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GreatSchools Rating

Basis Tucson

Charter | 5-12 | 699 students

We are best known for top US News/Newsweek rankings.

 
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 6 ratings
2013:
Based on 17 ratings
2012:
Based on 10 ratings
2011:
Based on 10 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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102 reviews of this school


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Posted August 11, 2014

I was nervous about moving my daughter to Basis but I'm SO glad we did! My daughter started Basis last year for 1st grade and loves it! The school does a great job balancing academics and time to play and be a kid. (this was my biggest concern) She did have homework most nights but it wasn't overwhelming. (maybe 20 minutes) This year they have added an engineering class. My daughter is super excited for 2nd grade and so are we!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 6, 2014

I have two children that went to BASIS. My experience with BASIS was not pleasant at all. I did not feel the teachers knew how to "teach", they may have been subject matter experts in their field, but they were not gifted teachers. I feel BASIS robs children of their childhood, they do not exercise regularly, there is no nutritious lunches served, and most of the students are socially awkward and are not well adjusted to socially navigate their way in the real world. BASIS concentrates solely on building their reputation, which means test scores. If you don't want your kid to become purely a test-taker then you should go somewhere else. If you don't want your kid to become a one-dimensional conformist who does nothing but homework and is stressed to the point of needing a therapist by the 10th grade, then don't go to BASIS. I simply do not understand how on earth this school could be rated as one of the top schools. As a parent you will have NO input at BASIS. There is no system setup so you can monitor your child's progress. If you love your child, don't do it, you have been warned! Work to make your local school better.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 2, 2014

The faculty and administrators at BASIS Tucson need to complete a course of their own that helps them understand the nuanced and complex nature of what it means "To Teach" and what is means "To Learn". At this time, they seem to adhere to methods and pedagogy common over a century ago, albeit more technological advances.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 9, 2014

I went to basis from 5-8 grade. It was a great experience with lots of fun in 5th, 6th, and 7th. However, 8th grade was very difficult. I had poor grades, Little to no social life, and I absolutely hated it. On top of everything, I was not able to get into the high school I wanted to go to (university high school or UHS). My personal recommendation to parents and students is to move schools before 8th grade. I wish that someone would have given me this advice. Overall, basis is a great school but 8th grade is very intense.


Posted January 5, 2014

The post on May 3, 2012 is precisely why Arizona is scoring 48 to 50 in the nation. BASIS is one of the best Charter schools in Arizona, and of course takes pride in ranking and tests score like all other great schools. What school or PARENT wouldn't. My younger children have attended and will attend BASIS, and have learned to critically think, appreciate diversity of our global community, and DO say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. Above all, they are really gaining knowledge and not just getting a free ride for attendance and learning the material on the AIMS test. I totally agree that UHS is a terrific school, but the high school also condones self-expression without bias. If all the districts in Tucson and other cities in Arizona were like UHS, perhaps there would not be as many Charter schools to resent.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 2, 2014

I am so glad that they decided to add k-4 to the grades taught here. They have a wonderful set up for how the kids are taught. The teachers are all very encouraging and enthusiastic about the children and their education. My son is in 1st grade and a very smart child. He excelled at this school. It's great to see a school that pushes kids to reach their potential and expects 100% parent involvement along the way. We are very sorry that we had to move and are trying everything we can to get back just for this school. Nothing else even comes close to what this school has to offer.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 5, 2013

I know many students that entered Basis in 5th grade at an excellent academic level. They played basketball, piano, did swimming too. By 7th and 8th grade these students stopped all extracurricular activities and if they didn't have to repeat the grade or left Basis already, struggled to keep their grades afloat. Basis manages to bring bright, enthusiastic kids to their knees. I am a pushy parent that knows what a good education is all about and does not shy away from challenges. Teachers do what they are dictated to do and don't last more than a couple of years in that environment. They are pressured into conducting student hours during which they simply teach to the test. There is no other way a young child can learn the vast and difficult material designed for a completely different age group. In the end parents will realize that the time and effort they put into this does not return the much expected good education. I am happy the system works for some, but that is just 1-2 kids out of a classroom, who will do very well in any other school anyway.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 30, 2013

BASIS is a boot camp on steroids for school. Its hard core and its not for everyone, nothing wrong with that, you have decide what learning looks like to you and the big picture. The school has great components to it and has their noses up in the air because of their test scores. Having high academics is one thing, being able to apply and survive in the real world is another....there is a high attrition rate here and burn out factor. Its a great place for some kids!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 9, 2013

BASIS has taught and continues to teach my children problem solving, hard work ethic, intrinsic motivation, internalized high expectations and standards, individual responsibility and camaraderie -- the highly sought after life and employment skills! I cannot thank BASIS enough for these priceless values the school continues to instill in my boys! THANK YOU BASIS!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 7, 2013

My daughter attended BASIS last year, it was the most wonderful academic experience she has had in 8 years. This year we are struggling adjusting to a new state and a new school, because BASIS raised the bar, now anything that we compare doesn't even come close to what BASIS had to offer. The teachers were very knowledgeable, super enthusiastic, and motivating. The curriculum being thought to students is exemplary. My daughter was challenged, and her self esteem was uplifted because she knew she was learning the best from the best. This is what all the schools in the US should be like. We miss this school, and I would do anything to have a school half as good as BASIS near my city.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 6, 2013

Tons of my son's friends went to this school so I was like why not try it. IT WAS HORRIBLE! There is too much homework! My son starts his homework at 3:30 PM and ends at 11:00PM! I do not recommend this school to any children that want to enjoy their childhood!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 13, 2013

I can't say enough good things about Basis. People say it's not for every kid. Had we merely looked at our son's performance in the last school he was in, we might have never enrolled him in Basis. He was bored and lackluster about going. He made B's and got by. We put him in Basis in 6th grade and he became a different person. He is engaged in learning and he comes home talking about school, his teachers and his day. He takes pride in his work and he is excelling far beyond what we ever assumed he could do after his last school. He has 30 math problems a day and he completes them in study hall. Typically he has an hour of homework at night. If he has tests then he may choose to study longer. He loves his teachers and he has so many friends and he is happy. He was bullied at his last school by a big kid simply because he is slight in built. This is his 2nd year at Basis and it has never happened once. I fully believe the admin at Basis will not tolerate anything. Also, they have no idle time. 5 min. between classes and no loitering in the halls before or after school. For our son, Basis has been the best educational choice in the world and we are very grateful.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 31, 2013

My son goes to Basis Oro Valley. Number one thing to remember about education is that one size doesn't fit all. You have to find what works for your family/child. My son is thriving here. He is learning better organization and study skills (out of necessity def ;-)) and is happier here socially. He is not making A's but he is learning a lot and enjoying it. His teachers and the administration have been very supportive and seem happy to be here. Make no mistake, it is a tough curriculum and we work hard to make sure he gets the support at home he needs and the time to still be able to do a sport. I can see it wouldn't work for everyone but this is the first time in 2 years that he has been happy to go to school and he comes home happy. He doesn't love the workload but he is working hard and feeling good about what he is accomplishing. That is what I wanted for him. He was sliding under the radar at his previous school and everyone said he was fine. He wasn't. He was very unhappy and becoming more and more lackadaisical about his work. He was still making 2.8-3 with little effort and certainly no pride/ joy in his work. I do wish he had PE/recess to get energy out. We shall see....
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 1, 2013

He did not see a future where he could excel in athletics at BASIS and he said there is no way he could keep up with the homework and still be able to do outside sports during the school year. He also did have a "very heavy" homework load on a daily basis and regardless of what any parent, teacher or administrator, will say here , he did not have sufficient time in class to complete everything without doing it at home. I realize BASIS is very proud of "their " perceived achievements but I urge any parents to read between the lines before sending your kids here. If you think your kid will suddenly excel and be motivated by just sending them to BASIS, think again. The magic starts with you as parents and there are many great academic options in Tucson outside of BASIS....All that glitters is't always Gold.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 23, 2013

