School Details

New School for the Arts

1216 East Apache Boulevard, Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 947-3917

(out of 10)

Charter Grades 9-12 201 students Unknown students/teacher

Test Scores by grade


Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS)

In 2011-2012 Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) was used to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona's learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.
  • This school in 2014
  • New School for the Arts average
  • Arizona state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

New School for the Arts is a charter high school in Tempe. The principal of New School for the Arts is Katy Cardenas. 201 students go to New School for the Arts and identify mostly as White, non-Hispanic; Black, non-Hispanic; and Native American or Native Alaskan. 0% of the New School for the Arts students are "limited in English proficiency." International Commerce High School - Tempe is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • French
  • Spanish

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
White, non-Hispanic 70% 70%
Black, non-Hispanic 6% 6%
Native American or Native Alaskan 2% 2%
Asian/Pacific Islander 2% 2%
Multiracial 2% 2%
Asian 2% %
Hispanic 17% 17%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.5% 0%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Limited English proficiency 0% 0%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (10 months ago)

    As a parents my daughter has thrived at the school and feels safe and supported. Since 6th grade she has grown and takes her schooling seriously. The faculty and admin are great and communicate with families frequently.

  • (11 months ago)

    I was disappointed when my year ended with a staff overhaul but I feel the school still provides the same safe environment to grow as an individual that it offered me in my years attended. Like any school there will be pros and cons but i have to say If your child is having a rough time in their current school or just needs a fresh start consider the possibility of attending NSAA. This school allowed me to come out of my shell and explore different skills and talents that I didn't even know I could do. In Public school I had difficulty making friends I found myself isolating and I didnt participate in extracurricular activities. I'm not saying this school is a magic solution to your antisocial problems but the environment allows you the opportunity and pushes you to be in the spotlight. The smaller class sizes makes it a lot harder to go unnoticed. I appreciate what this school did for me and I am grateful for the opportunity to attend graduate and make lifelong friends.

  • (11 months ago)

    THE GOOD The school offers great opportunity and connections in the form of art teachers who generally do wish the best for their students and a mostly accepting student body. There are also some very rigorous academic classes although offered sporadically. THE BAD The school has very very poor administration. The Executive Dean blatantly disciplines intermittently and inconsistently due to favoritism and has unprofessional relationships with students. It is unclear how funding is allocated as some departments are consistently poor. The teachers seem to be hired with little background information and teachers who stand up for the students don't last very long. OVERALL under different administration the school would be a thousand times better.

  • (1 year ago)

    Bad school. Bad business. Bad all around!!! I do NOT recommend this school to anyone!!!

  • (1 year ago)

    Our daughter is happy and thriving at the New School for the Arts! She has attended this school for the past three years. She was generally miserable at previous schools. Her grades at this school and previous schools have consistently been "honor roll" level (if not higher). However she wasn't receiving the creative opportunities she needed. The visual arts electives she has been able to take at the New School for the Arts are clearly a large part of the reason for her happiness. The welcoming and accepting culture at this school is another reason. When your child is truly happy it's worth it to adjust for the lack of a cafeteria.

  • (1 year ago)

    There are teachers who are awesome instructors completely dedicated to their students. However only two teachers send class updates they are VERY appreciated. There are NO conferences offered each year. The portal is not updated regularly. I have a problem with the fact that a certain teacher allows students to sit and do NOTHING in class. Apparently he is online. I agree with a teacher who said in a review that staff is incompetent. Additionally staff listen in on students and reports information that is twisted and untrue to higher staff. They have a roach coach each day.. Over-priced unhealthy foods are the main choices. My biggest concern is that requests for an IEP's or a 504 with legitimate medical conditions or psychological conditions are met with forms from other states yanked off the internet and applied to our state. The 'accommodations' are not put in place or followed. The teachers were not even informed there was a 504 in place. There are NO conferences offered and there are NEVER fire drills at all. In the two years my child has attended she can not recall one fire or emergency drill. Last their is blatant favoritism shown by some staff towards students.

  • (1 year ago)

    This school is a joke. The administration doesn't have a clue as to what they are doing. And they fire highly qualified teachers and in turn they keep the teachers who aren't even certified in what they teach. This school gives a bad name to all of the other charter schools who are running an honest business. Please do your research before even considering sending your child or even teaching at this school. I do not recommend it to anyone.

  • (1 year ago)

    I watched my artistic son struggled in "regular" public schools until he came to NSAA in 7th grade. This school allowed him to blossom. He graduated in May of 2013 and is now attending Laguna College of Art and Design in CA. Special credit goes to the dean Katy Cardenas who has devoted every fabric of her being to the school. In the visual arts department Keelan Maney and Matt Dixon were amazing mentors. When my son graduated he made me promise to continue to give my tax credit contributions to the school. For some one of the negatives is that there is no cafeteria - wasn't a problem for our son since he always packed his lunch even while in public school. Also like many charter schools we had to provide transportation. In a way this was good since this required a higher parental commitment level. Teachers were mostly excellent - although there were a few clunkers. If you are looking for an accepting artistic community for your child who might march to the beat of a different drummer this may be the place for him - or her.

  • (1 year ago)

    A great safe place for creative types. High teacher turnover rate is NOT due to poor admin but rather it is the nature of the game. Low pay poor funding bad benefits etc. You can thank The State for that not blame the principal. One can take only so much before looking to higher ed.

