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K-12
Public charter
Surprise, AZ
Students enrolled: 675
Before care: No
After care: Yes

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16011 N. Dysart Rd.
Surprise, AZ 85374

School website
(623) 974-4959
(623) 974-4931
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Arizona Charter Academy address.

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December 04, 2013
WOW! I used to be skeptical about Charter Schools because I was misinformed about how they work. My 15 year old boy was struggling academically, culturally and emotionally while attending a well ranked Public High School. As an African American he was subjected to racial bias and teachers would just pass him through or ignore his and my request for assistance. I switched to ACA and my child is so engaged I am amazed. The teachers are incredibly accessible and they seek out parents. The students believe in the school vision and it shows. My son told me that "kids at this school don't goof off because the classroom sizes are small and you will look like an idiot" ...Yes, you are held accountable for your actions and silly behavior is not cool to their peers. ALSO...to any parents that are raising young black and brown children, please consider this school as an option. They have an amazing way of teaching respect for cultural diversity and empowering minorities to uplift peers of all colors and cultures. I am beyond impressed and can't wait to see my child reach his full potential. _ PARENT

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2013
I have been impressed with Arizona Charter Academy's passion and commitment to ensuring their students of all ages are college and career ready. I am continuously impressed every time I visit their site how creative, mature, professional, polite and involved their students are. Their staff and administration has found several unique ways both within the classroom and beyond the classroom to instill in their students not only knowledge but a work ethic that puts them ahead of the class!

- submitted by a community member
March 29, 2013
The Arizona Charter Academy staff truly care about the education of its students, from K thru 12. As an Advisory Board member and City employee, I can say that I have first hand knowledge of the ACA success story. Every time I visit the campus and interact with the students, it's evident that this school is doing everything right. Go Bulldogs!

- submitted by a community member
March 29, 2013
I have two graduates of ACA in my home. My children loved the classes, encouragement to achieve excellence, and strong, secure environment. This Administration always strives for better from themselves first, and then from it's students/families. ACA has been voted AZ Best Place to work several times. I think that says alot for their staff satisfaction, as well. Rock on, ACA!

- submitted by a parent
March 28, 2013
Being grandparents of three students that attend ACA and having been in the teaching profession for over 37 years, we have observed an excellent communication between the school, parents, and students. It is obvious to us that there is a deep commitment by the professional staff and associates to have all students succeed and to encourage them to challenge themselves in order to reach their individual potential. The rapid growth and expansion of ACA over the past several years is indicative of the success of the school's programs which is reflected in student achievement scores.

- submitted by a community member
March 28, 2013
Arizona Charter Academy is an awesome school. The class sizes are ideal, the teachers care about their students, and the academics are incredible. The level of knowledge and work that they do is impressive. My daughter is in fourth grade and is doing math that I didn't learn until my Senior year in HighSchool ( I went to a fancy private highschool)

- submitted by a parent
March 28, 2013
As leader of a local community organization (Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks) who has worked closely with the Academy, It continues to demonstrate excellence in it's involvement with and commitment to the academic communities of the local area. This translates to creating an envirnoment of building leadership, good citizen ship, and genuine caring for others, all of which are critical components to building a well developed student. Furthermore, the Academy continues to b uild upon it's successes, involving parents and students in shaping the directions of the choices to be made as they develop. We will continue to consistenly support our partnership with the school, welcoming the skills and leadership of it's faculty and administration.

- submitted by a community member
March 18, 2013
This school is ridiculous. Seems every staff member has a husband or wife that works there and they completely play favorites. As a parent I have witnessed teachers replaced halfway through the year, and other teachers that get away with terrible conduct because their husband or wife is friends with the owner. The owner clearly has double standards. Keep your kids far far away from this school. My 3 kids are at a real school now in Dysart and have never been happier.

- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2012
I am very impressed with ACA. They go above and beyond for these kids. These kids are treated so good. They are challenged academically and provided all the information they need to go to College. The teachers have an open door policy. I can drop in anytime I want and just watch my child interact in class. The teachers respond to my emails promptly and always keep me informed on the good as well as the bad behavior of my children. I have taken my children out but brought them back after a couple of months because the level of education and respect they receive at ACA is just not out there in public schools. I have 3 children at the school and all of them are on the honor roll and love to go to school everyday. GREAT principle, GREAT staff, GREAT students, GREAT teachers!!! WE LOVE ACA!

