Legacy Traditional Schools recently earned the No. 1 spot for the top 10 charter schools in Arizona, according to the 2021 edition of Ranking Arizona business opinion poll. Other schools making this year’s list include charter schools with a long history in Arizona like BASIS, Great Hearts and Benjamin Franklin.
Legacy’s back-to-basics approach, which includes student uniforms, clearly resonates with parents. The non-profit’s A-rated schools continue to expand statewide. Today, there are more than 20 schools serving about 23,000 students.
It is one example of how far charters have come since their start in Arizona in 1994, providing a range of programs and niches where almost any student can find the right spot, said Jake Logan, president and CEO of the Arizona Charter Schools Association.
“I think charters have done a really nice job of continuing to diversify so students can find the right fit. You have students that have interest in arts. You have students that are high academic achievers. You have schools across the board that are student centered,” Logan said.
Other schools with names many Arizonans are familiar with like BASIS, Great Hearts and Benjamin Franklin also made the top 10 list in the 2021 Ranking Arizona poll.
The annual ranking is considered the state’s biggest and most comprehensive business opinion poll. More than 1 million participants vote to give their recommendations on simple questions about topics based on the quality of products, services and with whom they would recommend doing business.
Here’s the list of Top 10 Charters in the 2021 Arizona Ranking poll:
1. Legacy Traditional Schools Legacy’s A-rated charter public schools emphasize turning students into “lifelong learners and engaged citizens” with a well-rounded curriculum that emphasizes all areas of academic study. The schools incorporate arts, physical education, athletics and extracurricular activities in their programming. The student body reflects all income levels. In Arizona, Legacy has campuses throughout the Phoenix metro region, Tucson, Casa Grande and the city of Maricopa. The company also operates in Nevada.
2. Sequoia Schools One of the first charter schools in Arizona, Sequoia Charter School in Mesa operates three schools on one campus: Sequoia Elementary, Sequoia Secondary and Sequoia School for the Deaf. Sequoia promises to “do whatever it takes” to help pupils succeed including tutoring programs in keeping with its philosophy that “Every Child is Known.” Sequoia is a highly diverse campus with a significant number of students on free and reduced lunches. Sequoia Schools also operate 13 other schools across Arizona.
3. Academies of Math and Science (AMS) Another long standing charter school that started in 2000 with 30 students, AMS now operates nine campuses across Phoenix metro and Tucson. Many are in underserved areas. The schools advertise a well-rounded curriculum emphasizing STEM while incorporating foreign language, music, and art. Geared to “highly motivated students,” the schools are college-focused. Among its offerings are advanced and accelerated instruction and free after-school tutoring in all subjects.
4. Great Hearts Academies
5. Benjamin Franklin Charter School
6. Arizona School for the Arts
7. BASIS Charter Schools
8. American Leadership Academy
9. Leman Academy of Excellence, Marana Campus
10. Primavera Online High School and Middle School
To read more about these and other charter schools in Arizona, visit: Arizona Charter Schools Association.
About charter schools in Arizona
Arizona was one of the first states to start open enrollment and charter schools in 1994. Today, more than 213,000 Arizona students are enrolled in charter schools, making up nearly 20 percent of the state’s public school enrollment, according to the Arizona Charter Schools Association. Arizona’s 573 public charter schools make up approximately 28 percent of the state’s total schools.