I would not suggest attending Sky Islands to anyone. The co-director of the school, Sandi could care less about the students' and only has her position because she likes to be in control of people. Neither the director nor co-director represent the core values of the school, such as gardening and working in the environment, and you'll almost never find them outside of their office. The teachers are amazing, and the idea of the school is as well, but issues with the administration completely ruin the experience of the school.
Sky Islands High School has been a wonderful choice for us. We moved our son to Sky Islands School after one disastrous semester at Sabino Canyon High School, where my son failed one class and barely passed the others. And, he was miserable,. He now likes school, talks every day about what he is learning, and academically doing much better. I feel the staff and instructors genuinely care about my son, and making sure he really understands his lessons. I am extremely happy with Sky Islands High School.
This school is a place to make great friends, experience new things, and the teachers are really nice and helpful. I started this school in my Junior year so I have only been here for two years and I have improved greatly. They try there best to help everyone in every way. I like how the school teaches us more about the environment. I like how this school lets us do things hands on and everything. Today I got to go outside and help with the orchard. This school is really involved with the environment and that is one of the reason I decided to come to this school. Ever since I started school here I have been happier and I have made great friends. I like how this school has a community and cares about everyone.
I love this school, when I first came here I did not know what this school is about, it took me a while to understand what sky islands was doing, now almost everything I do outside of school relates to what I do in school. Sky islands has showed me my priorities and what I have to do to be successful In life. Sky islands also has an excellent math program.
This school has helped me get my credits and education on track, if I didn't know anything they assisted me until I understood. I also got in touch with nature more. It's a small school so we all know each other individually, the whole community comes together and we all work very hard. We relate most of our studies with environmental friendly topics. Which has taught me many ways to better myself and also apply it to our surrounding ecosystems to keep them healthy.
Sky Islands is an amazing school with a great sense of community. All the classes are relatively small in size. This school has some of the most interesting courses from Japanese to Gardening to Astrobiology and Art. Most lessons will involve doing activities outdoors like observing wildlife or mapping the solar system and some lessons happen off-campus as field trips. Some field trips that happen yearly is hiking, the gem and minerals show, and working on a farm. Overall this school is very unique and I have had some of the best years here. I was able to make friends easily and focus on my classes, I wasn't given piles of homework, just what was necessary to help understand the lesson, and learned lots of things that I wanted to learn. I have found that my most favorite classes have been the science and math classes. Though the math class is my all time favorite. In the "math house" as everyone calls it, there are no text books. Instead Simon, our math teacher, creates his own lesson plans. He grades our papers in real time and is able to help everyone on an individual scale. And so long as you complete the assignment you will have no homework.
My school is very unique! It is an environmentally focused school. We get to learn about how to grow plants, the interactions between plants, animals and the earth. We get to do hands on activities like planting trees, cleaning a wash and making an aquaponics system. My school has a great math program where there are no textbooks or a teacher just talking the entire period. In math classes you get a 5 to 15 minute lesson and then you are handed a worksheet. Then the math teacher, Simon, will walk around to all of the students and grade your paper as you work on it, so you will know if you are doing something wrong. He will give you a red check mark when a problem is completed and give you a red dot if there is something wrong on a problem. If you get a worksheet done you go to the back of the classroom and work and a puzzle, competing with other classes in order to get a pizza party on Pi day (3/14). Also in the math class we get to learn about who created formulas and what the math is used for in real life and we watch movies about mathematicians and science. Lastly, we do not get homework unless you do not complete a worksheet.
Sky Islands was a life changing experience for me. I transferred in when my parents were less than pleased with my attendance at AZVA. Suffice to say I wasn't pleased with having to attend a school due to my previous experiences. However, I was pleasantly surprised. High Schools, in general, usually has this stigma of jocks, cheerleaders, nerds being shoved into lockers, and so on. Here, I didn't see anything resemble that. This school's small structure means that people can get to know each other, and it directly affects the students' ability to learn; the teachers and students get to know each other unlike a district school (TUSD for example) where there are thousands of students, so the teachers literally won't notice when someone is missing. Teachers here care for their students. Students here care for their fellow students. The friendly environment is truly unusual within a high school.