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5301 E. Sunrise Drive
Tucson, AZ 85718

School website
(520) 209-7500
(520) 577-5049
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Map of Sunrise Drive Elementary School address.

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December 13, 2014
We used to love Sunrise Elementary. This is my child's 4th year at this school, it's been a rocky semester. Sunrise has had three principals in the past 4 years. It also emphasizes the Chinese immersion program and the English only classes are crowded. My fourth graders class has 33 students in it! The teacher is good but overwhelmed. We like the cultural diversity and the new playground. The new principal is friendly and knows children / families. The district needs to firmly cap enrollment to allow excellent teachers to educate not simply teach to the lowest standards and keep kids safe in over crowded classrooms.

- submitted by a parent
March 09, 2014
LOVE this school!!! coming from another school, Sunrise has been such a relief because it's very great academically and the kids are happy.

- submitted by a parent
March 09, 2014
The Chinese immersion program is great. This is the best program in Tucson right now for native English speakers to learn Chinese.

- submitted by a parent
February 14, 2014
Sunrise is a great school. My child has had the opportunity for extended learning, where each child is taught at their level in the classroom. My child has the advantage of having physical education, art, music, and Spanish. My child loves that the teachers are caring and I love that the teachers are educated in their fields of study. Even with the transition to a new principal this school continues to excel. My child has attended this school for 3 years and we have had nothing but positive experiences.

- submitted by a parent
February 14, 2014
This school is excellent. My child loves the teachers, the staff, and the after school opportunities.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
Mrs Bergerson, the 3rd grade teacher does a good job. My son really likes her.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
The first year of the Chinese Immersion program is going well so far. My son loves the program and is eager to learn more. Hats off to the English and Chinese teachers in First Grade!

- submitted by a parent
June 20, 2013
Have been disappointed by this school. The principal and 16 teachers have left the school this year. What does this say about how it's being run? My son's teacher clearly hated her job and had ridiculously high standards for grading. My child did not enjoy a single day of his year and did not feel encouraged or motivated by the monotonous worksheets requiredevery day. Parents seem to form groups that stick together and do not welcome newcomers. A lot of effort is being put into a Chinese immersion program, when more basic problems need to be addressed.

- submitted by a parent
April 13, 2013
Sunrise Drive has many places to improve. My child was tramatized by one of the teachers. I filed a complaint to the District and never heard a word. The lack of open dialog is disappointing. My child's teacher this year is adequate. She teaches to the middle and has a difficult time reaching children outside the bell shaped curve. The Principal is also more focused on moving on to here new job at a private school than addressing concerns brought to her attention. There are good teachers but my child does not have one this year. Hoping for better leadership next year.

- submitted by a parent
October 15, 2012
Sunrise Drive is a well organized school. The teachers are wonderful and the Principal is outstanding. My daugther is very happy attending this school. She feels that the parents, teachers and students are all very nice. Grade level teachers work well together, they work as a team. This is our third year there and I believe my daughter is receiving an excellent education.

- submitted by a parent
March 31, 2012
This school has been amazing for our son. His teacher wrote us notes, emailed and called us for good and bad behavior or work. Dr. Sherrill, the principal, is involved, caring and really great. The 'specials' are things he comes home and talks about all the time. And we loved the fact that, as new parents to the school, other parents and the FFO really went out of their way to welcome us, find things for us to volunteer at and just make us part of the 'family.' I wish we weren't moving out of state...or that we could take the school with us.

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2011
Sunrise is a great, family environment with an exceptional principal and teacher pool. All the instruction is individualized, so what my child exceeds in is targeted in his curricula, and what he struggles in is also addressed. I am so impressed, and I've had my children in many different schools in various states. While the funding in AZ is atrocious, you can see where the money is being prioritized and I actually feel like my son is getting a better education here than in some districts back east.

- submitted by a parent
December 21, 2010
We feel so fortunate to be members of the Sunrise Drive community. My children are both thriving and the teachers are exceptional. I love that instruction is individualized and that my children are expected to achieve at their ability level. Although the state funding in AZ is pathetic, the Foothills community supports the schools with bond and capital overrides so the schools are able to have computers, arts, music, etc. Calling the parents and staff racist is ridiculous. My children are mixed race and we have not experienced anything but encouragement for them to share their customs and celebrate diversity. In fact, I am thrilled by the diversity of the school (racial, economic, special needs) and the welcoming and loving atmosphere. Students, staff and parents are expected to be kind and respectful at all times. Parents are encouraged to volunteer. As an active volunteer at this school, I can honestly say that the very few kids I have witnessed not thriving at Sunrise are those who are not able to follow societal rules or function in any setting.

