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K-6
Public
Scottsdale, AZ
Students enrolled: 700
Before care: Yes
After care: Yes

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12990 North 75th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

School website
(602) 449-6500
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Sonoran Sky Elementary School address.

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August 09, 2014
Ok, I was trying to post 2 reviews but the system wouldn't let me so I'll try to consolidate. Overall, this school is incredible! 5 Stars, all the way. The staff and teachers all look out for their students and the differentiation is top notch. The parents are involved, technology is used effectively (not too much, not too little). Academics are amazing. We have been thrilled since coming here from a Scottsdale school. It is not perfect and there are bumps along the way but overall Sonoran Sky provides a solid academic foundation and its students are well prepared for middle school and life. Having said all that, I do have to comment on the self-contained program as we came here for this. While it was great at first, it has changed significantly and not for the better. The District's Director is more focused on expanding to other schools and does not have a handle on the inner workings of the program she oversees. SSky does cluster and pull out honors extremely well so if you have a gifted child, I would highly recommend SSky and the honors program. If you feel strongly that your child needs self-contained, consider another school where the District is focusing resources.

- submitted by a parent
August 07, 2014
So let me understand. The 2013-2014 AIMS test results, that were just published, showed SSKY ranked 7th out of 925 Elementary schools in all of Arizona. It also was ranked as #1 in all of PVUSD . This is the highest achievement the school has ever received in all the years the test has been given. This also was accomplished during the first year of a new administration and replacement of teachers that left to other PVUSD schools. I think these results speak for themselves as a rebuttal to the inaccurate and unfair statements concerning the new Principal and a few teachers leaving. A persons prejudice and distortions can be discounted, facts and results cannot.

- submitted by a parent
July 31, 2014
Very misrepresented on school tour. New admin is worse than the old. They are inexperienced, reactionary & ineffective. Cruelty, intimidation & physical violence were excused. Children of those with influence or special diagnoses are protected from consequences while others suffer intimidation, taunts, threats & even physical abuse. Children, including ours, make mistakes, but we believe in addressing those situations to ensure it does not happen again. After a baffling half year struggle with nonresponsive/ineffective admin who could/would not ensure our children were safe and treated fairly, we threw in the towel. So this review is not about being invited back we left to ensure our children are safe with administrators who listen and take appropriate action. There are enough choices that are so much better I advise you to keep looking. There are many teachers in the lower grades - three are new and struggling with classroom dynamics. I wouldn't risk it.

- submitted by a parent
June 18, 2014
I got my sons scores today and we WILL be changing schools. I believed the hype, that things were still good and the school was not lacking. My child is gifted and all his teachers left. I wish we had gone with them. Now we have a wasted year and have to start over. I urge you to do what is best for your child. I wish I had.

- submitted by a parent
May 23, 2014
Whomever wrote the review about declining test scores and saying the school is going the "traditional route" is writing about the wrong school (there are at least 2 elementary schools named Sonoran Sky in AZ alone). Look at the Test Scores on this page. Yes, there is some fluctuation but, for the most part, scores are improving. With respect to technology, the school has a well-defined commitment to teaching 21st century skills. There are IPads and Chrome books for every class and we have a terrific full-time tech teacher with whom each kid spends at least one class period each week. Whole language, multiple intelligences, phonics, and many other teaching methods are employed, including, but by no means limited to, "traditional" ones. If you are considering this school (the one in Scottsdale), the best advice I can give is to ignore all these reviews and take a tour. Visit the dedicated science lab, the computer labs, the classrooms (each with computer stations), connect to the on-campus WiFi, meet with our principal, see the outdoor classroom, and then decide for yourself. Ask for the name of a PTO person to connect with to answer the rest of your questions.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2014
Sonoran Sky has really changed. Test scores have declined and they have taken the focus off technology. They are currently going the "traditional school" route, which I don't like and neither do my kids. We will be looking for a more modern option for the fall. I left a glowing review previously, but it really isn't the same school any longer.

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2014
As these reviews pertain to an elementary school, let s do some simple elementary math. When you have at least 39 qualified teachers and staff, and 4 of them leave to start a new program at a new school that represents a change of staff of less than 10%. Simple statistical analysis shows that though 10% of a whole is worth mentioning, it is far, far from being notable or significant. So when reviewers, or one repetitive reviewer states ALL the good teachers left , their reason for making that nonobjective, exaggerated statement must be taken with less than a grain of salt . You can only conclude that there is some other agenda for those comments. Remember why those 4 teachers left; factually stated above. It is commonly known, even today, that Sonoran Sky has a reputation throughout the district and community for producing students who are well prepared and able to meet 21st Century educational requirements. This also is a fact borne out by AIMS test results and AZ State Certification. One more math problem to ponder is when the student population is maintained or continually grows than statically speaking the education being provided must be maintaining its high standards.

- submitted by a parent
April 14, 2014
Sonoran Sky was a really good school before all the good teachers left. They went to another school in the district. Now we are left with teachers counting the days until retirement. The principal has not been responsive to my concerns. I keep calling and his secretary makes excuses. If you are looking for a challenging school, I suggest looking elsewhere.

- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2014
Sonoran Sky in Scottsdale is a wonderful, challenging and nurturing environment. We are extremely happy with this school. The Principal is warm and very engaged. The VP is committed to promoting STEM. The PTO is extremely active and focused on supporting the teachers and students. They just approved funding a dedicated science lab and a separate outdoor classroom. Meetings are open to everyone and ALL parents are automatically members of the PTO! No mandatory dues, donations or "Community Investment Funds." The school focuses on teaching the individual child and works very hard to make sure each student is being appropriately challenged. They also devote time to character building. The teachers are very experienced and work as a team - so you get a whole staff educating your child not just one teacher. When you walk through the halls - they know you and your child. There is a full-time nurse and librarian. Diverse student body. The enrichment programs are amazing. Dedicated "specials" teachers in art, music, P.E., technology, gifted specialist, pull-out honors classes and so many other wonderful things that are "extras" anywhere else.

- submitted by a parent
April 04, 2014
Sonoran Sky was a school that welcomed our family and made us feel at home. Until this year. At the beginning of the school year, parents were asked what they liked best about the school, and the PTO took that information and seemed to do exactly the opposite of what was asked. Recently, they completely upended the administration, resulting in the loss of a wonderful principal. Since that time, there have been many other losses to the community, teacher resignations, long-term families leaving. If you are looking for a challenging academic environment for your well-adjusted child, look elsewhere.

- submitted by a parent
March 23, 2014
As you can tell by all of these comments, there is a great deal of unhappiness and power struggle at this school. This is not a healthy environment for students or teachers to be in. My children attended this school, and now they do not (thank goodness for open enrollment). The best part about the anonymity of this forum is that retaliation cannot occur by certain individuals. My experience and opinion is that this school currently falls short of providing a quality education to their students.

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2014
The great thing about public schools is that you can choose which one you want to attend through open enrollment. If you're not happy with Sonoran Sky, then go to another school!

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2014
No, all our good teachers did not leave. To offer a comprehensive list of our good teachers would be impossible, because I can personally vouch for the dedication and caring of each and every one of them, as well as the staff, the aides, and the volunteers. Principal Dawson is a fantastic, empathetic, firm, fair, and honest leader for whom I cannot have more admiration and respect. Our building overflows with and benefits greatly from the support of our parent volunteers. If there is something else you feel can be done to improve Sonoran Sky, then I encourage you to step forward and do it, or offer your input in a constructive manner versus a destructive one. PTO meetings are the first Tuesday of every month in the Sky Lab of the library, where you can provide just as much input and influence as any other parent volunteer. We could do so much more with your help.

- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2014
I am not impressed with the school, teachers, or principal. Communication is subpar at best. I am not referring to the school emails sent, but the actual communication a parent needs from a teacher regarding their child's performance in class. I haven't found assignments to be engaging for the students. Occasionally, a project will arise and will spark a small interest, but that seems to only be the case because the general assignments are bland and distinctively AIMS driven. I also find it strange many teachers seem unwilling to regularly allow a parent volunteer into their actual classroom. This seems counterintuitive, considering a well managed volunteer is easily an asset to both the teacher and the class, simply by freeing up the teacher s time to concentrate on students that need more individualized attention. I find the lack of individualized attention is the primary issue with this school. There are interesting options available to students via the Community Ed program; that being said, it hardly makes up for the lack of creativity and individual attention in the classroom environment. The principal -he's hands off and has no control of his staff or the PTO.

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2014
I strongly disagree with this report. While truly a lot of really good teachers did leave Sonoran Sky, they were replaced with extremely talented educators and an amazing Principal. When a door closes, another one always opens.

- submitted by a parent
December 03, 2013
We are open enrolled to this school and are so grateful to be here. Wonderful teachers, active and passionate parents and PTO. Class sizes are appropriately sized and interesting enrichment and extra curriculars offered. Artist-in-residence program, outdoor science lab, pond. Adminstration is open and approachable. Excellent pull-out and self-contained gifted but ALL kids taught to their individual levels and encouraged to succeed!

- submitted by a parent
November 06, 2013
I keep hearing again and again, "all the good teachers left. all the good teachers left." So I decided to take a look for myself. And yes. All the good teachers left. The entire gifted department cleared out. They moved on to greener pastures. Two award winning Kindergarten teachers: done! The awesome, amazing, bedazzling computers teacher: she left! Half of the first grade department: they are going, going, gone! Even the special ed teacher, whom I had no experience with (but heard was incredible) packed her bags and left. Sonoran Sky: All the good teachers left!

- submitted by a parent
November 06, 2013
My 4 kids love going to school every morning. It's nice to be part of school community that is truly focused on student learning. There is no question that Principal Dawson's #1 priority is the kids and learning. He is a great communicator and works hard at keeping everyone in the community on the same page. He is supportive of the staff and treats them as professionals. He is always accessible and a great listener. He has demonstrated amazing leadership since taking the helm. I can't remember a school event that he didn't attend and often he has his own children in tow. Rob Dawson is a passionate educator who is determined to make Sonoran Sky Elementary a great school for ALL students. If you have an issue just give him a call!

