What is the difference between a public charter school and a public traditional district school?
Charter schools and traditional schools are both tuition-free public schools that are publicly funded and required to comply with all state and federal laws, and with the same state instructional standards and standardized testing. The main difference is that charter schools are an independent entity from the local school district, which allows them to establish and develop their own particular focus and mission while still being held accountable for improved student achievement.
Who can attend Sonoran Schools?
- Charter schools are public schools serving public students.
- Charter schools are a contract with the state to improve student achievement.
- Charter schools accept all students, including students with disabilities and English-language learners regardless of prior academic performance
- Charter schools are excelling academically; overall, charter schools performed 5-12 percentage points higher than state averages on the AzMERIT assessment. (Az Charter Schools Assn., 2015)
Our schools are open to all Arizona students and are not restricted to students from any boundary area.
Do you have bus service?
Some of our schools provide bus service. Please contact the school in which you are interested to discuss transportation options.
Are your schools part of the federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program?
Yes, the Free and Reduced Federal Lunch Program is available at all Sonoran Schools.
Is there a hot lunch program?
Yes, there is a hot lunch program provided through a catering company that has been approved by the state and is required to follow the same food safety regulations as on-site catering services.
Are uniforms required?
All students, upon acceptance of enrollment, must purchase uniform shirts. These shirts are polo or tee shirts, and are affordably priced. Please see your school’s Student Handbook for details or visit the School Uniform Store on our web site to see prices and options.
What are the qualifications of your teachers?
All of our teachers and school personnel are required to hold a current Arizona IVP Fingerprint Clearance Card, and teachers must hold at least a Bachelor's Degree in Education or their subject specialty. A Master's degree is highly preferred, and many of our teachers hold Master's Degrees as well as additional specialty certifications. Depending on subject area, many teachers are also required to hold a certification of Highly Qualified through the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments or National Evaluation Series testing processes.
How do you challenge students who are ahead of their peers?We use different methods, depending on the student, school and subject: we place students according to skill level in math and use in-class differentiated instruction and individualized learning programs.High school students can take Advanced Placement classes and Dual Enrollment classes to earn college credit while still in high school.
What type of support is offered for a student who is struggling academically?
One-on-one support is always available with individual teachers, academic advisors and learning specialists. We also offer free after-school tutoring, home visits, homework clubs and special interest clubs and activities to keep students motivated and succeeding. Our instructional methods include in-class differentiated instruction and individualized learning, which means that instruction is tailored to each student’s unique needs. For struggling students, we have a structured Response To Intervention program at all of our schools.
Are high school students permitted to leave campus for lunch?
Our campuses are closed and secure campuses. All K-10 students remain on the school grounds for lunch. Depending on the campus, juniors and seniors may leave for lunch after all appropriate forms and parental permissions have been received and approved.
How do you communicate with parents?
Communication is a priority for us. The methods we use to communicate with parents include:
- Parent-Teacher individual meetings, emails, and calls, and formal parent-teacher conferences
- Weekly or monthly principal newsletters
- Email and phone announcements (opt-in process)
- Infinite Campus, our student information system where you can check your student's progress
- Home visits
- Report Cards
- Student exhibitions and art shows
- Student performances
- Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter