Our son is in the seventh grade at SPA and we feel very thankful to have gotten into such a great school. It is not for everyone, as the course work is very demanding. There is a great deal of homework and if you expect your child to get good grades, you must be prepared to stay on top of your child and help them get everything completed on time.
Our son is not "gifted" but he has always done well in school and is not overly interested in outside activates so he does not mind doing the work. He seems to understand the long-term value of a good education and so it makes it workable for us. If your child is not interest in school, it may not be the place for you.
Most of the teachers are amazing. They are very dedicated, detailed, demanding, professional, accessible and happy. They reply to all emails, in detail, within hours. They must work at least sixty hours a week. We look at it as if we are getting a private $15,000 a year education at a 90% discount. (Everyone is expected to donate $1,500 a year.)
As with all large organizations, it is not perfect, but everyone there sure tries had to make it perfect. Our only complaint is that each year there seems to one teacher that does not give out fair grades. Because we closely monitor our son's activates, we know how he does on his homework, quizzes and tests, yet there has always been one teacher that gives him a lower grade than he has earned. Those teachers are considered by the students to be the "hard/demanding" teachers and are mostly liked and respected. Personally, I think they are really just unfair people.
Scottsdale Prep is one of the best school I have ever seen! I went to public school until 4th grade and was in the Gifted program though as many other students, did not find it challenging. I then transferred to BASIS where my older brother and Sister went and graduated from. BASIS was an great school and I had no complaints, however the lack of a strong student body left me wanting more, I then transferred to SPA. I found that it was an amazing fit for me! The class are some what small (but not too small), but provide for a strong bond that is impossible at almost any other school. The people who go to other schools remain friends with the people who stay, allowing for many students of SPA have the "high school experience".I play soccer very competitively (ECNL) club and school, run cross country and track and get straight As. It is quite easy to get As at SPA because of the very open communication between teachers and students! Overall I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Scottsdale Prep and could not be prouder to be a Spartan!
My child attends SPA and has all A's. She has hours and hours of homework at night. The homework in fifth and sixth grade was difficult but manageable. The amount of homework in 7th grade is absolutely unbearable. I (along with 100 other parents) have complained but no one is receptive. I have offered to pull my child from this school, but she doesn't want to leave with only one year left in middle school. There is no way she will attend high school at SPA. This school does not cultivate a wel-rounded student. It requires so much time for homework that there is little time for sports or socializing with friends.
We feel very fortunate to have found Scottsdale Prep. Our kids had been attending a large public high school taking all honors, accelerated, and gifted classes. We thought they were receiving an excellent education, but it was nothing compared to what they are getting now that they are at SPA. The difference in the quality of their education is shocking. This is truly a preparation for college.
If you are looking for a school that offers classical education, liberal arts training, and discipline, then take a serious look at Scottsdale Prep. We are extremely happy with the scope of academics, teacher quality, and culture. Homework assignments are meaningful; there are written tests (the students rarely receive multiple choice exams; most exams require written paragraph answers). It's worlds above the SUSD (spent two years at Laguna), and it is far superior to expensive private religious school education (spent two years there). The proof is in the SAT scores, which average 300+ points above the state average. Another reviewer criticized the school for the number of grads going to ASU & UofA. Take a look at the recent list of colleges accepting SPA grads - every Ivy League University is represented. Just so happens SPA grads consistently receive scholarships from AZ Universities. With the cost of a college education rising, and with the tuition break offered to in-state residents, who can blame our parents and kids for choosing local universities?
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.
Archway didn't prepare my child. My child is in fifth grade and will not be going back to Scottsdale Prep after this year. The homework load is absolutely unbearable. My child went to Scottsdale Archway which was a breeze compared to what is expected at Scottsdale Prep. Archway might have been part of the problem as I believe the Archway children are having a more difficult time with all the homework than those from other area schools. However, there is just too much homework. My child likes Ms. Stone but there is five hours a night and it is just too much!
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.
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.