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2013
This is my student's 4th year at Sonoran Sky. I previously wrote a glowing review because Sonoran Sky was truly a GREAT school, but that is no longer the reality. A serious word of caution to parents considering this school for their child...request the opportunity to interview the teacher of the class your child will be placed in BEFORE you enroll. After a chaotic classroom experience at the end of last year, we hesitantly re-enrolled after an unsuccessful search for an alternative. Our experience in the 2013-14 school year has been an excrutiating disappointment and our family (including the student) has unanimously agreed that we will not return and may not finish out the school year after Christmas. Huge disappointment...the joy-filled learning environment that sustained our first 4 years has been so distorted years that we no longer recognize it. Truly sad.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2013
This is a wonderful school! The community feel is fabulous and the new principal is so involved. We came from Scottsdale school district a few years ago and we are blown away by the higher expectation of academics and character building. Thank you Sonoran Sky!

- submitted by a parent
October 05, 2013
Probably worth waiting a couple of years and then visit Sonoran Sky to check on progress... The current admin cannot carry this school forwards as needed. My children has attended this school for three years + and have seen much change but always for the better. I hoped this would continue but due to the recent treatment of parents and the mass exit of all the good teachers we now have difficulty trusting the current admin and PTO. The PTO is creating a non-objective and emotional environment that opens the school up to conflict of interest. Not good for the parents and not good for the school, proven in many recent decisions and results. The potential for a large switch out of admin, teachers, parents and kids for the next academic year is highly likely and should be considered when looking at the risk/reward for Sonoran Sky. I would wait and see how the next 1-2 years goes and revisit...

- submitted by a parent
October 04, 2013
We are a long time S-Sky family and up until two months ago, I would have recommended the school for anybody. While never perfect, the school worked with and listened to the parents. Very sadly though, I can no longer recommend the school in good conscience. The principal leaving was just the beginning. The PTO does not believe the parents can think for themselves regarding what is best for their child. The PTO works in secrecy until the point where they realized there was a mass exodus at the school. Now they decide to try to share and what they are sharing is very upsetting. Unfortunately, their direction they are only half sharing is not the best for our kids. They hired a principal (former teacher) who is a good person, but has no experience in managing faculty or dealing with kids younger than 3rd grade. The community, family feel of the school is gone. I truly hope S-Sky can get back to the fabulous place they once were but until that time, please do your research if you are looking at the school.

- submitted by a parent
October 04, 2013
It seems to me there are two schools of thought when it comes to Sonoran Sky, and neither to two shall meet. So, when considering this school take ALL comments with a hint of bias for either side. That said, I am a parent at the school and consider myself very involved but know that there is always room for improvement, EVERYWHERE. We can all do better, strive for more, and expect more from our teachers, administrators, school boards, and PTO. I think the way to get that done is by helping with your time and new fresh ideas. Our Principal is wonderful! He has an open door policy and he is truly welcoming to all. I want him to be successful at his job, because he deserves it and because it will benefit my child when he is. He is the kind of Principal I think most kids want; friendly, but authoritative, a problem solver and good listener, a fabulous facilitator and an unbiased coach. Rather than setting him up for failure, lets support him so he can grow to his full potential. We need to tell the school district what we are looking for, as THEY make the curriculum decisions. No school is perfect, but I think this comes quite close, and is still a fabulous work in progress.

- submitted by a parent
October 02, 2013
We transferred to Sonoran Sky/PVUSD from SUSD and are thrilled! The atmosphere is friendly, professional and well organized with high academic expectations for their students and staff--with individual attention to student's needs! Everyone from the front office to the kindergarteners follow the same behavior rules. Teachers, front office staff, the principal and vice principal are friendly, knowledgeable, fun and approachable. Teachers have "office hours" where students can drop in for extra help when needed. Emails to teachers and/or staff are responded to promptly. We love that a computer class is in the "specials" rotation and "keyboarding" is taught along with other tech skills. Kids today may be able to play on computers but have no clue how to keyboard--a skill needed to complete research papers, reports, etc.! PTO is informative, professional and not in your face at every turn begging for money. PTO budget is 1/3 that of our old school with SO much more to show for it. The gist is, it is a great school, recommended by families that have either been there for years or who have also transferred their kids out of other schools/districts.

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2013
Seriously? I am tired of people saying that all of the good teachers left last year because only a handful left to start the gifted program at another school. The principal didn't even finish out the year! I think there's a lot to be said for all of the teachers that have been at Sonoran sky for many years. They are the ones who make this school great!

