Living in Arizona means we have countless back-to-school options available to every family! Families can choose from microschools, traditional, homeschool, charter, private, and parochial schools. It is wonderful to have so many choices available to our children, but it can seem overwhelming when you are unsure where to start researching.
If you are new to Arizona or your little ones are reaching school age, we wanted to give you a quick overview of a few of the options we have.
Microschools are small, private schools where students receive a personalized education. Due to the smaller class size, student engagement is incredibly high. These are also referred to as learning pods and have become increasingly popular over the past year.
In 2013, Arizona’s very own microschool, Prenda, began in Mesa, Arizona, when Prenda’s founder Kelly Smith – an MIT educated physicist turned clean energy executive turned dad – started volunteering at the public library to teach his kids and the neighborhood kids computer programming. Soon, Prenda Code Club, as it became known, was packed with local kids who were delighted to be learning. After seeing thousands of kids get excited about their projects and choose to learn, Kelly knew he was on to something. He recognized what parents and teachers intuitively know: Education is at its best when we have smaller class sizes and guided personalized learning. In 2018, Kelly and seven neighborhood kids started the first Prenda microschool around his kitchen table. By the fall of 2020, there were over 400 Prenda microschools in a host of states.
Prenda’s microschools work by engaging small groups of five to ten students in mastery-focused, project-based learning, often in a neighborhood home or community center. Prenda is inclusive and adaptable by keeping class sizes small; their platform and approach have helped students with a range of learning abilities thrive. Microschools use technology to enhance and personalize the learning experience. Prenda does all of this in partnership with public schools and charter schools, with state-certified teachers and learning Guides, and they do it from Arizona to New Hampshire and lots of places in between.
We believe a world-class education should be accessible to all learners, regardless of family income. Nearly all microschools are partners of state-funded educational institutions, and as such, 95% of families pay nothing for access to Prenda.
Arizona Traditional Public School
In Arizona, you have open enrollment access to all schools. This means you can enroll in any school, regardless of where you live. This includes transportation services for up to 20 miles.
Find out more about public schools in Arizona here: Arizona’s Department of Education.
Arizona Private Schools
These are nonpublic schools that charge tuition. Did you know that in Arizona, there are many scholarship programs to help you pay for the tuition? Be sure to check out this post for where to start looking for tuition assistance.
The state of Arizona requires notice of your intent to homeschool your child within 30 days. Please withdraw from your current school so that your child is not marked truant. Arizona has an assistance program called the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, which can help make homeschooling a more affordable option for families.
You can also read about Magnet, Charter, and Online school options here.
We wish you the absolute best in your educational journey! Please leave us a comment if you have any questions.