I have been going to this school for 5 years now, and it has gotten worse and worse with every passing year. The school focuses entirely on students interested in math and science and completely ignores those of us with other interests, like English or Drama. We have had a permanent substitute for drama all year since the other one moved to China. First, the AP English classes, which I am taking, got a psycho teacher that did everything but teach, including scream at me in front of the entire class for doing something she ASKED me to do. Then we had over 13 different substitute teachers through first semester and none of us feel prepared to take the AP test. My sister, a freshman, had the same situation with Algebra 2. She would ask for help and the teacher would just keep on teaching. Because of this, my parents now have to come up with $200 to send her to summer school elsewhere because the summer school SSA offers is taught by the same person. Overall, I would NOT recommend SSA to anyone, and this is coming from someone who has been there since 7th grade.
I left Sonoran last year and I keep thinking about this school every time my child struggles with a subject at his and her new school. My 4th grader did only two chapters of science all school year and only 70 out of 120 lessons of math. He is in 5th grade now and he has no science foundation and all concepts are new to him which should have been taught in 4th grade. I feel like I did a great injustice to him leaving him their last year. His class did AIMS prep from January to April and stopped any curriculum. That is one way to get your AIMS score high. He always got As in all subjects and it made it very hard to justify changing school, but giving As is just a good way to think your child is doing great when he is not actually learning anything. I loved this school and I am so disappointed at what is has become.
I spent 7 years at SSA, and attribute a lot of my college success to the wonderful teachers and staff there who helped me along the way. I am now in my third year at the UA, double majoring in Plant Science and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, focusing on plant and insect interactions. I work as a web developer for the college of agriculture, a job which I qualified for thanks to programming, web, and Photoshop courses during high school. SSA also sent me to numerous competitions and helped me to win many awards and experience unique situations- they even sent me to Turkey for an international competition in which students from 110 countries compete, an event that made a lasting impact on my view of the world as a young high school student. I would recommend this school to any students who are genuinely interested in learning and participating in academic competitions.
We came to SSA 5 yrs ago. My daughter had only attended private school since kindergarten. I was looking for a school that had high standards in academics, as I no longer could afford the high tuition rates at our private school. I have to say in all honesty and good conscience that SSA has been the Best school I could have brought my daughter to. The staff and teachers are the most dedicated people I have ever met. Every concern or problem I ever had was addressed promptly and to my satisfaction. The friendliness of the staff,teachers,office, and principals has been very heartwarming. I also found the other students friendly and bully free. My daughter had friends by the end of the first day. In a few months after 5 yrs,my daughter will be graduating and then on to college. I will miss the SSA campus every time I drive by and remember the pick up and drop off''s, the drama plays,everything. I want to thank everyone at SSA for educating my daughter in the high standards I expected and received.
I am a highly academic and creative student at SSA. The school is not as challenging as I hoped it would be with tons of substitute teachers and grading mishaps. For English, my class had to make life-size sculptures!!! What does that have to do with English? My mother is very unpleased as well. The school has definitely gone downhill. I do not wish to attend next year.
I have been very pleased with SSA overall. My son is finishing his first semester in K and has learned an impressive amount of information. His teacher has done an excellent job figuring out what motivates him. He has learned the skills that one finds on the guidelines for post-1st grade expectations. He is given about 5 pages of homework per week and is able to do them with very little help from me or my husband. I like the homework sheets, which emphasize problem solving through drawing over rote learning. The teacher has had them do a couple public speaking presentations, which I think is great. Our son has a good sense of internal organs, not just body parts. He surprised us the other day with his discussion of vowels, explaining that "y" can be a vowel or a consonant. In math, he has breezed through subtraction and doubles. He enjoys the computer lab and music class. The after school club choices are fairly diverse. Our son likes his Chinese Club. Most importantly, although the curriculum is accelerated, our son doesn't seem stressed or overloaded. His teacher has figured out how to balance work and play, so that the kids still have time for fun.
SSA is disappointing. The teachers are oblivious to different learning styles. The playground monitors reprimand kids for silly, normal kid things. The kids do not get enough exercise. The after school program is disorganized but relatively expensive in comparison to other programs out there. This school claims to teach, but like most charter schools, their "success" comes from weeding out kids rather than really teaching. Our child's best friend has a minor disability and the school was not accommodating. The teacher was rather cold and made no effort to work with the family, so they found another school. This is a learning by work sheets school. If you cherish creativity, think twice before selecting SSA. If your child has a disability, do not choose this school. Be prepared for class rank and GPA starting in kindergarten as if Harvard cares what a child's elementary class rank is! Our child is doing well here b/c our kid is smart and has no disabilities, not because of teaching. The lack of creativity at SSA is bothersome.
