I think we can all say that more than anything we want the best for our kids; better education, to be surrounded by people who love them and to be embraced for their individuality. That is exactly what I envisioned Satori to be. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I sent my three-year-old son to Satori, and after three weeks I was told by Jo, the Director that he was "being seen as a bad kid and that he believed that he was high functioning autistic." I am not sure for all you other parents but, for a director to tell a parent something like this is devastating.
When you first start Satori, there is a process in which you would come in to see if your child is "a good fit for the school." Jo said that my son was the perfect fit for the school because he is inquisitive and curious children just need to be guided. However, when our family feels under financial turmoil, I had requested a scholarship until we could get back on our feet and I now believe that this played a HUGE role in his being dismissed.
Another complaint that I have is in regards to their staff members. One, in particular, I think her name is either Donna or Kathy but, she is an older lady who takes care of the kids during the extended care hours. Most mornings I would wait until my son's teacher Maggie showed up because she wouldn't even say hi to my son in the morning and would continually ignore him. I am not even sure why she is employed there if she does not know how to approach children. There were also times where I came to Parker's classroom early, and I would hear Magon yelling at the children. Maggie, on the other hand, is amazing, and I am glad that she is in the classroom to balance out Magon.
I contact Jo, Magon, and Brian Love several times to request a refund on the school t-shirt and the field trips that we paid for but, I never received it. I am thankful that my son has left this school. TUSD Child Find has provided a SIGNIFICANTLY better education than Satori could ever and it was free as opposed to the crazy 825+meals and with the scholarship, it was still 700+meals. My son just needed help with communication. He is doing amazing. I think Satori should be ashamed and should change their mission statement because they do not live up to any of the standards. It's all a façade.
Our son has been a student at Satori since he was in pre-school. We love it and cannot say enough good things about Satori. There are two things that make Satori work very well: 1) small class sizes and the fact that most teachers have an assistant with them at all times, 2) they are very adaptable to the different needs of each student. This simple formula, plus a culture of excellence and compassion, trump most other approaches to primary education in my opinion.
Coming from out of state we were not really impressed with the school options in Tucson. We were homeschooling until we could find the right fit. We are thrilled to have found Satori. Our daughter is thriving there after only a year and loves going to school. The teachers are warm, nurturing, and wonderful. They are also honest, fair, supportive, and hold the students accountable for their actions. Satori staff is fantastic at continuing those important lessons of early childhood learning and weaving them through the environment and curiculum to keep the children active and involved with creative, hands on learning geared for many different ways of experiencing information. Her teachers have been key in helping my daughter adapt, progress, and in some areas even catch up to where she'd fallen behind, without ever making her feel badly about herself or her abilities as a student. Our other daughter will be attending the charter school as soon as she is in the second grade. I have found the parent community nothing but warm and welcoming. I meet new people at every event. After only a year, we are part of this school community and we are a Satori family.
This is our 7th year as a Satori family, with two kids who started in preschool and continued on to the charter school. The rigorous academics and the fact that our kids have excelled well beyond their grade level is not even the main reason why we love Satori. The strong, tight-knit community, a dedicated attention to the kids' well being, and the individualized approach to every student is truly remarkable. The approach of the school to education fosters creativity. We love the teachers and have developed many personal trusting relationships over the years, to the point that I seek their advice for my kids on issues unrelated to school. The director does an excellent job of maintaining the sense of community while bringing energy and direction to the school. We feel privileged to be part of the Satori family.
I brought my son to Satori after he was bullied at another school and was starting to change as a person, and not for the better. After hearing about Satori, I brought him to Jo, the Executive Director, who was still teaching 1st grade at the time. She help him become a part of the Satori family and helped him recover from the bullying and grow into the loving, kind, thoughtful boy he is now. She is gifted in working with children: able to love them at their level, is a talented teacher (my son jumped up several years in reading and math in one year with Jo), and most importantly to me, she is a moral person who takes the time to cultivate community, kindness, friendship, family, honest, self-control, joy, and a love of learning in those she is around. When anyone in the Satori family has a hard time she is the first to jump in to help and I know that she truly cares about my family and myself. She is the heart of Satori and I am very thankful for her being in my son's life.
We have had two kids at Satori's charter and private schools for the past 5 years. We are continually impressed with the way in which the school accommodates kids at every level of academic ability and addresses each child's emotional and learning needs individually. Having tried a number of other schools first, I know that these qualities are only consistent in schools when they come from the leadership. The director, principal, and staff at Satori are wonderful and compassionate. They have been responsive when we have needed academic adjustments or other kinds of flexibility.
Satori is amazing! My child has been going to school here for five years and I cannot say enough good things about it. Jo, the Director, is phenomenal. Before being promoted to her current position, she taught at Satori. She has this amazing gift to read children (and parents), and has always gone out of her way to tend to each families individual needs with a calm and professional demeanor, all the while making sure that the children (and sometimes the parents) understand their responsibility in achieving success. Every child at Satori is treated as an individual with individual needs and personalities. The teachers are amazing and the curriculum is challenging and thought provoking. This is a fantastic school with an unbelievable staff. If you are looking for a school put Satori on your short list.
Satori is not just a school for our family, it is our second family. Recently we fell on hard times and after talking to the Director, we were able to work out a payment plan so that the holidays would still happen for us. Jo is very understanding and has been through a lot as a parent and teacher at Satori so she can relate to almost any situation! When I approached Jo with my news of being unable to pay, she was concerned and expressed that I had to make some sort of payment to show good faith, but she was flexible and very understanding. I do not feel embarrassed or afraid to walk in with my held high because the level of professionalism and privacy is very high with the staff at Satori. I am very thankful to have my children learning in such a nurturing environment.
Satori school is a great school for parents who want teachers to understand the whole child. They work hard on social/emotional intelligence and community using language of responsibility so the child that moves on can function well and make good decisions in the future. The program is individualized . They cove r the common core standards and go beyond. There is higher order thinking and out of the box thinking encouraged. They try very hard to use the multiple intelligences. My children did very well. The school has prepared them for the future. One good thing is they work closely with parents and solve problems so the child can be successful. Their Preschool program is excellent, it includes academics as well as play based learning with the multiple intelligences.
My children have attended Satori for 5 years. They have prospered with the student focused curriculum. I like that they change classes each day for math so that the children are not held to grade level math butch can work at their ability instead. Coordination for 504 issues could be mproved but overall accommodations help the children succeed and play to their strengths. I give four stars because there is always room for improvement. my particular area of concern is parent communication. It is hit or miss at times, depending on the individual teacher.