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K-8
Public
Tempe, AZ
Students enrolled: 493
Before care: Yes
After care: No

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1965 East Hermosa Drive
Tempe, AZ 85282

School website
(480) 730-7102
(480) 491-1710
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Ward Traditional Academy address.

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October 13, 2014
I went to Ward for grades 3-8. I remember HATING the rules. No talking in class, raising hands to ask to get up out of seat, strict dress code with consequences, boatload of homework, working to the bell, decent behavior at all times, critical thinking for every assignment(which can be tiring). However, I soon learned that this is ESSENTIAL to becoming a successful student. The kids at Connoly and any other middle school don't get the same education that Ward provides(for free?!?! this is private school material). This was all very apparent to me when I entered high school as a freshman and observed the lack of drive for school work from the students that didn't attend Ward. Im now a freshman at ASU and the skills that Ward taught me will follow me for the rest of my life!! I highly recommend this school.

- submitted by a community member
May 06, 2014
Students are extremely brilliant, and really try to succeed. The behavior of students is exemplary. There are many excellent teachers, who really care about the students and try to help them succeed. But there are other teachers who don't really care about them. The uniforms themselves are nice, but the dress code is too extreme. There are many restrictions that seem ridiculous, such as regulation of shoelace color. How will my red shoelaces distract the learning of others? Or do they regulate small things like this to take away our individuality? There has been a bit of a debacle on the wearing of leggings on no uniform days. Girls that come to school wearing leggings will be forced to change into uniform pants. This is appalling. Why are they forced to change? So boys don't stare at them or get distracted? girls shouldn't be punished for this. We should be teaching boys to respect girls. Making girls change teaches boys that it's the girls fault. Also, the discipline system is too harsh. We are taught negative reinforcement, versus positive. hardly ever will you hear a teacher praise us. The people are great, and some teachers are outstanding, but the rules are too harsh.

- submitted by a community member
January 22, 2014
I love this school! I started attending WTA the beginning of the school year and I have nothing but good reviews for the school. I was worried about making friends, but when I got there, everyone was so inviting! I made friends so quickly. It has little to no cliques, and everyone is so friendly. The teachers are great, if you are having trouble in class, almost every teacher has tutoring in either the morning or afternoons.

- submitted by a community member
November 11, 2013
I completely disagree with the last review. Teacher, students and parents all work as a team to achieve the best for the child. Ward provides before and after school tutoring for any student that needs or wants help at the middle school level. The teachers are dedicated to helping the child understand concepts and not just push them through to high school. Every school is concerned about test scores, but at Ward, there are many solutions to help kids improve their scores year after year. This year every parent was invited to attend parent/teacher conferences and many, many showed up. Communication is a two way street and the teachers at Ward are willing to go the extra mile to be sure parents are aware of what is happening at the school. Ward is an amazing, family, community involved school. P.S. The Spanish and math teacher mentioned in another review are no longer there. The new teachers are amazing!

- submitted by a parent
November 03, 2012
I am a former teacher in this school and one thing that greatly disappoints me is how we fail so many students. Ward is good for students that are high functioning and need no extra support. If your son or daughter has an area they need help in, Ward will push you to go to another school rather than help your child.This helps Ward keep Wards test scores up and poor students out. It is very challenging to build a partnership with parents when teachers are kept off limits. Parents are not allowed to go past the gate and talk to the teacher without making an appointment. I feel that parents and teachers are a team. They should support each other in the education of the child, this is not the case at Ward. When going to visit ask them how many students leave because they are pushed to do so.

- submitted by a teacher
June 19, 2012
I have mixed feelings about this school. I was very excited to get my child in at first. I liked the uniform policy and the parents involvement. As the time has passed I've come to dislike some of the teaching styles of certain individuals. The Spanish teacher teaches Spanish in the castilian dialect... where she is from. Which is fine if you are teaching in the country where you once lived. It is confusing for the children when they are sent out into the real world where Spanish is spoken with the hispanic dialect from Mexico which is different. I find it absolutely unsatisfactory that the last principal allowed this to happen. I very much hope this gets fixed. Another complaint is that she would hold personal conversations with students that had nothing to do with school while the rest of the class had to sit around and wait for her to finish. I won't even get started with the math teacher. Other than those two blips I've been satisfied. There is room for improvement. I have high expectations for this upcoming year. I'm hoping that with new leadership we will see the heights the school can attain. There is a lot promise and potential.

- submitted by a parent
June 19, 2012
Ward is an amazing school! I have been going there for 7 years now. I started at Ward in kindergarten, the first year the school opened. I loved all my teachers, however, all of my teachers except my kindergarten teacher have left the school. I think the 2 principals that Ward has had, have been great. I hope the new one is too. The idea of expanding the school was horrible. I like the how you get to spend 3 years with the same people, you really get to know them. I feel the teachers teach you what they have to teach you and more. Many teachers make it fun too. But one favors her students and hives them nicknames. Other students get really annoyed. All she can do is talk to her favorites and no one else. Other than that the teachers are spectacular and really help you if you have been absent for a long time. The school is fenomenal! I hope they do something for the first graduating class who has been there for the whole 9 years. I look forward to my next and last 2 years at the school.

