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7-12 & Ungraded
Public charter
Tempe, AZ

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1251 E. Southern Ave
Tempe, AZ 85283

School website
(480) 839-3402
(480) 755-0546
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Map of Tempe Preparatory Academy address.

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September 02, 2014
The school is on the decline. Declining enrollment and test scores. Poor leadership. Teachers tend to leave in large batches. They do not have a wait list for the first time in years. Parents are showing a willingness to pull their kids in high school. This school is not recommended.

- submitted by a parent
April 13, 2014
Tempe Preparatory Academy is a small but amazing school. Being a Charter School in Arizona it receives only 79% of the funding as a regular public school yet is ranked among the top 5 High Schools in Arizona. The students at this school would benefit hugely from winning a contest like this. Our school is in need of basic items that are taken for granted in larger fully funded schools. Examples would be equipment for our science and chemistry rooms, a computer lab, and much much more. We ask that you seriously consider TPA, as we would spend the money wisely and in the best interest of our children. Please take a few minutes to research our little school, you won't be disappointed. Founded in 1996, the students are taught in the Socratic Method, with all honors classes, and a wait list of several hundred just to get into the school. Our campus is humble and yet it starkly contrasts the brightness of our faculty, staff and student body. As a parent I am grateful for the structured nature of the campus and the like mindedness of the staff to have our children be honorable young men and women while growing leaps and bounds academically. Thank you!

- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2014
Tempe Prep overall is a wonderful community. This is a very academically challenging school. Only send your child here if they are willing and able to do 3 hours of relevant (not busywork) homework a night. All classes are honors classes, however, I know of kids at McClintock High School that are taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and working a lot less. To it's fault, Tempe Prep does not offer AP classes. Also, the curriculum is set. You only have one elective option: language. There are no free electives you can choose, for example, No Engineering, No Computer Graphics electives you might get at a large High School. The teachers are excellent. They work hard, and expect your child to do the same. The college counselor, Mrs. Karin Moffitt is absolutely the best! If you are looking for a good humanities focused school, that demands a lot from your student, go here.

- submitted by a parent
December 06, 2013
I am very happy with my decision to bring my child to Tempe Prep. The teachers care. They want to see your child succeed and do NOT accept anything less than their personal best. My child came to the school as an 8th grader behind in math. Her math teacher has gone far above to help. She took the time to find out where her problems are so they could fix them. Morning tutoring, afternoon tutoring, constant communication with me and positive reinforcement for my child. I have never seen my child so excited about math. I love it!! Her improvement has been phenomenal. Teachers who care make a difference. Thank you Tempe Prep

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2013
I graduated from Tempe Prep in 2012, and this school has prepared me very well for college. I was initially worried because a lot of my college classmates came in with a lot of AP credits and were almost a year ahead of me in school, but I have found that the foundation Tempe Prep provided me with has allowed me to more fully understand the material taught in classes. For example, Tempe Prep provided me with a fundamental understanding of Calculus, rather than just the skills of differentiation and integration. The Socratic style of teaching at Tempe prep also enabled me to understand my learning style (Listen, then contemplate, then practice, then teach), which has helped to ease the college courseload. Take this all with a grain of salt. Academics have always come easily to me; I wanted to provide a view of life after high school for those worried about college. What I liked the most about Tempe Prep was the sense of community it provides. Yes, it doesn't have a ton of extracurricular options, but the ones offered are quality and the administration is open to students starting clubs. I do wish that the school had stressed more that AP tests should be taken.

- submitted by a community member
July 25, 2013
Tempe Preparatory Academy is an excellent school when it comes to curriculum as well as student/teacher ratios. However, BEWARE (the faculty) teachers as well as dean of students are extremely prejudiced against minorities. Although, TPA is considered a grade "A" school. It may not be the best academic environment for your African-American, Asian-American, Mexican-American and/or Middle-Eastern American children. The only reason TPA allows minorities is due to AFFIRMATIVE ACTION then slowly but surely they start to weed out our children...forcing kids to leave on their own to other schools.

