Kudos to The Tribune for its reports on well-performing charter schools. However, please don’t forget to mention James Madison Preparatory School, a charter school in Tempe (7th through 12th grade located on McClintock north of Guadalupe).
The test scores and grades for James Madison students are way at the top, with more days of instruction than a typical public school. A minimum of 2 years of Latin is mandatory. Madison Prep is quite small, only about 200 students. However, none other than U.S. News and World Report gave it a bronze medal award for “America’s Best High Schools”. JMPS faculty and staff care about their students a great deal, and there is a code of conduct that is highly emphasized and lived out by students and faculty alike. Unlike other schools, parents don’t have to sign anything promising to donate money to the school. Indeed, one of the missions of JMPS is to never exclude a student because he or she can’t pay a particular fee.
Furthermore, James Madison has a wide variety of extracurricular activities, with particular excellence in the fine arts. For example, the JMPS Liberty Choir was chosen to sing the National Anthem at a D-backs game at Chase Field this past June, and they have the upcoming honor of performing at Disneyland over Thanksgiving break. The musicals that are performed at James Madison are consistently breathtaking. This year, the school plans to tackle “Les Miserables”.
My eldest son graduated from James Madison and is on a full scholarship at ASU. He says that some of his college classes were repeats of what he learned at James Madison. My other son will graduate this year, and we are confident that he too is extremely well-prepared for college.