Middle school is middle school. Socially, it's a hard time for kids, but having put two kids through Payne so far, I can attest that this school does a pretty good job of doing things well. Most of the students are upper/middle class, come from good families and have good work ethics/morals. We've had pretty good teachers, too, though you'll always find one or two (just like among the student body) that aren't as reputable. Students definitely have opportunities to make the best of their middle-school years at PJHS.
I go here and I will tell you I wish every school was like this one! Payne Junior High is the best I learned so much and the teachers are incredibly nice-and I might move and all I told my mom is if we move we are staying in Payne boundaries! Even though it says Payne it totally isn't a Pain! Also they do fun pep rallies and games but they also have a wonderful gifted program and wonderful honor classes!! The sports are awesome I joined the softball team and it was super fun!! Also mrs.Herz and mr.heady should get a bonus because they are the best teachers I have ever had- mrs herz has taught me so much in math, I used to hate math so much but I have improved so much in it that it's really fun and she's my best friend! Mr heady, everybody loves him, he makes class so fun and I love to finish the day in his class ( he is super smart and knows everything there is to know in social studies). I hope my brother gets them as his teacher next year, my brother is super smart and he is most likely going to get in all honors classes. I also just wanted to add that Payne is so much cleaner than San Tan, my brother does basketball practices there and we were walking around the campus and there is trash all around you it's gross but at Payne it looks brand new! The custodians always tells us to throw away our trash and since we are Teenagers, it's hard to get everyone to listen so they clean it up theirselves and I know it's their jobs but they are really good at their jobs! Also I take choir and orchestra and it is so fun, I love music and I will say Payne has a magnificent music program and my brother is going to do band next year and I'm glad he will get to enjoy such a wonderful experience! Pjhs is better than any school in Arizona, but even better the US... Even better the WORLD!!! Go Payne Panthers!!!!!!~Nicole Williams 2016
The Principal is awesome, the VP is a good communicator, and Miss K is wonderful, but a few of the instructors at PJHS are absolutely horrible. If you have a child in M.A.'s Algebra class, get them out of it as soon as possible. This instructor assigns 25-60 problems for homework on a daily basis with minimal explanation of how to do the work. That is, if you can read the tiny font the homework in. This instructor is very condescending toward students who give incorrect answers in her classroom. This instructor doesn't understand that there are different ways in math to form an equation to get to the correct answer. It's either this instructor's way or you are wrong, even if the work results in a correct answer. Another one to avoid is young Science teacher A. M. This instructor is an absolute nightmare who plays favorites with the students. Has no control of the classroom what so ever. If this instructor does not like your child, they will not get a good grade like the class pets. Does not like to be questioned by parents. If your child didn't attend PJHS in 7th grade and is one of the better 8th grade athletes, dont expect them to be picked for a team due to favoritism.
I attended Payne the first 2 years it was open during the '05-'06 and '06-'07 school years. There have been quite a bit of changes as far as teachers coming and going since I left, however a lot of the teachers I had are still there so I think my review is still relevant. I loved Payne and have so many great memories of my time there. The staff and teachers were very friendly and approachable. It was obvious they truly cared about the students. Most of the teachers are young so they have a lot of energy and excitement about the curriculum they teach. My teachers were were very hands on in the way they taught and were rarely sitting at their desks for longer than a few minutes. Most of my teachers, especially Mr. Giaramita, were constantly challenging us to push ourselves past what we thought we were capable of. Looking back I am very grateful for this because it has helped me tremendously both in high school and now in college. There is a very warm energy on campus. I can't remember ever dreading going to school mainly because I knew I was going to have fun each day. In my opinion, speaking as a former student, Payne is a fantastic school.
I have two children in this Jr High. Thier first year in this school form another school district in a high class area. My kids tell me; the cirriculum is lower than thier standards, probably because of the the lower learning skills of the kids raised in the area. Expectations of good grades and performance are throttled back to perform to Texas standards. Fights are rampant, bullying is rampant and open drug use is open. I even asked the Dean of Students for Sex Offender notifications within the area and she refused to provide. If you your children have to go to this school then protect them and supplement their learning material. The school is full of unfortunate low income racsist children banding in gangs. The Teachers try but are outnumbered and held back by the School Administrators who are only want make thier jobs secure. Do not let your kids attend this school unless your prepared to teach them yourself and deprograme them after school.
Reading the other posts, it appears Payne is a Love it or Hate it school. Sadly we are the latter. I've never before (and we have 5 children) counted down the days to get out of a school! We've seen many students leave Payne and move to the Home School route or on-line classes because they were so unhappy here. I've found that most of the teachers we've dealt with here seem vary worn-out or genuinely do not like the 13-14 year old age group. I've witnessed the teachers be rude and condescending and have yet to find a teacher who encourages thinking outside of the box. Sounds like the CATS teachers might be the exception. I will say that we absolutely love Ms. Kitty and Ann-Marie in the office and Mr. Phillips has been very approachable and helpful in the past. All in all - can't wait to be done with the PAYNE of this Junior High.
I graduated from the CATS program at Payne last year. It's utterly exceptional. The teachers in this program are better, smarter, and more qualified than most of the teachers at Basha High (which I am attending this year). The most unique feature was the fact that the cats program not only taught me facts, but also how to think and respond to real-world issues. I highly recommend the program. Otherwise, Payne is a fun school, and a much better option for your child in comparison to some of the other CUSD schools (Santan, Willis, etc.). The environment is very friendly, and the school is clean in all possible meanings of the word. It is sanitary, as well as drug and bully free. The teachers and administration are kind and caring. Payne also has 'teams' which means that a group of 100 or so kids share the same core-class teacher. This helps so much in making friends! It's like a giant family.
Payne Junior High is an excellent school! The teachers and staff are knowledgeable and helpful! They go above and beyond for their students! The administration is supportive and visible. The overall school experience is an A plus, my son enjoys attending this top rated school! Their test scores say it all.
My son just completed his 2 years at Payne. We were extremely happy with this school and all of my son's teachers. My son was part of the CATS program and therefore had the same group of teachers for both years. They were the absolute best teachers ever!!!! They not only taught him they also got him to think about and discuss relevant topics, different problem solving approaches, and challenge himself to think and look at his education and life in many different ways. His experience at Payne with these teachers have completely prepared him for high school and beyond!