SABIS® International School – Phoenix
Celebrating 15 Years of Achievement!
The SABIS® International School in Phoenix, Arizona, opened its doors in 2001 and set out on a mission to provide children in the South Mountain Village area of Phoenix with a top-quality education. From its humble beginnings on a plot of land that had been reserved as a farmers’ market, this U.S. public charter school has grown over the past 15 years to become a successful school and an important part of the community, two accomplishments that SIS-Phoenix is celebrating throughout the 2016-17 school year.
Over the past 15 years, SIS-Phoenix has celebrated many achievements. The school has educated over 2,500 students who have gone on to attend premiere high schools in the South Mountain Village, Tempe, and Central Phoenix areas and later been accepted to and graduated from top universities in the state including Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona. The school successfully earned re-accreditation from Accreditation International and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. It was recently awarded a 20-year charter renewal by the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, and the school consistently earns high grades from the Arizona Department of Education. In fact, SIS-Phoenix has earned an “A” or “B” rating since the Arizona Department of Education started issuing letter grades.
At the center of the schools’ many achievements is the implementation of the SABIS® Educational System™, a comprehensive educational program that is backed by 130 years of success. Through the structured curriculum, SABIS® teaching methodology, continuous testing and monitoring, and cutting-edge IT tools, students build a strong academic foundation that prepares them for success. SIS-Phoenix students and parents are the first to agree.
“High school was easy for me because I went to SIS-Phoenix!”
— Wilbert Flores, SIS-Phoenix Alumnus
“My daughter was struggling academically before transferring to SIS-Phoenix. Now she loves math.”
— SIS-Phoenix Parent
Contributing to the spirit of achievement that permeates the school is a tight-knit sense of community among faculty, staff, and students. Contributing to the sense of community is a committed Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) that is extremely involved in planning events to enhance the SIS-Phoenix experience for everyone.
Over its 15-year history, the school has also built very strong ties with the South Mountain community. As a measure of the strength of this relationship, a local community watch group recently sponsored the school so that it could join the Phoenix Police Department’s “Wake Up!” program, a school-based initiative targeting at junior high students (grades 7-9) at schools in Phoenix. The “Wake Up!” program aims to get students involved in pro-social activities to help teach them to make better decisions in their lives. The program enables police officers to demonstrate a healthy path for children to follow as an alternative to violence. Participation by youth requires a commitment of service to the community, avoidance of violence, and positive achievement.
Another interesting reflection of this tight-knit community is the number and age of new students joining the school. Twelve (12) to 15 percent of the student body is new to the school, and a large number of these students are older students. “It is very difficult to uproot older students who are already settled into their schools and get them to move to a new school. Our students are spreading the word in the community that SIS-Phoenix is the place to be!” said Mr. Will Henry, SIS-Phoenix School Director.
This strong sense of community at SIS-Phoenix is also reflected in the strong bonds that the school’s alumni maintain with their alma mater long after graduation. There are currently two alumni who are teaching at SIS-Phoenix. After graduating from SIS-Phoenix, finishing high school, and completing a bachelor’s degree, they chose to return to their alma mater to make a difference and share their knowledge and expertise with the new generation.
Ruby Angulo and Alexxa Fernandez returned to the school as teachers. After completing Grade 8 at SIS-Phoenix and graduating from high school, Ruby Angulo went on to pursue a degree in Mexican Cultural Studies at the University of Arizona. She is now back at SIS-Phoenix and teaches Spanish to students in primary grades. Alexxa Fernandez graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Elementary Education and is back at SIS-Phoenix as a first grade teacher.
Another SIS-Phoenix alumnus who has maintained strong ties with the school is Christian Hernandez, who is from a family of four brothers all of whom attended SIS-Phoenix. After graduating from high school, Christian pursued a degree in Art History at Arizona State University and became an accomplished artist. He chose to share his talents with his alma mater, and today the school proudly displays two murals created by him. A third mural commemorating the school’s 15th anniversary will be completed by the end of the year.
SLO®: Focus on Academics
Students at SIS-Phoenix enjoy an active and engaging student life. Through the SABIS Student Life Organization® (SLO®) at SIS-Phoenix, students have many opportunities to pursue their interests. They also work actively to ensure that all students are on track academically. In fact, one of the main areas of focus for SLO® this year is academics thanks to School Director Mr. Will Henry, who issued a challenge to all students. For each of the two terms of the year, he has challenged the students to earn above 85% on 100 or more SABIS® AMS tests. For each week that a class earns an average of 85% or above, the name of their grade and section is added to a plaque in the school cafeteria.
The SLO® Academics Department is supporting students in meeting the challenge. They have set up a number of after-school study groups for students in grades 4 to 8 and currently have over 80 students involved! SLO® has also set up an extremely successful reading club, which pairs older prefects with younger students in an effort to help the younger students improve their reading and language skills.
The focus on academics is complemented by the positive and safe environment that prevails at the school. SIS-Phoenix sets high standards for behavior and discipline. The school is committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment in which all students can focus on achieving their full potential. SIS-Phoenix students and parents are asked to sign a contract to show that they understand their responsibility for creating a safe learning environment. Bullying, in any form, is not tolerated and every single member of the school community takes part in preventing bullying.
From humble beginnings, SIS-Phoenix has grown to become a provider of a top-quality education to children in Phoenix, Arizona. Over the course of its 15-year history, the school has become an active member of the community, educating students with a solid academic foundation and a commitment to give back to their alma mater.
SABIS® International School in Phoenix, Arizona, is a proud member of the global SABIS® Network. If you would like to know more about the school, please visit their website at sis.sabis.net. You can also follow them on social media by liking their Facebook page.