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GreatSchools Rating

Black Mountain Elementary School

Public | PK-6 | 490 students

We are best known for excellent teachers, great programs, and unified community.
 
 

 
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 11 ratings
2013:
Based on 6 ratings
2012:
Based on 7 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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43 reviews of this school


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Posted April 27, 2014

My kids are in third and fifth grade and have attended BMES all years. The teachers and staff are amazing. The teachers established a tutoring session before and after school to help the students improve their understanding of the AIMS. My children wanted to go to these sessions which showed me that the teachers made a great impact on relating the importance of the AIMS and improving their overall knowledge to them. BMES is a top rated school for more than the A+ rating. The teachers, staff, and principal all try and do what is best for their students first. If there are any suggested improvements please push them up to the principal and PTO so we can try and make every child's experience amazing at BMES.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 27, 2014

Clearly the post written a few days ago is meant for the Black Mountain in Golden Valley and not this one. It says that there is a lot of turnover. This is not correct as most of the teachers have worked at Black Mountain for many many years. In fact, this school is so great that people come from all over to work here. I heard that with one opening, there are 60 applicants. The comment about the principal's inexperience is completely wrong. Mr. Owsley has many years of teaching experience and many more years of administrative experience in Cave Creek and another school district. He is an award winning principal at the district and state level. The kids, staff, and parents love him. The teaching staff is one of the best in the state and earned an A from the Arizona Department of Education and an A+ School of Excellence designation from the Arizona Education Foundation. This is a huge accomplishment as it is done through a thorough outside analysis by experts in education. This school is amazing and anyone that says otherwise is misinformed. I have had nothing but fabulous experiences at Black Mountain for the years that my children have been here.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 26, 2014

Wow. I was sad to read the last review by that parent who is so upset with the school and calling it a failing school district. I was so thrilled to hear that the State of AZ awarded Black Mountain the prestigious honor of an A+ School of Excellence, they EARNED it, and DESERVE it. I don't know what experience that parent or child has had, but they clearly have not tried to address their concerns. My kids have had issues and I addressed them and was satisfied with the outcome. It amazes me how easy it is for that parent who made the post below to criticize anonymously. They clearly did not address their concerns head on and I feel sorry for that parent, but more so for their child. It is easy to sit back and type harsh and hurtful words, but then again, that is what is so great about the USA, free speech.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 26, 2014

This school is a fine example of a failed school district . From the in experienced principle to poor teaching staff . Not all teachers there are a few of very caring and devoted teachers . But most leave as they can not handle the complete disregard to the education of the students . I am a parent that cares deeply about my child's education as these are not the times when education should not be dictated by the mighty dollar . This district is one of the wealthiest and runs like they are on a 2.00 budget. Don't get caught up also on the fact that they promote the school as an A + school . It is a completely false statement . I have had F tests that miraculously turned to A s after a five minute review of what was missed . This is not real life and the wrong thing to be teaching our kids. I wish I was the parent that just ha a bad experience , that's not the case . There are many other parents like my self tht share the same concerns . I could go on about the problems with this school , but I would recommend the parents do your homework and think carefully before you send your child to this or any school in this district.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 24, 2014

Excellent school! Teachers are dedicated to skill improvement of every student. Principal engaged in all areas. This is a very positive learning environment that creates a good foundation for a love a learning. Good facility with lots of open space. I tried 3 charter schools before coming here. BMES is infinitely better.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 15, 2014

We moved to Cave Creek in 2010 and all three of our children have attended Black Mountain. We absolutely love it! Excellent academic ratings, the administration and staff are wonderful. Principal Owsley is super involved with the kids, young and fun. He even played football with our kids class! He also implemented a quarterly "reaching higher" awards assembly to recognize outstanding students, it's the cutest thing, the kids feel like super stars! Staffed by wonderful experienced teachers who create such a positive experience for the kids. Great parent involvment and lots of wonderful families! The community is great, we love the school, I highly recommend it!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 10, 2014

Black Mountain is hands down the best school in the Cave Creek Unified School District. As an employee, I am familiar with all the campuses and hold them all in high regard but I feel the community feel, great teachers, dynamic principal, organized front office, Health aide and support staff and involved families, BMES is number one.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 9, 2014

