Looking for a west valley school that fits your child’s personality, passions and can create a motivating and nurturing environment? Parents in the Estrella community have many great options for their child’s educational path, whether their child does well with a STEAM-type focus and hands-on learning, music and theatre, rigorous academics or prefers to learn at their own speed.
Additionally, because of Arizona’s Open Enrollment Law parents have more freedom to choose where their child may attend school, even if it’s outside of their district of residence. But how do they begin narrowing down the choices? What are the most important factors to consider? We’ve gathered a few recommendations from educational specialists, listed below.*
1. Consider your child’s needs and learning style
Every child has specific strengths, weaknesses and interests. What is their learning style? Do they have any special needs? Are they interested in science? Do they love art? List the top three to five things you consider most important for your child’s education.
2. Are there things you as a parent want your child to experience?
Do you want your child to have foreign language immersion? Or are you looking for a special focus on STEAM, technology or visual and performing arts? Consider these factors when you make your list.
3. Gather information and visit several schools, paying attention to these factors:
- What distinguishes this school from others? Do they have signature programs?
- How does the school look and feel? Friendly and helpful?
- What is the teaching style? Look at what they teach and how they teach.
- What is the student to teacher ratio?
- Parental involvement. Does the school welcome parents to become involved?
- Principal philosophy. What is his or her focus?
- Homework policy? How often is homework assigned?
- Community commitment. Is the school part of a supportive community?
- Test Scores. Take with a grain of salt but consider the feedback.
- Are there before and after school activities offered? Do you need arrangements for before or after school childcare?
- What is the school’s commitment to technology? We live in a digital world. How will the school prepare your child for this?
4. Talk to other parents
Ask current parents if the instruction prepared their children to successfully transition to the next academic step (next grade level, middle school, high school). Try to get several opinions.
5. Try to enroll your child at a transition point
It’s best to have your child begin classes when other students are, at the beginning of the year, instead of after classes have started. Good transition periods also include kindergarten, jr. high and high school.
Local Schools by Specialty
Parents will find excellent schools for preschool through 12th grade within the Estrella community, including Phoenix Children’s Academy Private Preschool, Liberty Elementary School District and Buckeye Union High School District.
Listed below are schools grouped by specialty/focus in and near Estrella that have a great variety of programs, both traditional and non-traditional.
- International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, which fosters critical thinking and builds problem-solving skills
Estrella Mountain Elementary School, 10301 South San Miguel Drive, Goodyear
- Dual Language Immersion
Las Brisas Academy, 18211 West Las Brisas Drive, Goodyear
- Agriculture Focus
Liberty Elementary School, 19801 W. Fremont Drive, Buckeye
Arizona Agribusiness & Equine Center, 3400 N. Dysart Rd., Avondale
- Performing Arts
PLC Charter Schools provide focused dance, drama and music programs. 2504 S 91st Ave., Tolleson
Westar Elementary School, 17777 West Westar Drive, Goodyear
BASIS Goodyear, 15800 W. Sherman St., Goodyear
Somerset Academy Skyway Campus, 14900 W. Van Buren St., Goodyear
- Technology Focus
Estrella Foothills High School, 13033 S. Estrella Parkway, Goodyear
- Liberal Arts
Archway Classical Academy, 2001 N. Bullard Ave. Goodyear
Phoenix Children’s Academy Private Preschool, 17610 W. Elliot Rd., Goodyear
Legacy Traditional, 12320 West Van Buren St., Avondale
West 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. Selecting the right fit for your child is an important process and we’re grateful Estrella and Goodyear have so many quality choices nearby. We’re confident with a little bit of investigation you’ll be able to you choose your family’s ideal educational partner.
*Note: 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 west valley schools are “A” schools based on the 2020-21 assessment.
Find your new home at Estrella.com and discover why 7,000 families already call this diverse, welcoming West Valley master-planned community home. Located in Goodyear, Arizona amongst pristine mountains and a dramatic desert landscape, Estrella amenities include multiple Residents’ Clubs, resort-style pools and a waterpark, 72 acres of lakes, 50-plus miles of paths and trails, the Yacht Club of Estrella, the award-winning Nicklaus Design course at the Golf Club of Estrella, community welcome center Casa Lucero, and more than 40 signature andneighborhood parks.
- AZ Dept. Ed: http://www.azed.gov
Lists top school district and charter system grades, with top-ranked individual schools listed separately
- Great Schools: https://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/schools/0187000131/school.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.