- submitted by a parent
June 17, 2012
I have put four children through this school during the last eleven years, and the decline of the school has caused us a lot of grief. Academic standards are headed down (even AIMS scores say so), and discipline is gone. I appreciate that the current administration maybe has kept the school from folding for financial reasons, but it is terrible that several outstanding faculty members have quit in disgust because of disciplinary issues. A kid who brought drug paraphernalia to school got the same punishment as a kid who left campus to get coffee. A kid who injured a classmate in an on-campus car stunt was "punished" by having to supervise younger kids cleaning up garbage (which is all over the place). Etc. Some years, the football team runs the school. One year, at the all-school awards program, two female coaches dissed a girl from another school by name. Classy. Eleven years ago, this was a school for people who really cared about classical learning. Now it's a school for parents who've who don't even understand the curriculum but think it's a passport to Harvard. It's better than regular public school, but it's going downhill fast. One more kid, one more year, then out.

- submitted by a parent
May 10, 2011
I have been part of TPA for the past 7 yrs. Although I still believe the education here is still better than public schools, I'm very disappointed in watching the decline. They have definitely lowered their standards in not only academics, but in student conduct as well. My youngest child has been encouraged to do "busy work" (make bracelets) in order to keep her from being disruptive. WHAT is that about?!! My oldest child who attended TPA is appalled by how slack everything has become. Where did the TPA standards go? Do you suppose that's why all of the quality teachers are leaving?

- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2011
While no environment is perfect, TPA has a dynamic that few other places posess. For the most part, in most instances, a partnership is formed between the parents, the students and the staff and faculty. Also, there is comraderie among each of these groups. Parent groups, student groups and the faculty as a group. As is the case in all such situations, the balance is never perfect, however, I have never worked with a group that strives for balance in a more diligent manner than the people associated with this school. I believe a great deal of the credit should go to the current leadership, Mr. Hallman, who has provided a great deal of structure to this model educational institute. While no leader is ever truly appreciated for their efforts by everyone, this one is especially diligent in his attempt to find the common ground and nurture the basic values that TPA tries to convey.

- submitted by a teacher
January 31, 2011
I know now why anyone who values education would want to take part in TPAs lottery. It is an outstanding school in terms of teachers, mission, commitment to excellence. Even with the limited budgets all schools face, TPA is about excellence and the striving for the full person to be greater than he or she thinks is possible. My children thrive there--but note that we very much value education and excellence and are very involved. We love the Tempe environment of liberalesque, high-tech, passport-holding kind of families that attend TPA, and the teachers which are so intellectually open-minded and challenging. In TPA, you work on your brain and your mind, question biases, question your assumptions, learn, excel. The campus doesn't show well, but its teachers and administrators more than shine. In the end, its about outstanding results, scholarships to college, well-rounded intellectual leaders of the future. I feel my children are on the right track at TPA.

- submitted by a parent
June 02, 2010
Tempe Preparatory Academy has been through a difficult transitional period, with three different headmasters in the last 4 years. In that period, the education offered at the school has declined. In the past, students had to write a research paper each year as part of an annual project week that took place in January. This important intellectual experience has been eliminated, and students no longer have to write research papers. In the past, students were required to write review essays about concerts that they attended. This requirement has also been changed; students now fill out a check sheet. Even in humane letters classes, writing does not seem to be very important, and teachers take months to comment on and return essays. (In one humane letters class, for example, the third formal essay was due on Feb. 17 but not returned until May 4). Teachers seem to rely on rote-memorization exams now.

- submitted by a parent
May 01, 2010
i absolutely cant stand this school. i've been here for only two years and am getting out for next year. i'm not spending the next four years of my life in that place, thank god. it has great academics for people at other schools who get all a's, which i did. in everything else, tempe prep just is not the the school for some people.

- submitted by a student
April 27, 2010
It is a great school. Besides great academics, TPA forms and prepares the person for life.

- submitted by a parent
January 02, 2010
TPA as it was nicknamed was the best school I have ever been to. The teachers are great and I love it. Plus, the academics are above average.

- submitted by a student
February 03, 2009
I love this school more than I can tell you. I am grateful to God that we were lucky enough to get in. Although there is no perfect school, TPA is the perfect school for us!!!!!

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2009
i just moved to a different state i regreted leaving soo much! the teachers there are wonderful. you make great friends there in no time because there are not that many students. overall this school is wonderful. i loved my 2 years there

- submitted by a student
June 25, 2008
I think your diversity rating is flawed! There are substantial number of Black, Indian (India) and other cultures - diversity at this school is not viewed as an issue by students, they work side by side and accept each other regardless of race! Have had 2 students in this school over past 8 years! The 'average' student at Tempe Prep excels in university studies with emphasis in Math, Physics and Literature!

