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Last updated: July 11, 2019 • Best School Districts

Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) Among the Best in Arizona

A good education is one of the main ingredients of success in any career. As children, we spend a lot of time in schools during our childhood and youth, and we gather many long lasting memories in the classroom as well as on the school’s playgrounds. When it comes to education,  Arizona occupies the 44th position in a classification of the states with the best school districts. On niche[dot]com, Catalina Foothills Unified School District is the best school district in Arizona, educating over 5,000 students. The Copper State had the second lowest public spending per pupil in 2017 – only $8,131, whereas Vermont spent over $20,000 per pupil. Although money is tight, taxpayer’s money is still put to good use in Arizona’s School Districts.

But how many pupils are in Arizona? Out of the 7.1 million residents, 22.9% or 1.6 million are between 5 and 18 years of age, according to the US Census Bureau. Tucson Unified School District is the largest one in Arizona, providing education to over 47,000 students.

Good school districts also play a key role in the housing market. Many young parents would like to live near a good school, both for the quality of education and the walking distance their kids can easily cover on foot. By living near the school they attend, children and parents can also get the maximum amount of sleep, and as we know, sleep deprivation is a huge problem, especially among teenagers. So one of the best advice for parents of teens would be to let their children sleep as long as possible and move closer to the school. If you’re looking for a good school district around Phoenix, real estate agents in Scottsdale are ready to welcome you. 

Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) – facts and figures

Over 23,000 children PK through 12 learn in the schools of Scottsdale. The teacher-student ratio is 18 students to one teacher, while the national average is 15.5:1. Out of the 29 schools in Scottsdale, 19 are Grade A, seven are Grade B, while three are Grade C. According to the Arizona Auditor General, the cost per pupil was $762 in 2018. At state level, the spending is around $7,000 per student, but this varies from state to state. Obviously, the more resources reach the schools, the better the schools are. Locally, the North Scottsdale is perceived to have better schools than the southern part of the city. An explanation for this could be the fact that the more affluent residents in the north are paying higher property taxes, so there is more money left to be directed towards the schools. 

BASIS Scottsdale and other good schools in Scottsdale

BASIS Scottsdale is a top-ranked charter school – one of the 27 schools in Arizona that follow the BASIS Curriculum. This curriculum gives a lot of freedom to the teachers, most of them mastering very well their content area. It is a school where children are stimulated to be creative and to think outside the box, but teachers are also helping them understand how different subjects are interconnected. Moreover, students attend courses that are not taught in other US high schools, such as economics, engineering, and Mandarin. Most students are one grade ahead of their peers. Tuition is free, however, the school does require a deposit that shall cover any material damage. When the students leave the school, they get their deposit back.

To be as close as possible to this school, you will have to look for homes in the zip code 85259. At first glance, the vacant lots stand out, but they start at $139,000. You probably wonder if you should buy a turnkey property or build your own house in Scottsdale. The answer is quite complex and depends a lot on your budget. Two bed two bath condos start at $210,000. A detached 4 bed 2 bath single family house with an in-ground swimming pool sells for $420,000. Now that you know the average cost of a home in Scottsdale, you can also get an idea about who is sending their kids to BASIS Scottsdale. You should take the time to do this small analysis yourself before choosing the right school for your child. Other grade-A schools in Scottsdale Unified School District are:

  • Chaparral High School
  • Cherokee Elementary School
  • Cheyenne Traditional School
  • Cochise Elementary School 
  • Cocopah Middle School
  • Copper Ridge School
  • Desert Canyon Elementary 

The best private schools in Scottsdale, AZ

teenage students in uniform Scottsdale Unified School District

Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) is comprised only of public schools, where tuition is free. While private schools may receive some government subsidies, the tuition fees paid by the students’ parents are their main funding source. If you prefer private schools over public schools, there are 40 private schools in Scottsdale with over 5,200 students enrolled. The student-teacher ratio is significantly lower, at only 11:1, which is lower than the 12.2 national average. While in public schools, classes are made up of at least 25 students, in private schools, there are only 19 students in every class, so the teachers get to know them better.

The most expensive private school in Scottsdale is Rancho Solano Preparatory School. Founded in 1954, today it has roughly 500 students in two campuses. The one for the lower school (preK -5th) is located at 5656 E. Greenway Road, and the one for middle and high school at 9180 E. Via de Ventura. Tuition fees range between $14,800 and $18,875, while new students with room and board at Rancho Solano had to pay over $50,000 for the 2018-19 school year.

With 898 students, Notre Dame Preparatory School is the largest one in Scottsdale. It also has a huge campus, covering over 42 acres. Condo prices around this private school start at $180,000 up to $370,000, while detached houses start at $385,000. 

