I was in debate over giving four stars or five. You can see where I settled. The teachers at this school are outstanding! The atmosphere for the kids is great. The only kids I have noticed that didn't love the school appeared to have behavioral or family issues. I am not saying all that didn't like the school do....just all of the kids that I observed over the course of one year of picking my kiddo up less than one day per week.
This sounds like a five star review, right? Well, my only issue is their lack of willingness to even consider making an exception on their arbitrary cutoff for kindergarten. The cutoff for state funding is 1 Jan, most schools use 1 Sept because that is the cutoff for state funding if a child ends up repeating kindergarten. AOT's cutoff is 15 Sept. They are already making a blanket exception for every child with a birthdate between 1 and 15 Sept, why would they not even evaluate a child who may be ready but have a birthdate in that grey area? As a result of this policy, we will be forced to have our next kindergartener attend a different school and then attempt to transfer in after she has completed kindergarten...which is potentially detrimental to her social development. Had their policy been one that allowed for evaluation of the potential student, and a teacher told us that she isn't ready, we would stop pursuing this...but it isn't. Our oldest would not have been allowed to enroll in Kindergarten at nearly all of the schools in the city (because of her birthdate)....but she was one of the more advanced students in her class. The one star was only lost because of the rigid enforcement of an arbitrary date that isn't even one of the arbitrary dates dictated by the state.
If they fixed this one issue, I would have a hard time justifying rating a school higher than this one.
My daughter has attended AOT since kindergarten and is looking forward to fourth grade. The teachers have been very responsive to the needs of my daughter and have communicated well with me. The curriculum is challenging and the parents are encouraged to volunteer. This year I was involved with the third grade Olympics, preparing meals from different countries related to their heritage project, Science Fun Fest, various field trips, and Water Day. I also dropped in an watched a couple of their class skits. I highly recommend the school.
My grandchildren goes to this school. It has been an A rated school since atleast 2011 when we started vissiting the school. Our grandchildren absolutely loved the old principal and we all miss him and are sorry for his loss. The new principal though is great. This is a great school that is still very academically based. In spite of some of the reviews I have seen mostly the same teachers since we started picking up our grandchildren, I do not see a high turnover rate of teachers or students, and wonder if the other reviewers are reviewing the right school?
I wish more parents would write in and share their good experiences since sites like this mostly generate the bad. I am a parent and had my child go to the Academy of Tucson Schools. My son absolutely loved it and flourished! The Academy schools are fantastic and continue to earn high ratings - not only among parents and students, but also among the state. I have never seen any teacher be mean, or cruel, to students in the 10 years in which I have been associated with the school. The students are also more welcoming than any other school we have ever experienced (being a military family we have moved a lot). I also have had no problem helping at the school whether in the classroom, or any other area that I was needed or willing. What I can say, is that there are parents that don't like their student/s being held accountable. Accountability is a life long lesson and the Academy of Tucson does a great job at teaching our children just how important it is. I have found that most of the parents that are disgruntled with the Academy of Tucson schools, have this issue.
If you are planning on putting your child at this school you might want to make sure you volunteer quite often and trust me it will not be in the classroom because they don't encourage that; in fact it is discouraged. The only parent volunteering that this school ask for is outside of the classroom and making money for the school. (They put up a front and say its because they don't want the child distracted from their learning) but really it's what goes on behind closed doors that some of these teachers don't want to be exposed. what is said to these children behind some of those closed doors can be very detrimental to a child's learning journey. Some of these teachers are very mean and rude to the student and the new principal is as lost as a puppy without it's mama. When she does get involved she makes the situation worse instead of better. She can be confrontational and just chimes in without even knowing the story. She and the superintendent come off as professional but are far from it. Some of the teachers are super afraid to speak their mind in fear of losing their jobs. Finally, some of the administration gossip about the parents/children & are completely wrong; but felt.
Fantastic school, both my kids are there and love it, they look forward to going to school. The teachers are highly skilled and motivated and the principle is in a league of his own. He really does know all the kids by name because he doesn't hide in an office. He gets out there walks the playground, directs traffic and generally gets involved. I can only assume the negative reviews have some kind of other motive since this is a wonderful school. Perhaps somebody didn't get the results they expected because they were unwilling to accept that they have a part to play too.
I can honestly speak to a majority of the teachers at this school. To say that the only grumblings are about the hot temperatures on the playground are ludicrous. I don't know who is painting such a rosy picture, but it is not the teachers I have spoken with. The atmosphere at this school is terrible. The superintendents create an atmosphere of fear and paranoia. Everyone is afraid to be honest because they are worried about job security. The principal has very little respect from the staff. He is viewed as being lazy, a real under achiever. I know of some teachers who can't wait to get out of this school.
My youngest son was thrilled to come back to his school, he loves AOT! He's looking forward to science and all the class pets. Thank you to all the teachers that make this environmentl so safe, bully-free, and successful as an "A" rated school.
The start of school is just around the corner and I am so happy to report all of our teacher staff is returning! (100% retention) The previous reviewer is misinformed and should not put incorrect information in their review in order to make our school look bad. Our teachers seem very happy and my children love this school! We can't wait for another great school year!