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GreatSchools Rating

Sunset Hills Elementary School

Public | K-8 & ungraded

 
 

Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 6 ratings
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 5 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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32 reviews of this school


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Posted August 9, 2014

After just 3 days of returning to school I couldn't be more disappointed in this school. The "Principal of The Year" Mrs.Winterstein has been a huge disappointment and bully. She yells at children like an angry, grumpy old lady. She gets in the faces of parents and staff to intimidate them. As a volunteer I do not feel welcomed by her, yet other parents are greeted like old friends. I felt like I was in "Mean Girls" and not a part of the Clique. Teachers have told me that she plays favorites and divided the staff. If you are liked you can come late and leave early; otherwise watch out! For such a "great school" they have a large staff turn over; who can blame them? She also allows some parents to pick their child's teachers while others are told no way! I feel sorry for anyone in this building.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 28, 2014

This school the worst school my children have ever attended. There is nothing in place for children with disabilities. The school calls me to have them picked up if they act out instead of learning how to work with them. The principal refuses to work with me, help me or is shows absolutely no compassion. She is rude and dismissive, even yelling at me and my kids. So my children have learned that they only need to misbehave and I get the call to pick them up. The teachers take their cues from the principal. During parent/teacher conference teacher didn't to talk to me at all.. I do not feel that they have the best interest of the children as a priority. It seems to be all about the numbers. When I asked if there was an aide that could work with them or maybe stay after school for extra assistance, I was told that there were no funds available to do this, Ultimately, it is my responsibility alone to get them to where they need to be. It is easier to work with the children that "get it" as opposed to helping the few that do not. This school does not embrace my child that has a learning need.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 18, 2014

This is an amazing school. We are so happy that our daughter Has the best teachers, and very polite staff.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 15, 2014

My son has attended this school for 3 years; 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade. His 2nd grade teacher could not control the class. She was extremely overwhelmed. My son failed the state-mandated tests that year. We decided to give the school another shot. His 3rd grade teacher was amazing! She worked with my son one-on-one. He surpassed his AIMS tests. We were in a good place-until 4th grade. His teacher informed the school she would be out for the remainder of the school year during winter break. The school struggled to find a long term substitute until the end of March. From December to the end of March, my son's class was split into other classes on campus. Some days he was in a second grade classroom! He has lost another year! He has lost his passion for learning. And the school administration has not even bothered to address my complaints. We are done with this school! We are not taking another chance with my son's education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 7, 2014

The staff is incredible and they always go out of their way to help the students and the parents. I have not ever been involved with a school that cares about the students well being so frequently. The curriculum is great and the teachers are amazing.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 23, 2014

Over all, I think this a great school and teachers will go above and beyond when a child is struggling
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 21, 2013

I have 3 boys, one who attended Sunset and is now a Junior, I have a 3rd grader and will have a boy starting kindergarten. Sunset is among the best schools I have ever been associated with. The principal is amazing and the staff and teachers are amongst the best I have ever seen. Through all the budget cuts I have never seen any decline in enthusiasm and will to make sure all children attending this school is taught to the highest standard. I am blessed to be a part of the Sunset Hills family! Go Bobcats!!!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 4, 2012

Disappointed by this school...having had 3 children go here ranging from ADHD to gifted I have found the Prinicipal to be extremely biased and fake. She worries only about furthering her career and not truly helping the children in a manner that would help them grow and become better. Most of the teachers do their best but they are understaffed and classes are too large. I will be glad when this year is over and my last one leaves.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 9, 2011

We love Sunset Hills! The teachers are wonderful!! Unfortunately, the administrative and support staff leave a lot to be desired.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 8, 2011

Teachers at this school are pretty good, it is the administration that are horrible. My son graduated 8th grade from this school, and at the ceremony a parent whistled for his child when his name was called and the principal yelled at him "There is no whistling in the school Gym" . I have also witnessed this principal yell and point her finger in the face of students who are being dropped off for school in the morning. Not very professional in my opinion, I am glad my child is out of this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 5, 2011

My children and I love SSHES! The staff is amazing. My kids love going to school everyday. I feel confident that they are being well taken care of and are learning to their full ability. The PTO has done an amazing job putting on fund raisers and social events. SSHES is the best.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 24, 2011

This school is absolutely horrible. My child has had 2 bad teachers. My child is in 1st grade and hates going to school. I have had many parent teacher conferences which were all a complete waste of time. Without going into specific details, this school has the worst teachers I have ever seen in my entire life.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 14, 2011