- submitted by a community member
September 26, 2013
This school evolved a lot from when we first arrived. My son had been in this school for years. We enjoyed the curriculum and how everything was adjusted to our child's level of learning. We have the utmost admiration for the excellent teachers (most of whom left last year), the wonderful principal (who last left year) and awe at our child's schoolmates (most of whom also left or are leaving). We can understand why a lot are upset about how the PTO acts arrogantly, dismissively, and with disrespect towards the parents who question their actions and decisions. We're not surprised that almost all good teachers left. The PTO keeps talking about how they support the teachers but they act totally contrary to that. We are mystified with those who chose to keep a blind eye and ignore these things. We cannot understand, when there are better alternative schools around, why anyone would choose Sonoran Sky. With that in mind, ask yourself, why waste important years in my child's education? It WAS a good school.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2013
This school has a great mission statement, unfortunately they do not know how to follow it. The school is going through a great deal of transition this year, but that is nothing new. It seems as if the decent principals are driven out every couple years, probably one reason why it is so chaotic, unprofessional, and no one knows what the other is doing. In our experience at Sonoran Sky just since August 5, I have witnessed children being yelled at by teachers, the office being rude and students being accused of stealing technology when it had only been misplaced.. The academics taught at the school vary from teacher. There is no consistency in anything except for the Make Yer Day program. The quality of instruction is dependent on the teacher (as in most schools), but there is no monitoring of the teachers. I was told that the students would be taught at their individual levels, but I did not see that in my kids classes. This school needs some strong leadership. The principal just isn't cutting it.

- submitted by a parent
August 30, 2013
I can't say enough about Sonoran Sky. This is the third year my son is attending SSES. There have been a lot of changes in the past year but it has all been positive. Principal Dawson is amazing. I would have my son attend here for Dawson alone. He is always present around campus and his door is always open. He listens, honest and is actively involved in all aspects of the school. When my child had a misunderstanding with another student, Principal Dawson facilitated an open conversation with them to help them communicate and learn how to talk through things on the same day I brought it to his attention. The staff is also wonderful - from the front office to the teachers to the support staff. You can tell that they are happy with their environment and the administration within the school. As for the teachers, they are wonderful. I have yet to come across a teacher who doesn't genuinely care for the welfare of the children. Each one has a something unique that they bring to the students. I think it is true for most teachers and we are lucky enough to have them this year. I am really looking forward to what this year will bring for the Sonoran Sky Community.

- submitted by a parent
August 30, 2013
We have been at sonoran sky for 4 years. It has rapidly declined recently. It is too bad, because this used to be a great school. The buzz around the school is that all the good teachers left and that does seem to be the case. Principal is ok, but seems overwhelmed.

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2013
What has happened to sonoran sky? It is like a totally different school, and one that I don't want to be at. Most of the teachers left and there is no administration. The office is cold and not friendly. My son has been complaining that he doesn't want to go to school and after today, I finally understand why. We will be looking for an alternative placement. It is too bad. This used to be the school to be at.

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2013
We really committed to Sonoran Sky for the first 3 years our child's elementary school experience. It was important to us to go to the neighborhood school and support our community. While the principal (both the previous principal and the new one), the staff, and the parents truly care for the students, honestly, the entire school culture has to change for things to improve. The shaming nature of the Make Your Day program, and the incredibly limited time the kids have for P.E., Art, and other "specials" just doesn't foster a good learning environment. Sonoran Sky doesn't nurture the whole child. They, like most schools, are still focused on test scores. Thankfully change is inevitable, and I sincerely hope this well intentioned school can grow into a wonderful place of learning, where children feel nurtured and thrive.

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2013
This used to be a wonderful school. Since last spring the long term beloved principal has been run out, and all the good teachers left with her. The school now has an empty feel. The teachers who are left lack creativity or vision. They are the type of teachers who are there for short days and summer breaks. Despite being part of Sonoran Sky for many years, it is clear it is time to move on. The new principal is a kind man, but he has no experience and doesn't know how to handle things. It is very sad that it has come to this but Sonoran Sky is no longer the same wonderful school that it was a few years ago.

- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2013
The teachers are great! However, I have many questions concerning recess. There are 180 kids and 5 duty aids during my daughter's recess. The playground is very large. My questions are: How can a duty aide be able to hear or be aware of psycholgical bullying in a large crowded environment? Is there an organization to the playground and for the children such that the duty aides can effectively intervene if psycholgical bullying was occuring? What proactive measures are implemnted to prevent bullying or do we simply react after the damage has been done? The PTO is enthusiastic and well funded. They have many great ideas on effective management of the playground. There have been 2 principals and 2 vice prinicipals in two years. The current principal is temporary. Will the new administration be vested in the community to make the playground safe and comfortable for all children? Take Care Sonoran Sky and take care of your children. I wish you well.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2012
My daughter is in kindergarten. After an initial basic screening, they clustered her with like minded peers within the classroom, while keeping her with peers her age. My daughter has continued to excel and I have been so impressed with her teacher's ability to keep a multitude of academic levels in one single class room challenged. The communication with the teacher and the district on options available to my daughter has been amazing!

