Academic Advantage Guide


One of the most important decisions you will make as a parent is deciding on your child’s education. You know your child better than anyone else. You know their strengths, weaknesses, personality and what interests them most. Deciding on what type of school will work best is for each family to decide.

There are so many types of schools now. Public, magnet, charter, private and homeschool—so many choices can make choosing the right school a difficult and stressful process. So check out Bear’s Academic Advantage Guide as you choose a school that will bring out the best in your child!


Charter Schools: These are public schools that are individually run. They do not charge tuition and they must meet all state standards like a traditional state or government funded public school.

Home School: Teaching a student at home instead of sending them to a traditional school. Many times the parents are the teachers, or there are homeschool groups with various teachers. Some homeschool students take classes using online programs.

Magnet Schools: These schools are part of a traditional public school, but they focus on certain academics like STEM, but the also follow the state standard curriculum.

Online or Virtual Schools: These are like homeschooling, but with online courses and instructors to help with lessons. They follow the state standard curriculum and many will have a local classroom setting where students come in to take tests and receive tutoring.

Public Schools: Public schools are learning institutions that are funded by local, state and sometimes federal governments. They offer general education opportunities to students in K–12.

Religious Private Schools: The majority of nonpublic schools are religious. Many are affiliated with a religious faith such as Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. These schools require tuition, but most offer scholarships.

Secular Private Schools: These are non-religious schools. Many of these private schools are preparatory schools designed to prepare students for college. These schools require tuition, but most offer scholarships.



After you have decided on what type of school you want your child to attend, do some research on the school. Visit their website and read reviews from other parents. Consider things like the style of teaching, the curriculum, enrichment opportunities, extracurricular activities, before and after school care and whether the school provides breakfast and lunch, either free or for purchase.


Attend open house events or see if the school gives tours of their school. This gives you the opportunity to see the campus, classrooms, lunchroom, playground and more. Sometimes just the little things like a shaded playground or a music room full of instruments can make all the difference in your choice. While at an open house or tour don’t be afraid to ask questions. What is the student/ teacher ratio? What extracurricular activities are offered? What are your safety policies and regulations? How does your school prevent bullying? Are staff trained in CPR and First Aid?


Apply to the school(s) you choose. Consider applying to more than one school in case there is a waiting list for one of your choices. You’ll want to begin the process as early as possible to avoid missing deadlines or being put on a waiting list. When applying make sure to see if financial aid is available in tuition based schools and get those forms submitted early, too.


You can visit the U.S. Department of Education for helpful information

Stay informed all year long with Bear’s weekly newsletter and monthly teacher worksheets. To sign up, visit and click on the envelope icon on the top/right side of the website homepage.



Academy of Tucson Schools offer an A-Rated, tuition-free, college prep education. We are a K-12 school district that has a 100% graduation rate. Small class sizes allow teachers to really get to know their students and provide extra support if needed. Academy of Tucson offers a variety of clubs and extra curriculars including sports, STEM club, art club and more. At Academy of Tucson Schools, our mission is to provide, prepare, and graduate our students.

Enrollment begins Jan. 23, 2023.

Open House Dates: Jan. 12, Feb. 7, March 7 and April 4 from 4–6 p.m. at all three campuses.


Chief Science Officers are students in grades 6-12 who

serve as STEM ambassadors and a liaison for STEM

opportunities in their communities. A CSO is elected by

their peers to be the voice for their peers, bring STEM

opportunities to their communities and to bring change to their world.


Common Core Worksheets: Fresh standards-based fun sheets for classrooms to use in conjunction with the current issue of Bear Essential News.

Free Young Reporters Program: Students in grades 2–8 develop as young writers by writing news stories for Bear Essential News.

Young Reporters can attend monthly Zoom meetings and interview important people from our community.

Free Presentations: Five dynamic topics are available from a Bear editor. 