- submitted by a parent
July 19, 2010
African American parents beware! Very racist school. Glorified daycare is what the kindergarten is....Great school for white children, but no place for minorities.....the parents are racist (not all), and so are the staff (not all). If you do not want your child to suffer from low self esteem, and mental issues do not leave your child here....Very happy to be out of there....the after school program is nice though.....The funny thing is that most of the parents that do not live in the area who are from the open enrollment are more snooty than the people that live in the foothills. (very funny). We lived in the area, and they didn't and we were treated like we were on welfare......otherwise....I'd say spend the money on a good private school, or take your child to a school where people of color are treated equally. Good luck!

- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2010
Sunrise Drive is exceptional in so many ways. The public school funding situation in Arizona is appalling, but this school is bursting with gifted and dedicated teachers. The principal, Julie Sherrill, is outstanding and somehow manages to know every student's name. They take wonderful field trips, do amazing art projects and have a gorgeous student garden running along the length of the school. My kids love it here. The posts below mentioning Laurie Patton are right - she is incredible, and she is one of many teachers who really shine.

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
May 23, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2009
I move my child out of tucson school district and what a difference! The teacher are loving. The kids love the lunches. They have lots of activites. Lots of families that participate. They have extra reading and tutoring. Small classes. Fun school spirit and field trips.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2009
My son is graduating this year. He been here since kindergarten. There not one bad teacher. They have extracurriculum activities. The best lunches. Lots of fun activites. They celebrate holidays. My favorite is halloween. Real fun! They have onsite before and after care. Great test scores! They treat your kid as an individual. Free bus service too!

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2009
I am a little surprised by some of the reviews I have read. I am disappointed in many ways with SDES but mostly with the lack of resources available to the kids and the dated materials they use. The school lunch program is way overpriced and my child comes home starving every day. There is very little communication from my child's teacher and not much comes home in the backpacks. I have yet to see 1 art project from the 2008-2009 school year. Catalina Foothills may have been the best school district in the past, but certainly is not currently the best. I would also warn you if celebrating holidays and important dates are important to your family, consider another school.

- submitted by a parent
February 10, 2009
This is the best school district in tucson. This is coming form someone who moved from anther state and search for the best place to live in this city, and this school district has the best reputation. This particular elemntary school is the best of district 16. If your moving to Tucson, move near this school. They seem to have lots of money from donors to give to students in learning resource such as reading classes and music and sports, science, etc.. Nice big campus with new buildings and playground.

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2008
Outstanding school in every way. The teachers are all world-class and the parent support is unbelieveable. My kids love it here and I appreciate the time and energy that everyone puts into their education.

- submitted by a parent
August 14, 2008
Very positive principal. Hires truly otstanding teachers. Many nice families who care a lot about their kids' education.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 12, 2008
Our child is just finishing Early Kindergarten. We could not be more pleased. Her entire class has learned reading, writing and math. They have an excellent foundation to continue forward with their education. Their teacher Mrs. Mulay is at the very top level of teachers. We have found the principal Dr. Sherrill to be involved with the students and responsive to us as parents. A few reviews complain about the fundraising. The fundraising is necessary. The state dollars do not provide enough fiscal resource for the school to be able to accomplish all that the school does. The Early K curriculum has been reading, writing, math, Spanish, art, music, computer lab, PE, decision making processes and taking personal responsibility. The most important aspect has been that the children are given individual attention and confidence. We feel that our child is receiving a private school education in a public school setting.

- submitted by a parent
April 03, 2008
I have a daughter in first grade at this school. We think it is a wonderful school. She was struggling with reading through Kindergarten and the first part of first grade, but because of the extra attention from her Kindergarten teacher, Laurie Pennington, her first grade teacher, Allyson Jacobs, and the reading specialist, Laura Patton, she has now caught up with her classmates. All the teachers seem to be wonderful and Dr. Sherril seems very hands on. She seems to know almost all the students and takes interest in future students. My younger daughter starts Kindergarten next year and she can't wait. I know she will also get the best education.

- submitted by a parent
March 29, 2008
I was expecting the same positive experience from this school that we had at Valley View Elementry. This is not the case. Sure if your child dosent have any special needs and your family has money this school would be great for your child. With a total inclusion classes you would expect teachers to be prepared for handling and teaching special needs children. I have had nothing but issues and dont feel that any extra effort has been put towards my sons education or well being. I would not suggest putting your child in this school if they have any learning or any other type of disabilities. This school definatly caters to families with money and children that do not need any special needs.