- submitted by a parent
February 10, 2012
I am happy with the academics @ Milestone.My preschooler is way ahead of other preschoolers from other schools.They teach a child ahead if the child is ready for it.A lot of involvement with the teachers have helped.We are very happy with his progress so far and we love Ms Jean and Ms Tiffany of PreK.

- submitted by a parent
December 13, 2011
I have had children at this school for 8 years, and I have always been very happy with it. There have been a lot of changes over this time, but mainly everything has remained positive and I have never had a problem with any of the staff. If anything my kids have had some incredible, amazing teachers that have made a huge impact on them. The make your day program can be challenging for some kids, particularly those with a lot of anxiety, but it has instilled a greater sense of responsibility in my son. Overall this has been a great school with huge parental involvement and I would recommend it to anyone.

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2011
Superior school! I had a difficult time making the decision to change schools but I am so glad I did. My kids have never been happier.

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2011
Well - the first few weeks of school have come and gone and I am loving what I see. Yes - there are some teacher changes - changes for the good. The school PTO has come up with some new ideas (Family Bingo night was a blast). I have been here for some time now and continue to love what I see - teachers working their best to help all the kids. High parental involvement. Fun filled learning. What more is there to love!!!

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2011
My child was in the self contained gifted class for one year and it was the biggest mistake, and I regret trusting all of the educators who assured me that this was the best environment for my gifted child. My child is now in a wonderful performing arts charter school, where the success of the child comes first, not the ego and overblown pretentious attitude of the gifted teacher....and I'm being nice in that description. The shining light of my child's school year was Mr. Norris, the music teacher. Thank you Mr. Norris for being kind AND extremely competent.

- submitted by a parent
April 17, 2011
My daughter has been going to Sonoran Sky for 3 years. Although she is gifted, she is not in the self-contained program. It has been a wonderful experience: the staff are caring, the administration is supportive and positive, and the parent community is strong. Whether your child is in a regular class or the self-contained, you will find a great group of people who have the best interests of your child at heart. I would highly recommend this school to anyone who is considering!

- submitted by a parent
April 05, 2011
I have to disagree with the last review. I have 2 children; one in self contained and the other in regular ed. and both students needs are being met. The change in administration has been challenging but they have found the diamond in the rough with Mrs. Minor. Her ideas and drive will only help improve this school. For those who are opposed to change...they need to understand that change can only improve our children's lives. For those teachers who feel that this administrator isn't right for them, then they should go to another school where they can sit behind a desk and not grow as educators or grow the minds of their students.

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2011
In the past I was one of those parents that gave a rave review of Sonoran Sky. In the past 2-3 years my opinion has changed drastically and we will not be returning to Sonoran Sky next year. If your child fits into the self-contained gifted program you may find the school to be a great fit for you. If your child does not fit into self-contained you may find the work to be mediocre. There is little push to move your child beyond grade level material regardless of their ability and when questioned you may be told that "you can challenge them at home". There is inconsistency among each grade level for what is being taught. Some teachers go above and beyond and others are simply getting by. I think the frequent change in leadership has taken its toll. We have had 4 different principals in the 6 years we have been at the school. The new principal has tried to make a lof of changes which has resulted in the teachers attending frequent meetings and not being in the classroom. The working relationship between faculty and administration is at an all time low. Those looking to send their children to this school for 2011-2012 should expect to see a lot of changes.

- submitted by a parent
March 28, 2011
Sonoran Sky is awesome and continues to improve! The principal is very open minded and making a lot of positive changes. The front office staff is kind and welcoming and my child's teachers have been top notch. We started at this school a few years ago and now I would not go anywhere else. I will send my younger children to this school too. Keep up the good work, Sonoran Sky!

- submitted by a parent
March 17, 2011
My daughter has been attending for the past (3) years. All in all the experience has been positive. We are paying closer attention now! Those looking to send there children to this school for the 2011 - 2012 should expect to see a host of new teachers arriving. Teachers will be leaving in great numbers..and in short order...after the year is completed. The working relationship between faculty and administration is at an all time low and is taking its toll on staff, parents and children. Very sad to see...(3) years ago an enthusiastic group of educators walked the halls of Sonoran Sky. Now everyone is just trying to get through the day and out the door.

- submitted by a parent
February 25, 2011
My children attended for 1st and 2nd grades. There is very limitted recess time, and it generally feels like a prison the way the school is totally enclosed. The kids only get PE once every 4 days. The teachers were good. The special education for my son was fair. The gifted class is fantastic, but most children are not gifted, and I think they are a little left behind. We have chosen to home school this year, and will not return to Sonoran Sky, even though we live within walking distance.

- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2011
We transferred to this school because of the self contained gifted program. It exceeded our expectations. The principal is warm and informed. She spent time getting to know my child, who had a very negative experience at his previous school. The enrichment classes offered before and after school are a huge bonus. My son has never been happier.

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2010
I love this school. My teachers have been excellent and the principal is very responsive. Even the secretaries are helpful and friendly and always greet me with a big smile. Sonoran Sky is great place to be.

