I am very disappointed by this school. The teachers, while warm, kind, and engaged, are test-focused to the point of providing very young students with standardized test exemplars to memorize at home. Furthermore, the curriculum is haphazard and does not appear to follow a developmentally appropriate sequence, pace, or trajectory. There is a lack of universal design such that students with special needs often cannot meaningfully participate in the general education curriculum. (They do receive assistance and instruction, but integration of activities into the broader curriculum seems to be lacking.) Even the youngest students are assigned a heavy homework load, despite a lack of evidentiary support for the practice, and there is a constant push for extra-curricular activities, leaving precious little time for family life. The library is stocked with highly commercial, branded titles (e.g., Disney Princess books, Nickelodeon books), and children are provided with formulaic graded readers, rather than high-quality picture and chapter books. Solicitations for money are unending, and the school charges for full-day kindergarten, unlike almost every other public school in Tucson. It seems that every school activity has a fund-raising or commercial component. Even the school's book program is sponsored by Pizza Hut. (I recognize that funds are tight, but young children should not be exposed to constant branding and consumerism.) The school also promotes a heavy dose of nationalism. Recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance is described a learning objective, suggesting that it is mandatory when it may not be made so, and even kindergarten students are taught about the events of 9/11 and made to participate in commemoration activities -- despite the developmentally inappropriate nature of such instruction and activities. The school also excludes students from non-traditional and/or single-parent families in its extra-curricular activities. Activities include a father-daughter dance and a mother-son "Minute to Win It." I do not understand why it is necessary to create extra-curricular activities that do not permit all children (male, female, or trans) of all parents (mothers, fathers, grandparents, foster parents, guardians) to participate. Every day that my son attends this school, I become more frustrated by the quality of instruction and the values conveyed.
Great teachers that make your childrentheir family. This small campus houses less than 500 students K-6 and also has an onsite private preschool. The Kindergarten classes focus heavily on reading and writing skills. The strong First grade team encourages readers and emerging readers with multiple activities that engage children. Second grade rocks the school with a power house team that starts the year running and never stops! Students are expected to enter the year with strong reading, writing and math skills. Third grade students study a multitude of subjects ranging from worms, the human body, and ancient Greece. Our Fourth graders spend the year learning AZ history in a variety of ways as well as intense science lab work and loads of reading and reports. The Fifth grade students present many power point presentations on such things as endangered species and space. Sixth grade is the home of the World Festival in which every student studies a seperate country, writes a comprhensive paper about the country and then presents a visual display (in costume) of the things they learned about their country as well as feasting on ethnic foods they have prepared themselves.
This school is amazing. In a climate of budget cuts form the federal as well as state level, this school district has managed to retain every staff member and classes such as Art, Music, Spanish and P.E. As to the parent complaing about cupcakes brought in by children with birthday's...sounds like you need to home school! How dare you try to control not ony your own child's food intake but that of every child on that campus! I've had kids in other schools and I'll tell you that the food the school serves here is so much better than other schools. Oh, and by the way...those state statutes do not cover food provided to students from a private home. They are mandated rules the schools must follow....not the parents! If you don't want your child to participate...tell them not to eat! |(poor little kid!)
My son has been going here since Kinder. He is in 1st grade now and I have had nothing but a very positive experience with the teachers and staff. My son had a rough start and so I have had to have plenty of interaction with teachers, staff, and the principal and they all have been wonderful and very supportive. Together we have been able to provide a wonderful place for my son to learn and grow. I would highly recommend this school. I love that they push the students to excel and not just barely meet the state standard. This school provides a wonderful and exciting environment for children and opportunities that other schools simply don't offer any more due to budget cuts like P.E. and field trips, and healthy school lunch options. All of which are extremely important in helping to fight childhood obesity. I truly feel this school and district have my childs best interests at heart and are not just interested in finding new ways to cut thier budget by cutting my childs education like other schools are in this town.
Parents should not have to instruct each year to their child's teacher to not give their child cupcakes or treats each time a child celebrates their birthday during school hours. Kids go to school to learn not to eat cupcakes and treats. The Arizona standards from dept of education states on ARS 15-242 needs to enforced. Part D. Foods of minimal nutritional value as defined by 7 code of federal Regulations section 210.11(2) Shall not be served or sold during the normal school day on any elementary school, middle school, or junior high school campus. (2) Food of minimal nutritional value means: (i) In the case of artificially sweetened foods, a food which provides less than five percent of the reference daily intakes (RDI) for each of eight specified nutrients per serving; and (ii) in the case of all other foods, a food which provides less than five percent of the RDI for each of eight specified nutrients per 100 calories and less than five percent of the RDI for each of Eight specified nutrients per serving.
This is the worst school ever! My son went to 5th grade at Agua Caliente. The teachers, principle and even the office staff were horrible. My son had been a straight A student since kindergarten,until his 5th grade year here! He struggled with his grades, but mostly with the teachers. I had many issues with the teachers, front staff and principle. Whenever I tried to contact the teachers or the principle about a problem, which was all the time, they would take days to get back to me,sometimes never. I became friends with other parents and I never met one that did not have the same problems. Many parents have even removed their children and found other schools. We were excited for our son to go to this school because of the high ratings on great schools, but could not have been more disappointed throughout the entire year! I could not have been happier when my husband got transferred and we got the joy of moving away from this school!
My grandaughter is a student at Agua Caliente. As a retired teacher and administrator (from two other districts), I am thoroughly impressed with this school! Every contact I've had has been outstanding. My grandaughter loves the place and major credit for that goes to the quality and enthusiasm of the entire staff as well as the range of programs & activities you have managed to preserve in the face of the state's slashing budget cuts.
I teach Spanish at Agua Caliente School and I just love it. The students are exceptional. I provide cultural experiences for the preschool students that are on site too. It is so much fun to see the children's faces light up when they make sugar skulls or decorate pinatas for the Pima County Fair. My son, who is in the Tanque Verde Parent Participation Preschool Program, on the ACES campus, will definitely attend this school. I am proud to be a teacher and a parent here! The staff is dedicated and hardworking. Everyone is a real team. We are very appreciative of the parent support. It's phenomenal.