- submitted by a parent
September 28, 2007
My child attended Sunrise for a short period of time, initially I was under the impression that this was an excellent school in all aspects. I soon found out that Sunrise lack tools imperative in providing children with a healthy social environment. Some parents desperately need a lesson in cultural sensitivity 101.' Sunrise needs to know when a child enters the world and interacts with different cultures, ideas and perspectives, the outcome of these challenges are not going to be based on how much money you posses, but on the content of your character. Sunrise needs to put more effort into broadening their intellectual horizons by thinking outside the box, and not basing their morale on parents putting money into the' FFO Treasurer's box.'

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 02, 2007
Sunrise Drive is an exceptional school, and I certainly agree with the posting below that Dr. Sherrill is a very talented principal. She does a great job communicating, is open to parent suggestions and is clearly a highly qualified academic leader. My children have also benefited from the quality and depth of the staff. I can't say enough about the wonderful teachers there...they really put a tremendous amount of dedication into their classrooms. I'm not sure if it's appropriate to mention specific names here, but Ms. Speelman, Ms. Pennington, Ms. McGroaty, Ms. Morrissey, Ms. Lane, Ms. Patton, Ms. Sherman, Ms. Marx, Mr. T and Bari Ross have all contributed greatly to my kids' education. There isn't enough thanks in the world for all that they do!

- submitted by a parent
March 08, 2007
We think Sunrise is fantastic. While I agree that teachers are certainly 'teaching to the test', this is a product of No Child Left Behind and the bazillion related assessments (Dibels, AIMs, etc.) that have been mandated by the powers-that-be. Most of the teachers that I have come to know at Sunrise work 60+ hours each week to provide the best differentiated lesson plans they can while staying within the prescriptive curriculum. I also have to respectfully disagree with the last review; the current principal, Dr. Sherrill is very talented & has a great repertoire with the kids. It is the quality of the staff that really makes Sunrise great -- the reading specialist, art teacher, and school counsellor are all really wonderful, dedicated individuals. The perpetual fundraising IS a pain...sure would be nice if we diverted some of our federal defense budget to eradicate the need...

- submitted by a parent
August 03, 2006
I find the other reviews a bit surprising! The current principal is not involved with the students and I have spoken to numerous parents who find her ability to handle difficult situations inadequate. This school focuses on 'teaching to the State tests' and I find most of what my child has learned has been in a vacuum with little-to-no focus on building upon concepts. Each year, there is a 'teacher shortage' that is remedied by some kind of fundraising effort to provide another teacher (the community is supposed to be grateful for this lack of District budgetary planning)! The PE program at Sunrise is Terrible. The music and art programs are excellent. I only hope my child will not be too ill-prepared when he enters middle school.

- submitted by a parent
June 07, 2006
This school has a nice well rounded curriculum in math, language, art, and music.

- submitted by a parent
June 01, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
May 03, 2006
I was very pleased with the education my 2 children received at Sunrise. The advanced math program was excellent and my son tested in other schools at 3 grade levels ahead of his actual grade. The theatre arts is the only area needing major improvement. There were no school plays and the multi purpose room is not suited for school productions.

- submitted by a parent
September 06, 2005
I have had my son for 3 years now in Sunrise and I am very happy with the school, he has extended math and the academics is good. I do miss that there was some more language, there is no spanish at all and he spoke it, when we arrived, now he doesn't.

- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
June 23, 2005
Sunrise has many advantages due to the affluent involved parent base. The music, art, and PE programs are excellent. The principal is very open and dedicated to the students. However, the level of in-class acceleration for high students is dissapointing. Be prepared to recieve tons or fundraising and PR flyers from the district with little accountability or suppport for needs of students.

- submitted by a parent
September 14, 2003
Fantastic in all regards: Dedicated teachers who know the proven methods and skills of teaching, love what they do, and show the kids great care and love. Sunrise also has great leadership, awesome parental involvement, amazing kids, a great after school program and is nestled into a beautiful setting. I wish all kids could attend a school like Sunrise.

- submitted by a parent
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Sunrise Drive Elementary School
5301 E. Sunrise Drive, Tucson, AZ  85718
(520) 209-7500
Last modified Sunrise Drive Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Sunrise Drive Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 37 reviews. Top