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2010
We open enrolled into 1st grade last year for the gifted program. I often joked that the school is like a public military institution but find this year that is no joke. The rigidity is over the top. Often punishing children for things like not sitting properly and not pushing their chair in enough. They stiffle creativity and make children toe an arbitrary line. The resut of which is that my daughter now hates school and I am looking elsewhere for 3rd grade. We have been nothing but disappointed with 2nd grade. I have to fight to get assignments sent home and find that the work being done is very similar to what my daughter did last year. On top this, the school's AIMS test scores took a nose dive last year. Disturbing for a school that prides itself on its gifted programs.

- submitted by a parent
October 13, 2010
Caution for kids w/special needs, LDs, ADD, ADHD, autism, etc. I wrote a rave review in 2008, but the culture continues to become more rigid. The 1st-3rd grade culture seems more intent on 'breaking the kid' than inspiring a love of learning. Make Your Day works for the vast amount of students, keeping them in line, teaching responsibility and setting boundries--but NOT ALL kids: particularly those with special needs. These kids can't always stay inside the lines, and Make Your Day and the lower grade 'culture' can zap their self-esteem, evoke anxiety or depression, make them hate school and themselves, and destroy their love of learning. I've pulled my special needs boy out because of the militaristic-culture that can damage the spirit of kids with special needs.

- submitted by a parent
April 04, 2010
Sonoran Sky is a great school! Very happy with the 'Self-Contained' program for academically advanced students. The classrooms and school are very clean, and the music / choir teacher is superb! The school offers many chances for student and parent involvement, and there is both before and after-school care for students. Very happy with Sonoran Sky. Definitely would recommend this fabulous elementary school!

- submitted by a community member
December 14, 2009
The school, the principal, and staff are world-class when it comes to public education. They are a shining example of the results of a well run public elementary school! My child is in the K-2 self-contained class. Karen Mensing is a genius when it comes to teaching the profoundly gifted children. One caveat - even if a child qualifies for the self-contained K-2 class (98th%), they may not be ready to work a minimum of 2 grade levels ahead in ALL academic areas. The kids must be already reading and writing at very high level (4th grade +). There is no 'teaching' of the mechanics of reading, it is expected that they are already there going in. It's not for everyone, even many highly gifted kids, but for profoundly gifted kids who truly need extreme differentiation and cannot be accommodated in the regular classroom gifted clusters, it's a godsend!

- submitted by a parent
November 05, 2009
I moved my child from Scottsdale School District and couldn't be happier! Sonoran Sky works with child as an independent person and truly takes it upon themselves to work with each child and family to ensure the child is learning. My child is happy and challenged. I can't ask for anything more.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 20, 2009
Sonoran School is a great and safe place for my kid, he loves his techears and going to school. Everybody has to be treated with respect, and the kids learn to take responsibilityfor behavior management.

- submitted by a parent
August 20, 2009
I am a parent of two kids at Sonoran Sky and both my children and my husband and I are extremely happy with this school. My twins are 4th graders and we have been at Sonoran Sky since Kindergarten and have had a wonderful experience. This school offers wonderful programs, specials and enrichment opportunities that few other schools offer. The school is organized and well-run and the teachers are experienced and caring. My kids have made wonderful friends and the families are all very involved and dedicated to their children's educational experience. I feel that my kids are getting a stellar education. We could not ask for more in an elementary school. We feel very fortunate to be a part of such a thriving, positive, vibrant school community.

- submitted by a parent
July 14, 2009
We could not be happier with our child's education and our experienced at Sonoran Sky. We transferred here from another Paradise Valley School that is better rated based on standardized test scores, but lacked the academics, character development and warm community of Sonoran Sky. If you can get in through residency or open enrollment, do so immediately. You won't find a better school, or one that better prepares your overall child for his or her future.

- submitted by a parent
July 13, 2009
Sonoran Sky is an amazing school. They have many levels of education to suit the needs of students. There are regular level classes, pull-out honors classes, and self-contained classes which is a full day honors classroom. The education is really good, and the teachers are so nice. The physical qualities of the school are very clean and orderly. Overall, a great school!

- submitted by a community member
March 09, 2009
I am so pleased that I enrolled my son into this school from a nearby school. This principal is awesome. He is friendly, demonstrates concern, interacts with the children based on respect and understanding and not authority. He earns and is given respect because he relates well to the parents and children. The staff is friendly and eager to engage the students in learning. Admin are okay. They don't go out of there way, but they will be helpful and pleasant.

- submitted by a parent
November 30, 2008
We moved to this school through open enrollment when my kids started Kindergarten and 3rd grade. I could not be happier with this choice!! My kids are now in 3rd grade & 6th grade. The principal is awesome - he lets the kids know he really cares by making the rounds and memorizing every kids name! He shows up for off hours events, etc. He's the best!! The teachers, active parents, and extra curricular activies are wonderful too. This whole school is just the best... I dread that my 6th grader will go off to middle school elsewhere. One minor negative is that the dress code could be enforced better, as I know one of my children push the limit and should get called on it by school personnel. With that being my only picky issue, I cannot recommend this school highly enough!!!

