GreatSchools Rating

Cactus Shadows High School

Public | 9-12 | 1744 students


Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
Based on 4 ratings
Based on 1 rating
No new ratings
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

37 reviews of this school

Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted September 19, 2014

The staff at this school are extremely rude and unaccommodating. The curriculum is basic for the classes my child is enrolled in and I honestly don't see how this school prepares students for college. One year is enough at this school and I'm glad my child will not be attending there next year.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 22, 2014

Honestly, this school is a perfect example of when they use the A grade rating to boost their reputation and all of the sudden when your invested in it, it's a huge lie. I've been a student at the school since freshmen year and I felt this school is a lifeless prison of a mediocre list of teachers and unreliable programs that struggles to prepare students for college. The students are horrible at this school specially the student body and stuco, they are disrespectful to their peers and new students from other schools. Overall, this school is horrible in education and everything, if you looking for a strong education that really preps your child for college, consider Pinnacle or Chaparral.

Posted May 22, 2014

Cactus Shadows is a very fine institution. I'm not going to lie and say that all of their teachers are the best in the state but they aren't the worst. I transferred to Horizon because I moved and anyone who thinks there is a drug or bullying problem should go to Horizon and see how lucky they are. No one pushes drugs on you and no one gets bullied at school. Online is another story. If you are getting bullied online just close your browser! Cactus Shadows has great events and really creative students. I am proud to say I attended Cactus Shadows and will be returning in the fall for my senior year.

Posted May 21, 2014

The school and its administration is a joke. They spend thousands to put a helicopter in the air to take a video of the students on the field for their "year end video" but can't spend a dime to provide special education needs for its students who are struggling. Unbelievable!!!! DON'T send your kids here!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 19, 2013

The school is impersonal and the individual students are just parts in a machine. Administration considers the 'machine' acceptable and will use the "1700 students" as a reason to ignore individual needs. Administration are also thick as thieves and are unwilling to take responsibility when they make mistakes. As far as teachers are concerned, I don't think they can get a fair rating because of the regime they report to. My oldest child, a graduate of CSHS and a Dean's list student in college says, "I'm ashamed to be an alum of that school.". The worst thing about this school and the district is that they are always grubbing for money, then they cut classroom budget, and spend, spend, spend on facilities and "image". They boast their "A" rating to the point of being sickening, especially when you know what day to day is really like..
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 30, 2011

This school, as any in the US, has drugs but they are not forced upon students not interested. Drug use is not accepted in the school and every effort is made to eliminate the problems. There are great teachers, good teachers and this year a few less poor teachers. Any grass being planted surely was not paid for by the firing of teachers!!!???? The principal is concerned and willing to aid in the communication of families and teachers. My 4th child is going through this district right now.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 28, 2010

I am a student at cactus shaddows. If you are looking to put your kids in a school I am telling you now that this school is definatley not a good idea. There Is a HUGE and when i say huge im not joking, HUGE drug and alcohol problem. There is no way you can avoid it at this school. The School officer is a really nice guy but cant seem to crack down on these problems. I dont know if the school system is completely trying to ignore this but its extremely obvious. They try to keep us in the school as if its a prison. Literally. Locked gates throughout the school. Also as far as learning goes, in every class the teacher doesnt get any respect from the kids. The average in my english class is 32% the teacher cant controll the room.
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 14, 2009

The new principal is absolutely wonderful. Organized, Approachable, Friendly, Caring, the school is running better than ever. The last coment Dated September was obviously from someone who doesn't spend a lot of time at the school. you gave the new adminstration a week to form your opinion wow how long did your boss give you to be perfect at your job....., do you homework on the grass before making rediculous comments. Be part of the solution not the problem. Not Happy? take your kid somewhere else like horrible scottsdale school district or worse Deer Valley, paradise valley.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 10, 2009

My child has a lot of problems inside of this school due to the environment set by the administration of pure unorganized chaos. They are slow of getting out information to parents and quick to fire fine educators to buy new grass. Not the worst school my children have ever attended but definately not one I pride having my kids go to.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 14, 2008

My child usually doesn't understand the materials that are being taught. When we moved to the district, my son has been fully understanding what he's being taught. The teachers have been providing extra help for my child. He has made it on the Honor Roll for the first time in his life. I would highly suggest this excelling school over the old school he went to in Northern California. The staff is also great. They are all very friendly and are glad to help out.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 14, 2008

I am currently a student at Cactus Shadows and I know from personal experience that this school has drug and alcohol problems. There are too many students and nobody respects or listens to the teacher. Its very hard to learn in an enviroment where nobody cares if they have a 4.0 or a 0.5 gpa. Its funny because they all assume they will make it to college with such lousy grades.
—Submitted by a student

Posted February 8, 2008

Administration is very professional. Our child is getting an exceptional education. Teachers are very dedicated. Very pleased with the school
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 7, 2008

I am an Honors/AP student who playes 3 Varsity sports, I have been able to enjoy the best of both worlds here at the school.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 31, 2008

I have found it common that teachers are not qualified to be teaching to courses that they are. It is clearly obvious administration is having and exceptionally hard time dealing with population growth.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 17, 2007

My daughter Fernanda, a brazilian 16 years old girl, is attending this school now, and it's been a great experience for her and for us, here in Fortaleza, Cear Braszil, knowing about her good results up to now. Congratulatiions for both, her and the school
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 14, 2007

My daughter is attending this school right now, and i believe they have an awesome facility and fairly good teachers. It has progressed sufficiently over the years. My daughter loves Cactus Shadows and i do to. Its an over all good school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 3, 2007

worst administration I've ever come in contact with. Anywhere but here...
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 3, 2007

With the addition of the IB Diploma program, this school has become greater than ever before. CSHS has exceeded standards time and time again and will continue to do so. They are proving themselves as the excelling high school they are; not only through acedemics but through extracoricular activies. Although there are a few teachers on campus who do not seem to realize that the school is changing and that they need to make adjustments themselves.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 16, 2007

Cactus Shadows is a great school. The new principal, Sid Bailey, is doing a terrific job. My son graduated last year and I have a daughter who is currently attending. The school is fairly small, offers many opportunities for involvement in sports, and the PTO is a great way to get involved as a parent.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 11, 2006

This is a horrible school.
—Submitted by a student

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.

The state average for Math was 62% in 2013.

417 students were tested at this school in 2013.









The state average for Reading was 83% in 2013.

419 students were tested at this school in 2013.









The state average for Writing was 70% in 2013.

418 students were tested at this school in 2013.








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 "Excelling".
  • 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 89% 42%
Hispanic 7% 43%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 2% 3%
Black 1% 5%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 2%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 12%N/A47%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »

This school has not yet provided program information.

Help other families

Millions of families turn to GreatSchools for help with their
school search. You can help these families by providing
a few details about this school.

Administrators & teachers: Let your school shine!

Help your school shine online by adding program highlights, photos and more on GreatSchools! Get started »

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found for this school
Searching for school events...
  • {{date}}
Export calendar
Microsoft Outlook
iCal Format
Google Calendar
Print Calendar
Uploading, please wait...
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

5802 E Dove Valley
Scottsdale, AZ 85266
Website: Click here
Phone: (480) 575-2400


Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »


Add this school to compare

Nearby schools