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5-12
Public charter
Scottsdale, AZ
Students enrolled: 678

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16537 N 92nd Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

School website
(480) 776-1970
(480) 776-1975
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Great Hearts Academies - Scottsdale Prep address.

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November 25, 2014
If you want your child to go to ASU, U of A, or NAU then this is the school for them. If you want your child to go to a top college, this is not the school for them. Do your research. I'm glad I did.

- submitted by a community member
November 16, 2014
My husband & I sent our child to SPA for middle school to prepare her for Xavier. We were so impressed, we decided she would remain for high school. The academic challenge is second to none. There is considerable focus on scholastic achievement w/ a heavy emphasis on the Socratic method students are expected to participate in class & challenge teachers w/ their own opinions/work. We appreciate the weight given the great works of w. lit & other classic subjects like Latin, Arts & Music. SPA also places considerable emphasis on athletics, & its team & athletes reg. rank at the top of their div. For a student body of this size, this accomplishment is material. The indiv. student thesis that s part of grade 12 is outstanding. If you are unaware of this exemplary aspect of SPA, I greatly encourage you to request the annual report that highlights these. It would be nice if SPA didn t have to share a football field; however, sharing a FB field is a minor price for a first class education. As for AP classes, the entire school is an AP class. Our child will simply take the AP test independently at the end of each year. We are grateful for SPA.

- submitted by a parent
August 08, 2014
Our son is a Junior at Scottsdale Prep (SPA). We have an older child for whom we provided private schooling. The private school experience is a basis for much of our review of SPA. Our son excels in academics, sports and social activities. He is a 3-sport athlete and has maintained all A's through his Sophomore year. Many criticize SPA for the lack of high school electives~ this is a plus considering the goal of high school academics is to prepare the student for collegiate instruction. The SPA curriculum is solid preparation for collegiate coursework. With a solid foundation, the student will have a vast array of options ahead of them at college. Colleges respect the curriculum offered at SPA. Though AP classes are not offered, the students are prepared for taking AP tests on their own and many do with outstanding score results. We applaud that the teachers are not "teaching to" the AP curriculum and have the freedom to teach beyond the AP borders. Additional criticism comes regarding the foreign language concerns. Though Latin is mandatory through 8th grade, high school students (including new transfers) have the option to continue with Latin/Greek or choose Spanish.

- submitted by a parent
May 19, 2014
I'm currently a senior at Scottsdale Prep and I transferred in the middle of my high school career and at first it was hard to get accustomed to the school's curriculum since it differed from my previous high school. Despite the challenges, I believe that transferring to Scottsdale Prep was the greatest decision I have ever made. Although the classes are rigorous, the teachers are always available for extra help. Everyone is also very friendly and it's easy to ask for help when needed. Since it is a smaller school there is great sense of community and it is quite common to see upperclassmen helping underclassmen and those in middle school. The faculty and administration are very reliable. The biggest factor for me was that we had two great college counselors that were always available throughout the day and always made sure that we were on track during our college search. 100% of my senior class is going on to receive higher education at a college or university which is rare for my generation. Not only have I learned the importance of truth, beauty, and goodness, but I have also created connections that will last for a lifetime. Thank you, Scottsdale Prep, for these great years.

- submitted by a community member
February 01, 2014
I have a fifth grader at SPA and am very happy with the school so far. The teachers are very caring, responsive, involved and make a very challenging curriculum fun and interesting for the students. They respond promptly to parent concerns and are very attuned to each student's individual strengths and needs. Although there is a lot of homework, my fifth grader has adjusted well and because the material is so engaging, he enjoys what he's learning. The drama and art teachers are highlights, as is Ms. Carro, one of the Latin teachers. To be honest, there's not as much homework as we expected, probably because my child came from Scottsdale Archway, where the homework load was nearly double. Despite what other reviewers have said, we have found the school is not as strict as we expected--again, probably because we came from Archway, which was incredibly strict and punitive regarding dress code violations and harsh discipline. The environment is very positive and is a great fit for my child. That doesn't mean it is for everyone, but so far so good!

- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2013
SPA is a GREAT middle school option but not a great high school. We are scrambling to get our oldest child's HS resume up to par with the best students in the country. We are paying top $ for AP prep & tests because SPA does not prepare for nor offer students AP courses. Not having NHS courses is another big issue. Competition & demand to get into the top colleges is tougher than ever & with SPA students not having two major criteria (AP and Honors) which colleges use to help determine eligibility, our child is at a disadvantage. This was confirmed to me by one IVY rep. Our 2nd child is no longer at SPA & is now a very happy Chaparral student. My biggest surprise is that my child is very challenged with the honors classes at Chaparral. I thought it would be easy at Chaparral given the advanced curriculum at the SPA but that is not true. My child has more academic challenges at Chaparral than she's ever had at SPA. I have a better understanding why many families leave SPA after 8th grade & move on to better high schools. We are long time fans of SPA having been at the school for many years but SPA has changed dramatically in the last few years and imoho, not for the best.

- submitted by a parent
September 12, 2013
This review is not written by an angry or upset parent that has taken their child out of Scottsdale Prep. This is a parent that would like to share her experience with other parents looking for a school that best fits their child and family needs. All of my children have attended this school. We left our old school because "we got in" and felt like it was once in a lifetime opportunity to go to SPA. It is true, the material is wonderful, the building is beautiful, the uniforms are amazing, and you feel as though your child is protected. It is also true, some of the teachers (not all) show their "power" by giving a lot of extra work and detentions. If you play a competitive sport, it is very difficult to get the homework finished and have any down time for your child. We did take our children out of the school after deciding the stress of the work load was not worth the anxiety and stress it was putting on them. So, my advice is don't go to SPA just because you feel the pressure of "getting in" and if you do try it, don't be afraid to leave if it gets too much for you child. The rating I am giving is based on the excessive homework load and the anxiety it placed on my kids overall.

- submitted by a parent
March 28, 2013
SPA's mission is commendable but the school falls short of achieving it. SPA is a fantastic middle school option but it greatly underserves those in high school. More than half of the students leave during high school, not because of the rigor of the program, but because of the limited academic choices. The high achieving students leave because there are no electives, AP courses, or a strong extracurricular program which is needed for out-of-state university applications. Most of the SPA graduates stay in state, and even socialize and room with their classmates in college. It is an extremely conservative environment which makes it a safe option for those that are highly concerned about public school but the reality is that it is not preparing students for the real world. Even more ironic is the school does have students that self-harm, drink alcohol, and take drugs, as does every high school, but most of the parents are in denial. Sadly, there is a group of parents that have made it their mission to control the school, which only adds to the small cult-like environment. If your student is looking for an enriching broad high school experience, this is not the school for them.

- submitted by a parent
February 04, 2013
SPA is certainly an academic exercise that other schools cannot or do not replicate. I think SPA is good for my child and intend to have them stay at SPA at least through middle school. That said, it certainly has areas in need of improvement. 1. too much homework! There is so much homework that I believe it actually impedes learning and studying. 2. No Technology. Ipads, laptops, etc. are not allowed and technology is actually discouraged. This is there policy and I must live with it or move my kid so I guess I will live with it, but that doesn't mean I have to like it or agree with it. 3. No online grades, assignments, homework (No Technology). This goes hand in hand with the no technology philosophy. Dynamic grades, assignments, etc. could easily be accomplished (as they are in even the most cash strapped public schools) but is not desired at SPA. Again, its their policy so I must accept or leave. I will accept, but do not like it. Again, compared to public schools, it is very good, but could be great if they would move out of the stone age. Overall, I like the school considerably.

- submitted by a parent
January 14, 2013
This is one of the best schools you will find in Arizona with out question. Don't be fooled by those who left. The reason students leave is because they are not used to accountability, structure and a tough curriculum. Not one AP or IB program or teacher will come close to what you will find at Scottsdale Prep. It resembles an East Coast Prep school without the $40k per year in tuition. Arizona is not known for quality education so if you think a big public school is going to provide your student with the education needed for college think again! Of course you will find some amazing teachers and some not so amazing teachers but the difference here is that they will get rid of any staff member not up to par.

- submitted by a parent
January 07, 2013
I am glad that those families who doesn't like the school left the school. I don't want my children to be associated with children whose parents does not value a quality education. They are the whole reason why the quality of education in this country is on its state right now and could not longer compete with the developed countries. SPA is the best!

- submitted by a parent
October 29, 2012
This school is amazing! The faculty is the best I have ever been to. I have been going here for 2 years now and I have learned so much! the pto is great and I love the uniforms!. I would recommend this school!

