I'm disappointed in the direction that this school has taken. The school had done very well with state testing in previous years and then changed its curriculum despite the fact that the previous curriculum had served the students well. The school's over-eagerness to jump on the Common Core bandwagon has made me realize that the school wasn't wedded to its previous curriculum and thus doesn't appear to have a core identity when it comes to pedagogy (ironically).The school has gone overboard with the Spalding phonics instruction (as though learning how Romalda Spalding pronounced "gy" is an important end in and of itself rather than sensibly using phonics as a tool to read, not an end). The math worksheets this year were tedious. I'm not convinced that the school is a good setting to inspire learning and curiosity. The quality of teaching is spotty, but probably better than your average Tucson public school. There are several nice academically-oriented clubs. Overall, the parents and students are nice.
I'm a senior at Sonoran Science Academy, a supposed 9/10" school. This is far from the truth. The school lacks an adequate field or cafeteria. The teacher quality is slowly declining as SSA pushes the good teachers out by implementing salary cuts. Several decent teachers this year will not be returning and will likely be replaced by people that should not even be called "teachers." All of the replacements thus far, in my 6 years here, have been horrid. Aside from the Spanish replacement (who is also leaving this year), the other ones have been incapable of teaching, either having erratic changes in plans, personality disorders, or they simply have no idea how to teach. I have to admit that through my high schools I have learned next to nothing in English or computers. There has yet to be a computer science teacher that comes into the class knowing about the subject beforehand. All of them have learned WITH US; that is not how a class should be run. The English department thus far has two decent teachers, though one may leave. The teachers who know their subjects are okay at teaching and willing to help students who need help, which is why I gave two rather than one star.
My son loves the high level classes available and the helpful, caring teachers. The school has many diverse extracurricular clubs, as well as a great robotics team. Some teachers aren't too great, however the educational options at this school far exceed most of the available courses at many other public schools. Overall, it's a good school that challenges and motivates its students, it has good extracurriculars, and despite some downfalls in their administration and certain teachers, the overall education is still very good.
This school is great, nice environment and teachers dedicated to teach. The school is interested about not only teaching but a complete personal development.
My child is receiving college a preparatory education. The administration supports the students in their creativity as well as academic accomplishments. Some of the instructors are difficult to understand due to a language barrier.
My son has been a student at SSA for 8 years, since elementary school. The teachers have always been readily accessible to both students and parents, and have always encouraged him to learn. I like that the student will receive the education they need: whether it is more advanced work, or remedial assistance if they were having issues. The school is continuing to grow; I would love to see more extra curricular activities someday. He is happy here, and has asked to finish out high school with SSA and his friends there.
I love this school. Great communication with parents and ambitious teachers. Excellent character education, and STEM focus.
We love Sonoran Science Academy. It is really great school. It is very challenging academically and they are offering a lot of after school activities. My son is going first grade and he is in the chess club and they won first place. Teachers are very caring to students.
This school was incredibly disappointing for me and my gifted sixth grade son. The teachers often did not take any responsibility for student learning and had ridiculous, draconian homework requirements. Some teachers don't even follow their own policies consistently. Even worse, the administration does not abide by the law in multiple ways. For one thing, it implies that it has preferential admissions, which is not legal for a publicly funded school. It also doesn't include parents in educational placement decisions, which violates Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Remember, too, because this is a charter school, teachers can and will be overworked, and they will go along with it to keep their jobs. These teachers also do not have to be certified, which sometimes means they don't have the first clue how to actually teach. My son's English teacher had no experience teaching American students whatsoever, was horribly inconsistent, and didn't even tell students what she wanted them to do. She didn't grade most of their work and quit partway through the school year, leaving a series of substitute teachers to try to clean up her mess. Don't send your kids here.
The Sonoran Science Acadamy is an exceptional school. The staff is patient, hard working, and dedicated to the scholastic success of their students. They make learning fun but also expect a high level of performance from every child. Our child is in the first grade and she is already reading at a 2nd grade level and is beginning to learn the basics of algebra. And while the school teaches at a fast pace, it is very manageble for the child to maintain that pace. My daughter had made great friends, loves her teachers and likes to go to school every day. I am more than impressed with this school and I look forward to my daughter continuing to get a top level education.
This school is absolutely one of the best things I have done for my kids. The faculty have struck a really good balance in terms of academic rigor and scaffolding the kids' learning with a warm and comfortable environment. I do think that the school administration are constantly seeking to improve the school. They could rest on the laurels of their previous good ratings, but instead they really show conscientious effort toward the determining their teaching focuses and practices every year in accordance with state and national requirements. Although every parent has their own preferences and not all parents can be pleased at once, I think the fact that the administration are always on their feet thinking about these demands says a lot about the quality of this school.