- submitted by a community member
April 30, 2012
I was very disappointed with this school . When my son was taken into a meeting with his teachers I heard nothing possitive, they all came down on him and expected him to keep up with 2nd year spanish when this was his first year at this school They would not let him into 1st year spanish because this would mess up there schedule I received much more support at ChildrenFirst Academy in Tempe by his Then principal Jerry Lewis who is now a Senator in AZ ,thank God for teachers that care and try to help all students. Also,for aprincipal who was willing to listen and not just allow the teachers to let him fail so he could be kicked out. Since then my son is still on honor roll at his present school.

- submitted by a parent
December 14, 2011
I'm a student at Ward and I think that science teacher is the best teacher I have ever had. The social studies teacher plays angry birds on her ipad all day. Math and Englsih teachers are ok. The art teacher only lets you do art her way. I'm excited to leave Ward becasue you can not be an individual there. Who really cares what color your shoes and socks are? Girls can only where certain headbands.

- submitted by a community member
December 14, 2011
My son has ADHD and was struggling at a large school. Ward offers small classrooms and an urgency to assure students are excelling. Ward provides structure, empathsis on the student, excelling in academics, and insuring all kids are on track. My son has thrive at Ward and his self confidence is outstanding. Staff take a genuine interest and ownership of working together with parents for one common goal and that is the child. Wards structure on academics with homework and advancement has prepared many 8th graders to excel in high school. I'd rather have my son workhard and learn the fundamentals of studying than have him coast through shool without learning a thing or not prepared for high school or college. Let's face it, excelling kids get admitted to college not mediocre students. For parents that complain about Ward, it's not Ward but possibly how can you as a parent be more involved in your childs education. Don't leave your kid to chance but be proactive and work collaboratively with the teachers. Parent involvement is an expectation. I love the school and my son does too, that's all that matters. His happiness and quality education!

- submitted by a parent
December 05, 2011
Our two children are thriving here. They receive individualized attention and needs-based academic help when necessary, and are constantly challenged to exceed. Their teachers have been competent and caring, and most importantly, our kids are happy. We have had a great first year and are so far pleased and optimistic about our kids' future here.

- submitted by a parent
November 22, 2011
My son graduated last year after 5 years at Ward. The school was a good environment for him - small (just 2 classes per grade) and more of an elementary school feel than the large junior highs. The academic standards were high with some enrichment for the gifted kids. He had opportunity to excel in school and also be involved in other activities such as sports, music, after school and student government. The teachers and staff all know the kids and the school felt like a safe place for all the kids. There was a lot of homework, and the academic pace was pretty fast - but if your kid will do well in a structured environment, this is the school for you. Because the school is small, there are no electives or class choices, but still plenty of activities to keep the kids busy and challenged. The school uniforms are a plus too!

- submitted by a parent
November 21, 2011
This school was supposed to be a better education for my daughter, but all it has been is a disappointment! It is so fast paced that students don't have the chance to enjoy anything they're learning. And if you've got an energetic child who might need some redirection or a child who needs to be challenged, forget about going to this school! My daughter has been bored and therefore gets herself in trouble, but the teacher has not once asked for a meeting with me to discuss these issues. The principal's answer to everything is "well, she needs to be responsible for herself". Parent's are NOT allowed on campus behind the gates, unless you're volunteering, but to walk your child onto campus, or pick them up, you must wait behind the gate. You can't show up to peek into the classroom and see how your child is doing. You can't stop by to have lunch with your child. Parents aren't welcome, unless you're serving a need for the school. We are going to be switching schools and I would NEVER recommend this school to anyone I cared about!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 04, 2010
Academics are highly valued. The staff is wonderful.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 06, 2009
Ward Traditional is an excelling school that focuses on the student. Parents are supportive and the staff and teachers are dedicated and caring. The traditional values of learning are emphasized and the wearing of uniforms certainly enforces the focus on learning!

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 06, 2009
WTA has an amazing sense of community! They have dedicated teachers, administration, and outstanding kids and parents.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 06, 2009
Ward offers a challenging curriculum with dedicated teachers and a great administrative staff, all of whom work for the student and are striving for their success.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 06, 2009
A great learning community with small classes, great teachers ,and high parent involvement.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 06, 2009
Ward offers a safe learning environment focusing on the child as a whole. The curriculum is stimulating and challenging. The teachers show an amazing balance of educating children while developing them personally for life experiences. Our Principal s energy and devotion is absolutely incredible. The Principal, teachers and parents all work together to create a culture of success and confidence for the children.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 01, 2009
Awesome teachers that engage students and keep them focused on learning new things and skills they can be successful at in life.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 15, 2009
If you're looking for a school with high expectations for EXCELLENCE in attitude, academic achievement, behavior and character, then this is the school to choose. We are EXTREMELY pleased with this school! It is possible to have QUALITY public school education when parents pursue it in partnership with the school. I wish more public schools would model themselves after this fine school!

