What type of school is Phoenix Modern?
Phoenix Modern is a non-profit publicly funded school established by a small group of educators, parents, and advisors under the terms of a charter authorized by the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools.
May I visit the school campus?
Yes! We would love to host you for a tour. Our building is currently under construction, so we are hosting open house information sessions a few times each month. See our website for upcoming events.
Do you offer before and after school programming?
Our official day starts at 8:30 am and ends at 3:30 pm. We are working hard to design meaningful and engaging before and after-school opportunities for students. We anticipate students having an option to come to campus as early as 7:30 am and stay until 5:30 pm. Some after-school programming may require a reasonable fee. Follow us on Facebook and sign up for our newsletter for periodic updates.
Will you provide transportation?
We do not provide transportation for students; however, we are located within walking distance (< 1/2 mile) to the public light rail and bus transportation. For transit routes, visit www.valleymetro.org. We will also do our best to facilitate carpooling opportunities among families.
What are lunch options?
We believe proper nutrition is an essential part of daily life and conducive to learning. Students are able to bring a healthy pre-packed lunch as long as it meets any food restrictions set by the school for student safety (e.g. nut free). We will also provide an option for students to purchase a delicious and nutritious lunch that uses high-quality ingredients. We will participate in the National School Lunch Program and provide healthy meals for all students based upon need.
Do you accommodate food allergies? Any food not allowed on campus?
Student safety is one of our highest priorities. We will determine our school-wide food policies based on the severity of allergies and accommodations needed for our students. Students are welcome to bring lunches from home that meet their individual dietary needs. Any school organized food programs will provide options that meet dietary needs, such as non-dairy, gluten and nut free options.
Do students have time for play? Do you have any play structures?
We view play as an integral part of childhood and valuable in building strong social and emotional skills. Students have time before school as well as breaks throughout the day for unstructured free time. Students are able to play inside learning studios and in our common areas (the hub and stage areas). We are also currently designing outdoor play spaces on our ground floor in both covered and uncovered areas. We anticipate building our outdoor play areas in phases. In our first year, students will have a safe and inviting area for running and playing with a variety of resources that encourage movement and imagination.
When will your facility be ready?
We are very excited for the design and build of our learning and play spaces. We are working diligently with our architecture and construction teams to have our facility 100% ready for staff and students by early July. We will do a second phase of improvements to our third floor during our first year of operation, so that our middle school students in 2020 will have their own purposeful and inspiring space.
What grade levels do you serve? How are students grouped?
For the 2019-2020 school year, we will enroll students entering Kindergarten through 5th grade. Although students will enroll for a specific grade level, they will be placed in a multi-age Learning Studio. Our Primary Studios include students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade and our Elementary Studios include students in 3rd through 5th grade. In addition to individualized curriculum, all ages of students within a studio work together in groups.
What is your student to teacher ratio?
Our Primary Studios will enroll up to 20 students per room with one full-time guide supporting those students. Our Elementary and Middles school studios will enroll up to 25 students with one full-time guide. That being said, we challenge the notion that learning happens from a singular teacher. Students will serve as guides for other learners as we facilitate opportunities for peer to peer learning. Further, as students enter the elementary and middles school studios, they engage with learning software and internet-based research that opens a wide range of learning sources.
How do I know if my child is learning? Will my child receive grades and a report card?
We believe the best way to see progress is through observation of children doing real work. Our model for measuring student success values the demonstration of effort, mastery of skills, and formation of character. With adult guiding, students set their own SMART goals for the year and break them down to session, weekly, or daily goals.
Students and parents can recognize progress with the following resources:
- Learning Badges (competency based)
- Portfolios of work
- Goal Setting and Reflections
- Standardized Tests (2 times per year)
Guides and Directors meet weekly to discuss individual student progress based on data gathered from personalized lessons, online instructional programs, and documentation from observation. While students progress at their own pace, the school team will look for trends and whether or not students are making adequate progress towards personal end of year goals. Student portfolios of work and end of session exhibitions also present opportunities to demonstrate learning and quality of work in authentic ways.
What is an Exhibition of Learning?
At the end of every session (about 6 times per year), students will co-create and facilitate a day to share what they have discovered and created throughout the session with parents and invited guests. The exhibition also serves as an opportunity to solidify learning, practice communication skills, and receive feedback.
What happens after Phoenix Modern? Will kids be ready for high school?
Students who enroll at Phoenix Modern will be able to progress learning through level 8, which is equivalent to a mastery level (A+) in 8th grade. Students will have the academic readiness and maturity as an independent learner, which would position them to be successful in any high school they choose to attend. We also anticipate that some students may decide to design their own high school experience by extending apprenticeships and work experience or start their own business while also completing rigorous virtual courses, often at the college level, to further develop core skills.
Is Phoenix Modern A Montessori or Reggio Emilia school?
Phoenix Modern’s program design and culture was informed by a mix of research and child-centered practices found in many learning models, including Montessori and Reggio Emilia based programs. At the heart of Phoenix Modern, we trust and respect the children and believe they are very capable and naturally curious. Our role is to support the natural development of the child in a well-prepared environment.
Does Phoenix Modern serve students with special needs?
Yes. As a public school, we do not restrict any student from enrolling and do our best to accommodate the needs of all students within the available resources. We have partnered with a strong and reputable team that supports our understanding for how to best support students with special needs. We also believe that most students who may not have been successful in other, more rigid learning environments may appreciate and thrive in our flexible and personalized learning community.
Is there a cost to attend? Any other fees?
Phoenix Modern is a tuition-free public school and there is no cost for enrollment. Some fees may apply for supplemental programming, such as after-school programs or special interest clubs.
Are there opportunities for parents to volunteer or support the school?
We love partnering with parents and our goal is to provide as many opportunities as possible to support the Phoenix Modern community. We anticipate opportunities for parents to support students before school, during the school day, and after school. We are also interested in designing a guide-in-training program to support the opportunity for parents to serve as an assistant guide during core skills and collaborative projects. Further, we invite parents to support any planned field trips as chaperones and organize community events that help to connect families together. As a small school with limited resources, we also invite parents to help collect or donate useful instructional supplies or contribute donations to our general operating budget.