- submitted by a community member
October 06, 2012
My kids have been happy at SPA for 5 years. They are happy, self confident, learned in the fundamental principles of our western civilization, and surrounded by friends of like make up. I believe the faculty to be second to none for the most part, and am always impressed by the parental involvement. Kids who have been disciplined at home prior to admission will not have any problem with school policies.

- submitted by a parent
September 29, 2012
This is a great school! It has great teacher good leadership and great academics! My daughter goes here and is in eighth grade.

- submitted by a community member
September 27, 2012
I agree with the last post!! Don't be sucked in by all the buzz talk about these schools. The teachers are inexperienced and all they care about is following harsh and pointless procedures, while implementing them in a humiliating and unnecessary way. My child was so unhappy when she was at this school. Certainly not for everyone, so do a LOT of research before you even consider these schools and don't get caught up in the excitement of making the wait list!!

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2012
the school is not good. plain and simple. don't send your kid to high school here. the faculty are mean and unhelpful. there's way too much bullying, and the rules are ridiculous. your child will get a detention for the most ridiculous reasons imaginable. the teachers are unprofessional. they don't put any amount of time and effort into any programs except sports. don't be blindsided by the 5-star reviews. your child will not enjoy it here. mine certainly didn't. we left after a year.

- submitted by a parent
August 14, 2012
I myself do go to the school. It is amazing. At first it can be a bit tough adjusting but after a month or so you'll fall in love! The curriculum is great and all the teachers are fantastic! The people who are saying "my kid stayed up until 11 studying" are really just being silly. They are either over-studying or they are just not very smart. Keep in mind that all of spa's classes are AP. I find the school challenging but not too rough. I highly recommend this school!

- submitted by a community member
June 03, 2012
I find it interesting that the comment below brings money into education. Being an expensive private school does not equal an excellent education. Some of the top ranked schools in Arizona are free charter schools. Do the research before you comment on what makes a great school. I attended private schools and they were not worth the money my parents paid.

- submitted by a community member
March 02, 2012
SPA is a fantastic school! I am a high school student here and really enjoy it. True, it is not for everyone but for those of us who aren t having any problems, it is a great place. I am in several clubs, love the music and art programs plus I participate in a sport every season. Homework is not difficult. It does not take me or my friends 5 hours to do! What I love most are the teachers and the other students who are all interesting and really talented in so many ways. Outside of school I have other clubs and activities that I do and most weekends I am out with friends. The school isn't huge but most of us like that. There are about 150 students in high school now and 100 more will be freshman each year from now on so it is growing. The school college counselor is awesome and I have done some research into college choices and requirements and have found that SPA has more than prepared me for what is needed. Some friends that graduated from Veritas, another Great Hearts school, have said that college is easy for them because of the education they got in high school. That was great to hear and with classes like Latin and Humane Letters I have even more college options.

- submitted by a community member
February 27, 2012
SPA is OK in 6-8, not great. SPA has a few great tchrs. They are VERY hit and miss. SPA hires young tchrs who are good students but untested, inexperienced tchrs. SPA has very high expectations, but not sufficient teaching quality to back them. Unresponsive admin. Expect "0" flexibility! From Gr.9 expect 4-5 hrs. hmwrk. No posted marks where parents can see progress. Quantity of work does not equal quality. SPA uses 'prestigious' in every speech, but have never had a graduating class. How do they know whether they are prestigious or not? That claim only comes with time and proof. Below is what I wish I knew PRIOR to sending my kids: start in 6 gr. or don't start no tech/comp or gym class no recess, One group meeting with the tchrs/year for 10 mins, timed! IF YOU TRANSFER, (most students leave SPA - grad class has about 18, down from 48+ -) you may only be given credit for either Hist. or Eng; not both(Humane Letters does not transfer) The HONS. designation does not transfer in some cases. You will have to make up PE, Most universities require a tech/computer credit which you will not have. The top public high school honors teachers are a much better choice - consistent

- submitted by a parent
February 20, 2012
This is the right schol for students who do not want a social life and only care for their studies. I have attended SPA for 3 years now and i have no time to play sports because i would be going to sleep at 11 PM due to the homework load. SPA is a good school for the lower grades but as you get into 8th grade and high school the academic level if just unbearable. Beacause of stress and lack of a social life, this is my last year at SPA

- submitted by a community member
February 13, 2012
If you want your student to enjoy school, this is not the place. Their social life will be NOTHING as they will spend all their time studying. My child did well but other kids really struggle. I have a friend whose child had to drop all extracurricular activities because she had to study until 11 each night. The curriculum is more busy work than anything. Latin - really?! Technology training is weak. The kids do not enjoy this school and there are still disciplinary problems even though some parents choose to be blind to this.

- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2012
My daughter is attending Scottsdale Prep, and this is her first year as a sixth grader. I initially looked into the Great Hearts Schools because my daughter has often tested in the top of her grade, and I wanted a place that would giver her more than a basic education. This school is a step above anything else I found. Her homework load is large, and there are very high expectations on these students. I offered that my child try this school, and if she didn't want to stay past Christmas break, she could go to a local school... I believe the child must form their own commitment to this type of education . January is here, and she has decided she would never go to another type of school. Great Hearts has provided the type of atmosphere where the nerdy student is welcomed and praised, not ridiculed and singled out. We may be at Veritas, another Great Hearts school that is closer to us next year, but she may not want to change her school at all, making the long commute worth every mile. A note re: parents who complain about the disciplinary code, most of the parents and students have decided it to be suitable , children with disciplinary issues often leave, that doesn't bother me.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2012
My child has been attending Scottsdale Prep for 2.5 years. She and I are very pleased with the school. The curriculum at this school is rich and impressive. My child learned how to study and manage her time well. She writes amazingly, reads well and reasons like a college student. The text books are college level. She is 2 year ahead in math. The teachers are very caring and professional. My child has received nothing but nurturing and encouragement from her teachers. The Headmaster is firm but also very caring. She is in it for the children not for her personal interest. The kids are nice and wholesome. My child likes her friends better here than the ones from her last public school. The parent community is wonderful. All the moms there are very involved and cared about their children's education. We are asked to donate money to the school because it is funded less than public school. I don't mind contributing to the school because I know my child is getting the best private school education in AZ for less.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2012
My daughter has gone to SPA for 3.5 years. Yes, it's academically challenging and yes, it doesn't have the vast elective offerings that public school has. However, the personal attention is incredible. Parents know each teacher, we have the opportunity to conference with our daughter's entire team of teachers and she is confident that she's getting the best education possible!

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2012
We have been a part of SPA for 3 years now, we love it and so do our 2 children. The teachers and staff are wonderful, they are very hands on and have always been extremely quick to address any concerns that might arise.. They make us feel like part of the SPA family. Our children are leaps and bounds ahead of their peers when it comes to academics.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2012
Both of my kids go to SPA and our eldest has been there for the past 3.5 years. Is it demanding, absolutely, but the quality of the education is well worth it. Our kids love the school, the class size and the amazing lunch program. Being able to bring in such wonderful restaurants as Subway, Pei Wei, NYPD Pizza enables the kids to have healthy meals during the day. In addition to the the academics, the athletic and extracurricular programs have provided the kids an opportunity to participate in a variety of activities (Speech and Debate) along with competitive sports (football, golf and tennis) that they may not have had the chance to do in another school. I would highly recommend SPA to anyone that can survive the lottery and wait list...it is well worth it!

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2012
I am a Junior at Scottsdale Prep, and I couldn't love it more. Most people would say that high school is the time for feeling insecure and never fitting in. However, I have never felt more loved and respected in my entire life. The rules that may seem old fashioned teach us to respect our teachers and classmates, and create an environment where all can easily speak their minds. The staff is incredibly bright, but also can easily relay information to their students. They are not only my mentors, but also my friends. They make me want to go to school each day and see what more I can learn about the world. There is not one person in my grade that I do not consider to be my friend. Some people say that at first glance we look like we've grown up together, and in a way, we have. The group that I have been with seven hours everyday has made me the person that I am today. I can't say I haven't worked long nights, but it is definitely worth the work. I would not miss one football game, one school dance, or one coffeehouse for anything. I have realized that Scottsdale Prep is unlike any other school, where kids can grow in an environment free from fear, because all people are welcome.