This is a good school for smart kids who test well, however prospective parents should be aware that part of the reason Basis is ranked so high is that the school uses year-end comprehensive exams to weed out kids who don't test well. What remains are higher IQ students who naturally score well on tests regardless of who teaches them. My son is fortunate to be one of these students, but not all children are. If your child does not shine on tests or is an average student, I'd advise you to think very carefully before sending he or she to this school. Also, although the homework load is similar to our previous (private) school, the number of weekly tests can seem burdensome, particularly if your child enjoys sports or other extra-curricular activities.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 24, 2013

I'm in 7th grade and I believe that this school is one of the best I've went to. The teachers here are all amazing in their trade. I know that at times this school gets very tough, but all throughout the year I have been balancing school with Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 3 hour not school related soccer practice right after school with the occasional tournaments on the weekend which last all day. Also I'm in chess and I go to a school sponsored chess club on Wednesday with the occasional tournaments on the weekend where I promise that our team wins at least one trophy (I am backed up the numerous trophies that Basis Tucson has of chess on display or stored away because of space issues. On top of that, I have back-to-back 2 hour guitar and piano lessons on Friday. I also want to mention that I do the math of an eleventh grader. Through all this I still am able to get into the top 15% in the honor roll (silver balloon). I believe that 7th grade is hard for some students because in 5th and 6th grade teachers used to hold your hand through the things we learned and were quizzed on, but in 7th grade teachers allowed you to figure out all the knowledge on your own and that's difficult.


Posted May 19, 2013

I'm in 7th grade and I wanna leave. I've learned a lot but I feel like the workload is not worth the knowledge. By the middle of the first semester, I had to do homework during lunch, in the car, everywhere. By the second semester, I had to either quit all my extracurricular activities or do homework during PE(I chose the latter). If I went there next year, I would be forced to take AP world history in 8th grade. Also in most classes we have quizzes every week, and some of the quizzes require the whole class period and have 20 Mc's and a 5 paragraph essay. Because of the crazy honor roll( recognizes top 15 and 5 percent) and favoritist teachers there is extreme heirarchy based on how "smart' you are. By now i would like even bad TUSD schools better than basis.


Posted April 28, 2013

RE: Feb 13, 2013 Comments: No, you are correct, my eldest daughter did not take Calculus till 10th grade. And I doubt that your 9th grader was forced to take AP Calculus in 9th grade. We have two children that are in 7th grade. One will take Calculus a year before our oldest did (Maybe like your child) and one is on track to take it a year later than our oldest. Same grade - 2 levels apart. We are grateful this was possible for our situation, but understand that part of this was due to opening the new school and is likely to be the extent of "accommodation" at BASIS. I would not want it to go any further than that either, or then we start sliding down that slope towards teaching towards lower expectations. Excessive accommodation and lowering of expectations for our students performance and ability to learn has hurt our country and local communities. I still believe that BASIS is not for all students, especially if they and their parents are miserable in this environment. However, I do admire kids who have at least attempted the curriculum and put their best effort forward, but maybe still found it too overwhelming. I am thankful for the scholastic opportunity BASIS offers.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 28, 2013

My daughter is finishing her third year at the lower school and is excited to attend the upper school next year. Her first year at BASIS was tough - she was used to low expectations and having to do little work to get by. Homework was a struggle for much of the year, but then we found that she was actually working for very little of that time - mostly she was complaining and finding ways to avoid working. Once we addressed the time management issue, she improved. Now she is able to finish most of her homework at school. She has been in involved in extracurricular sports and clubs every year, and has many more friends than she did at her old school. There have been a few teachers we have not been happy with, but whenever I requested a conference they were willing to meet with me and addressed the problems in a satisfactory way. If your child is struggling, you and your child must be the ones to change what you are doing, because this school is not going to make exceptions for your child, or to change what has been a successful model for the majority of the students who go there.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 23, 2013

I agree with the parent post dated Jan 31. The only exception, is that I would not give as much credit for successes to teachers, as I would to the students and parents. I do not deny that there are some exceptional teachers at Basis, but some of the teachers In my opinion, conducted themselves in a manner that was less than professional. Our child's safety and well being came first, hence our decision to withdraw our child from Basis. Today our child thanks us and is happier and doing well in a new school. well.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 63% in 2014.

