, 2012

My child attended Explorer for both 7th and 8th grade. She was in Honors English both years and was very active in the extra curricular activities Explorer has to offer. Not only was she well prepared for the classes at Pinnacle and had a positive experience, but she continues to volunteer and assist with the after school activities.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 19, 2012

This school is amazing. The staff truly does try and take care of everything that goes on. I recently had a problem with another student, and I reported it to my teacher. She sent me to the vice-principal where I told her about it and she was understanding and in charge of the situation. By the end of the day everything was sorted out, and this happened in 6th period. This school also offers a variety of electives and extracurricular activities for students. The technology use in the school is phenomenal as well. The only problem is the dress code isn't enforced harshly enough.


Posted September 8, 2012

I removed my child from this horrible school where bullying is rampant almost a year ago and my child still has not recovered (and that is a medical diagnosis - not my opinion). Thank you to all the teachers, students and leadership for giving my child PTSD by not controlling the "lovely" kids who attend here.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 8, 2012

My child has been thriving at Explorer. Great school, lots of updated technology, a wide variety of electives to chose from, and a challenging honors curriculum. Be prepared for lots of homework, a bit of a transition from elementary school, but once they get into the routine, its manageable. Very happy with this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 26, 2012

best school of technology that i have ever been to they are so kind especially the principal and the vice principal and the counclers are the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted February 3, 2012

Explorer has great technology programs, strong & dynamic leadership, and (for the most part) caring and concerned teachers and counselors. One child had some problems being bullied, while the other witnessed some very inappropriate behavior. In both cases, the administration was completely on top of the situation and went out of their way to keep me updated on the resolution. I was very impressed with their responsiveness.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 18, 2011

As the adult sibling of a younger child that tried to attend this school I am appalled at the lack of understanding, caring, empathy and control (by upper level staff) shown at this school. The behavior of the students is inappropriate and as aforementioned, the staff as well, who "cannot promise to put a stop to bullying". There are a group of "mean girls" here who put the movie characters to shame.


Posted December 13, 2011

I have been very happy with Explorer and the staff. I have found that they are very caring and willing to help, and in fact many have gone above and beyond the call of duty when my child has needed assistance. We did have some problems with bullying (as I am sure every middle school has) but these situations were addressed immediately. In fact I was surprised at how quickly this was taken care of. The school has amazing technology available and some very enthusiastic and supportive teachers. I realize that everyone has a different experience, but I have never had anything other than positive interactions with the staff at Explorer.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 9, 2011

When CCUSD closed the school my child attended late last spring it was sad. But I need to send the superintendant and board a THANK YOU! It was the best thing that ever happened to my child because it forced me to look elsewhere. If I now had to drive my child several miles to the other CCUSD middle school (one with lower academic achievement, etc. than what they closed) I might as well see what else was out there. We found Explorer. The principal is completely committed to her school and to securing top resources for the kids. Classes are comprehensive. The honors English curriculum had just been re-written and it is in-depth and challenging--true honors. The teachers and staff are all committed to the students. The facilities, clean and well cared for (ours were old, severely in need of renovation and smelly). We moved from a school with 15 year old computers to one with BRAND NEW Macs, Google Beta testing, computer labs a television studio, radio broadcasting, engineering, advanced engineering, band, choir, strings, languages...they have it all. I only wish I had found it earlier for my other children.
—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 61% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
87%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 80% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
95%

2011

 
 
94%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
82%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2013-2014 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 64% in 2014.

2014

 
 
89%

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
82%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 86% in 2014.

2014

 
 
97%

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
95%

2011

 
 
94%
Science

2014

 
 
n/a
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2014.

2014

 
 
88%

2013

 
 
83%

2012

 
 
80%

2011

 
 
82%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2013-2014 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 59% in 2014.

2014

 
 
86%

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
81%

2011

 
 
82%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 70% in 2014.

2014

 
 
90%

2013

 
 
92%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
90%
Science

The state average for Science was 63% in 2014.

2014

 
 
90%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
91%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2013-2014 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 2013-2014 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 80% 42%
Hispanic 11% 43%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 4% 3%
Two or more races 3% 2%
Black 2% 5%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 8%N/A47%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Assistant principal(s)
Dance teacher(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
Nurse(s)
PE instructor(s)
School psychologist
School social worker/counselors(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff French
Italian
Chinese (Mandarin)
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school officials and community members.

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Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Mayor's School of Excellence Award for Arts in Education (2007)
  • OLWEUS Anti-Bullying Award (2007)
  • Study Island Champion School (2008)

Special education / special needs

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Special education
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Autism
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
  • Visual impairments

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
Performing and written arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
Media arts
  • Video / Film production

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Spanish
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Let your school shine!

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by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

School start time
  • 8:54 am
School end time
  • 3:30 pm
School Leader's name
  • Marianne M. Bursi

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Special education
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Autism
  • Other health impairments
  • Specific learning disabilities
  • Speech and language impairments
  • Visual impairments
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Spanish

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Let your school shine!

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by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Intramural Sports Programs
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Intramural Sports Programs
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Design
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
Performing arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Improv
Media arts
  • Video / Film production
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Parent involvement
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Parent teacher organization, volunteers, chaperones, guest speakers, school/community fall festival, fundraising projects, school council, monthly family nights, snack shack volunteers
More from this school
  • High student achievement, student-centered atmosphere, comprehensive anti-bullying program, positve student citizenship program, peer tutor and peer mediation programs, student accountability programs, student created web site, innovative technology programs, block English, advanced level math courses and Honors English, outstanding performing and visual arts programs
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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What are your chances?

Students typically come from these schools
Copper Canyon
Desert Trails
Wildfire Elementary

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Pinnacle HS
Paradise Valley HS
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

22401 North 40th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85050
Website: Click here
Phone: (602) 449-4200

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