Congregation Anshei Israel Esther B. Feldman Preschool is open to ALL children toddlers to Pre-K, our program offers a high quality Judaic and secular education, low student to teacher ratios, enrichment activities such as STEAM and Spanish, early and extended care, and a beautiful shaded park-like playground.


Come join us on Jan. 21, 2023 for our open house for Preschool/K–8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The mission of Desert Christian Schools is to pursue excellence in Christian education, foster Christ-centered relationships, and endeavor to meet the unique learning needs of every student.



Tucson has a new, tuition-free, Waldorg inspired, public charter high school guided by the core principals of public Waldorf education. Our program is college preparatory, arts integrated, culturally responsive, and relationship-centered. Open Enrollment period ends Feb. 1, 2023.





La Paloma Academy’s Central campus offers a private school education, tuition-FREE. The K-8 charter school is located at 2050 N. Wilmot Road. The campus, spread over seven acres, includes a multi-media center/library with state-of-the-art flat screen computers. Students can also enjoy an indoor cafeteria, recreation room, full-size soccer field, basketball courts and two playgrounds. All students have access to our amazing facilities. All those attending La Paloma’s Central campus are encouraged to join one of the school’s sports teams, or to participate in one of La Paloma’s extracurricular activities. Call (520) 721-4205 or go to for more information. 

La Paloma’s Lakeside offers a private school education,  tuition-FREE. The campus is located at 8140 E. Golf Links Rd. We offer sports programs and cheerleading for our students, plus many other extracurricular activities. Our media center features 20 new computers and an extensive library collection. Lakeside features two classes per grade, providing small class sizes and creating a productive learning environment. La Paloma is committed to providing the highest quality education where children achieve their full academic potential. This is accomplished by individualized instruction in core curriculum, low teacher-student ratios, and a qualified teaching staff. Call (520) 733-7373 or go to for more information. 

Those who attend La Paloma South’s campus, located at 5660 S. 12th Avenue in Tucson, are taught about trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. La Paloma South offers a private school education, tuition-FREE. The campus provides an exceptional educational environment, focusing on academics, community involvement, and character values. Teachers and staff make students’ educational experience entertaining, challenging and rewarding. Join the La Paloma Academy family today. Call (520) 807-9668 or go to for more information. 

La Paloma Academy’s newest tuition-FREE campus, at 13644 N. Sandario Road in Marana, is now open for the 2022-2023 school year! With four campuses, La Paloma Academy is the fastest-growing and largest charter school in Southern Arizona, with the Marana campus contributing to that continuing growth. Like all La Paloma schools, the new Marana campus is a tuition-FREE, not-for-profit, and provides an exceptional educational environment, focusing on incredible academics, community involvement, and family values. Plus, all La Paloma’s Marana students have access to the school’s brand-new and amazing facilities. Call (520) 825-9667 or go to for more information.







Satori School provides a balanced social, emotional, and academic curriculum enhanced with a unique learning environment that honors each child. Our community allows children the opportunity to follow their curiosity. We nuture a natural love of learning with an emphasis on outdoor experiences and the natural world, including art, building, hands-on interactions with animal friends, freedom to explore and building strong friendships and relationships along the way.



Premire Charter School–Tucson International Academy. 100% of TIA’s graduates get accepted to a college with scholarship, every single year. Teachers and staff know your child’s name: Teachers and staff know your name too. Teachers get to know your child’s dreams, what they think is fun and our teachers understand how your child learns.




Open Enrollment for TUSD Magnet and Application schools is going on NOW! It’s Time to CHOOSE your school! Over 100 schools and specialty programs to choose from. No other school district in Southern Arizona offers as many programs as Tucson Unified! Register today at

First lottery for Open Enrollment in our Magnet and applications schools is the end of January 2023.

Award-winning Magnet Programs offering: Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts • Dual Language • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math • Systems Thinking • Montessori • Traditional Academics • Gifted and Talented Education.

Magnet programs provide your family with ways to meet the individual learning styles and interests of your children. Find out more at