This charter school has the most dedicated group of teachers I have ever heard of at any school, including private schools. Teachers offer free after-school tutoring, and some teachers even offer free tutoring on weekends. At any given school event you will likely find 90% or more of the teachers and administrators in attendance to support the students. I have had children at this school since 2004 and am extremely pleased with the quality of education my children receive.
SSA has some incredible teachers who have a passion for their subject and excel at teaching. But others aren't teaching their field of expertise, seem to dislike kids and can't effectively teach students. There aren't issues with drugs or gangs. The student body is diverse and has a high level of acceptance. There aren't lockers and most teachers require dedicated notebooks, folders and sometimes binders. Add lunch, a waterbottle, PE clothes and you have a huge, heavy backpack. My child's back aches. The school board sets rules with no parental input. SSA likes to brag about the awards students have won, but more than once they've stretched the truth. This is the fifth year my child has been in MS/HS. The first year I was amazed by staff. They hosted get-togethers and kids were encouraged to hang out before and after school. It wasn't just a school-it was a community and a true partnership. That's long gone. Each year brings more rules and SSA is no longer welcoming or interested in fostering a community. Students are not allowed in the buildings until five minutes before school starts, and must leave as soon as school lets out, unless they are in a club or tutoring.
I have 2 children that attend the elementary school. We have been extremely pleased with the extracurricular activities offered and with the academics. The teachers and staff have been wonderful to work with and put our children first. Highly recommend!!!!
As a graduate and 5 year student of Sonoran Science Academy, I feel as though I am fairly knowledgeable when it comes to this school. Every school has its quirks and SSA is no different. There are ups, there are downs. Overall, the staff (With a few exceptions, of course!) is genuinely interested in providing a quality education for their students. They are helpful, friendly, and tutoring is usually provided for nearly every class. I have had some difficulty with some teachers and extreme favoritism, but I suppose that happens everywhere. I was not a part of either, but the robotics and math programs are outstanding! Art and Turkish were what I enjoyed most while I was a student there and I was given wonderful opportunities in both to participate in some pretty awesome competitions. It seems as though there is less pressure to "fit in", as SSA is very diverse and full of all sorts of people. My high school experience was not the most fun for issues that were going on at home, but I strongly believe being at SSA instead of a public school prevented me from getting into trouble. Oh! Also, the staff is usually willing to help with college plans, which is nice!
There are many good things that I can say about the campus and safety precautions for the children. I wish I could say the same for the level of communication between the front office staff and myself. The politics of SSA have become self-evident this year. It seems that a student that shows a higher aptitude academically is encouraged whereas an average child is weeded out rather than worked with. SSA markets itself really well using this tactic. When I identified problems with my six year olds negative vocalization about her classroom I intervened on my child s behalf. My communication fell on deaf ears, and the situation escalated. Not ideal for kindergarten. In contrast, my eldest had a great experience and improved her reading skills. SSA has an onsite childcare facility which is extremely convenient for working parents but I ve been paying enormous fees a mortgage payment. The childcare facility is good and I trust the staff but when the dilemma is do I pay my mortgage or theirs I have trepidation's. I feel that there has been preoccupation with money at this school. I m not sure they re more academically prepared. I'm declining on weather my kids are returning.
I attended SSA for all my three years of middle school until I moved to another state. SSA is probably the best school I have ever been to. I will be honest and say no it is not for everyone but no school is. Some kids fit into different schools differently. They have many clubs to attend. I was in three robotics teams over the three years. Some teachers aren't perfect but no teacher is. I was never great at math but my teachers always had FREE tutoring and were always there to help. One of my teacher helped me and my friends raise are math grade dramatically. He took time out of his free time to tutor students. He never charged us anything and could not have been nicer about helping us. The school offers trips every so ofter to different cities to countries. They offer these trips at great prices too. Yes every year teachers do generally change due to the fact many teachers are here on work visas. Many people complain about this but and that the school has no teacher to replace them but its not the schools fault. You try and fine teachers as devoted as these in one month I bet you can't. Unlike most schools it is very Multicultural and excepting. I wish I could have stayed.
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.
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.
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