I love this school. I'm very happy my kids are able to go to this school. my daughter is in kindergarden and one of my sons is in 4th grade. All the teacher and the staff seem to really be wroking together to make sure its a great school. i like the fact that they really keep parents involved and have things where the parents can be involved. I have no complaints about this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 21, 2010

I cannot say enough good things about this school. It has been great for my family. We have had great teachers every year and staff that really care about the children. They have a lot of great events put on by the PTO as well.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 19, 2010

Supportive teaching staff - with strong ideals and high morals. The teachers and staff have high standards for our children and hold them accountable. Parent Involvement is low - and makes it much harder on those parents who do stay involved and plan events to help the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 1, 2010

My two children have been in this school for 5 years, from the first day it opened in 2005. My husband and I are extremely happy with the high standards they expect of students and of the relationships teachers have with families. Parents and teachers work together to help our children do their best. Communication is important and as a parent I make sure I communicate with teachers regularly.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 25, 2010

Maybe I have just gotten lucky. I have had nothing but a great experience at this school. All the staff and teahers that I have dealt with are always very nice and helpful. I love to volunteer my time at the shool as well. You never realize how much work a teacher puts into there day until you help in a class room regularly. It is way more than just 8-3. It really makes you appriciate all that they do.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 24, 2010

I would not recommend Sunset Hills. I have had bad experiences with my son's teachers and the adminstration for three years now. While many of the teachers are good and hard working, others you can tell are just burnt out especially in the later grades. My son keeps having the misfortune of getting the burnt out ones. The principal does not respond to concerns in a timely manner and when she does often does very little to resolve the issues. I had requested my son speak to a counselor after a hardship; the counselor never once got back to me after repreated attempts to contact her. My son hates going to school every morning. I am very disappointed in this school and am currently looking to place my children in a charter school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 31, 2009

My kids go to Sunset Hills and they love it!:) they always come home with a smile.There elevators for parents.And the staff cares for the students.My son and daughter have friends that mom works there and they say that she is the best at everything like have fun to being responsible.I would want every parent to come with there kids and have a good education!!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 23, 2009

This school has gone completely upside down. They have taken away homework saying that it does no good. My son's grades have gone from staight a's to c's. So homework does do good!! if you want your child to succeed, don't send them here. Principal doesn't respond to any calls or problems.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 69% in 2013.

137 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
84%

2012

 
 
80%

2011

 
 
83%

2010

 
 
81%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 75% in 2013.

137 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
88%

2010

 
 
88%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

137 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
68%

2012

 
 
74%

2011

 
 
81%

2010

 
 
82%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2013.

138 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
80%

2012

 
 
88%

2011

 
 
86%

2010

 
 
86%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2013.

123 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
65%

2012

 
 
70%

2011

 
 
80%

2010

 
 
83%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

123 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
86%

2011

 
 
90%

2010

 
 
91%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2013.

123 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
64%

2012

 
 
58%

2011

 
 
76%

2010

 
 
92%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2013.

133 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
74%

2012

 
 
78%

2011

 
 
71%

2010

 
 
70%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

133 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
91%

2012

 
 
92%

2011

 
 
93%

2010

 
 
82%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2013.

133 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
68%

2012

 
 
68%

2011

 
 
61%

2010

 
 
86%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

137 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
78%

2012

 
 
78%

2011

 
 
69%

2010

 
 
83%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 85% in 2013.

137 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
93%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
88%

2010

 
 
93%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 52% in 2013.

137 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
66%

2012

 
 
75%

2011

 
 
65%

2010

 
 
92%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 58% in 2013.

115 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
78%

2012

 
 
66%

2011

 
 
78%

2010

 
 
69%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 72% in 2013.

115 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
78%

2011

 
 
83%

2010

 
 
89%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

  • In 2010-2011, this school was designated "Highly Performing".
  • In 2009-2010, this school was designated "Highly Performing".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was designated "Highly Performing".

About the tests


Arizona uses AZ LEARNS Achievement Profiles to indicate schools' overall performance each year. For elementary and middle schools, the profiles are based on current and historical aggregated AIMS results, MAP results and whether or not the school made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). For high schools, AIMS results, AYP status and graduation/dropout rates are used. Schools are identified as Excelling, Highly Performing, Performing Plus, Performing, Underperforming, Failing to Meet Academic Standards or Pending.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 69% 42%
Hispanic 22% 43%
Black 5% 5%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 3% 3%
Two or more races 2% 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 34%N/A47%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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

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

This school has not yet provided program information.


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17825 W. Sierra Montana Loop
Surprise, AZ 85379
Website: Click here
Phone: (623) 523-8700

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