I am sad to read some nasty reviews of Castlehill. My daughter has attended from Pre-K to 5th grade. We have loved every teacher, found the curriculum extremely stimulating and appreciate that she also receives specialized art, music, science and physical education, some of which have disappeared in public schools. They also learn to write beautifully in cursive, which public schools have done away with. Any sort of clique or bullying behavior, which it seems is so prevalent in society, is minimal to non-existent. My daughter's classmates are kind to, and supportive of, each other. I have observed some parents who seem driven to complain and find fault, something I imagine permeates other aspects of their lives, and I find it sad they are modeling that behavior for their children. My daughter is well-spoken and has easily tested into another private middle school, something I wholly attribute to her tenure at Castlehill. I recommend it highly.
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.
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.