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2012
Very poor parent communication. I found that the principal did not follow up with my concerns or speak with me regarding the issues. Parents are not encouraged or even allowed (depending on the teacher) to volunteer in the child's classroom. If you are looking for a "community" feel and to be active in your child's education, this is not the place for you.

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2011
My children have been attending Arizona Charter Academy for several years. They both have struggled with learning and social issues, but the learning environment and culture at ACA has supported them in every area. They have made great progress and are now performing at grade level academically and are involved in sports and other extra curricular activities.

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2011
The direction in which this school is headed cannot compare to any other schools in the area. My chidren are very challenged academically, and feel very safe in this environment. It is a priviledge to come here.

- submitted by a parent
March 28, 2011
I love the school and the teachers. When my child was being bullied the principal took care of it right away. I was impressed and glad of how seriously they take this kind of incidents. I would recommend this school to any parent who is looking for a family oriented school with great academics.

- submitted by a parent
March 28, 2011
My child has been given the pre-SAT tests both in junior high and now in high school. This information has helped me as a parent to determine if she is on tract to be ready for college and helped me understand her areas of strength and weaknesses. The guidance counselor met with me and went over the results - it is amazing how much the staff cares about the success of my child! I LOVE this school!

- submitted by a parent
March 28, 2011
Both of my children attend ACA, and they have made great gains this year. I'm excited to see their progress in all areas!

- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2011
We are so happy with Arizona Charter Academy. Our kids participate in the 21 C Grant after school program in karate and hip hop dance classes. Our kids can't even go to the classes until the go for an hour of tutoring in reading and math....

- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2011
Sadly we will not return to this school. They have very little parent involvement NOR do they make available other ways for parents to be involved. I recently found out that some of the teachers are doctoring bad grades so that they dont freak out the parents:((( So I really dont know if my kids are getting the grades they deserve or some grade pulled out of the sky. Pretty disappointing!

- submitted by a parent
May 25, 2010
In just one year, my daughter went from being behind academically, to above average - making Honor Roll twice! I deeply appreciate all the hard work from the teachers and staff. ACA is like a second home to us; everyone knows our name, we are greeted with smiles, and the students look very happy. I see the value in grouping children by ability in certain subjects. If your child excels, they allow your child to go farther. If your child shows a weakness, they will target that subject and work very hard to improve success. I love ACA so much, that my daughter's little brother will also be attending next year. We look forward to many years with ACA.

- submitted by a parent
March 25, 2010
ACA is an excellent school. Their reading program is spectacular! All the teachers sincerely & equally care for each of their students. I would highly recommend this school. Your child will get treated like an individual; not like a number, like the public schools in Arizona. Hats off to ACA, this school is truly amazing.

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 01, 2010
My son has experienced cocsistent bullying ,at school and eventhough the matter was taken to the principle and the teacher ,adequate steps were not taken to end the matter , as as result of which he is now reluctant to go to school!!frankly i'm a little disappointed!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2009
The teachers genuinely care not only about quality education but also each student as a person and an individual. Even the principals pride themselves on knowing each child's name as they pass them in the hall. All of the students genuinely ENJOY attending school each day, and look forward to creative, new learning experiences. Last year, Arizona Charter Academy even completed an outreach project in which students participated in building a home in Mexico. As the academy grows, more electives are available in the curriculum (such as dance and photography) and more sports teams become available (Go Bulldogs!). Everyone at Arizona Charter Academy aims to build a personal rapport not only with the student, but the parents and family as well, and that has made all the difference in the world to my son. His grades are the best they've been since kindergarten (now in the 8th grade) and he's excited to go to school. I can't thank ACA enough!

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 16, 2009
This is my grandson's first year attending ACA. I have seen a tremendous positive change in his attitude towards school. He truely enjoys learning now and I attribute this to caring teachers. I can't thank the teaching staff enough.

