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Public charter
Tempe, AZ
Students enrolled: 201

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1216 East Apache Boulevard
Tempe, AZ 85281

School website
(480) 947-3917
(480) 970-6625
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Map of New School for the Arts address.
January 25, 2015
NSAA has progressed an amazing amount in three years. Test scores have soared, my daughter's progress in her learning is amazing and she will be headed for college after her senior year. The Dean and all the staff have my complete admiration. There seems to be little in the way of discipline issues and students I have talked to feel safe in the school. The Humanities teacher, has challenged my daughter into thinking outside the box. The art teachers are amazing and specifically Mr Dickson's talent for teaching art and life drawing to recalcitrant students has my admiration. My daughter has found a new appreciation for math under her algebra 3-4 teacher. Completely over qualified to teach science, the teacher has sparked her enthusiasm for the sciences and he is so happy and loves what he teaches. (my daughters words) The French teacher is off the scale in her ability to teach a subject near and dear to my daughter's heart. If you have any doubts about the academic areas of this school, as it is an art school, put them aside. I am impressed with the quality of the teaching and wish I could have attended this school as a teen.

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2014
As a parents, my daughter has thrived at the school, and feels safe and supported. Since 6th grade she has grown and takes her schooling seriously. The faculty and admin are great and communicate with families frequently.

- submitted by a parent
June 02, 2014
I was disappointed when my year ended with a staff overhaul, but I feel the school still provides the same safe environment to grow as an individual that it offered me in my years attended. Like any school, there will be pros and cons, but i have to say: If your child is having a rough time in their current school, or just needs a fresh start, consider the possibility of attending NSAA. This school allowed me to come out of my shell and explore different skills and talents that I didn't even know I could do. In Public school I had difficulty making friends, I found myself isolating, and I didnt participate in extracurricular activities. I'm not saying this school is a magic solution to your antisocial problems, but the environment allows you the opportunity, and pushes you, to be in the spotlight. The smaller class sizes makes it a lot harder to go unnoticed. I appreciate what this school did for me, and I am grateful for the opportunity to attend, graduate, and make lifelong friends.

- submitted by a student
May 25, 2014
THE GOOD : The school offers great opportunity and connections in the form of art teachers who, generally, do wish the best for their students and a mostly accepting student body. There are also some very rigorous academic classes, although offered sporadically. THE BAD : The school has very, very poor administration. The Executive Dean blatantly disciplines intermittently and inconsistently due to favoritism and has unprofessional relationships with students. It is unclear how funding is allocated as some departments are consistently poor. The teachers seem to be hired with little background information and teachers who stand up for the students don't last very long. OVERALL : under different administration, the school would be a thousand times better.

- submitted by a parent
May 04, 2014
Staff work hard, they care about the families and go beyond expectations to help all students. Students are treated as individuals and each has a need and gets what they need to be strong, and successful.

- submitted by a teacher
April 25, 2014
Bad school. Bad business. Bad all around!!! I do NOT recommend this school to anyone!!!

- submitted by a parent
April 17, 2014
Our daughter is happy and thriving at the New School for the Arts! She has attended this school for the past three years. She was generally miserable at previous schools. Her grades at this school and previous schools have consistently been "honor roll" level (if not higher). However, she wasn't receiving the creative opportunities she needed. The visual arts electives she has been able to take at the New School for the Arts are clearly a large part of the reason for her happiness. The welcoming and accepting culture at this school is another reason. When your child is truly happy, it's worth it to adjust for the lack of a cafeteria.

- submitted by a parent
February 26, 2014
This school is a joke. The administration doesn't have a clue as to what they are doing. And they fire highly qualified teachers and in turn they keep the teachers who aren't even certified in what they teach. This school gives a bad name to all of the other charter schools who are running an honest business. Please do your research before even considering sending your child or even teaching at this school. I do not recommend it to anyone.

- submitted by a teacher
October 24, 2013
I watched my artistic son struggled in "regular" public schools until he came to NSAA in 7th grade. This school allowed him to blossom. He graduated in May of 2013 and is now attending Laguna College of Art and Design in CA. Special credit goes to the dean Katy Cardenas who has devoted every fabric of her being to the school. In the visual arts department Keelan Maney and Matt Dixon were amazing mentors. When my son graduated he made me promise to continue to give my tax credit contributions to the school. For some, one of the negatives is that there is no cafeteria - wasn't a problem for our son since he always packed his lunch even while in public school. Also, like many charter schools, we had to provide transportation. In a way this was good since this required a higher parental commitment level. Teachers were mostly excellent - although there were a few clunkers. If you are looking for an accepting artistic community for your child who might march to the beat of a different drummer, this may be the place for him - or her.