As parent, I have very good experience with SSA. All my suggestions, concerns and requests were heard, understood and worked out. All my daughter's specific advanced academic needs were accomodated. My husband never participated in my daughter's academic life, so I (woman) did all the communication and negociations work, and always felt welcomed and cheered up by SSA staff, teachers and administrators. They changed the reporting software this year, so, I imagine, some bugs could occure, but the administration was always very eager to work out every concern. For example, I could ask to see the transcript before it's sent out, to have explanations, if needed. My daughter was with SSA since 6th grade until graduation this year, and we would not wish better high school for her.
This school is very disorganized. No return phone calls, incorrect official transcripts going out, and if you are a woman without a husband to deal with this administration, well you might as well go elsewhere. They appear to disregard a woman's attempt to be involved with their daughter's progress. Their 4th in the state/144th in the nation shows the teachers may be qualified, but it certainly appears all this school is interested in is their ranking, not the individual students making up that ranking! It's gone downhill!
Our family loves this school !!! Our daughter will be starting ninth grade next year. It will be our third year. Last year we had a very difficult year with sickness and a death . The staff at SSA were amazing. Everyone worked together like a family to support my daughter, my husband and myself. We are so thankful for all the staff at SSA. We recommend this school to everyone. We always comment on how we wish we could have gone to a school like this.
I have to say I am really diappointed and disturbed at how SSA tucson has changed over the years. I have been involved with SSA for 4 years. I have 2 kids attending. Just recently my 6year old was suppose to be in an afterschool club and was relesed without anyone from the school administration knowing where he was. He was returned to me by a parent that had no auhorization to bring him home. I am glad he made it home safe but it is worrying to know there is no control over how and who comes in and take the kids. The campus is open for anyone to just come in and walk away with a student. I thought I should make parents aware that your child could go missing while in the care or SSA Administration.
This School is amazing, they are doing great at science , last 3 years they are best in Tucson , they have been selected 27th Best High School in U.S. by Washington Post. I am happy with this school.
To the person who wrote the below coment I highly disagree. The children do not have to purchase the food afterschool. The clubs are run by the teachers ontop of everything they do and if you would like a new club start one your self!
I have attended this school for six years now. At first it was a good school and had good teacers, fundraisers, field trips, and a lot of extracaricullar activities. Now it is terrible. I only had ONE field trip in the last 3 years. We dont have a lot of PE equipment and we dotn have a track field. There arent many afterschool clubs. Half the teachers are Turkish. The two languages we can choose to learn are Turkish and Spanish. Why would anyone need to know Turkish in Arizona?! Why would anyone in the US need to know Turkish?! We dont have a cafeteria. For Drama, we dont even have a stage. We have these little tables we stand on or we just do the play on the ground. We have the same fundraiser every year and its not even a good one. This school rips u off. You have to pay $13.00 for one polo uniform shirt. After school the teachers sell snacks that rip the kids off. Little packs of gummi bears for $0.50, little bag of chips for $0.50, canned soda for $1.00. That is to much for those little snacks. We get way to much homweork. Some teachers punish students for nothing and make them stand in a corner or wait outside for the whole class.
I always thought there was a strange feeling about this school. Like not everything was on the up and up. So I went online and did some research. I don't understand how a school can threaten to fire teachers and cut programs while always begging for donations then to find out they tried to get a school in Hawaii and even put in 4 mil bid on another school. Also claiming not being able to find teachers who are qualified is not true. About 10% of public schools have closed in Az. There is nothing honest about this school.
I feel excited and blessed to have SAA in Tucson for my son. I agree with some of the negative reviews. There is a few hours of home work every night! Its called working for an education. Yes there are teachers from other countries with costumes on! Its called diversity and cultural understanding. We are in a global economy from engineering to wallstreet.
This school is horrible. I have been going for 2 years and hate it! Some teachers are cool but a lot of them have some "custumes" in their country of origin that we don't know about and they discipline on those custumes. They give way too much homework for little things. I get soo much homework that I only get 2 hours a day to do other thing besides homework. I wouldn't really recommend it as the first choice of a school.
A great school for academically minded students. The school also offers many extracurricular activities and afterschool clubs.
Exellent school for advanced kids in math and science. Excellent teachers as well. Come to see fit for your self.
Sonoran Science Academy is, by far, the best school in Tucson! ALL of the curriculum is outstanding- not just the science and math. The teachers and staff make it abundantly clear that they care about each student and family, and work tirelessly to enable each student to reach their fullest potential. The clubs, contests and other extracurricular activities are superb. This school welcomes parental involvement with enthusiasm. We have a son in the middle school and couldn't be more pleased. This school is uniquely adept at meeting the needs of the gifted/highly performing students. We also love the diverse cultures that are represented at this school, which have enlarged and enriched our son's world view and overall education. Communication between parents and staff is also excellent. We are so grateful to have this school in Tucson! THANK YOU, SSA!
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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.
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