- submitted by a community member
January 23, 2012
If you are reading this review you might be thinking about sending your child to Great Hearts. First let s say that your child is not academically advanced they might have some difficulties at any Great Hearts schools but that does not mean that they cannot rise to the challenge, if you are willing to help them learn. However, if your child is extremely gifted this school has no room to advance in math or language, but is considered an honors curriculum. So, just because this school is in Scottsdale and there seems to be some idea that it might be the BEST , do your research and find what is best for your child. Great Heart's philosophies is to help our children become great hearted men and women, this takes time, years in fact, not 2 days. Yes, the rules are strict; in the beginning, yes there is a lot of homework, and yes the school administration does not handle whining very well. If you can't afford the $1500 they certainly don't come to your house and make you pay it, they gladly take whatever you can afford. This school has a great education and surely will prepare my gifted student for college and beyond. Please do your research, find the best school for your child!

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2012
Scottsdale Prep is one of the best schools. I am a sophmore and I have been attending the school for four years. The passion, care, and kindness that the teachers have when teaching their subject is astounding. They inspire us to think openly, and the discussions leave us with new opinions. The small size of the school creates close, long lasting relationships between students. Although the curriculum may have a reputation of being difficult, there is always time to talk and laugh with other students. When I hear other people talk about the troubles at their school, I can't even relate becasuse I am so happy with the experiences I have had at Scottsdale Prep. With the numerous extracurricular activities and socials that the school puts on, we become and even closer-knit community. The people around us feel more like family than fellow students, and though I have already been there for four great years, I can only imagine that the last two years of high school will be the best. The wonderful lessons, whether they are in philosophy or mathematics, inspire us to lead moral lives. The times I have spent with teachers and friends will stick with me through the rest of my life.

- submitted by a community member
January 12, 2012
Two days at this school was too long! On the first day another student slapped him in the face. When we addressed it with the Dean he appeared concerned and proactive initially. But, after we decided to withdrawal our son from the school for other reasons not related to this incident, we were ignored in our follow up to the incident. The reasons we decided that the school was not appropriate for our son was based on many factors. For one, the rules and detentions are just ridiculous. Four-to-five page typed syllabi per class instructing students to a homework blog (that was difficult to access and unclear). Most of the teachers were inaccessible to students and parents. In fact, parents are not allowed to get out of their cars and enter the building during drop-off and pick-up. The students have quarterly bathroom breaks and receive detention for silly things like asking questions that are not on-topic. It is my belief that these military style rules are appropriate for boarding schools. I think this school has a long-way to go before it can compete with some of the private schools in the area.

- submitted by a parent
January 07, 2012
My son will not be returning to SPA next year for many reasons. As a parent of a gifted child I am very disappointed with their so called "accelerated" program. While the workload for some is demanding, it is far from challenging especially to exceptional kids. My child is bored with his classes and his teachers are not interested with our concerns. We totally regret our decision to pull him out of the self contained gifted program at another school. Priorities at SPA are as follows: Money, discipline, registration, press, education and lastly students. Be prepared to be inundated with donation requests, you will be "harassed" to make a $1500 donation right from the very first day of school.

- submitted by a parent
December 22, 2011
ok if you have a "fit in the box" student that is self-motivated. If your child isn't, DO NOT send them here. They will be tortured, bullied, and ridiculed by staff and students alike until they leave. Their "advanced" curriculum was 2 YEARS behind our public school. Only difference is tons of note taking (even if you know the material verbatim), & wrote memorization. NOT for gifted kids (there IS a difference between being gifted and a good student - most gifted are NOT good students. Common gifted traits are NOT tolerated at SPA) THE MEANEST headmaster I have ever experienced. Even the staff is afraid of her. This is a Traditional school renamed a "Classical" school to get more people to come to a "new" model of education- If your kid likes/does well at Cheyenne, this may work for you. Thankfully got my kid out - but not after much damage was done to his self esteem - mostly by his teacher who yelled at him in front of other students & punished the whole class when he would make mistakes. Got hit/choked by other students & staff did nothing. Following rules/punishment for things like no belt on takes priority over individualism and personal development. Fit in or get out.

- submitted by a parent
December 11, 2011
This is my first year at SPA and i have to say that it isn't what I had expected. I am in 5th grade and this school gives out wayyyyy to many detentions and all the teachers care about is the rules and keeping there jobs. When i don't understand something, and i ask a question or say i don't get it all the teachers say is "how don't you get it? just check your notes" i think the school has a good education, but that isn't even half the game. The teachers aren't as good as they seem too. I'v herd a lot of them talking to other students about test grades, behavior, and even work. i mean i can understand talking about it to other teachers but to students?!