- submitted by a community member
no rating July 17, 2009
My stepson started at aca in the 8th grade, and he will be a junior this year. His improvements are amazing...And the sports that are offered give him more structure. I love this school!!

- submitted by a parent
July 17, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating June 23, 2009
My kids transferred to the high school in January 09. We LOVE this school! It has a famioy feel and great community. In addition to excellent academics, my kids were able to participate in a house building project to mexico among may other service-learning projects to help better the local community.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 09, 2009
My two children attend ACA and I must say that I have been impressed with their growth in academics. My students are reading at least one grade level above. In addition, the administration is not adding more students to the classroom. Their class sizes will remain small despite state budget cuts! This means a great deal to me as a parent.

- submitted by a parent
April 24, 2009
Since I have started going to ACA I have realized how drastically my grades have been improving. Not just from the amount of work I do in my regular classes but because of the way we can get creative with our work. That and all my teachers are very supportive and are always there to help me with any work I may be having trouble with. I have made many new friends and have become an honor roll student and a member of the NJHS which I had never thought I'd be capable of achieving. I can honestly say that this is the best school I have ever attended.

- submitted by a student
no rating September 20, 2008
As a parent I have seen tremendous growth in their reading. When they came to ACA both were struggling to sound out words and read fluenty. After some time and extra support both girls met there reading goals. The friendly, positive, atmosphere makes me love this school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 20, 2008
ACA rocks! My sone has attended this school for one year, and I already love it. The teachers and administration are one of a kind. They are so caring and so real, they honestly care about your child, they will do anything you need them too, for your child to succeed! I am looking forward to next year, with the new cafeteria and gym. Another great thing is, they are expanding but not adding to the population of the school, they will remain small to stay student centered! Keep up the good work!

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2008
I am very disapointed to find out that the 08-09 6th graders will be considerd elementry. My child has looked foward to going to middle school all year. Now once again the school has disapointed him. There have been so many disapointments this year that has made it really hard for him, he does not want to return next year. I really hope that the school begins to emphasise on the students and not how many time they can add on to the school. They really need to work on their test scores, wich from what I can see are below the state average. Another concern is they play favortism. You are not an employes child or best friends with an employe, then they do not seem to care about you. This is wrong in so many ways. I hope this school can resolve it's issues.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 19, 2008
MY daughter has attented ACA for 5yrs . I wouldn't send her any where else. ACA improves every yr. Students aren't just test scores .

- submitted by a parent
April 14, 2008
My kids have gone to this school for 2 and 3 years. I have absolutely loved the school so far. My kid's grades are good and the staff seems to genuinely care about the welfare of my children. There have been minor issues here and there. Not happy that my 6th grader has to carry her backpack around all day long and has no locker or desk... or even a hook to hang a jacket on. Junior high kinda got the short end of the stick for this year, I assume that problem will be taken care of next year though. What does bother me is how low the school has scored on their AIMS tests. It will be interesting to see how they score this year. Its enough to make me wonder if my kids were in a different school.. would they still be on the honor roll?

- submitted by a parent
March 08, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
January 04, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2008
The classrooms hold only 25 chairs. You're not going to get that ratio in a public/district school. At this school, there is a family-type atmosphere. The 8th graders buddy up and read to the Kindergarten kids. It is so cute to see the little ones running up to the big kids to say 'hi' and then the junior highers feel so proud. I love this school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 15, 2007
Arizona Charter Academy has been a great experience for both of my daughters. The teachers are caring and take the time to help them. Every night my duaghters come home with a book to read at their individualized reading level. This makes it so easy to read with my child and watch their growth before my very own eyes. There is no better place then Arizona Charter Academy.

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2007
ACA has been nothing but a supportive and caring school for my children. I have had attendance issues with my child in the past and ACA has gone out of their way to help get y children to school -even as far as picking them up in a school van. The high school staff works diligently to help students not oly in academics but in motivation and looking at their future. This is a diverse, upcoming and excellent school

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2007
ACA has done a great job in providing a well rounded curriculum for our Junior High daughter. She has thrived in all of her classes especially Math and English. Her passport to success elective has helped her develop a career path and taught her life skills like etiquette and budgeting. I was amazed how her writing skills have improved! I also appreciate the fact that her English Teacher was willing to host an after school club to teach them French and take them to Parris in 2008! I can t wait to chaperone! I could not be happier with my child s progress. Thank you for caring!