BMES is a fantastic learning community. The teachers are well qualified, compassionate and loving. The families are highly involved and friendly. The Principal is very hands on and is kind yet respected by students, staff and parents. My son is very happy and is always motivated to go to school. He is supported and feels happy and safe on campus. I am thrilled to call BMES our school! Go Bobcats!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 8, 2014

Black Mountain Elementary is exceptional for these reasons: 1. Our students arrive full of desire to learn each and every day. 2. Our PTO is deeply committed to helping our BMES achieve its social and academic goals. Our volunteers work every week in classrooms, every week in the library, every month with Mini Museum and organize every large festival/event hosted by our school. They work hard. They do this because they care about BMES and want to do their part in making sure the kids at BMES have a great academic and social experience. 3. The hardest working, most passionate and deeply dedicated group of people you could EVER hope to work with are the teachers here at BMES. The desire to reach all of our students is priority and the desire to see them achieve is the focus of every lesson design. Hours are poured into lessons that go way beyond the span of textbook methodology. Hours are spent long after the setting of the sun creating, exchanging, and refining lessons so that our kids can receive the best that we have to offer them. 4. Our principal...a true leader, wise beyond his years, completely dedicated to the kids, his teachers and the community-- A joy to know.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted April 8, 2014

Black Mountain is an excellent school in the Cave Creek Unified School District. The entire campus is welcoming and warm, including staff and students. BMES also partners with the community for many great causes.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted April 8, 2014

Black Mountain is a community school that is focused on engaging all students and providing a safe, fun, and educational environment where all students can succeed. The staff is very stable, knowledgeable, and educated with most having advanced degrees and 2 teachers being National Board Certified Teachers. We are constantly collaborating to improve both our teaching and student outcomes, and I believe we have the best elementary school and Principal, Mr. Matt Owsley, in the state.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted October 20, 2013

My 4th grade son has been enrolled at Black Mountain Elementary since Kindergarten. The school may look a little dated but don't judge a book by it's cover. All the teachers my son has had are very experienced - one almost 20 years and still shows genuine interest enthusiasm. When he started we had a very nice principal and now for the last 2 years, Mr. Owsley, who is a kick and a hard worker. The PTO has undergone leadership changes (as older kids go on to middle school, so do the parents) and from what I can tell they are committed to giving the kids, the faculty and the school their very best in fundraising and providing many items the school's budget is not set up to provide. I really like the school, and so does my son, and I gladly give it 5 stars.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 11, 2013

We have been at BMES for 7 years and continue to be amazed at the professionalism and commitment the teachers, principal, and support staff bring to the school every day. BMES has high parental involvement and an active PTO. It's a great school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 2, 2013

We've been at BMES for 2 years now after switching from another elementary school in the Cave Creek district. Thank goodness we switched, our son was falling behind at his previous school...after only 1 year at BMES he was finally reading at grade level and excelling in Math. In his second year, he was tested for gifted! It's amazing how far my son has come in just 2 years of solid teaching and positive leaning environment. Class sizes are small and parent involvement is top notch. I highly recommend this school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 24, 2013

Our school has a phenomenal principal who care about his students. He is active with the students and is a great leader. Our teacher are very supportive of him and he sets a great example through his leadership. Our teachers are community leaders who put the kids education first and always strive to make our kids have the best experience.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 24, 2013

Our school is an important part of my community. It is large enough where there are many extra curricular activites yet small enough where everyone seems to know each other. Our 2 children love BMES. We wouldn't have it any other way!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 22, 2013

We researched several schools when we moved into this area and couldn't be happier we chose to enroll at Black Mountain Elementary. The teachers make learning a fun and rewarding experience, and provide an open environment that welcomes parent involvement and communication. Every person at this school - the Principal, teachers, staff, parent volunteers - truly cares about the success and well being of the students.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 29, 2012

We relocated from Chicago neighborhood to BMES last fall... both daughters adapted to new class structures, they were both in excelling classes in IL. Would love to see CCUSD get on board for recognizing and implementing excelling classes. Overall- the school is involved with students and parents.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 27, 2012