This is our first year at SSA. We are delighted with the change in our child. He is happy, engaged, and finally enjoying learning. I feel the teachers really know each child and that they are genuinely interested in helping each child succeed. They use a lot of positive reinforcement so that my child wants to do his best. There is a LOT of homework and my child is a fairly slow worker, so that has been challenging. (He's in 5th grade) But none of the homework is "busy work", it's all good practice. If your child completes the homework, they will do well on the tests, as the homework is designed to help them study the material. I have had no complaints from my child about the homework, only that he is "tired" because he is working so hard. But then, he's never HAD to work hard in school before so this is a new experience for him. He's discovering that working hard gets him good grades and he is enjoying the material as well. Because he is interested and not bored he is much more focused in this school than in our previous school. We are so glad we decided to give SSA a try.
We love SSA Tucson!! They are like an extended family and really care about their students. They are great at getting families involved in doing activities together. The teachers and staff always go the extra mile. I know my children are in good hands when I drop them off. We wouldn't o anywhere else!
This is our first year at SSA and I am so amazed at how quickly my children fell in love with the campus and teachers. They were so nervous to attend such a prestigious school, even though they are very bright and came from a very good school, but they found the children, and especially the teachers, to be very welcoming and supportive than ever imaginable. I feel the teachers are genuinely interested in each child, and communicate as often as needed with us as parents. They use a lot of positive reinforcement, but they also are very clear of the high standards they expect. There is a lot of homework, but I think it's good to get them used to working hard, studying, preparing for the future hard work to come, etc...I applaud the school for maintaining the prestige and academic excellence it is known for, and I feel honored that my children are lucky enough to attend SSA!
I have to start by saying, I am absolutely in love with this school! I was worried that with such a strong focus on academics, the level of nurturing my 2nd and 3rd grader would receive might be sacrificed, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. The teachers are amazing and communicate constantly with us, but they also push them to excel and teach in a way they always understand. My husband and I have kids in SSA Elementary, Middle, and High School, and I don't have a single complaint with any of them. It might be a large workload for some kids and parents, but they are setting our children up for excellence! I highly recommend this school!
We have 5 kids in this school and I like it better and better every year we are there. At first I was a little skeptical...their curriculum is more advanced than most schools in Tucson...would my kids be behind? They cater lunch and you have to order it the month prior, they don't have lockers and have tons of books, they have quite a few foreign teachers...would my kids be able to understand them??? But I have been more than pleased! If your child isn't hard working, or just wants to go to school for social hour, or wants to get a sports scholarship, this is not the school for you. It is a college prep school, so even from Kindergarten they are prepping the kids for collegiate success. They teach cultural diversity, and gangs/violence, drinking and drugs are pretty much non-existent there...sadly you can't say that about many schools here in Tucson.
This school can provide a great math education from grades 4 and up if you child excells in math.
This is our first year. 4 kids in grades k, 2, 4 & 6. Extremely impressed with all teachers and staff. The curriculum is outstanding across all subjects. 4th week of school & ALL kids are happy & excited daily. Clubs are fun. Teachers have visited our home & this makes a good, lasting impression on the kids. Have raised 3 older children (now adults) while we traveled the world in the Navy and feel the cultural diversity among teachers/staff and students here at SSA helps my children develop a better and richer understanding of the differences we all have and how we all work together for excellence in education. I believe SSA is an asset to our family in that we are both committed to the education and happiness of our children. I can attest that my kindergartener is much farther along in her academic studies right now than the 3 older kids were (in comparison to the public school they attended for kindergarten). This is the first year in 3 years where my academically advanced 6th grader is coming home happy with school and friends. All of my 4 children are academically advanced and SSA is the right choice for their education and happiness.
Great charter school! Begins at preschool and goes up to 12th grade. Strong focus on Science and Math, but the children are also challenged in Language Arts and Spanish or Turkish. Teachers are well educated and caring and have great leadership and direction from the principal. Students receive positive points for good acts and behavior which is refreshing instead of focusing on negative acts and behaviors although those are dealt with as well. Parental involvement is high at this small community charter school. My husband and I have all four of our childen here.
I love SonoranScience Academy because the teachers are willing to work extra for our kids sometimes without been paid. Besides most of the kids are amazing and work very hard.
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