- submitted by a parent
October 20, 2007
Our son has been attending ACA for 2 years now and he is in the 5th grade and Mr. McPeak is outstanding. The school has provided Title I assistance to my son for his weaknesses in math and I am proud to say that this year at the end of the 1st quarter he received the highest grade in math out of the entire class. We are very proud that our child attends ACA. We feel that the elementary is exceptional and plan to keep him enrolled there until 8th grade. At which time we will review the extra curricular activities offered to determine if he will stay on for grades 9-12 or not. The school is currently working on building those programs so we will see when the time comes. With a new gym being built and scheduled to open in Aug 2008 it looks promising.

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
August 28, 2007
I was one of the first students beginning high school in this charter school. I was very disappointed in the curriculum. I feel that I didn't learn as much as a typical high school student should have. The 'Self Pace' idea sounds great but there were students who would fly by there work really fast and did an outstanding job and then there were the students who couldn't even get there work done and did not graduate with there class. This school allows 21 year olds attend and be around other underage students and act inappropriately around them. Some teachers were great, but others would speak inappropriately to students. I strongly wouldn't suggest sending your child here, because the owners who started this school (Dr. Atkinson and Mrs. Atkinson) will not listen to the students. Just as long as there getting there money. Give your child a real education.

- submitted by a former student
August 28, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2007
I thought because it was a self paced school my kids would thrive. What I found was a school that showed favoritism to certain students. I was very disappointed in the level of academics and when I transferred my kids to another school, I was not shocked to find that ACA was not up to the standard of other schools.

- submitted by a parent
June 20, 2007
My son James Martinez had the best school year in high school.The teachers made him feel as though he was a human being, a young adult trying to find himself, as we all did at one point.He went from Straight F's to A's & B's. Thank you for caring and treating my child like a human being.

- submitted by a parent
June 14, 2007
I am very pleased with Arizona Charter Academy. The efforts and constant concern the teachers,staff and administration have for the students is amazing. I have a son who graduated from ACA and two other children in high school and their progress and knowledge has taken them to another level and I have ACA teachers and administrators to thank for that. Keep up the great work your school is a positive educational enviroment for any child.

- submitted by a parent
May 30, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2007
This school has a wonderful family atmosphere with excellent careing teachers.

- submitted by a teacher
May 09, 2007
ACA is a great school that has a very high amount of support for its kids. The low student to teacher ratio benefits the children in countless ways.

- submitted by a teacher
May 09, 2007
Arizona Charter Academy has made great improvements in the high school curriculum and is striving to take their curriculum from good to great! The students are noticing these changes and have made many positive comments. Students say that they are working harder and learning more and look forward to the new challenges next year. The staff has noticed that when students are challenged and held responsible for their work, that the students are more content and more successful in their academics and behavior.

- submitted by a teacher
May 09, 2007
There is a great diversity in this school, which lends to a greater sense of community. It is a school that consistently shows positive changes and growth year after year, and the administration is forward thinking in terms of finding new ways for students to reach their potential.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2007
My daughter has attended Arizona Charter Academy for the last 5 years and she has excelled beyond my expectations. She is challenged acadimically and is shown how to rise to meet the challenge. After christmas break she was asked to write an Americanism Essay that was to be submitted to a regional competition. Out of 180 essays from 14 schools my daughter and one of her classmates earned 2nd and 3rd place honors. This would not have been possible if the quality of education at ACA was not a priority. I am proud to have my children attend this school.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2007
School provides great curriculum. School provides tutoring after school. School provides small class size.

- submitted by a staff
May 09, 2007
The school is accommodating to children with problems, such as emotional, learning disabilities and attention deficiencies.

