What exactly is a charter school? A charter school is a tuition-free, independent public school that welcomes all students regardless of ability or need. Charter schools are governed and operated jointly by licensed teachers, parents, and community members (Minnesota Association of Charter Schools).
Are there fees or tuition to attend your school? No; Phoenix Academy is a public school district. As such, it is tuition free.
Are you part of the North Branch Area school district? Phoenix Academy is its own independent district serving North Branch and surrounding communities; however, we contract with 4.0 School Services for transportation.
Phoenix Academy of Arts and Science
What is the average class size? At Phoenix Academy the average class size is 20 students, and class sizes are capped at 22-24 students. This continues to be a top priority.
How is Phoenix Academy different from other schools? Smaller class sizes enable our educators to better serve the needs of individual students. We provide a well-rounded curriculum, including music or art daily, that is designed to produce students whom love learning.
What makes Phoenix Academy successful? Small class sizes and a staff to student ratio of 15:1 creates an easier learning environment. We use
research supported curriculum, have small group instruction daily, and have a uniform policy to enhance a strong school culture. At Phoenix we provide professional development for teachers, and our staff possess (and demonstrate) attributes of flexibility, optimism, adaptability, and the ability to problem solve.
What is the philosophy of education at Phoenix Academy? "Creating a Lifetime Love of Learning" is our mission. We strive to give students what they need to be successful not only in school, but in life as well.
Does Phoenix Academy offer elective courses such as band, art, shop, et cetera?
We have music and art programs for grades K-6, and band for 5-8th. We also offer Exploratory Fridays throughout the school year, where the students are able to go to different classrooms for interactive science, art, music, and STEM lessons.
What athletic teams are available? Currently we do not offer any sports opportunities for students.
Special Education and Gifted & Talented Services
Are Special Education and Gifted and Talented accommodations offered? Yes. We have skilled, experienced special education professionals to meet the needs of students who need accommodations and/or enrichment.
Do you have a school nurse? We do not have a nurse on staff, but our wellness/office staff handles the day-to-day duties in the health office.
Start & End Times and School Year Calendar
What are the start and end times for the school day? Our school day is 8:10AM to 2:30PM. Pick up and drop off times may change slightly due to our reliance on the 4.0 Services bus garage for transportation; however, they do not vary significantly. Our busing students will be dismissed first, so parent-pickup students may not be released until 2:40pm.
What does your yearly school calendar look like? Our calendar can be accessed here. We follow similar days off to the North Branch Area District.
How does transportation work? Phoenix contracts with 4.0 Student Services to provide busing for students who live within ISD #139 boundaries. Some students out of the district are able to use Heartland Express public transportation. The students take a transfer bus from Phoenix to the Middle School bus corral.
Do you have busing for students who do not live in the North Branch Area School district? Busing is only offered to students living inside the ISD #139 boundaries, or through arrangements made with Heartland Express. Many of our families outside ISD #139 find that carpooling is easy and effective. If you have further questions, please contact the school.
What is the transfer busing system? Phoenix students are dropped off at the bus corral by North Branch Middle School/Education Center, then they get on two transfer buses to be taken to the door of Phoenix. In the afternoon, the process is reversed with students getting on two buses at Phoenix to be dropped off at the bus corral, and then students find their correct bus number to be taken home.
How does Phoenix ensure the safety of the students on the buses during the transfer process? Phoenix has staff at the bus corral in the morning to guide students to the transfer buses, and they ride the transfer bus with students to the bus corral in the afternoon and help guide students to their buses. Bus drivers tend to sit the younger students in the front of the bus and the older students toward the back.
When can I enroll my student? Enrollment can take place as early as October of the year before your student will be attending. For example, a student who will be in kindergarten for the 2022-23 school year can register as early as October 2021.
How does enrollment work? By Minnesota law, all new registrations are considered equal until a February lottery date. In February, open seats are filled via a lottery system. Seats remaining after the lottery are filled on a first come, first-served basis.
Do siblings get automatic admission? Yes, siblings get preference unless a grade is full, in which case there is no space to make the exception.
How is food provided at Phoenix Academy? We contract with a school lunch caterer to provide daily hot lunches and cold breakfasts. Kindergarteners are provided free breakfasts, per state statute
Can food allergies be accommodated? Yes. Please provide our Food Service director with documentation of the food allergy before the start of the school year.
How many classes of each grade is Phoenix planning for the 2022-23 school year? We mostly have one class per grade, K-6, along with our Blue Sky virtual school program for 7-8 graders. We do have some split classes, and will add classes as enrollment numbers and space allows.
What specialist teachers are at Phoenix? For the 2022-23 school year, we offer music and art for grades K-6, as well as choir and band for 5-6. We will offer several after-school clubs this year - look for more information from your classroom teacher later in the school year!
What events happen during the school year? Student Success Days (open house/meet your teacher), parent-teacher conferences, holiday celebrations, Trunk or Treat, a book fair, and a field day are just some of the events we hope to host in the coming school year.
Before and After Care
Is there a before and after care program on-site? Yes, we offer programming on-site before school from 6am-8:00am, and after school from 2:45-6pm on school days. Registration information is available on our website.
What volunteer opportunities are available to parents and families? We always welcome volunteers to help with front office tasks, lunch and recess monitoring, reading and math tutoring, and for assistance at a variety of events hosted throughout the year. Our Phoenix Academy Parent Organization has an active Facebook page to get connected, or contact our front office for more information.