Choosing a school for your child is one of the most important decisions a parent will make. The East Valley boasts an abundance of schools and many of the best ones are in close proximity to Cadence at Gateway. There are 42 schools within 5 miles of Cadence and 233 within 10 miles.
In Phase II construction, Cadence at Gateway has planned for a centrally-located charter school, part of the Queen Creek Unified School District. The Queen Creek school district is one of the top-ranked districts in Arizona, with all of their schools— elementary, middle and high school – continually earning A or B ratings from the Arizona Department of Education.
Here’s a list 10 top schools in the East Valley within 10 miles of Cadence at Gateway, as designated by The Arizona Department of Education’s A-F School Accountability Letter Grade System. The latest ranking is for 2014-15 year. This ranking measures statistics from both district and charter schools based on AIMS tests and growth of students from year to year. *
Note: No one can recommend the perfect school for your individual child. We know that each child has specific interests and talents, so this list simply provides a variety of high-ranking schools for parents to choose from. Nearly all are “A” schools based on the 2013-14 assessment.
- East Valley Institute of Technology, EVIT
With more than 40 career-specific programs, EVIT is upheld as a model for career and technical education by the U.S. Department of Education. Their programs are tuition-free to high school students who live in 10 East Valley School districts, as well as charter school and home-schooled students. Students spend half their day at EVIT and the other half at their home school. A wide variety of programs are offered, including Construction, Engineering, Design, Culinary, Dental Careers, Fire Science, and Welding, to name a few.
Grades: High School
Locations: Main Campus: 1601 W. Main Street, Mesa. East Campus: 6625 S. Power Road, Mesa, adjacent to ASU Polytechnic. Focused on health, aviation and cosmetology programs. Apache Junction Campus: 2525 S. Ironwood Drive, Apache Junction.
Distance from Cadence at Gateway: 5 miles to East Campus, 11 miles to AJ, 20 miles to Main Campus,
- Franklin at Brimhall Elementary, a part of the Mesa Unified School District
The five Franklin schools in the Mesa Unified School District provide back-to-basics, or traditional, curriculum. The schools believe that education is a partnership among students, parents and the school. At Franklin at Brimhall, parents are expected to be involved in their child’s studies and to volunteer time for school activities. The school’s mission is to encourage the development of individual talents and the motivation to excel.
Location: 4949 East Southern Avenue
Distance from Cadence at Gateway: 10 miles
- Desert Mountain Elementary which is part of the Queen Creek Unified School District; also of note is A-ranking Queen Creek Middle School
Desert Mountain Elementary is one of seven other schools in the technology-rich Queen Creek Unified School District. Their computer lab and library serve as media hubs connecting students to reliable resources in a supervised learning environment. The school also incorporates character education and leadership development into the curriculum.
Location: 22301 South Hawes Road, Queen Creek
Distance from Cadence at Gateway: 6.8 Miles to Queen Creek Middle School; 18 miles to Desert Mountain Elementary
- Basis Charter Schools
The nationally awarded BASIS schools offer a rigorous academic program while taking into account the previous educational background of all incoming students. In Grades 4-7, the program focuses on building organizational and study skills and creating a deep knowledge base necessary for students to tackle the AP-based curriculum which starts in Grade 8. Students take at least six AP courses and six AP exams by the end of their junior year.
Location: In Mesa, 5010 S. Eastmark Pkwy. Also 3 more schools in nearby Chandler.
Distance from Cadence at Gateway: 1.6 miles to Mesa location
- Benjamin Franklin Charter Schools, includes 3 elementary schools (Power, Crismon and Gilbert campuses) and BF High School.
Benjamin Franklin Charter Schools’ mission is to encourage students to be intellectually curious, akin to the school’s namesake. They offer a rigorous, liberal arts, college preparatory education delivered in a safe, nurturing environment that prepares students to enter a four-year university. They encourage a high level of parental participation.
Grades: High School/ K-5
Location: Benjamin Franklin High School is at 18864 E. Germann Road, Queen Creek
Distance from Cadence at Gateway: 5.8 miles to High School
- American Leadership Academy Charter Schools, including Ironwood and Queen Creek Campuses
The American Leadership Academy schools offer a curriculum called Core Knowledge in which students develop cultural literacy in a way that is systematic but leaves lots of room for creativity. The schools encourage character development through leadership and individualized student learning.
