- School Type: Charter School
- Grades: 6-12
- Enrollment: 447 students
- Minority Enrollment: 42%
- Graduation Rate: ≥90% (Top 30% in AZ)
- Overall Testing Rank: Top 20%
- Math Proficiency: 50% (Top 20%)
- Reading Proficiency: 62% (Top 20%)
- Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), AZ Dept. of Education
Tempe Preparatory Academy ranks among the top 20% of public schools in Arizona for:
- Tempe Preparatory Academy is a charter school in Tempe, a suburb of Phoenix, AZ. Founded in 1996, Tempe Preparatory Academy (also known as Tempe Prep or TPA) was one of the first public schools in Arizona to offer a "Great Books" curriculum centered around Western culture, history, language, and literature. Its motto is Verum, Pulchrum, Bonum, meaning Truth, Beauty, Goodness, the individual ideals that the school upholds. It is also a "sister school" to the network of Great Hearts Preparatory Academies, of which there are two other schools: Veritas Preparatory Academy and the recently-opened Chandler Preparatory Academy. Mesa Preparatory Academy will open for the 2007-8 academic year in the vicinity of University and Power Roads.
- School Philosophy: As a charter school, Tempe Prep offers a "Great Books" education centering around fundamental texts in the Western pantheon. Tempe Prep's philosophy includes small class size (no classroom has more than 20 students) and education using the well-known Socratic method. By using this method of teaching, the school's faculty hope to encourage students to think for themselves and to assist their classmates in learning.
- Admission: As a public school in the state of Arizona, Tempe Preparatory Academy has no entrance requirements. Interested families must apply for the school's annual admissions lottery, which takes place in the spring of each school year. However, admission to Tempe Prep in later grades does not necessarily require a lottery due to smaller class size and attrition. Brothers and sisters of current Tempe Prep students are guaranteed admission to the school, as are children of faculty, board and staff members. Since it is a public school, students at TPA attend free of charge, other than returnable book deposit fees, class standing fees and graduation fees (but families are zealously encouraged to donate to the school).
- Awards: According to the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools 2002 Parent Satisfaction Survey, Tempe Preparatory Academy ranked #1 in its category, with 146 responses averaging 4.05 on a 4.0 grade scale (A+ to F). Over all categories of schools (elementary, middle, high), TPA ranked 9th in the state.
- The state of Arizona has repeatedly rewarded Tempe Prep with an "excelling" label, an honor it shares with a very small number of schools (lawl, we look good b3cause we stack up against schoolz pwnt by the general populace and insufficent funding).
- Coursework: Tempe Preparatory Academy offers few choices in its academic curriculum. 9-12th grade students may choose to study Latin, Greek, French, Spanish, or German. The rest of the curriculum is fixed. Students at Tempe Prep exceed all requirements for students graduating from the state of Arizona.
- Athletics: In addition to being heralded for excellent academics, Tempe Prep is home to a thriving athletics program. Tempe Prep competes in the AIA (Arizona Interscholastic Association) in the 1A Conference's West Region. As of summer 2006, Tempe Prep is the two-time defending state champion in girls' high school track and field. In girls' high school soccer, Tempe Prep is a two time state finalist in winter play, and is the only 1A school competing against larger schools in 2A and 3A opposition. In addition, Tempe Prep is well known for its competitive cross country and basketball programs. Its 2005-2006 high school girls basketball team won its regional tournament. Tempe Prep also features a competitive 8-man tackle football team that shares home fields with Chandler Valley Christian and Phoenix Arizona Lutheran. In the AIA, Tempe Prep also competes in Speech and Debate, where they are the reigning Arizona state champions.
- Tempe Preparatory Academy offers the following athletic teams: Junior High Boys - Basketball, Cross Country, Flag Football, Soccer, Track and Field.
- Junior High Girls - Basketball, Cross Country, Volleyball, Soccer, Track and Field.
- High School Boys - Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Soccer, Track and Field.
- High School Girls - Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Track and Field, Volleyball.
- Senior Thesis and Defense: Senior students at Tempe Preparatory Academy must complete a written thesis and defense before receiving a diploma from the school. Students are required to write a fifteen page thesis on a topic of their interest, using literature they have read during their years at the academy. They are advised by a faculty member of their choice. Then, after their thesis draft is approved, they must appear before a defense committee. All students, teachers and family members are welcome to come to the open defense. The academy hopes that the thesis process is rewarding, and its defense process is designed to question the student about their newfound knowledge and to praise them for their work.
- Senior Trip: On an annual basis during the school's spring break, senior students join faculty members on a trip to Washington D.C. The trip regularly lasts several days and sometimes includes visits to Philadelphia and historic sites in Virginia.
- Dress Code: A strict dress code is enforced for all students, as the school desires that its learners maintain a "professional appearance" and avoid distraction. Male students wear khaki slacks, white or blue shirts, dark socks and dress shoes, while female students have their choice of plaid skirt or blue dress slacks, white or blue shirts, and appropriate socks. Students must maintain conservative standards in terms of hair and jewelry. The school's faculty likewise dresses in a professional manner.
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