I can't believe the last reviewer! BME should have 5 stars overall. My son also attended school at BMES since 1st grade and it has improved in many ways. The sixth grade classes did have over 30 students per class but not the 36 that the last reviewer wrote. The teachers were great! They did not mix up grades one time! One project due date did change but it should have. It is called monitoring and adjusting - something good teachers should so. There was some change in Math teacher as the first one had a baby and the school refused to just put anyone in the spot. Instead, substitute teachers were in the spot until they made a choice. In all, there were 3 sixth grade math teachers. As for the no homework, that was totaly wrong! The school is not against homework, just against irrelevant homework. As for students transfering to PV, very few students have left the school. In fact, many many students come to BMES from outside the attendance zone. This school is the best and I am sad that it was my son's last year. It really is heading in the right direction!!!! It is too bad that it hasn't always been this way.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 25, 2012

I can't believe BME has 4 stars overall. My son attended K-6 there and it has really gone down hill in my opinion. The extreme right led by the local newspaper vote down EVERYTHING the schools try to do and its taking its toll. Results: 36 kids in my son's class this year, overwhelmed unorganized teachers, mixed up grades and nobody even notices, project due dates ALWAYS changed on original due date, newbie teachers writing emails to the parents with multiple spelling errors, 6 sixth grade math teachers in one year, no homework because the principal and the teachers don't believe in it, no librarian, no gifted anything (many of the brainiacs have transferred to PV district anyway), and many other traits of a very mediocre public school. Too bad. It hasn't always been this way.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 69% in 2013.

80 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
84%

2012

 
 
97%

2011

 
 
94%

2010

 
 
77%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 75% in 2013.

79 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
87%

2012

 
 
95%

2011

 
 
94%

2010

 
 
89%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

66 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
71%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
76%

2010

 
 
80%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2013.

66 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
85%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
96%

2010

 
 
92%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2013.

87 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
83%

2011

 
 
81%

2010

 
 
80%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

87 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
95%

2012

 
 
96%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
91%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2013.

87 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
83%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
78%

2010

 
 
88%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2013.

91 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
80%

2012

 
 
80%

2011

 
 
80%

2010

 
 
n/a
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

91 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
95%

2012

 
 
95%

2011

 
 
99%

2010

 
 
n/a
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2013.

91 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
68%

2012

 
 
76%

2011

 
 
78%

2010

 
 
n/a
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

  • In 2010-2011, this school was designated "Excelling".
  • In 2009-2010, this school was designated "Highly Performing".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was designated "Excelling".

About the tests


Arizona uses AZ LEARNS Achievement Profiles to indicate schools' overall performance each year. For elementary and middle schools, the profiles are based on current and historical aggregated AIMS results, MAP results and whether or not the school made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). For high schools, AIMS results, AYP status and graduation/dropout rates are used. Schools are identified as Excelling, Highly Performing, Performing Plus, Performing, Underperforming, Failing to Meet Academic Standards or Pending.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 86% 42%
Hispanic 8% 43%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 3% 3%
Black 1% 5%
Two or more races 1% 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 14%N/A47%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Reading specialist(s)
School psychologist
Special education coordinator
Speech and language therapist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • A+ School of Excellence (2014)
  • "A" rating by the Arizona Department of Education (2013)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many needs and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program for very challenging needs such as autism or complete visual impairment
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Emotional behavioral disabilities
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Photography
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
Clubs
  • Art club
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Clubs
  • Foreign language club: Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
  • Kitchen

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Advanced placement courses
Clubs
  • National Honor Society
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School start time
  • 9:00 am
School end time
  • 3:30 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Matt Owsley
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (480) 488-6708

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • 21st Century Learning
  • Advanced placement courses
  • Core knowledge
  • Direct instruction
  • Project-based
  • Standards-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many needs and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program for very challenging needs such as autism or complete visual impairment
Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Emotional behavioral disabilities
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Counseling
  • Remediation
  • Title I Targeted Assistance program (TAS)
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Volleyball
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Photography
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing arts
  • None
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Art club
  • Chess club
  • Foreign language club: Spanish
  • Homework help/study buddy club
  • Intramurals
  • National Honor Society
  • Odyssey of the Mind
  • Student council/government
  • Student run Community Closet
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
More from this school
  • Black Mountain Elementary is an exceptional school. The people and programs at Black Mountain are combined into one of Arizona's finest educational institutions.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Sonoran Trails Middle School
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

33606 N. 60th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85266
Website: Click here
Phone: (480) 575-2100

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