2014

 
 
91%

2013

 
 
91%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
95%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 80% in 2014.

2014

 
 
98%

2013

 
 
97%

2012

 
 
99%

2011

 
 
100%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 52% in 2014.

2014

 
 
85%

2013

 
 
90%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
86%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 61% in 2014.

2014

 
 
93%

2013

 
 
99%

2012

 
 
96%

2011

 
 
98%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 80% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2013

 
 
100%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2014.

2014

 
 
93%

2013

 
 
97%

2012

 
 
95%

2011

 
 
95%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 64% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2013

 
 
98%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
99%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 86% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2013

 
 
99%

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%
Science

2014

 
 
n/a
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2013

 
 
93%

2012

 
 
90%

2011

 
 
95%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 59% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 70% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%
Science

The state average for Science was 63% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
99%

2011

 
 
100%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 64% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 86% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%
Science

The state average for Science was 39% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
100%

2011

 
 
100%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 74% in 2014.

2014

 
 
n/a

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
96%

2011

 
 
98%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2013-2014 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

  • In 2010-2011, this school was designated "Excelling".
  • In 2009-2010, this school was designated "Excelling".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was designated "Excelling".

About the tests


Arizona uses AZ LEARNS Achievement Profiles to indicate schools' overall performance each year. For elementary and middle schools, the profiles are based on current and historical aggregated AIMS results, MAP results and whether or not the school made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). For high schools, AIMS results, AYP status and graduation/dropout rates are used. Schools are identified as Excelling, Highly Performing, Performing Plus, Performing, Underperforming, Failing to Meet Academic Standards or Pending.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2013-2014 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 53% 42%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 21% 3%
Hispanic 20% 43%
Black 4% 5%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 5%
Two or more races 1% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Female 49%N/A49%
Male 51%N/A51%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

College readiness and student pathways

Colleges most students attend after graduation University of Arizona
Arizona State University
Williams College
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Foreign languages spoken by school staff French
Chinese (Mandarin)
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school officials and community members.

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Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • Ranked the #6 public high school in the nation by Newsweek. (2010)
  • Ranked the #9 public high school in the nation by US News & World Report (2009)
  • Ranked the #5 public high school in the nation by Newsweek. (2009)

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Rock band
  • Theory
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Clubs
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Hebrew
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Honors track
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Let your school shine!

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School basics

Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
  • Before school
School Leader's name
  • Dr. George Rising
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (520) 326-6359

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Honors track
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Hebrew
  • Latin
  • Spanish

Resources

Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer
  • Gym
  • Playground
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • flag football, bicycling
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • flag footabll, bicycling

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Photography
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Rock band
  • Theory
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

More from this school
  • BASIS Tucson 10th grade students earned a 100% pass rate on the AIMS Science exam (BASIS Scottsdale was the only other school in the state to share this distinction). In fact, 97 percent of BASIS Tucson 10th graders EXCEEDED state standards on the AIMS Science exam compared with only 27 percent of students statewide. 100 percent of BASIS Tucson 8th grade students also passed the AIMS Science exam and 99 percent of those students EXCEEDED state standards on the AIMS Science exam compared with only 33 percent of students statewide. BASIS Tucson students had the highest overall AIMS scores in the following grade levels: 8th (tied), 10th (tied). Moreover, 100 percent of BASIS Tucson students passed the AIMS exam in the following subjects and grade levels: 8th grade math, 7th grade reading, 8th grade reading, 10th grade reading, 10th grade writing, 8th grade science, and 10th grade science.
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Apply

 

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Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
100% of our students graduate
100% of our graduates are accepted by 4-year universities
100% go on to attend 4-year universities or colleges
College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
College presentations or information sessions
SAT/ACT prep classes
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

3825 East 2nd St
Tucson, AZ 85716
Website: Click here
Phone: (520) 326-3444

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