  • (1 year ago)

    Fire the administration. Some teachers are awesome but the school is totally lacking in leadership which is unprofessional inappropriate and basically incompetent to work with teenagers many of them from at risk situations. The result is high teacher turnover which as others have pointed out can lead to academic failure and leave students unprepared for college level work. The art and creative writing teachers are excellent and supportive; every year I am amazed that the good teachers continue to put up with the ridiculous incompetence of the school leadership. I believe this problem is reaching crisis proportions and concerned parents alumni students and teachers need to demand regime change in the administration.

  • (2 years ago)

    Although I agree that in the past this school has had some issues with students regarding drug use... I feel that they handled the problem since i last attended in my freshman year. I am very impressed with the selection of teachers this year. I am a senior 16 and am mainly in the Vocal arts but dabble in ceramics and photography. My only problem would be how "mainstream" the students are at this point but with the school making their changes for the better it is bound to become a little dull at times. I am thoroughly impressed with my teachers and their humor. I am very happy to be at a school that is so accepting and welcoming. **be warned** your electronics should be held close because like anywhere else they can be stolen. (personal experience) But overall I would suggest this school to anyone who is genuinely dedicated to their arts. ]

  • (3 years ago)

    I absolutely love this school!. The teachers are thorough and the school has really opened up my daughter. The only changes I would desire is a physical education-emphasis on physical and a lunch program. All in due time.

  • (3 years ago)

    Both of my oldest children are currently attending the middle school. One is in her first year and the other in her third. The majority of the staff is very open and accepting of all of the children. The variety of kids is amazing as are the parents. The curriculum is great I love that the kids can test into their level of understanding. There are plenty of opportunities for the kids to get the help that they need if they're having trouble. Most of all I love how comfortable my kids are here. All of the additional stress they had in public schools about being labeled or not fitting in has lifted and they now excel academically and socially. They are truly blossoming as students artists but most of all as individuals. I We couldn't be happier!

  • (3 years ago)

    All four of my children have attended NSAA. My eldest just graduated and is now in NYC attending a fine Art School. Although there have been changes in some of the faculty changes in classes changes all around-this is not something that is rare. All schools go through changes just as rules and new guidelines are mandated. I would not have my children attend any other school. They love their school; they do very well in their classes and excel in many areas. There are always going to be a few bad apples to upset the academic apple cart...not all teachers want to spend extra time and patience with their students. Those that do spend quality time with the students are the teachers that make a difference. NSAA puts their students first and have the most amazing Dance Theatre and Art shows. Amazing. This is a unique school for unique students and individuals. If you like traditional schools producing kids like cookie cutters then this school is not for you or your child. An open mind and acceptance is what this school is all about. Promoting and supporting the individual talent in every student. Kudos to NSAA

  • (3 years ago)

    My daughter just graduated from NSAA she attended the school from 9-12th grade. He first year there was awesome then a change in administration happened and the school was never the same. When she was a Freshman NSAA's Dance Company traveled and went to out of town events and competitions. By her Juinior year they went no where but on-campus shows. My daughter was also into acting in the 4 year there 3 different drama teachers. The turn over rate for teachers there is very high. They do have a couple of really great teachers but unfornately there are only a couple. I don't recommend this school to anyone.

  • (4 years ago)

    This is my daughters third year at this school and it gets worse each year. If she didn't fight me over attending a regular public school I would have removed her a long time ago. The disappointments are too much to write here but first off like one of the other reviewers mentioned every talent she has had they have squelched. They have had her switch instruments so many times that how can she really get good at any one. She literally can pick up and play ANYTHING so they have taken advantage of this but to her detriment. She has stopped playing her favorite instruments and it is so sad to see this. As for academics very few teachers are excellent. Most are awful! And there is no lab for the science classes. I would not recommend this school for any student whether they want art or academics! The idea like some have said is good. But administration even is poor at getting back to parents who have questions or concerns. I wish we could move the few good teachers to another art school and get something really positive going. But it is so sad my highly talented honors student will be graduating from such a poor excuse for an art school!!

  • (4 years ago)

    My daughter started as a freshmen this year and the support from the teachers and students has been fabulous. The teachers return e-mail questions promptly and the principal supports her teachers and is in synch with how each of them operates their classrooms. My daughter comes out to the car each afternoon with an amazing smile on her face. She loves this school. The student and teachers are warm and accepting.

  • (4 years ago)

    Well Im not sure what that student was talking about.My daughter has been at this school (NSAA) for 4 years and IS graduating a year early....she is 16 and this year is a senior...This is an excellent school..Great teacher staff.....great classes...and most of all great kids...all who get to be who the are and not what someone else says they have to be..The school call the parents all the time for many reason..They have great communication with parents...If the student below is upset because there isnt a microwave or refrigerator for the students..then they are at the wrong school

  • (4 years ago)

    This is an excellent school with amazing academics and arts- ignore the negative reviews. I would strongly suggest NSAA to any parent and my son and daughter have loved it for 4 years.

  • (5 years ago)

    First of all there is a school refridgerator so I'm not quite sure what the 'student' who posted on April 10th is talking about. Also the 0 tollerance policy for being late/absent? I know this isn't exactly something to brag about but I'm late almost every morning due to the unreliability of the public transit system. That being said I've never gotten in trouble. For being absent as long as a parent calls in and excuses me- it is fine. There are a few teachers (notibly in the Science and Language departments) who have '0 tollerance' for being late but none of my other teachers are like that. As for the demeanor of the administration I have never observed such traits. My only complaint is that there are a bunch of kids there (mostly Freshman) who seem to only be there for fun and the laid-back atmosphere.

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Overall score

(based on 44 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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