- submitted by a parent
May 07, 2009
It's a difficult school. I wouldnt recomend sending your child there unless they can handle it, other wise they would not get anything out of it.

- submitted by a student
May 07, 2009
My 2 children have attended WTA since it opened. We couldn't be more pleased. The teachers have been fantastic and the parental involvement is unmatched anywhere. The grading system is a bit higher than other Tempe Elementary Schools and that is one of the reasons why we chose the school.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2009
WTA is an amazing school and our children have excelled since moving to WTA. The staff is wonderful and there is a true feeling of community among the WTA families.

- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2009
I'm an 8th grader here at WTA and I've been going here since 5th grade when the school opened. I love this school. The uniforms can be a bit bothersome, but after the first couple months of school you get used to it. The only remotely bad thing about this school I would say is how many teachers have left and have had to be replaced. Since 6th grade three of my teachers have had to be replaced. Two of them were resolved smoothly and a new teacher found quickly to teach us. The other....not so much. I love my teachers and our new class schedule. Up until this year, we haven't really switched classes, but now we have a different teacher for each class. I do wish we had more sports to choose from, like wrestling, track, and lacrosse or something. But other than that i love WTA!!

- submitted by a student
no rating March 02, 2009
My wife and I are parents of three, two of which are college age. Our youngest has attended WTA for three years now. By FAR, WTA is the best school we have been a part of. The WTA Staff are truely 'EDUCATORS.' This school has set the Standard for others to follow.

- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2009
I like Ward alot. Im a 7th grader now, and I went to Ward in 6th grade, the only thing I absolutely disagree on is their uniforms. I think we should get to wear whatever we want, and not have to tuck our shirts in. It is good to learn for when we get older in jobs and such, but in highschool, were just gonna forget about it anyways. I think they should at least let us wear normal t-shirts and not a collared shirts, and have a better color range. Also, the pants, theres only two chioices, and stores only sell them at the beginning of the year, and i grow fast, so i have to wait till the next year to get pants that fit me again. I think we should just be able to wear jeans, but overall Ward is a fantastic school!

- submitted by a student
January 12, 2009
i love this school im so glad that my 7th grade daughter there because now sha is a super star that can do anything with her awsome education.

- submitted by a community member
no rating December 16, 2008
I am very Happy with Ward Traditional Academy. My husband stood in line at 4:30am on registration day so we could have a good shot at getting our kindergartner enrolled. (he was still 22nd in line) I love the uniforms. The atmosphere is one of community and encouragement. I would recommend Ward to any parent that wants a good education for their child.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2008
I am very happy that I put my kindergarden son in this school. It is definitely a faster paced school, but that is exactly what I want for my child. I dont want my son to be dumbed into education, I want the bar to be set high for him so he can never lower himself. I myself am a product of both private (K-5) and Public (6-12) Education. In my private schooling experience we just moved at a different pace and had higher expectations. When I came into 6th Grade in a Public school everyone was so behind and the teachers were more trying to get a hold of the class and babysitting then they were teaching us. Ward is not a Private school but it has many characteristics of one and I would highly recommend it.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 12, 2008
The school feels safe, everyone gets along, the teachers, principal, and staff are willing to help solve any problems that arise. We love the structured environment. She came from a school that had kids that were always having outbursts in class making learning difficult, but she has not had to deal with disruptive kids at Ward. The kids are pretty mature for their ages which makes for a learning environment. The school is a fast paced school which is great because it doesn't give my daughter time to 'space out'. She has to stay focused or she misses out. My daughters only gripe the first couple of weeks was having to tuck in her shirt but she soon got used to that. My only gripe is the 20 hours a family has to donate per year to the school. It's hard for a single parent household to raise kids, work, and on top of that try to find extra time to donate to the school. I would be more understanding of 10 hours but not 20. All in all the school is great! We love it! I would definitely recommend Ward.

- submitted by a parent
September 04, 2008
Ward is for kids who can learn at a fast pace not for kids who are behind. Although the school is nice for being K-8 , school size, uniforms, and mandatory 20 hour parent volunteer involvement it just seems like it's only concerned about gifted children that will score high on AIMS so that they can continue to be an excelling school. They also put children on academic probation if they can't bring up their grades which doesnt make much since if you have a child with a known or unknown learning disability not behavior. They also dont offer tutoring and if you child qualifies for a spec ed their model to help the child is pathetic & is almost set up on purpose to force the child to go to another school. I suggest Montessori schools all the way. They care & kids really excel without pressure.

