This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Tempe Preparatory Academy2
Posted September 02, 2014
- a parent
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.