We are new to the school and the PTO just launched an Ambassador program where they assign new families to old ones. It has made our transition so much easier. We were assigned a lovely Mom and daughter who have made the effort to help us to feel welcome by introduce us to other Moms and daughters in our child's grade. Thanks for such an awesome program!
This is my 7th year at Sonoran Sky and we anticipate being part of the school community for another three years. We could not be happier with our experience. What truly sets Sonoran Sky apart from other schools are all of the "extras" that enhance the learning experience: working with a Master Gardener in Wonderland Garden, PILOTS, Sing America Sing, School House Rocks, artists in residence, SKY Camp and the EQ program. Fostering a love of learning at a young age is critical and these types of hands-on, experiential opportunities do just that. There is more to school than reading, writing and math; my children are learning to be good people, critical thinkers who are capable of take responsibility for themselves and their actions. The teachers and staff strike the right balance between firm and nurturing and care about about each an every student that walks through their doors. The homework expectations are age-appropriate and used to reinforce what is being done in the classroom. We have the rest of our lives to be stressed and worried about "work"; and as a parent I appreciate that my children are being appropriately challenged but not overly stressed out over homework.
In terms of school/teacher communication we have never had any issues. Almost all of the teachers maintain websites that include important announcements and homework schedules, in addition to weekly notes and emails sent to parents.
To those who look at test scores as the primary indicator of school quality, I ask you to look at the full educational and social-emotional picture a school paints. Many charter/privates schools have an innate selection bias of students with a predilection for success, thus leading to higher test scores and successful schools. Sonoran Sky is one of the best public schools in AZ and the teachers and staff at Sonoran Sky work tirelessly with families to meet the varied needs off all students.
At the end of the day, in evaluating the quality of Sonoran Sky I need to only look at my children: they're engaged, learning, and (most importantly) happy. And I have no doubt they will be successful in school (and in life) when they leave.
You'll never see a a large group of elementary students so well-behaved as you will WALKING the halls at Ssky or attending a student program. The behavior plan that begins in kinder is consistent throughout the grades and between teachers. The kids know what is expected of them, and they behave accordingly.
My kids are in 6th and 5th grade so this is my seventh year as a parent at Sonoran Sky. I am proud to be a part of the active, inclusive, warm Ssky community! My 6th grader has been in the self-contained gifted program since 1st grade, and my 5th grader is being challenged through the honor's program. They both love going to school every day. I couldn't ask for more!
We moved to Sonoran Sky from a SUSD school. We have been so pleased. The staff and families / students have been so welcoming to us and we feel right at home. Academics are challenging while keeping kids interested - lots of movement and different ways of learning! We love STEM! Would highly recommend Sonoran Sky!
The administration, teachers and parent volunteers go out of their way to make my children feel recognized and special. They know the kids' strengths and celebrate those while helping kids maximize potential.
I have one child in the gifted program and one child in a traditional classroom - both are receiving exactly what they need to thrive. I appreciate the close communication that I have with both administration and with classroom and specials teachers. I like the use of multiple teaching methods to engage all students, the availability of band, orchestra and music, full-time art teacher and part-time STEM instructor. My children appreciate the Talent Show and Field Day games. There are multiple field trips each year that tie into the curriculum and an emphasis on reading and rewarding reading for pleasure.
I do wish the school had more social (non-academic) opportunities during the school day for children to relax and decompress. I do feel that there is a heavy emphasis on academics, but that is tempered by a schoolwide commitment to reduced homework time and after school social activities. The parent community is very spread out, and an effort must be made to make friends, but the families are welcoming.
The staff is amazing at differentiating between students and providing appropriate and engaging material. We have been at Sonoran Sky for 4 years and none of my children have been bored or frustrated with the curriculum. It has been "just right" every year.
My upper grade student has about 20-30 minutes of homework Monday-Thursday, mostly reading. I appreciate that the bulk of instruction occurs during the school day and I think that the homework "projects"(science fair, book reviews, dioramas and other projects that encourage "outside the box" thinking) that are assigned are engaging and useful.
Sonoran Sky used to be the go to school for gifted education. They key words are "used to." When you go to the website it says, "This school is best known for our self contained gifted program." Unfortunately, that is no longer the case because all the stellar gifted teachers previously employed, left. The current gifted teachers do not have any knowledge or certificate. They basically just call themselves gifted teachers. My student is very highly gifted and we have suffered through this year. Sonoran Sky is just not equipped to teach gifted learners. In the fall we are going to a nearby school that can challenge a student working at a very accelerated pace. We are looking forward to a fresh start. I would like to warn parents of gifted students, that you will not be satisfied with this curriculum.