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2013
A great safe place for creative types. High teacher turnover rate is NOT due to poor admin, but rather it is the nature of the game. Low pay, poor funding, bad benefits, etc. You can thank The State for that, not blame the principal. One can take only so much before looking to higher ed.

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2013
Fire the administration. Some teachers are awesome, but the school is totally lacking in leadership which is unprofessional, inappropriate and basically incompetent to work with teenagers, many of them from at risk situations. The result is high teacher turnover, which as others have pointed out can lead to academic failure and leave students unprepared for college level work. The art and creative writing teachers are excellent and supportive; every year I am amazed that the good teachers continue to put up with the ridiculous incompetence of the school leadership. I believe this problem is reaching crisis proportions and concerned parents, alumni, students and teachers need to demand regime change in the administration.

- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2012
Although I agree that in the past this school has had some issues with students regarding drug use... I feel that they handled the problem since i last attended in my freshman year. I am very impressed with the selection of teachers this year. I am a senior, 16, and am mainly in the Vocal arts, but dabble in ceramics and photography. My only problem would be how "mainstream" the students are at this point, but with the school making their changes for the better, it is bound to become a little dull at times. I am thoroughly impressed with my teachers, and their humor. I am very happy to be at a school that is so accepting and welcoming. **be warned** your electronics should be held close, because, like anywhere else, they can be stolen. (personal experience) But overall, I would suggest this school to anyone who is genuinely dedicated to their arts. :]

- submitted by a student
October 13, 2011
I absolutely love this school!. The teachers are thorough, and the school has really opened up my daughter. The only changes I would desire is a physical education-emphasis on physical, and a lunch program. All in due time.

- submitted by a parent
August 20, 2011
Both of my oldest children are currently attending the middle school. One is in her first year and the other in her third. The majority of the staff is very open and accepting of all of the children. The variety of kids is amazing as are the parents. The curriculum is great, I love that the kids can test into their level of understanding. There are plenty of opportunities for the kids to get the help that they need if they're having trouble. Most of all I love how comfortable my kids are here. All of the additional stress they had in public schools about being labeled or not fitting in has lifted, and they now excel academically and socially. They are truly blossoming as students, artists but most of all as individuals. I We couldn't be happier!

- submitted by a parent
August 12, 2011
All four of my children have attended NSAA. My eldest just graduated and is now in NYC attending a fine Art School. Although there have been changes in some of the faculty, changes in classes, changes all around-this is not something that is rare. All schools go through changes just as rules and new guidelines are mandated. I would not have my children attend any other school. They love their school; they do very well in their classes and excel in many areas. There are always going to be a few bad apples to upset the academic apple cart...not all teachers want to spend extra time and patience with their students. Those that do spend quality time with the students are the teachers that make a difference. NSAA puts their students first and have the most amazing Dance, Theatre and Art shows. Amazing. This is a unique school for unique students and individuals. If you like traditional schools producing kids like cookie cutters then this school is not for you or your child. An open mind and acceptance is what this school is all about. Promoting and supporting the individual talent in every student. Kudos to NSAA

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2011
My daughter just graduated from NSAA, she attended the school from 9-12th grade. He first year there was awesome, then a change in administration happened and the school was never the same. When she was a Freshman NSAA's Dance Company traveled and went to out of town events and competitions. By her Juinior year, they went no where but on-campus shows. My daughter was also into acting in the 4 year there, 3 different drama teachers. The turn over rate for teachers there is very high. They do have a couple of really great teachers, but unfornately there are only a couple. I don't recommend this school to anyone.

- submitted by a parent
January 31, 2011
This is my daughters third year at this school and it gets worse each year. If she didn't fight me over attending a regular public school I would have removed her a long time ago. The disappointments are too much to write here but first off like one of the other reviewers mentioned every talent she has had, they have squelched. They have had her switch instruments so many times that how can she really get good at any one. She literally can pick up and play ANYTHING so they have taken advantage of this but to her detriment. She has stopped playing her favorite instruments and it is so sad to see this. As for academics very few teachers are excellent. Most are awful! And there is no lab for the science classes. I would not recommend this school for any student whether they want art or academics! The idea like some have said is good. But administration even is poor at getting back to parents who have questions or concerns. I wish we could move the few good teachers to another art school and get something really positive going. But it is so sad my highly talented honors student will be graduating from such a poor excuse for an art school!!

- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2010
My daughter started as a freshmen this year and the support from the teachers and students has been fabulous. The teachers return e-mail questions promptly and the principal supports her teachers and is in synch with how each of them operates their classrooms. My daughter comes out to the car each afternoon with an amazing smile on her face. She loves this school. The student and teachers are warm and accepting.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2010
Well, Im not sure what that student was talking about.My daughter has been at this school (NSAA) for 4 years and IS graduating a year early....she is 16 and this year is a senior...This is an excellent school..Great teacher,staff.....great classes...and most of all great kids...all who get to be who the are and not what someone else says they have to be..The school call the parents all the time for many reason..They have great communication with parents...If the student below is upset because there isnt a microwave or refrigerator for the students..then they are at the wrong school

- submitted by a parent
August 11, 2010
This is an excellent school with amazing academics and arts- ignore the negative reviews. I would strongly suggest NSAA to any parent and my son and daughter have loved it for 4 years.

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2010
First of all, there is a school refridgerator so I'm not quite sure what the 'student' who posted on April 10th is talking about. Also, the 0 tollerance policy for being late/absent? I know this isn't exactly something to brag about but I'm late almost every morning due to the unreliability of the public transit system. That being said, I've never gotten in trouble. For being absent, as long as a parent calls in and excuses me- it is fine. There are a few teachers (notibly in the Science and Language departments) who have '0 tollerance' for being late but none of my other teachers are like that. As for the demeanor of the administration, I have never observed such traits. My only complaint is that there are a bunch of kids there (mostly Freshman) who seem to only be there for fun and the laid-back atmosphere.

- submitted by a student
no rating April 10, 2010
This school is terrible. The only positive thing is the arts program. The visual arts teachers are terrific and helpful. They are passionate and are professional artists. Negatives: Absolutely no lunch options, forced to eat off of a lunch truck. No microwave use for students. No refrigeration use for students. (Teachers and administration have complete access to microwaves and refrigerators. Must provide own transportation. 0 tolerance for being late or absent. (Aspects of policy are unfair in many areas.) No communication to students about upcoming events. No extra extracurriculars. School is obsessed with control, discipline, and punishment. Extremely difficult to change classes or graduate early. Administration is not helpful with courses whatsoever. The demeanor of the principal, assistant principals is consistently rude, impatient, unwilling, and hurtful. Atmosphere is intense and stressful. The school claims to involve arts and academics together, but fails at this miserably. Many teachers do not know what they are teaching.

- submitted by a student
March 03, 2010
I have had to advise at least 5 students who were interested in enrolling in New School, against attending. The school is getting farther and farther away from focusing on the arts, and closer to an alternative school The zero tolerance policy is a joke. You have to look hard to find the focu on the arts. The school is a great concept, run horribly and out of touch with what an arts school should be.

- submitted by a teacher
no rating September 26, 2009
Great so far! The staff communicate frequently, unlike other schools, my child needs additional help and gets it! Looking forward to participating as a parent, lots of parent opportunites.

- submitted by a parent
July 30, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
June 13, 2009
My daughter attended this school last year, and it was the first time she wanted to attend school, in the past she hated school, when in the environment of 2000, at New School they have 250, which is a perfect fit. I was impressed with the extra help many of her teachers provided outside of class. The registrar and secretary are wonderful, and the Dean emails and responds immediately to my questions. We love the school, I wish there was a school like htis when I was young!

- submitted by a parent
April 12, 2009
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a parent
February 17, 2009
This school says they are focusing in 'arts' and 'academics' when, the 'academics' are a joke, my child complains every day that she has not learned anything in math the whole semester and a half she has spent there. The classes are sadly dimmed down for the brighter kids who are forced to have class with the trouble makers and druggies. The arts are a disgrace, and a lot of times, you find your student knowing more about their 'art' than the teacher. You would think that the students here would be accepting of almost anything, when my child has been mocked, teased, and harassed for almost the entire duration of her time at NSAA, and the administration has done absolutely nothing to help. this school is utterly helpless in both area's it says it works in.