Grades: Ironwood is K-12, Queen Creek is 7-12
Location: Ironwood is at 850 W. Combs Rd., Queen Creek; Queen Creek Campus is at 23908 S Hawes Rd., Queen Creek
Distance from Cadence at Gateway: 8 miles to Queen Creek Campus, 11 miles to Ironwood Campus
- Gilbert Classical Academy High School, a part of the Gilbert Unified District; also of note are A-ranked Augusta Ranch Elementary and Canyon Rim Elementary
Gilbert Classical Academy High School is ranked 7th within Arizona by US News and World Report and #71 in the nation. The Classical Academy provides students with a rigorous, integrated curriculum in a small school setting, utilizing the Socratic method of instruction to encourage students to think critically and prepare for study at the university level.
Location: 1016 N. Burk Street, Gilbert (the former Gilbert Junior High School campus) GCA was previously located at 55 North Greenfield Road, Gilbert
Distance from Cadence at Gateway: 13 or 16 miles, depending on the route, to High School, 3 miles to Augusta, 5 miles to Canyon Rim
- Great Hearts Academies Charter Schools, Arete Prep Academy in Gilbert and Archway Classical in Chandler
The Great Hearts Academies are state-chartered public schools providing an honors level, liberal arts curriculum in the tradition of the best independent private schools. The schools offer outstanding academic outcomes, comprehensive arts and athletics programs, and the moral formation of its teachers and students. Emphasis is placed on engaging in dialogue about the Great Books and Ideas of Western Culture.
Location: Arete Prep is at 4525 East Baseline Road, Gilbert
Distance from Cadence at Gateway: 10 miles to Arete Prep
- Higley Unified District, includes A-ranked Higley High School and Cortina Elementary
Higley High was named one of “America’s Most Challenging” High Schools by the Washington Post for its academic offerings. The school offers a full range of AP, honors, and dual enrollment courses along with career and technical education and engineering programs. In addition to a commitment to outstanding academics, Higley High encourages all students to participate in extra-curricular activities.
Grades: K-5 and High School
Location: 4068 E Pecos Rd, Gilbert
Distance from Cadence at Gateway: 6 miles to Higley High School, 6 miles to Cortina Elementary
- Heritage Academy Gateway Campus Charter School
Heritage Academy believes the purpose of education is to build strong character, reflected in strong families, strong communities and a strong nation. Heritage offers a history-rich curriculum and dual enrollment in a close-knit, small environment.
Location: 19705 E Germann Rd, Queen Creek
Distance from Cadence at Gateway: 4 miles
Lists top school district and charter system grades, with top-ranked individual schools listed separately
- Zillow’s Best Schools in Mesa: http://www.zillow.com/mesa-az/schools/
- Great Schools: http://www.greatschools.org/arizona/
The Great Schools Rating is a simple tool that compares schools based on test scores and other available data, including student academic growth and college readiness.
- School Digger: https://www.schooldigger.com/go/AZ/search.aspx
Ranks schools based on test scores supplied by each state’s Department of Education. They calculate an Average Standard Score by normalizing and averaging each school’s test scores across all tests and grades. That average score is then sorted. The school with the highest score is ranked #1, the second highest #2, and so on.
Local Bloggers Advice:
- Chandler Macaroni Kid provides a list of Top 40 Questions to Ask Prospective Preschools and Private Schools
- A Whimsicle Life, written by a former elementary school teacher, lists 6 Things You Might Not Know About State Testing
*The Arizona Department of Education considers empowering parents with useful information a top priority. To achieve this, they have created an A-F School Accountability Letter Grade System that measures statistics from both district and charter schools. “A” grades are awarded to school districts and charter systems that earned at least 140 of a possible 200 points using the system. The points are a combination of students’ scores on the AIMS tests (50 percent) and the academic growth of students from one year to the next (50 percent).
Students now take the AzMERIT test, which replaced AIMS. 2017 was the third time students took AzMERIT, but the scores from the last two years have had no accountability impact because the state held off on issuing letter grades as it transitioned to the new test. AzMERIT is considered to be much more rigorous than AIMS, the test it replaced. More: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-education/2017/07/12/azmerit-scores-arizona-education-school-letter-grades/466812001/
East Valley parents have a vast array of district and charter schools to choose from. Like traditional public schools, charter schools are free, independently run and some are operated by for-profit private companies.
For more information on the schools planned at Cadence at Gateway, visit http://cadenceaz.com/amenities/#schools