It is true that this school requires students to be self-motivated and intellectually curious. That is just part of the deal and it is definitely not the place for every child. I have never experienced a more caring, supportive learning environment than at Archway Scottsdale. The teachers care greatly about these kids and want them all to thrive. I, too, would be appalled if siblings were not allowed to acknowledge each other in the hall or were shamed for any reason. Thankfully, that bears absolutely no resemblance to the Archway Scottsdale I know.
As another parent said, if your child iswilling to do hours of homework every night, then this might be the right school for you. If you want a nurturing environment, this is the WRONG place. The teachers are VERY strict and sometimes embarrass children deliberately to "shame" them into behaving. 2 examples from 3d grade: last week a boy picked his nose and the teacher called him out in front of the entire class, who all laughed at the boy. In another incident, a girl in that same class played with her hair and the teacher threatened to make her cut it if she kept playing with it--again in front of the whole class. That is wrong on so many levels. The only worthwhile "special" is music. Mr. Lai is terrific. The art teacher has been replaced every single year--this year's was the worst--sarcastic, mean and berating to the children. Don't be surprised if there's a new art teacher next year. Spanish also is a joke. You can't have "immersion" Spanish 2-3 days a week and many of the kids have no idea what is going on. The only redeeming value this school retains is the curriculum. If that is all you care about, then choose this school. We are leaving.
This school is great for a certain type of child. It demands hard work and commitment. A child who is highly motivated will do well. A child who is a divergent thinker or one who does not want to work extremely hard all the time may not fare as well. Be realistic about your child's aptitude for hard work and ability to self motivate before attending. But, for the child that wants to work hard (not just the parents who want it- the kid has to want to so several hours of homework every night or you are going to be spending your evenings fighting) this is an excellent fit, lots of opportunities that are not offered elsewhere.
I am a parent at Archway Scottsdale that highly recommends this school! My student has a wonderful team (yes, team) of teachers that work tirelessly to give the students a world-class education. My child is in third grade this year and truly loves his teacher. She is strict when it comes to following their core virtues, which should be followed and embraced by any child!! But she explains them in a way a nine year old can understand. He said she brings life lessons into the smallest of situations that help them understand material. She sings and has little sayings and rhymes throughout the day that help the kids stay upbeat and is very positive when it comes to feedback. If you want your values at home to extend throughout the school day and be embraced, I highly recommend this place. The school is full of parent involvement. I have become very close with the other moms from volunteering. Uniforms are a plus too.
We are happy at Archways! We have 5th, 2nd and kindergarten students who have attended the school. The curriculum is excellent and they excelled in later years of school because having such am excellent foundation early on. The discipline is similar to neighboring schools and appropriate. We especially like the life-school balance and appreciate that the homework is reasonable enough for our kids to actively participate in after school activities. The extended day selection is excellent here. The headmaster is genuinely interested in the students well being and a positive force in the school. The campus could be larger but the use of space is good.
In our experience, Archway Scottsdale has gotten worse every passing year. The school has way too many rules and procedures. Siblings cannot acknowledge each other in the hall. Children have been barred from using restroom facilities. Children miss recess time for not walking in straight lines in the hallway. Children receive lunch detention for forgetting to hand in homework. The school is way too strict and it only arbitrarily follows rules and does not hold the administration or the facility to the same standards that it does for grade school level children. The homework loads are obnoxious; often well over 2 hours for 3rd and 4th graders. The headmaster is totally ineffective. I agree with the other review that he immersion spanish is a joke. The Singapore math is complicated with bizarre bar diagrams that students will never use again after 4th grade because they do not use Singapore math at Scottsdale Prep. This school seems to confuse classical education with harsh discipline and huge amounts of homework. If you want your child to have a life outside of academics, this school is not for you. If you don't mind hours of homework, tears, and stress, this is your place.