- submitted by a community member
November 27, 2011
We feel lucky that our children attend Scottsdale Prep. They receive an exemplary education where academic and behavior standards are set high. The teachers are generally enthusiastic, passionate, and dedicated, offering tutoring throughout the week. There are many sports and clubs offered. Definitely a well-rounded, challenging school.

- submitted by a parent
November 26, 2011
I am currently a 7th grader and this is my 2nd year here. I think educationally the school is fantastic but if you can't make the HW load and the tests/grades you won't make it here. Last year the school was pefect until the 2nd to last week of school. I had never gotten in trouble before then I talked ONCE and I got a detenton along with 12 other kids in my class on the friday before school got out and the detention was scheduled for a finals day. Don't you think that is a little TOUGH??? This year the school has gone comepletly down hill, the teacher turn over is bad. This year only 2 of my teachers remained. Also they care more about all of the little tiny rules then the actual learning. The teachers spend more time on dress code and other rules than teaching things. The administration does not care about anything but MONEY. There have been a lot of problems this year about stealing. My textbook was stolen and nothing was done about it.If you think that I am wrong, that is your opinion. But if you are not an honors student and don't get straight As like me this is not the school for you.

- submitted by a community member
November 25, 2011
The verbal bullying allowed at this school is exceedingly destructive. There is a palpable 'lack of kindness and compassion' from the top down. In a student's words, "At SPA they take degradation and demoralization to new levels." I recently approached a different principal who stated that, "she hears the same thing over and over from students that leave Scotts. Prep." A Psychologist I recently consulted said, "You have no idea how many times I have heard this about Scotts Prep." Like many parents, I was previous reluctant to share this info. SPA starts with 4-6 full classes in each grade. Their graduating class has under 20 remaining. Do the math! You may think that you will not be part of their 'attrition' statistic but you may be. There are a handful of good teachers but the rest are extremely inexperienced ... they hire good students, not good teachers! The administration is completely unresponsive...it is run like a business with a 'like it or leave' approach. If your student is not a thick-skinned, A+ honors student, do not consider SPA. Like hundreds of others who have left, you may regret attending SPA.

- submitted by a parent
November 22, 2011
Overall a very good school, with pros and cons. Pros: Small class sizes, classical education, Latin, class participation requirement, all students take fine arts, uniforms (easy to get kids dressed in the morning), well-behaved students, little to no bullying or drugs, wonderful new building. Cons: High teacher turnover, relatively inexperienced teachers, no electives (every student takes exact same classes), no mixing students (students are put in a group of 22 students and don't interact with any other students during the year), overly accelerated math with no consideration for different levels of math ability, bigger focus on extracurricular sports than on arts, no drama club or program, no middle school chorus, tutoring sometimes only offered once or twice a week, some teachers do not have websites with assignments, some teachers do not reply to e-mails.

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2011
The academics and small class sizes make it possible for your child to succeed. All kids must be advanced to able to keep up with the rigorous curriculum. The teaching staff is excellent and offer tutoring about every day! Emails or concerns about your child are answered immediately and with such detail. We couldn't be happier. Our middle-schooler has really learned to learn and because everyone at the school is there for the highest quality of education - it makes it easier for them to all be on the right track! Parent involvement is also extremely high. A great school all around!

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2011
This school is for those families who realize the public school system in Arizona is not gearing our children for success at the University level. One tour of the school and you will immediately notice the kids can look you in the eye and engage you in conversation without being completely self-conscious. It is a result of the Socratic method of teaching and learning. Great teachers, great expectations and great athletics. Don't tell yourself or your child they can't succeed at Scottsdale Prep.

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2011
The concept is wonderful. However, there is no consideration for children's individual academic, emotional, and social differences. The students are expected to conform to robotic behavior in order to learn at the same pace. Instead of working with students to identify academic, emotional or social areas of concern, the children who fall behind, in any area, are treated as a "discipline problem." Is this a way of weeding-out underacheivers in order to maintain high test scores and stats in a school that does not accept children based on academic achievement? If you are seeking and educational institution that provides, a nurturing, secure community where your child can be intellectually stimulated and appreciated for his/her's individual differences, Great Hearts is definitely not the place.