- submitted by a parent
November 22, 2008
We love Sonoran Sky! I was very worried about finding the right school for my highly gifted child, as we had had some problems in the past. However, we enrolled at Sonoran Sky and qualified for the 'self contained program' and love it. It is an answer to our prayers. Ms. Mensing is wonderful and she really goes out of her way to make sure my child is happy and challenged. The special areas at this school are also excellent. We have been nothing but pleased!

- submitted by a parent
November 18, 2008
Not sure where to begin with all the positive things about Sonoran Sky. This community is truly welcoming & rewarding. We are an out of district family with 2 kids attending & have been here for 5 years. Both have had & continue to have a wonderful learning experience. The teachers are all wonderful in their own ways. There is a 'real' sense of community & a genuine concern to develop and expand the knowledge of all the children who enter the school. Both are excited about their days and what they have learned. The 'Make Your Day' program is a wonderful program that makes each student responsible for his/her actions and responsibilities. 5th grade Sky Camp experience is an excellent 'camp' to develop the kids & have them learn outside the school. 6th grade participates in P.I.L.O.T.S. - a camp & year long 'leadership' experience! Parents are always volunteering!

- submitted by a parent
November 13, 2008
As my son started approaching Kindergarten I began to 'shot-gun' his open enrollment application anywhere I could think of. Our school district is Laveen Unified, however, the schools are overcrowded, rundown, and teacher turn-over rate was high. I work in Scottsdale so I frantically began searching for schools around my business location. By chance, after taking a remodel job in a neighborhood 2 minutes from my office, I came across Sonoran Sky. It is in the middle of a well developed older neighborhood, a park-like setting with quiet streets. My son could not be happier, even though we have an hour drive to and from school everyday, he LOVES his school and the teachers! Which is what every parent wants to hear! He is also involved with the Enrichment programs after-school and is a member of the Mascot Club before and after-school day care program.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 22, 2008
We came from a small charter school in Scottsdale, to Sonoran Sky's self-contained gifted program last year when my daughter was in 2nd grade. We were somewhat apprehensive about the new school and the gifted program. But every day as she hops out of my car, excited to go to school, I feel grateful we found out about this place. The principal Mr. Sweeney is dynamic and positive, and he knows the kids (and their parents); the 'specials teachers' send the kids home with songs, jokes, and unusual projects; both of the gifted teachers we've had (Ms. Mensing and Mrs. Woodard) have been engaging, kind, organized and fabulous at communicating what's going on in the classroom (via email or 'Monday folders'). Unlike some people who jump to Sonoran Sky because they're unhappy, we felt that our previous school was fine; but we're glad we made the switch.

- submitted by a parent
September 10, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2008
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- submitted by a student
July 08, 2008
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- submitted by a student
May 11, 2008
If you are looking for an amazing place to send your child, look no further! Sonoran Sky is fantastic. We moved into the area just for the school. The teachers are fantastic and the set high standards for the kids. I also love the administration - very hands on and they know each child. Sonoran Sky is great at differentiating education to each child. They are also on top of discipline and structure so that one bad kid does not ruin the year for the rest of the class. I cannot say enough good things about this school - it is simply the best!

- submitted by a parent
March 05, 2008
I have two children at Sonoran Sky-- a 2nd grader and Kindergartener. The teachers are outstanding and the principal is incredibly 'hands on'. My older daughter attended a private school for Kindergarten and a charter school for 1st grade. After moving into the neighborhood we decided to try Sonoran Sky. Suffice it to say that we will stay. I feel that the quality of education is first rate and my kids love school. What else could I ask for?

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 08, 2007
We transferred to Sonoran Sky from a local charter school and have been impressed on every front. The principal is truly the 'man on the scene' -- professional, highly visible and obviously dedicated to the faculty and kids. Communication is thorough and consistent. Our son is in the gifted K-2 program and his teacher is gem. We are big fans of this school --so glad we got on board!

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2007
Sonoran Sky is an outstanding school. Both of my kids are in the honors program and it truly fits them where no other school could. They caring and flexibility of the staff to make sure every child learns every day is amazing. The principal is engaged and involved and knows the names of nearly all the children, if not all of them. There is a strong sense of community here. Their special programs which protect the kids from the sun and heat as well as solid citizenship programs can't be beat. We'll stay here after searching for several years for a good fit. I am truly grateful for such a great school.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2007
We are no longer happy with Sonoran Sky. The teacher seems disorganized each time we get together. Our son is not doing well, we've seen grades slipping and his attitude is deteriorating. I'm sure he is at least 50% of the problem. We're concerned about the replacement principal's dedication and commitment.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2006
We are actually in the Scottsdale school district and open-enrolled our daughter into Sonoran Sky for 1st Grade (she is in 4th now). All four of teachers have been sensational and the entire staff is extremely interested in her well-being as well as motivating parent involvement. We have been very impressed with the volume of parent involvement and the overall quality of everyone involved with the entire school's community. We would recommend anyone to this school.