- submitted by a parent
December 26, 2008
Although this school has a safe environment, the faculty and administration leave much to be desired. The turn-over rate for teachers is remarkably high, because the administration tends to drive away good teachers. Thus, in many cases you have under qualified teachers who need a job taking on many classes and too many students. In fact, so many good teachers have left that the only reasonable art program left is visual arts, which has a few very good teachers, whilst the rest bear little chance of actually preparing students for post secondary education. Most academics are poor as well.

- submitted by a student
August 29, 2006
I have had the opportunity to have 3 children at this school. My children have had every academic opportunity available to them by the qualified teaching staff as well have quality art instruction. The administrative staff is organized and caring which is turn produces the same in the high school culture of the students. Not easily found in our large public high/jr high schools. This school is a community!

- submitted by a parent
August 09, 2006
This is the third year my daughter has attended, she is a performing arts major and the school just keeps getting better and better. The new administration is great, I hear from them on a weekly basis. My child is thriving here.

- submitted by a parent
June 28, 2006
College Prepatory School that has great potential. Lacking communication with parents, teachers and administration. A bit political. Great school for the visual arts. Lacking in the Performing Arts. High turnover with teachers can lead to academic failure for students. Very little parent involvment.

- submitted by a parent
May 07, 2006
Wonderful alternative school, excellent in the visual arts, extremely lacking in the performing arts. High techer turn over.

- submitted by a parent
January 24, 2006
Oh my god, this has to be the best school I've ever gone to. The drama program is so well generated!

- submitted by a student
November 14, 2005
I love it there! It is fantastic!

- submitted by a student
July 14, 2005
I enjoyed the 2nd performance by the beginning acting class-the 1st was far too risque for this age group!

- submitted by a parent
May 31, 2005
This review submitted without content.

- submitted by a student
no rating May 02, 2005
We just attended 'The Fantastiks' at NSAA. It was a production of the Musical Theatre II class and was absolutely superb! I have seen this show before and was prepared to be bored. I was totally surprised! This production was completely different! Funny, well-done, well-sung, with every single kid in the show very talented. I was very impressed.

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2005
Excellent charter school. Wonderful teachers and great opportunities for arts-minded students.

- submitted by a parent
November 09, 2004
This school is very good academics wise and is an excellent school for the arts. Very strong dance department. They are strict with academic probation, if grades aren't up to par, you can't perform in your arts classes. This is a very eclectic school. Kids from all areas and types and classes of families. Being that it is an arts school the student expression is shown in their dress code.

- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2004
My daughter is enjoying the acedemic and artistic experience at NSA. She has opened new doors to possible careers, and has cultured and toned her artistic skills. NSA is a great school for any student interested in the arts and has scholastic goals for the future.

- submitted by a parent
September 13, 2003
I am Not a parent but an alumni of this school. If it was not for NSA, I probully would have droped out of high school. I did not find a job in the arts but what I learned here was life changing. I am now A firefighter in ohio and Photographer for them as well. This school ment alot to me and hopfuly it will help your child as well.

- submitted by a community member
August 30, 2003
What makes the school really great are the students and art teachers. It makes the school a perfect place for artists to be, we put each other down less, and are very tolerant of differences. The academics arn't the worst you'll ever run into, it really depends on the teacher, but that's not why were're there, it's all about our art.

- submitted by a former student
August 07, 2003
My daughter has attended NSA for the past three years, and about to enter senior year. She had a small portfolio of hand drawings when she was first accepted, and today she produces near- professional quality graphic design prints. She has taken many classes such as drawing, painting, photography and graphic design (her major) over the years and her original ability has developed into a major talent. The graphics class she takes has already exceeded some colleges level and she is close to being 'employable' at age 17. Academics are rigorous (a requirement in our choice of this school)and the 3 years of French she completed were above average. This is not an 'easy school'. The principal, Jason Savaglio, is an exceptional human being and leader, as well as an artist himself. His desire to keep up the standards and excellence for the schools have been amazing during these past 3 years, and he has been very uncompromising as far as discipline for the greater good of the school, even when faced with tough decisions such as to let a few talented trouble makers go. NSA is one of the best things that has happened in my daughter's life. Downside: must provide own transportation.

- submitted by a parent

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Last modified: January 25, 2015

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New School for the Arts
1216 East Apache Boulevard, Tempe, AZ  85281
(480) 947-3917
Last modified New School for the Arts is a Charter school that serves grades 9-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
New School for the Arts Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 44 reviews. Top