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 29, 2007
TPA provides an outstanding demanding curriculum which in most classes is taught with enthusiasm, humor and rigor by extrordinary teachers. Improved evaluation of teachers is needed to rid the environment of a a scant number of teachers whose motivation to teacher to TPA standards is lacking.

- submitted by a parent
November 28, 2007
An excellent school, but parents and students should be aware of three points - a) the work is hard b) there are mountains of homework, especially in ninth grade c) the curriculum is set so if, for example, your student is poor at Latin or music theory, then tough. In my opinion, this school is great for the over achiever or student who if lucky to be bright at all subjects.

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2007
Every school should strive to have the standards set by TPA. My son just completed 7th grade. He has found balance between daily workouts with the HS football team and a passion for Latin. He drives our family crazy with incessant Shakespeare citations. He tells his brothers, 'Dudes, in Julius Cesar, he's talking about guys like us!' If you want an honest assessment of the school ask any of the students. They'll tell you that while they don't always look forward to going to school (my son: 'I'm not a nerd, geesh') they love to learn and they're learning a lot!

- submitted by a parent
February 09, 2007
TPA offers a strong and comprehensive liberal arts curriculum in an environment of integrity, respect, and high expectations. The administration and faculty know each student and truly seek to maximize their collective and individual potential. Teachers will challenge your child to stretch his/her mind and reach beyond the comfortable; to learn to examine, reason, and to question. There is a strong sense of dedication within this community, and the students feel valued. Parents who are considering this school should be prepared to provide a safe and supportive home environment, and be willing to take an active part in the mission of the school. It is a community of learners, and parents are integral. Students graduating from TPA are exceptionally well prepared for college, and are independent thinkers with strong values.

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2007
This has to be the only school where kids want to arrive early so they can review homework with friends. Great community of parents and kids. My son is in 7th grade and he is so happy to be here because he can learn and the peer pressure supports this. Some of the faculty and administration are unnecessarily harsh and they don't always listen to the students, but overall the kids gain so much from the curriculum that the kids themselves create a 'community of learners.'

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2006
Tempe Preparatory Academy's expectations of its students are extremely high. I have found that my children live up to whatever is expected of them. It isn't easy; each child has different abilities, and the rigorous academic curriculum is easier for some children than others. Even so, knowing their grades are not what they would have been in a public school - they ARE gaining knowledge, skills and experiences they would NEVER have learned in a public school setting. And isn't that what education is about - learning (not grades)? Teachers are ALWAYS available for extra individualized tutoring - it is up to the student to initiate. The opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities and athletics provides each student an opportunity to be engaged in an outstanding learning experience.

- submitted by a parent
August 29, 2006
Cons: Works best for students who are self-motivated. If your child is not, there will not be much extra coaxing from faculty. Much like college in that respect. There is no grade inflation. The transcript might be mediocre by normal standards, and not reflect the truly first-rate education which everyone who graduates from this school, regardless of grades, has by definition received. The school works to educate colleges about this. Facilities are very modest, but the limitations seem to promote a strong camaraderie among the students and staff. Pros: The great majority of the faculty are superb. They choose to teach here because this school fits with their own ideals, and the results show. The curriculum is extraordinary. There's no joy quite like hearing your child describe why she loves to read Thucydides. Environment is happy, safe, and as wholesome as you're going to get with 300+ teenagers. Thank you TPA.

- submitted by a parent
August 03, 2006
Surprisingly school has great reputation & test scores despite negative changes/ behavior by established teachers and administrators. Teachers publish tutoring schedules, but routinely do not keep them. Students still remain high achievers despite negative teacher behavior. Great curriculum at school does not mean teachers like their students, treat them with respect or support students academically. This school demands students who can handle an advanced college environment and adultlike relationship with teachers. Great parent envolvement and extra curricular activities. Allowing school administration by an outside foundation or district will only cause more conflict of interest by school administrators, board members, and teachers. Inevitably school reputation will decrease more.

- submitted by a teacher
June 12, 2006
Tempe Prep is an excellent school for a certain type of student. Be prepared for lots of homework, a challanging environment and demanding teachers. If your student cannot handle a competitive academic school this is not the place for them. The classes are small but the standards are high.

- submitted by a parent
June 03, 2006
The degree of mentorship at Tempe Prep is unbelievable. I feel honored to have my child attend this school. Some of the teachers, however, make a public display of their religious preferences....