- submitted by a community member
July 10, 2011
Sent our children here because we LOVED the classical model of teaching and have always tried to pass that on to our children. Unfortunately, SPA has managed to take the love of learning out of the model for many kids. If your child does not already love school, do not send him here, it will only get worse. There is not much sympathy for those who cannot keep up or are not use to the piles of homework. If you do not get your homework completed or for any infraction of the long list of rules detention is given where the child literally sits and stares at the wall: they cannot do homework, they cannot close their eyes-- they only can sit there and stare for a half hour. I am not really sure how this helps a child get their assignment completed or love learning. Parent involvement and donations are not mandatory but they absolutely have an impact on the child's recognition and respect from the teachers, administration and students alike. It is a very small community where everyone knows everyone else's business and it is talked about even by the teachers, which I would not have believe had I not heard one with my own ears say something to me.

- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2011
This school is not perfect. If your child needs a large high school experience this is not the place for them, there isn't much diversity in the student body and this can tend to become boring. However if your child prospers better in a small social scene because it might not be as daunting then SPA is a great fit. Some teachers have no experience and are a waste of time, while others are magnificent. The schools policy is beyond any kind of strict i have ever seen before. At times it seems like the faculty has nothing better to do but hand out detentions. I have never seen a fight at SPA, the worst story i've heard was over the intercom that lunch recess was being suspended because a student rubbed a chocolate candy on the wall. Also there is no direct class devoted to writing skills. One of the ways i describe SPA is that its a block of marble but over time it is sculpted into a beautiful statue. The excess pieces marble are the unappreciative students and unprepared teachers. What i like the most are the books we read, and the teachers that have a skill for engaging the class across several fields drawing connections to the real world.

- submitted by a community member
April 17, 2011
Some great teachers, a sound educational platform and strong study and work habits are formed. But the discipline is harsh, some of the teachers are fresh from school and not ready for the classroom environment, and the administration is a nightmare.

- submitted by a parent
January 31, 2011
This is my 6th-grade son's first year at Scottsdale Prep, and although there was some transitional pain in the beginning, we're fully onboard with the Great Hearts philosophy and curriculum. I would compare the level of learning to a public school honors program, so if you can't hang with that and homework in each class every night, you'll wash out pretty quickly. Those that don't take pride in being there. For the most part, it's a great community - parents feel fortunate to have their kids there. It looks and smells like a private school education without the tuition, which isn't to say there aren't some costs. Minor compared to what we're getting in exchange, and there's much excitement about the new campus for Fall 2011.

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2010
My son is in 8th grade and this is his third year at Scottsdale Prep. I am extremely grateful that my son has the opportunity to attend a school where he is truly getting an amazing education. The head master is a great leader and the parents really get involved. If you have a child who is used to breezing through school and isn't prepared to work hard, stay in public school. And the discipline is great....these are teenagers who shouldn't be allowed to run wild.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 18, 2010
i am in 7th grade and i really like this school. A lot of kids, and even more parents seem ti complain about the workload here being over the top. Maybe for a kid who isnt all that bright,but i find this school to be prefect. not that much work, im never bored. Smart kids will love it here, children not endowed with as much of a brain will probably collapse from the strain.

- submitted by a student
October 30, 2009
I am in 7th grade at SPA and this is my second year at the school. There are many of us who love SPA and laugh at the comment of the workload being over the top. Yes, it is a challenging school but you can see the entire curriculum on the website along with a handbook of the school policies. It is a great school and has an incredible athletic program too. It is the first time I have felt like I am actually getting something out of spending a whole day in classes. I have read many works of great literature, I am in Algebra, I am studying Ancient History from a college-level textbook, my fine arts class is awesome and our sports teams are winning championships! If you have a child who has more fun getting involved than worrying about breaking rules, this is the school for you.

- submitted by a student
October 06, 2009
There are some good teachers but the workload is over the top. They expect far too much from the students. Most teachers are more concerned about enforcing the prison-like rules and dress code then the well-being of their students. Detentions are issued for the smallest infractions when truly, only a warning is necessary. Our family was extremely unhappy with the school and pulled our daughter out. It is not a healthy environment for anyone to spend their time in.