We transferred into Archways and have been very happy since we made that difficult decision. The administration is positive and supportive. My children's teacher is excellent and takes the additional time we needed. There are two teachers in the classroom and I have seen my son's interest in school increase because he is getting the attention he needed. The review about the bathroom concerned me so I investigated this and found that there the children are allowed to use the bathroom as needed. I started to volunteer there 2 times per week to assure myself that this school was not as strict as some of the reviews stated. It is not. The kids act like any other kids and they have fun. I work in the public school setting for years and am very familiar with "allowing a kid to be a kid". There are rules here and if you are one that prefers that rules be bent or are gray in areas this is not the school for you. They stick to the curriculum and the children are encouraged to work out their differences. Their discipline is Love and Logic which I have seen in action. It is a liberating and refreshing environment which I took the time as a parent to thoroughly review.
We had a great Kindergarten year, unfortunately first grade was a completely different story. I had heard that children were not allowed to go to the bathroom and had accidents. Not just urine, not just one child, and not just once.Sadly it is true. My child was told they could go but they would give up recess. Recess is used as punishment. They miss recess for EVERYTHING. I had also heard that homework and studies were intense, which didn't concern me until my first grader had 8 pages of math work with each page having multiple problems, each problem had 4 parts .That was on top of the usual 20 phonograms, 30 spelling words, spanish, and reading for the day. Singapore math was the top seller for us, and it was ridiculously confusing. Overrated and latest hype I now believe. Children are held to the virtues, but staff is not. I wasn't sure we were 100% right to pull mid year, but when I was bold face lied to about bathroom issues that sealed the deal for me. No virtue for honesty on that one. I really understand even more that teachers and administration make all the difference. In case you are wondering my child was keeping up, an A/B student, was not complaining.
Archway Scottsdale is overrated; my children have been there since the start. The Singapore math is more confusing than helpful, and ultimately a burdensome task that students will never use again after 4th grade. The immersion Spanish is terrible and unfortunately students will leave Archway after 4th grade having learned very little. Teachers often go quickly through material on important topics, assign enormous amounts of homework for young children, and test excessively which all create unnecessary stress on students. Like many schools, there are some good teachers, but also some inexperienced teachers. Again, as others have pointed out, the school is filled with too many strict rules and procedures that go overboard. Students ultimately feel undue pressure and can have their spirits broken. And the school is not consistent with its application of rules; many are arbitrarily followed. Sometimes it seems that the school is more focused on establishing a reputation of academic excellence through pretentiousness, rather than substance. This school has yet to find an appropriate balance between a practical curriculum and focus on children's happiness and youthful freedom.
I opened enrolled into this school. My daughter was offered openings in Sonoran Sky and Cheyenne. I did a lot of research and went back and forth as to which of the three was my first choice. I am delighted that we chose Archway! When went to my daughter's Kindergarten class for orientation on the first day, we were amazed that every desk had a book of poetry an inch thick for every student. We read poetry to my daughter every night, in addition to several classical children's stories. My daughter is loving it and so am I. I agree with some that this school is not a fit for everyone. I work five to six days a week and this type of education needs parent involvement and support. I looked at a lot of private schools including Rancho and John Pope. I think this is definitely the most well rounded.
I simply cannot say enough about Archway Classical Academy Scottsdale. They provide an amazing, very well rounded classical education that is second to none, the reinforce end echo the values we teach our child, they provide an open, nurturing environment that is conducive to learning, the community is very welcoming and provides an extended school "family" that we are proud to be a part of. The faculty is the best I've ever seen, from the Headmaster down to the newest Assistant Teacher, everyone genuinely cares and is dedicated to helping my child learn, grow and succeed. To the individual who posted a one-star rating: You must either have the wrong school or have a personal axe to grind because in three years, I've never heard anything even remotely close to the claims you make, and I've spoken to many if not most of the parents over the last three years. Your comments are offensive and not anywhere near representative of the vast majority of the families who send their children to ACAS. At no time have I ever seen or heard of ANY child being "humiliated", and I challenge you to find ANY school in Scottsdale with higher test scores. I wish your child well in the fast food world.
Our school is fantastic! Our teacher is amazing! They focus on the virtues according to their behaviors. Archway Scottsdale has great after school activities. My child loves the lego club and the multi-sport club. My child loves to go to school. That is very important.
My children have attended Archway Scottsdale since it opened in 2011 and we have been very happy. The curriculum is academically rigorous and the teachers are excellent. Most families are very committed and involved which fosters a great sense of community. The administration seems to be supportive of faculty development while upholding high standards for teaching excellence.