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2006
I am a student, and this is the best school I have been to from other 5 schools. The teachers are great, the gifted program is the best, but I did have a big problem with bullies, but overall it was a great school.

- submitted by a former student
June 02, 2006
we absolutely loved the school for the three years we were there. would highly recommend.

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
January 10, 2006
a good school as far as school go in arizona. of course they are still subjected to test-taking standards which takes away from classroom teaching. the 'make your day' program can be a nuisance if your kid was brought up not to be a tattle tale, or tends to be a little vocal. great teachers and facility though!

- submitted by a parent
January 10, 2006
Strong academic school with teachers with great tenure. Sonoran Sky brings in a substantial number of outside experts such as artists and dancers. Active PTO allows for added funding for key initiatives. Teachers are strong and are very open to input. Annual Principal's Challenge encourages students at all level to do independent studies. In my opinion, there is an over-reliance on the Make Your Day program which at times serves to be too controlling and time consuming. Good environment. Well kept building. The music program is strong with Mr. Norris a very well-respected and much loved institution. Principal is very active and involved with the children.

- submitted by a parent
January 10, 2006
fabulous school. very good. teachers are great. I have no complaints

- submitted by a student
October 29, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
September 03, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
August 20, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
August 20, 2005
I can't say enough great things about Sonoran Sky. My children have been there for two years after a few years in private school and then a year at a charter school. We love it here. The Citizenship Program used at Sonoran Sky creates a unique atmosphere where children take responsibility for themselves and their actions, something we haven't seen anywhere else. Parent involvement is welcomed, encouraged and appreciated. The teachers we've had have been excellent and I can't remember ever hearing a complaint from other parents. It's warm and welcoming as well as a good learning environment.

- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
July 29, 2005
Beautiful school, Teachers work hard with each and every student. Children enjoy attending school, including all of the extra activities. No One could ask for a better principal. She was a teacher herself. She was actually my sixth grade teacher the first year Sonoran Sky opened. I loved it then and I love it now. My niece attends 1st grade.

- submitted by a former student
May 18, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2005
This is a great school the teacher is wonderful.

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2005
Academics are challenging but not unrealistic. Wonderful, unique leadership program for 6th graders and exceptional, memorable 5th grade program on America. Very high level of parent involvement and teacher commitment. Great principal.

- submitted by a parent
April 18, 2005
Needs more extracarricular availabilty to include lower grade sports, orchestra, and make band available to lower grades. Staff is supportive and knowledgable and eager to help keep students interested and challenged.

- submitted by a parent
March 07, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
January 04, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
December 06, 2004
I feel very fortunate that my children attend Sonoran Sky. It has consistently high test scores, an unbelievably dedicated staff and a principal who has provided great leadership. The school has a wonderful website which helps keep the community informed (http://sonoransky.pvusd.k12.az.us). It's one of the few public schools with self contained honors classes for 4th, 5th & 6th grade as well as 'pull out' honors for Math and Reading. Each class publishes a book in the school's publishing lab (the Secret Garden). There's a wonderful computer lab, a pond with native Arizona fish and flora which the children take care of, and a community which works together really well. After school classes include yoga, math games, dancing, homework club, drama etc. My kids spent a couple of years in a charter school, and I could just kick myself for not enrolling them here sooner!

- submitted by a parent
November 24, 2004
The best kept secret...Sonoran Sky Elementary! However, it won't be that way for long... The word is out...this is a terrific school! Learn more about their Pre-K class! Hurry.. Soon everyone will know.

- submitted by a parent
November 12, 2004
From the principal and vice principal to the teachers, administration, janitor, and aides, everyone is professional, kind, hardworking and cares deeply about the kids. I feel so fortunate to have had all three of our kids attend this school.

- submitted by a parent
July 17, 2004
Sonoran Sky Elementary School, although an A+ school gives me concerns in the environmental area. There aren't any windows in the classrooms and I find this disturbing. I think children should be able to see the great outdoors instead of just gray walls for 6 to 7 hours a day.

- submitted by a parent
April 12, 2004
I have 2 children currently enrolled at Sonoran Sky. I have been very impressed with the teachers and the students. I like how the kids seem kind, generous, and yes even a little naive. The parents are encouraged to help. There are also many learning opportunities that are outstanding.

- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2003
I attended this school and it was an amazing expirience.

- submitted by a community member
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About this school

Sonoran Sky has developed a comprehensive enrichment program that is held before and after school hours. For students that have been identified as gifted learners, we offer a cluster model for students in grades K-6, honors pull-out for students in grades 3-6 and house a self-contained gifted program for students in grades 1-6. Chorus, band and strings are additional programs offered.

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Last modified: December 16, 2014

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Sonoran Sky Elementary School
12990 North 75th Street, Scottsdale, AZ  85260
(602) 449-6500
Last modified Sonoran Sky Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-6. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Sonoran Sky Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 95 reviews. Top