Madison Simis is a wonderful school with a long heritage of excellence. Parents are involved, teachers are caring and hard-working, students are eager to learn. It is nurtured by an enlightened Phoenix community and enjoys a beautiful setting. We take pride in all that we have accomplished and are ever in a mode of continuous improvement. Thank you for your continued interest in Simis, and for your support.
June 09, 2011
This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
My son has been at Simis for two years. The school not only has excellent teachers/faculty/administrators, but the whole community is wonderful! As a former graduate of Simis, I can honestly say that the tangible things like high test scores and high performance by students has not changed in 30 plus years. While new schools/charter schools pop up and new techniques/teaching styles are trending, it is reassuring and commendable that Simis has found a way to be successful throughout the years. I am confident they will continue to stay ahead of the curve.
Our daughter (now in 2nd grade) is thriving and we are extremely happy with Simis. The IB program encourages students to be well-rounded and open-minded- they learn through a variety of experiences including individual and group activities in the classroom, physical education, foreign language, art and music. Simis' parent-teacher organization (PATS) is wonderful as well- they host fun family events and provide funding for all the classroom needs (and wants) including a structured recess program that the kids love! We highly recommend Simis to all families in the North Central area!
I can't say enough great things about Madison Simis . The teachers and the administration are amazing and really care. My son is thriving and loving everything about Simis. The IB program is fantastic and he is challenged academically daily.
I would not recommend Madison Simis if your child has an IEP. The current administration (Dr. Flowers) is not supportive of kids who have IEPs and need extra help. Originally, the school's program was working well for my child, but then they made several changes to the program and class he was in. The class size got larger and he didn't have the same tools. This was really stressful for my son and even though we knew we could have the school do a behavioral plan and re-evaluate his needs, we felt like he was not welcome there. They kept suspending him (which they were not allowed to do) and they kept saying "we just cannot help him" and their solution was to move him to a private special needs school that was very rigid and had older kids with serious disorders. We did not agree to this and they were also not allowed to do this by law. Thankfully he is in a different very supportive public school district. Thank goodness for the good schools.
I have 2 children that went to Simis one 8 years ago and it was awesome for the oldest child. My second child however a completelly different experience, one of teasing, not understanding homework and dissengaged teachers. Class size not issue as the size was about the same 8 years ago. I think the push for the IB and other programs spreads teachers time thin, they just push kids onto i-ready and computer for learning and testing which is awful. The math instruction is so confusing parents were given a math night traing/presentation and supplemental information on how it is done as the teachers sure do not explain it well in class. There is a saying if it isn't broke don't fix it, not sure why the school's approach to teaching has changed, I don't think Common Core has anything to do with the change in instruction but will explore further, maybe some school board members need the boot.. That said for Phoenix Urban school Madison is good but if comparing to past performance it is declining.
My daughter just finished her first year at Simis (2nd grade). She absolutely thrived. She is a fairly quiet, shy child and after a year at Simis, I've noticed that while she is still quiet and shy, she has so much confidence. She tested into 'gifted' and I've been very pleased to see what that curriculum entails. The principal and the assistant principal have both been very receptive when I've talked to them (and they reply to emails immediately). The school is officially an IB school. While I don't have a strong understanding of how that will impact the children, I do see it as a positive thing. Simis is a big school, and if you want to keep your child in a smaller environment, this may not be the best choice for you. I like that it's big - I've seen my daughter change in a positive way and I believe one reason she's changed is because of the size. She's not living in a bubble. She stands up for herself. She has so many different types of children to interact with and she's found a wonderful group of girls (and boys) that she feels comfortable with and who look out for one another. The families at Simis area very special.
We have had children attending Simis since 2003 and have loved every year of it! The community and parent support is second to none. We are thrilled with the new I.B. curriculum as it really allows students to delve deeper into subjects and see how they inter-relate with other subjects (and the world)! The PTA is excellent and I truly believe you get out of Simis what you give so if you are stand-offish and un-involved you will not get the full experience. Everyone is very welcoming and I wouldn't send my kids anywhere else.
we went to the open house because my son is attending kindergarten in the fall and we were completely impressed by the school. The students seemed to be working on really interesting projects. The principal was very friendly and so were all of the teachers we spoke to. I was also really impressed that they even had an open house. It has been difficult to get a peak into schools that help me make a decision as to where to send my son, but this was very helpful.
I am stunned at the cruel reviews by some parents and their ease with using social media to attack Dr. Flowers anonymously. I have had three children attend Madison Simis and they all have had impressive academic experiences. These same children now attend a charter school (ASA) and were well-prepared academically. Every school has teachers that are superstars and others that are simply competent. At Simis, there are more superstars than I've seen elsewhere. In addition, charter schools rely heavily on parents and the community providing additional financial resources (we're talking $1,800 per child per year), which public district schools such as Simis would be criticized if they did. The reality is that there is insufficient money from the Arizona Legislature funding all public schools, both charter and public district. As a result, all schools have class sizes that are too large. The impact of Simis' IB program on Simis' students can best be summed up with this quote: "If you want people to learn, you have to stimulate their curiosity, get them asking penetrating questions. Make them wonder." (Mel George). IB makes them wonder....it is magical.