The great advantage of this school is that the children are rather well behaved. Coming from the chaos of the public schools, that may well be enough for some parents to shell out the tuition. However, do so with fair warning that the education provided is substandard, and children beyond the preschool years are underserved. The administration, namely the headmistress/owner, is not trustworthy. If you are considering the school while speaking with her, I would strongly suggest that you get everything that she promises in writing. I would also strongly discourage any parent from paying the full year's tuition up front, as when you discover the likely bait and switch you will want to have that money for outside tutoring to help your child overcome the educational deficit that the school will cause. Ask for a complete history of teachers in the various grades. There is an extremely high turnover, and most of the teachers (except for the specials teachers) that remain are substandard. Simply put, great teachers won't put up with the administration at this school for long. I gave this school 2 stars rather than 1 because it's mediocre, not completely terrible. Avoid if possible.
The most amazing school in Tucson. A nurturing family environment with educational goals that surpass your expectations. My grand daughter has attended since the Toddler program and now will be in Kindergarten. The Science, Computer, Physical Development, Library, Art teachers are all in addition to classroom teacher. They even offer Chess, Art and Activities after school. Instilling a love of learning, books but the confidence that anything is possible. The best structure and foundation of any school in Tucson. It is not only above grade level education, they reinforce social skills, confidence and with small class sizes each child is treated as an individual. You must visit this school!
This school has its fair share of problems. The main issue is being promised a top notch, above grade level education for 10k and the inability of the teachers and school to deliver. The school seriously lacks up-to- date technology and do not have sufficient support for the technology they do possess. There is considerable, palpable strife among the staff which creates a tense environment. The director does not effectively handle issues among teachers which is a detriment to the entire experience at the school. Students that are consistently on the honor roll are testing low at PUBLIC SCHOOLS yet, the director maintains that she offers a higher level of learning. Be careful of what you believe and whether or not its really worth it to invest 10k in this school.
I went to this school from preschool until fifth grade. I spent 8 years of my life there and to be honest I wouldn't have changed a single thing. Castlehill helped teach honesty, courage, and dedication as well as many other traits. This school also was amazing academically! Unlike most alumni I went to Basis (second best in the country) and thrived there! I was ahead of all of my classmates because of the amazing background that Castlehill gave me. The teachers were helpful an well as supportive. They shaped me into the young women I am today. In every class I had throughout my time there, there was much cultural diversity contrary to what other reviews have said. In conclusion, I would honestly like to thank Castlehill for the amazing experience I had there.
My son was in Castlehill for three years from third to fifth. In my opinion, having had another child in the foothills, Castlehill beats them all hands down. I have nothing but positive words to say regarding the academics. And the principal, Arlene, is very kind and loving to the children. The campus is nice, clean and pleasant. My son had a wonderful teacher for third and fourth. His fifth grade teacher was not a good teacher in my opinion. She has since been moved to a lower grade which will probably work great. I found all the parents to be very nice. I did not feel any since of snobbery as someone mentioned below and honestly many kids are there on scholarships. The "only" thing I felt was poor was the way bullying was handled. Yes they spoke to the boy, but when it continues than it is not being handled correctly. There was one boy who bullied everyone and every time we complained, the office called him in. Yet, it continued for all three years. I couldn't help but feel the tuition his family paid kept the school from suspending him. We finally told the school to let his family know if it did not stop we would be calling the police. Then it stopped.
the administration in so mean. don't go to this school unless you love everything they do. nothing here will change so love it or leave it.
RUN!..and don't look back. Every negative post 100% accurate. Positive ones likely solicited. No refunds: If a child is pulled, there is something behind a parent willing to forfeit payment. No sense of community. Parents embattled in a never-ending game of "one-up". Noses held high. Zero economic diversity, subsequently kids have hefty entitlement/behavioral issues and, since parents insist on handpicking their child's playmates to ensure optimum exposure to the 'elite', they are incapable of interacting with each other on their own terms. Arrogance palpable. HM readily available for questions, tours, endless words of encouragement, -then vaporizes once paid. (No sighting for months and not so much as a phone call as to why we pulled our children). With our FULL tuition PAID IN ADVANCE, this should be very telling. Even tried to encourage us to enroll 1 of our children IN A LOWER GRADE because there wasn't a "spot available" at the time. This was pushed in every way imaginable from "You don't want your child to be the youngest, do you?", "We teach at an accelerated level so it would be the same as" to "This is our standard policy based on child's birth date". ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Wish the administration would give us a good reason to stay and spend 10 k. So much attrition so many teachers quitting and the constant shuffle of moving teachers around is disturbing. Front office often makes us feel we are being a pain when asking questions. Making money seems to be a priority over kids and parents. Maybe this was a great school once but would advise to look for alternatives as we will for next year. Constintently nickel and dimed. Where does all the money go?
Castlehill is an AMAZING school! I disagree with every point the reviewer on August 28th, 2012 made. The office staff is so welcoming and friendly, the teachers are fantastic, and it's a very diverse group of kids. We couldn't be happier at this school, it met every thing on our long list of desires for our child.