Religious schools in Scottsdale

40% of Scottsdale’s population is religious, the majority embracing Catholicism (14.2%). For this reason, 38% of the private schools in Scottsdale have a religious affiliation, most of them Roman Catholic and Christian. For example, Goretti Preschool And Kindergarten is a favorite for parents of toddlers. Our Lady of Perpetual Help School is probably the largest Roman Catholic school in downtown Scottsdale, attended by approximately 400 students K-8.

There are also about 83,000 Jews living in the Phoenix Metro area. So, there are seven private Jewish schools in Arizona, even one in Scottsdale, with 300 students – Pardes Jewish Day School. Tuition costs $16,100 per student per year, though family discounts are available as well as scholarships through the Jewish Tuition Organization (JTO). Fortunately, tuition fees are tax-deductible under Section 80C.

Culinary Schools in Scottsdale

chefs finishing salad at culinary school Scottsdale

Until 2018, for many aspiring chefs, there had been no other school on par with the French-born Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Scottsdale. With two campuses and two restaurants open to the public, this was the place to be if you wanted to become a renowned chef in the HoReCa industry. Classes were held at both the Camelback campus and The Sky Bridge campus in Old Town Scottsdale. The school also boasted two student-run restaurants – L’Academie and L’Ecole – where everyone could serve exquisite dishes. The Camelback campus was sold in 2018 and redeveloped into an 110-room assisted living and memory care facility. The 4.5-acre property was purchased for $5.5 million by the Spectrum Development from Colorado.

While this huge real estate transaction has reshaped the culinary education scene in Scottsdale, there are still a few great options for those who want to work in the kitchen. For example, there is the Arizona Culinary Institute (ACI) which offers Certificates in Bakery and Pastry as well as Certificates in Culinary Arts for little over $10,000. Those looking for a Diploma in Culinary Arts, Baking and Restaurant Management (CABRM) have to take out of the pocket not less than $27,795. Scottsdale Community College also provides certificates in culinary arts for $4,461 for Maricopa residents. Nevertheless, there are plenty of online courses that students in Scottsdale can subscribe to. Institutions that provide further education or continuing education after high school are no longer under the authority of Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD).

Special Needs Schools in Scottsdale

special education note

When it comes to educating children with ADHD, dyslexia, visual impairments, hearing loss, autism, and the like, you want to know that your child is in good hands. Few cities in the US offer so many options for the parents of children with special needs. One-to-one academic instruction, as well as a personal curriculum, are available at the AZ Aspire Academy. Tuition costs $25,500 per year and there might be other extra costs depending on your child’s necessities. Devereux focuses on children who have experienced different types of trauma and abuse. Students with mild to moderate special needs can attend the Sierra Academy of Scottsdale, while those suffering from autism can attend the United School, where, besides the evidence-based programs and therapies, kids also benefit from the company of therapy dogs.

Real Estate Schools in Scottsdale

housing knowledge real estate schools in Scootsdale

Arizona real estate agents and brokers account for 73,500 and the real estate market seems to be in their favor lately. If you think you have what it takes to become a real estate agent or broker, consider attending the courses provided by Arizona School of Real Estate and Business at its Scottsdale facility located at 7350 North Dobson Road, Suite 120, Scottsdale, AZ 85256. It costs $499 to prepare for your Real Estate State License Exam in a classroom or $559 to study online. Other careers you may consider are mortgage loan originator, home inspector, or appraiser.

The Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® owns and operates its own real estate school – Raise the Bar. Pre-licensing courses are also available, though, and costs only $459. You may also attend its classes once you made your first steps in the real estate industry. Here you will get Code of Ethics Training that will allow you to become a REALTOR® – a real estate agent with a solid understanding of the business.

Colleges near Scottsdale

group of students

The population of our country is more educated than ever before. According to the US Census Bureau, 90% completed at least high school. There are 19.9 million students in America’s Colleges and Universities, and about 10% of them will graduate this year with a Bachelor’s Degree. In Arizona, though, a report from Regents reveals that about half of high school graduates do not pursue higher education.

There is no other university in Scottsdale besides the Community College Scottsdale, so students who graduate in the city – either from a school in the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) or private school – have to look into the nearby options or follow online education programs. For Maricopa residents, Community College only costs $85 per credit. However, Arizona State University-Skysong is the closest one from Scottsdale, at only 3.6 miles from downtown. Arizona State University ranks very well all across the board and is a top choice among international students, too. Arizona State University-Tempe is 6.5 miles from downtown Scottsdale, while the third closest higher education provider is the Rio Salado college, 6.6 miles away.

To wrap this up, Scottsdale seems to be a great place to raise kids and prepare them for the future. With so many good schools around, your child will be able to see his/her version of the American Dream coming to life. Education is the best investment you can make and even if it seems pricey right now, it will pay off in the future. As Benjamin Franklin once said: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Feel free to further explore the city of Scottsdale and contact a Scottsdale REALTOR® when you feel ready to purchase or build the house of your dreams. 

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