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 05, 2006
I do sincerely wish the campus was a reflection of the character of the school. Applying fresh paint and planting flowers or hanging planters would go a long way. Curb appeal shows pride in your school. It is also more enjoyable for those who attend and work there everyday. It's a great school. I bet the parents/students would help get the campus in better shape.

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2006
Environment on campus is incredibly good. Good families are involved. Students are motivated to do well. Parents are quite involved especially in extra curricular activities. Facilities are mediocre at best. Some of the faculty are not particulary motivating or encouraging but feel that the student needs to be self-motivated and self-directed. Grading policies are somewhat arbritary and very subjective by design and in practice.

- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
February 02, 2006
This review submitted without content.


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


- submitted by a parent
December 13, 2005
Great speech and debate team, good attention to what should be the core of any school: academics and skills relating to writing and thinking.

- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2005
This is an outstanding 'charter' school. The level of education is excellent and the expectations are as well. They offer many sports, extra-curriculars and have great school spirit. The staff are very involved with students as are the parents.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2005
Tempe prep is a great atmosphere that my child feels comfertable attending. It's amazing that it's tuition free.

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 10, 2005
This school is amazing, and really 'builds' a student to aspire and reach.

- submitted by a former student
January 11, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
December 03, 2004
Excellent college prep school; excellent moral climate; highest academic standards; no down time: always on task; very good small school sports program, but a little thin on other extra-curricular activities; curriculum limited to a 'great books' liberal arts education in the Western tradition; school complies with state requirements for special education but some teachers, though very well-educated, don't always know how to accomodate struggling or below average students.

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
April 23, 2004
Please ignore the last comment. As a teacher at Tempe Prep, I can promise you that there is no detention room as described by the 'parent' in the last comment. Indeed, to the best of my knowledge, there has never been a family at TPA with that family's name.

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2004
My child graduated from Tempe Prep in 2001. The experience was good for him. The school is disciplined, challenging, and difficult, but worthwhile. [My son] was a troublemaker and continued his prankery at Tempe Prep, but those teachers really straightened him out. This is a great school for troubled children. I believe that Tempe Prep will continue to excel. The test scores are amazing. The school's use of the 'detention' and 'penalty box' system works extremely well to enforce the hundreds of key rules each child must follow. In the penalty box, a student may not talk, may not move, and may only move to turn a page of the book he is required to read. Other students watch him through the glass windows of his room to break his spirit. It is an excellent experience. This is a great school, send your child here.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2003
Tempe Prep offers a first class college prep curriculum with solid leadership, a wonderful front office staff, highly qualified teachers and a full offering of extra curricular opportunities. We are thrilled to be a part of this 'community of learners'. It is the kind of education that should be afforded to every child.

- submitted by a parent
September 07, 2003
Im a student at Tpa not a parent. Tpa is a great school, every year the school is inproving. My brother, stated at tpa whan the school started and we have been with the school since then. So I have seen the school change first hand.One of the things that makes tpa great is the size, though I believe tpa made a mistake when they added another class(making 3 sections for each grade) but the school still is much smaller then most if not all. There are a lot of good teachers here and there are a few people who should teach. But most of the time the good ones out shine the bad ones. By far the school is the best educational learning exsperence the state even country perhaps has to ofer. And deserves more funding. But there is one negative with the school. The school can be very up tight about how they run things, they take things too seriously, with disapline and all. And this comes from the facalty, headmaster, and the po(parent oganization) they all need to loosen up. But ther positives do out number the negatives at tpa and defenetly deseves more funding.

- submitted by a community member
August 13, 2003
One of the most insightful comments a student told me when asked why they liked Tempe Prep so much was their response: 'It is the first school I went to that respected me, and I could be 'popular', because I was smart.' Several students agreed, and as I observed students throught out the school year, I found it to be true.

- submitted by a parent
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About this school

*consistently rated "Excelling" by state of Arizona *outstanding scores on standardized testing (state & national, including SAT) *high acceptance rate to competitive colleges/universities (Boston U.; U.of Chicago; Pomona/Claremont Colleges) *strong involvement of students in extracurricular activities

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Last modified: December 16, 2014

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Tempe Preparatory Academy
1251 E. Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ  85283
(480) 839-3402
Last modified Tempe Preparatory Academy is a Charter school. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Tempe Preparatory Academy Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 46 reviews. Top