- submitted by a teacher
May 09, 2007
As a parent first, I am completely satisfied with Arizona Charter Academy. I have transferred one of my kids to this school from apublic school and I have seen a tremendous change. She came in and dove right into the wonderful sports program that they have here. I am very pleased that the sports program starts at such a young age. It gives the younger students a chance to participate. It teaches them teamwork at such a young age. She has made such a turn around attitude wise and I think that is directly related to her joining the sports team. My husband and I are looking forward to enrolling the other kids next year. I am more than confidant in the teachers and the curriculum that ACA offers. As a staff member, I know that we all love the students and want the best for them all.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2007
I have a six year old daughter who attends Kindergarten at ACA and I'm extremely impressed with how much she has learned in her first year. The teacher is very well planned, wonderfully caring and the kids absolutely love her! She has home work assignments regularly that are interactive with us the parents. She is excited about every aspect of school including attending class and completing her homework. My daughter has shown remarkable academic and social growth. She is by nature a very shy girl but now is very outgoing since she feels so safe and has made some great friends. I'm very pleased with my decision to enroll my daughter at ACA. And would highly recommend it to other parents interested in progressive learning for tier child.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2007
I think Arizona Charter Academy is a great school where students learn,and achieve tneir goals without exceptions.It's a multi-diversity school where everyone is respected regardless of their background. Administration treat teachers and staff in general like family. Everyone is included in activities and ideas are not taken for granted. We all go from good to great with a positive attitude.

- submitted by a teacher
April 21, 2007
I am amazed at the growth and standards of excellence held at Arizona Charter Academy. I think their biggest strength is their diverse and caring staff. They are excellent about communicating to parents and have a great 'pulse' on the students. My daughter is in a class of 20 students and the individual attention she gets has allowed her to excel this year. Hats off to ACA!

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2007
Teachers and leadership are simply outstanding in every category.Bullying which is rampant at many schools is nonexsistent at az charter. Curriculum is the highest in importance priorty.The school is exceptionally clean.Staff is friendly and helpful.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
January 10, 2006
My son attended ACA for 4 1/2 years. The higher the grade level the more I realized the teachers were not teachers they were babysitters. Getting support from the school was impossible. I came to the conclusion the school is all about money and nothing else. Don't ask for communication because they don't want to give it to any parent. I never received any type of progress report as they stated would be given out and I had to request a report card many times before finally receiving it. My son is now attending a public school which he loves and he has told me these are real teachers. If the kids notice it then that says a lot. The kids are also not treated fairly and when it is reported to the school they always deny and tell you the kids are lying.

- submitted by a parent
January 04, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
December 23, 2005
My child has excelled at the AZ Charter Academy. He was distracted at other schools because of the high student to teacher ratios. Here he is with about 12 other students and he is setting goals and excelling in all the areas he was struggling in at the local district school.

- submitted by a parent
November 08, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 24, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating October 22, 2004
This school is great for those students who can work at their own pace.

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2004
Good school overall need some improvement on the extra-curricular activities. Plans are on the near future to correct some of this, the idea of having the kids group and work at their own pace is very helpfull for them

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 19, 2004
this will be my childs first year starting in kindergaden at the new kindergarden school. I have herd nothing but good from this school and that is what I want because my childrens eduacation comes first. I want them to recieve the best possible education they can and I think I found it hear at this school. thank you so much for being here for my children.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2004
I have two children that attend ACA. One is a 1st grader and other is a sophomore. I like the fact that it is a small school covering all grade levels. The students work independently through packs. I like the fact that my children will get the standards that are required by the state and that the teachers only expand upon the concepts, but all of the standards are taught. The teachers really care and want to help all students. There is a low student teacher ratio. I am glad that my children attend ACA.

- submitted by a parent
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About this school

We provide an exceptional academic environment as well as help each student find their purpose through career exploration and build character through community service. Students have the opportunity to give back to their school and community in many ways throughout the year through class and school level initiatives. These include food drives, raising money for causes, supporting our veterans, and volunteering.

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Last modified: December 16, 2014

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Arizona Charter Academy
16011 N. Dysart Rd., Surprise, AZ  85374
(623) 974-4959
Last modified Arizona Charter Academy is a Charter school that serves grades K-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 5 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Arizona Charter Academy Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 68 reviews. Top