- submitted by a parent
August 03, 2009
The staff is wonderful. My daughter was in sixth grade and had a great experience. The principal runs the school very professionally and the teachers seem happy.I love being at a school where they do what they say they will do. My daughter loved the sports program and participated in 3 of the programs.

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2009
The atmosphere is dignified, and they offer an incredible athletics program. Every student has something they can be involved in. We wouldn't attend anywhere else!

- submitted by a parent
June 03, 2009
im a going to 7th grade this year and last year was great. i really liked all teachers and Mr. pagani rocked. none of the classes are really hard and i didnt get that much hmwk in the 6th grade. most of it i was able to do in the morning at school or at lunch,meaning an average day of hmwk took me 15-20 minutes. idk why at the bottom of the page some kid said the punishments to strict. i dont think it was except for the last week where you would get a detention for missing stuff. seriously,if u got a detention you probably deserved it........ the one thing that i hated was the uniforms, they are so annoying. but whatever.there are a lot of sports you can do, and i really liked the sport that i chose. the one thing i wish they had was a strings program

- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2009
Scottsdale Prep has been a godsend for our family. We moved here and found the 'excelling' public schools to be remarkably substandard, lacking in challenging curriculum and lacking in student discipline. The only thing not lacking was the number of lethargic 'educators', school administrators, and parents. At SPA, students are exposed to a well balanced and challenging liberal arts curriculum; they are intellectually stimulated, and held accountable for their learning and their actions. The teachers are amazing and show a true passion for teaching. There is a student code of conduct signed off by all students and parents, and rules that are actually enforced (again, unlike the public schools). Students not serious about learning or here to goof off or cause trouble simply won't last long at Scottsdale Prep and will be counseled to seek education elsewhere. Here, our children truly are being prepped for higher education. Thank you, SPA!

- submitted by a parent
May 17, 2009
I am a seventh grade student at scottsdale prep. It is an okay school but the punishments are a little over the top. If you are going to send your child here keep in mind that he or she will have an average of three hours of homework a night. The teachers are pretty good with a few exceptions. I love the seventh grade science teacher Mrs. Inalboln. She is the best teacher because she really works hard to make science fun. I am getting straight As in her class. She is strict but that is just what the boys in my class really need. Also if you are going to send your child here remember that all the stuff we are learning is really challenging. In math we just finished trig. The campus is a office building but that is fine. I like the small community feeling. Overall great place.

- submitted by a student
May 15, 2009
Scottsdale Prep. is an excellent school. My 6th grader has just about finished her first year and is very happy. She has learned so much this year, has made great friends, and really enjoyed learning Archery. The teachers are wonderful, very supportive, and always available to answer questions and provide tutoring if needed. We weren't sure about the uniforms to start but have found them to be a great unifying element of the school. The classic curriculum is great and my daughter loves Latin. This is a growing school with new elements being added all the time. After school activities include drama, Latin club, newsletter, science bowl, to name a few. I hear next year they may add band and fencing to the mix. As a parent I have every confidence in the Headmaster and Asst. Headmaster's leadership, and have never doubted they have the student's best interest at heart.

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2009
There are some definite pluses to this school but some minuses too. Most classes are challenging, but doable with the exception of Latin. I reccomend regularly going to Latin tutor sessions. There are plenty of sports programs, but art programs such as drama and debate dont exist. The student body is very small, which some kids thrive in while others dont. I personally would prefer more kids. The facility is nice, but small and is basically an office building. I really like the uniforms, but the school has very harsh punishments and detentions. I know this school is perfect for some students, but I dont love it. In fact, I am considering attending another school next year. I suggest shadowing a student to decide if you like it or not.

- submitted by a student
March 11, 2009
I am a freshman at SPA & I am so happy here. While the school may be hard for some students, it is not a school for the elite. The teachers are wonderful and are always available for extra help- they want the students to succeed! The faculty is by far the best I have ever witnessed. Both the Headmaster & Assistant Headmaster are experienced and keep the school running smoothly. I have never been in a better environment. Thank you!

- submitted by a student
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Great Hearts Academies - Scottsdale Prep
16537 N 92nd Street, Scottsdale, AZ  85260
(480) 776-1970
Last modified Great Hearts Academies - Scottsdale Prep is a Charter school that serves grades 5-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Great Hearts Academies - Scottsdale Prep Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 57 reviews. Top