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.
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.
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!
Sonoran Sky is amazing. Our child has been both nurtured and challenged. We moved here from a nearby school and have not once regretted it - the difference in culture and expectations is dramatic. Sonoran Sky is truly an amazing school. There are some drawbacks to note - recess is so short it is almost non-existent and PE is only once a week. Drop-off and pick-up are hectic because there are so many out of boundary students. PTO meetings are EARLY! Classrooms are windowless and on the small side. But, these drawbacks cannot possibly outweigh the positives: experienced teachers; a high percentage of gifted and high-average students; a full-time nurse; a principal that knows what is going on and has an open door policy; a PTO that is focused on supporting the students and school not just socializing; special teachers that ROCK!; enrichment classes that include just about everything from gardening, cooking, CSI sleuthing, readers' theater, to ceramics and sports. a commitment to technology in each classroom; the best students and kids ever! There is not a single child at this school that I wouldn't love to have over for a play date. They are awesome kids.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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...
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I have been a parent at this school for over six years. In that time the school has gone through transition. Recently there was a change of administration and four teachers left. I do not agree that all the good teachers left. There are 29 dedicated, conscientious, caring and well prepared teachers on staff. Yes, we have a new principal and vice principal but they too are well prepared to lead this school to help maintain its excellent scholastic rating. Unlike the previous principal, the new principal is engaging, approachable, visible and available. The front office staff for the most part are helpful, welcoming and positive. The atmosphere in that school is now so positive and all staff seem to be a cohesive and collaborative group of educators. Technology and 21 Century teaching tools, are given the highest value in each and every classroom. The whole school community is involved and supportive.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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