This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Tempe Preparatory Junior Academy1
Posted November 23, 2014
- a parent
Got an email from this site asking us to state "what we're grateful for" about TPA. Well we're grateful to be gone. This "school" is a nightmare and someday, for the sake of their students, we hope they lose funding and are shut down.
Without a doubt this is NOT the place for non-honors students to transfer into from public schools. This is NOT the place if your student is not already performing a grade level ahead. My 8th grader came in off the waiting list after the school year started. Only 2 teachers made an effort to let us know what to expect and how to succeed in their classes. All other teachers treated her as if they were annoyed to have to deal with a new student who was not caught up with the rest of the class. Normally a good student she struggled from day 1 with very little support from the school on how to be successful. They never tested her or looked at her scores from the public school to determine if she was ready for the TPA program. The school is rated 10 because students who struggle but work hard are NOT supported. Instead they are weeded out, made to feel like failures and move on.
We've had such a mixed experience here. The community and parents are wonderful. Like any school there are great teachers and really terrible teachers, but it's such a small school and the curriculum is so lock-step that a problematic teacher will really stand out and probably be encountered again in future classes. We've also had experiences with teachers who no-show for "mandatory" tutoring, with no communication to parents or students that they won't be available as scheduled...but parents are told that attendance is taken and we're expected to call in if our student can't come. In general, we've encountered some very rude teachers. If students are doing well it's because they're good students who would succeed anywhere. Students who aren't as successful are treated much differently. Maybe high school would be a different experience, but we're not waiting around to find out.
Teachers are qualified in their fields, some w/ advanced degrees, but many lack certification. As a charter school it isn't required, and while not always needed, teachers who aren't trained as teachers often lack the skills needed to convey their subject to struggling students.Students needing extra help are offered tutoring, but (some) teachers frequently no-show for their scheduled sessions due to last minute before/after school conflicts.Students are supposedly of high character,and most are, but we have never seen such disrespect for students' personal property as we've seen here: stolen lunches, damaged backpacks & lockers, and other personal property stolen/damaged by other students.Students who talk in class are given the same punishments as those who bring drug paraphernalia to school, & punishments are inconsistently applied and disproportionate to the "offense." TPJA boasts of its mission to educate all their students, but seem to prefer that students move on if they struggle. It's possible that TPA's high test scores are due to struggling students being weeded out in TPJA. A total imbalance of life and academics. Limited curriculum & facilities. Not worth the wait list.
We have sent both our students through Tempe Prep Jr. Academy, and have been thrilled with the school. Teachers offer tutoring if needed, and have been very willing to help my students-always going above and beyond. It is a top middle school in my book; I would not want to send my kids anywhere else.
After 1.5 years in this school, my son continues to thrive in the educational environment. While Arizona public schools seem to be losing the battle for mind share and tax dollars to Charter schools, Tempe (Jr) Prep seems to continue to impress as one of the Valley's true elite schools, largely to my mind, because of the teacher quality and commitment. The school's hardware is still horrible--tiny, unimpressive campus, limited athletic and other facilities--but its software is formidable. I am VERY picky about the very best educational excellence, and the time, commitment and excellence bred through the school, families and teachers is outstanding. No wonder Tempe Prep--even with other Great Hearts Academies arising--maintains its pre-eminence as the valley's finest middle and high school. For TPA, Keep up the quality, don't let it slip, give more homework, and more challenge of excellence and achievement. It's tough being the best, and there are many contenders who want the same kind of brand as Tempe Prep. I laud the school's leadership which keeps TPA adapting to change and maintaining its mission so wonderfully--I see the results in my son.
TPJA is the best! This past year was my first of many years at TPJA. The teachers are amazing and I have learned so many new things such as, memorizing Jabberwockey By: Lewis Carrol, learning about earthquakes through multiple tests with sugur cubes, and learning the parts to good writing. I think it is amazing and should totaly send your kid there!