We are entering into our second year in the Great Hearts family (our daughter is in first grade now). Both my husband and I are THRILLED with the high level of academic standard that the kids are held to. It is amazing to chat with friends who's children are at other schools and compare curriculum....Archway Scottsdale is off the charts in ALL subject matter (and the students LOVE it). The faculty does an amazing job of making classical learning FUN, yet at the same time maintaining a "pop-culture-free" learning environment. I am so pleased with the school that last year I was a room mom and volunteer on the social committee, and this year I am working on the Parent Organization. Keep in mind this is all in addition to a full-time job...but I know that parental involvement makes Archway a better place for all...and I want to be a big part of that!
If your idea of a good education is being bogged down with rules and procedures, many of which are pointless, and the notion that this school has the highest aims scores then send your kid there. While the test scores are high, so are many other Scottsdale schools, including public ones!!!. But my idea of a good education is an all around challenging education where the children are happy to go to school and happy to learn. Not one where they are whipped into shape and humiliated and punished for not following procedures, or having to memorize material in order to do well on tests. The quality of teachers at this school is inconsistent; while there are a handful of good ones there are some really bad ones too. This inconsistency is very common amongst charter schools. As for the waiting list .there is a long waiting list for any charter school, not just this one!! The fact that the school facility is too small and inappropriate to allow for too many children to attend this school is what is causing this long waiting list. My advise would be to really take a good look at what type of school would best fit your child, not what school would best fit the parent.
"Just hype"?? Seriously? If by "Just hype", you mean: Some of the highest AIMS test scores in all of AZ; or the fact that there is a two-plus year waiting list to get into this school; or the fact that families are leaving the very finest private academies to send their children to Archway; or the fact that Great Hearts Academies has the highest percentage of Ivy League acceptance in the state... then sign my child up! I want the very best education for my child, and hands down, Archway is the best I or anyone I know have been able to find. Amazing teachers and faculty, top notch curriculum, extremely well rounded fine arts and athletic programs, and the finest parent-teacher communication I've ever seen. If you're one of "those" parents who have dreams of mediocrity for your child, then by all means, stay far, far away from Archway and good luck in the Scottsdale public schools. If however, you want your child to have an incredibly solid, well rounded educational foundation, then this is the school for you. No, this school is not for everyone. It is reserved specifically for those who want their children to be better than the rest, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Archway Classical Academy Scottsdale and Great Hearts Academies might well be the best kept secret in Arizona. After a dismal experience at Arizona Montessori Academy, ACAS has renewed my faith in the education system. I simply cannot say enough about ACAS and it's staff. This school challenges my 2nd grade daughter every day, but does so in a nurturing, encouraging way. The teachers and Headmaster are the finest we've ever dealt with hands down, and the level of parental involvement is amazing. The school feels like an extended family. The school holds children to a much higher standard than any other elementary school I've seen, and the children all seem to rise to the challenge. My 2nd grader is now reading and writing on what is normally considered a 6th grade level, is studying Spanish immersion, classical music, creative writing, what amounts to basic algebra, science, nature, history, and the list goes on. She LOVES going to school. I've heard parents complain that the curriculum is too much for younger children, but that has not been our experience at all. Yes, your child will be challenged and pushed to achieve, but I think those are good things! Thank you ACAS!
Great Hearts academies are excellent schools, all you have to do is look up their other location reviews to know this organization is top notch. I am biased because my girl is a first grader in Archway Scottsdale, but I can't imagine it gets any better than this. Everyone knows that education is teacher and staff dependent, if you get a good teacher you have a great year of learning, but it seems that Archway has found a recipe to pick the best of the best. The educational standard are high, but the teachers work with parents to help them become involved with the learning process, and this works flawlessly. Headmaster Robby Kuhlman runs a tight ship, but he is a personification of what a good educator should be, which is, concentrating on education first and everything is behind the scenes. Their administration is flawless in working to create charity drives for the school so they can afford amazing after school programs from community leaders, or educational field trips off compus. I will say, the education standards are very high, so if you didn't start out in the younger grades your child may have a bit of a s"hock period" getting used to the homework and learning method.
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