- submitted by a parent
September 04, 2008
Overall this is a great school and we are happy with our decision to send our girls here. Was concerned about the amount of homework last year, but seems to have improved greatly this year. The staff and parents are both very involved - more than any other public school I know of. The only negative is the new principal. She seems to have a 'my way or no way' type of attitude and appears to fall on the 'its a school of choice' reason for not having to cooperate with parents. Hopefully this is due to lack of experience and will change as she has been there awhile. Highly recommend the school.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2008
We made the switch last year when my son was starting 3rd grade. I noticed an immediate difference from the first day. They jump right into homework and review and move along quickly. The expectations are high and kids learn at a fast pace. I am very glad with the decision we made to put him in the best public school in Tempe. Also a big factor is that the school is small and goes through 8th grade, both big benefits in my opinion. If your child responds well to a fast paced learning environment and structure, then Ward may be a great option.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2008
Ward is a great school academically and in extracurricular activities. The uniform is great, it is easy to pick clothes in the morning and the colors are nice looking and neat. The teachers are nice. I'm in a class which underwent a teacher change this year. It went very smoothly and the new teacher adapted perfectly to the new job. The cafeteria food isn't that great so I'd advise you to bring your own lunch.

- submitted by a student
October 24, 2007
My daughter has attended Ward for the past 3 years. I am extremely happy with the education she is getting there, the curriculum is very structured. I have nothing but good things to say about this school.

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2007
This school is excellent. Standards are high and teachers ensure that all of the kids can achieve them. Kids aren't pushed, they are supported. Parents contribute a lot of time and talent and the school staff always make us feel appreciated. The new PTA is going to be a great group, too!

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2007
I can't believe we found this school. My kids have always been in private or charter schools. This is an ideal place, where parents are very involved, teachers are professional and communicative, the school is so organized and the curriculum is top-notch. My sons said they've learned more in this year(our first here) than the last 5 years. It's exciting to see them excited to learn! It's a great community, too!

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 31, 2006
Ward is the 'shining star' of the Tempe School District. The staff is great! The curriculum is rigorous! The principal is absolutely wonderful! I could not have wished for a better school for my children. To address the negative comment from August 2006, I personally knew the family that withdrew their 3 children. The biggest complaint from the kids is that there was 'too much homework.' If you do not want your children to be challenged in school, Ward is not for you.

- submitted by a parent
August 10, 2006
I had 3 children attend Ward last year and it was the most horrific experience. Some of the staff there were rude and unfriendly. They are very unorganized and they do not know how to budget. I have never in the 10 years that my kids have been in school ever had to provide supplies for the printers and the classroom. The excuse I heard was we did have enough in our budget for paper. I was very unhappy with the turn out of the school.

- submitted by a parent
August 06, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 13, 2006
Great school environment. Dynamic, involved principal. Lots of parent involvement with a minimum of 20 hours required by each family. Enthusiastic, caring, cohesive faculty. My 2nd grade son liked the more structured classroom environment. The classroom structure also carried over to recess and other activities so that his entire social experience was also an improvement. Parent communication is excellent with weekly progress reports from the teachers and weekly newsletters from the principal. Outstanding general music program. Great science fair put on by the parent organization.

- submitted by a parent
April 17, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a staff
October 30, 2005
My son went to a charter school last year and then we moved. There were a lot of his friends from church that were going to Ward, so I enrolled him. He went to Ward for 3 months and he hasn't learned anything that he didn't learn in the last 2 years. If he went to a 'public' school from K on then maybe he would be doing ok. This school is not challenging enough for him. He is not a 'genius', but he needs more challenge than what he is getting here. I have also talked to another parent who thinks this school is not challenging enough for their kids, too. I do like the staff. They are friendly and quite helpful.

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2005
Ward Traditional Academy is a great school. It's a 'school of choice' that every family should choose. Ward is academically superior to all surrounding schools. My daughter's reading level has increased by two grade levels in just three month. It's almost seems like the have a magic reading wand. Currently, she is also above grade level in math. I love the uniform. We bought my daughter everything she needed to start school (except shoes) for less than $100! And, she has never looked cuter. The weekly progress updates allow me to know exactly how my daughter is doing. My daughter 'forgot' to turn in her homework one day; I found out almost immediately. (It hasn't happened since.) My neighbors all have asked if my daughter attends a private school. Between the uniform and obvious academic progress, they make this assumption. I happily tell them about Ward - a free, challenging, child-focused, public school!

- submitted by a parent
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Ward Traditional Academy
1965 East Hermosa Drive, Tempe, AZ  85282
(480) 730-7102
Last modified Ward Traditional Academy is a Public school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Ward Traditional Academy Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 46 reviews. Top