Castlehill turned out to be unable to live up to it's reputation. I feel the school has gone downhill in recent years and it shows with the number of parents pulling their children from the school. The arrogance is palpable yet unfounded. Class sizes are small which is nice in the beginning, but as children age they need to be around more children and children of diverse backgrounds as this is what the "real world" is all about. Castlehill certainly keeps them in a bubble. The office staff always made me feel I was bothering them when I came in to ask for assistance or to simply buy tickets for an event or make a payment. Very unfriendly! They charge $400 to register each child. The question is where is this money going? The infrastructure is crumbling with old playground equipment and modular classrooms. The entry off of Craycroft Rd. is uninviting with a vinyl sign displaying the school name and a chain-link fence running around the property covered with green landscape fabric. For a top-notch school the appearances are frankly embarassing. There are much better alternatives in this community. Constant fundraising and requests for money are another downfall.
We recently moved to California and we cannot find a school comparable to what we had at Castlehill. All the teachers were fantastic. My kids come home from their current school saying how much they miss all there was to offer at Castlehill. The art, music, science, spanish...everything exceeded my expectations. There is lots of parent involvement and you feel special and welcome there. Arlene was always there for me when I needed her and she continues to be a resource for me even after we have moved away. It is a wonderful place to be. Highly recommend!!!
Incredibly disappointed with the administration and the school. The worst private school my children attended. Do not waste your time and money and look for other alternatives. I should have listened to other disappointed parents that pulled their children from this school. I am now one of the many. Do your research and look for other schools.
Average at best! Do not be fooled by their geographic location they have no affiliation with the neighboring middle and high school. Their teachers are drastically underpaid. If your child is average or the status quo it is probably fine. But if your child has any issues they do not have the expertise, staff or ability to handle. If you child excels they also cannot keep up or match up and do not have the faculty to maximize your child's growth. There are so many good charter schools and other private schools in town that this should be toward the bottom of your list.
The preschool program is excellent. The leadership is pathetic. I agree with some of the other reviewers that the teachers are wonderful for the most part. However, the kids are not well disciplined and chaos often rules as a result of the lack of leadership. The learning environment is stifled because many of the kids cannot sit in their seats for more than five minutes. Some of the children were inappropriate in a variety of ways, and the school leadership never intervened. This is a school with solid teachers, a great preschool, and wonderful potential. We recommend public school or other private schools in the area over this unhealthy environment.
Our child started in Pre-K and went all the way through. Before choosing CCDS, we visited every single other school that Tucson has to offer. CCDS felt like home and we never regretted it. The teachers are outstanding and our child is now one of the most academically gifted students in high school due largely in part because of the foundation that CCDS gave to our child. NOWHERE else will you see teachers put in the extra mile for your child or for the parents either. The Art, P.D., Spanish, Music, Science and Computer courses are phenomenal as well. They have a ZERO tolerance for any bullying. Good luck finding a better school!
First of all I have to say right off the back that the low score has NOTHING to do with the teachers who are great but the headmaster and the exasperated cost for tuition and the "clicky-ish" demeanor and attitude that alot of the parents have. The way they act, you would think you were entering a sorority house!!!!! if I could take the teachers out of that environment and place them in another school, that would be ideal. Unfortunately great teachers alone could not keep me from continuing there, if you do your research like I did you WILL find private schools that offer quality education without having to mortgage the house!!!! don't be fooled by those who are saying how great the school is while conveniently leaving out how very expensive it is, lack of parking space, crowded halls and just a "better-than-thou" attitude so many of those parents have.
If you are truly looking for a great school, do your homework and talk to parents of the students attending the school. Remember that anyone can post a review here. Take the tours at a number of schools and sit in on classes, observe recess and lunch time and judge for yourself. Both of our children have been at Castlehill for a number of years and are both a grade level above their friends and peers in other schools. One of the big reasons we chose a school like Castlehill is that the classes are taught to educate the children and build their self-confidence and critical thinking skills, not so the children can pass a standardized test that the government requires to get funding. The grass is always greener somewhere else. Any private school is selling itself to get students, do your own due diligence and make an informed decision of what is best for your child. Castlehill is a great school that offers opportunities not available elsewhere. The teachers are great and seem to really care for their students progress. I've seen teachers in multiple grade levels staying late and tutoring students on multiple occasions at no charge.
Many students are leaving this year, so if small class sizes are what you like, you have come to the right place at the right time. All joking aside, one of the main reasons we are leaving is the lack of testing. I had friends who had moved away and when they went to re-enroll their children or child in other schools, there children were held back a year. Unfortunately this was not an isolated incident. I know parents who are spending some serious $$$ tutoring their children trying to catch them up. We too panicked and had our child tested and also had poor results. The prior post is correct. There ARE girls wearing very short shorts and TIGHT tops, not quite the best environment for learning. Hopefully these comments will be a gift to the school and they can adjust accordingly. 5 Stars to their Music, Art, Science and Spanish programs! Best of luck Castlehill!
The school and the teachers are great. My daughter a kindergartener loves her teacher and adores assistance teacher. The teacher is well experienced with more than 20 years of teaching young kids and she knows how to get the best from them in learning new things , mannerisms and discipline.The learning process is well designed with lots of onsite visits for kids to lean different aspects of day today activities like banking system , broadway theater shows , fire department , different business center and even in-house visit from police officer. Teacher and the assist teacher have some much of patients,skills to handle young kids and knowledge that I generally recommend this school to all my friends. I am very happy to enrolled my daughter in this school. My daughter had best education experience , attitude and learning skills for last three years.
The reviews submitted October 2009 were unfortunately deceptively submitted by the headmaster of this school desperate to regain a respectable positive reputation for a faltering school that needs to be shutdown. The only credible faculty left is the art teacher the rest of the teachers are below average at most.
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