2020 Best Charter Elementary Schools in Phoenix Arizona

#1 – Pensar Academy

Pensary Academy is an Arizona Project Based Learning (PBL) school and is our top pick for the best charter school in Phoenix, Arizona. Pensar Academy is a free, public charter school that is paid for by state and local funding. Each Pensar student will receive a world class education at a public school price! Now serving Grades 4 – 8. Pensar Academy seeks to proactively maintain a safe campus through social skills classes, a strict code of conduct, including a uniform policy, and zero tolerance policies in place to immediately address and extinguish student misbehavior to allow teachers to teach and students to learn. At Pensar, class sizes are deliberately capped at 25 students to ensure that every student receives the attention they deserve to excel academically. Each student at Pensar is leased his/her own laptop  coupled with 21st Century technology training to become skilled in using technology as an educational tool.

#2 –  Great Hearts Academies

Great Hearts Academies is a non-profit charter school management organization that operates a network of primary, middle, and high schools in the Phoenix, Arizona Metropolitan area and in San Antonio and Irving, Texas. In Arizona, Great Hearts Academies had 7,469 students enrolled for the 2013-14 school year.

#3 – BASIS Scottsdale Primary – East Campus

BASIS Scottsdale Primary East maintains a strong school community and culture that is spirited, welcoming, and supportive. Every day, students are engaged in hands-on, collaborative lessons that continually connect the different subjects to each other. At BASIS Scottsdale Primary East, we also focus on social and emotional learning, in addition to academics. The social and emotional learning program is continued in and outside of the classroom. Currently, BASIS Scottsdale Primary East Campus offers its community an academically accelerated education in kindergarten through fourth grade.

#4 – Bright Beginnings School

Bright Beginnings School is a private preschool and public charter elementary school serving bright and curious students 3 years old through 6th grade. Bright Beginnings offers an accelerated program that gives students a strong academic foundation, while also providing a well-rounded, liberal arts education.

#5 – Legacy Traditional School

Legacy Traditional Schools puts the focus back where it should be: on our kids. It’s easy to see why Legacy continues to be the highest rated Kindergartern-8th grade charter school network in Arizona. It starts with one student striving to be his/her best, and it continues to impact nearly 19,000 students network-wide. We hope you’ll take a moment to see why Legacy is the right choice for your family.

Benefits of Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning (PBL) is a powerful teaching method that has copious benefits for students, ranging from project management to self-confidence. According to research conducted by The Autodesk Foundation, studies have shown that project-based learning is linked to significant improvements in student test scores, attendance and classroom engagement. It also gives teachers the opportunity to build stronger relationships with their students by acting as their hands-on learning facilitator. In essence, PBL is an instructional method where students collaborate with others and “learn by doing.” The same skills learned through PBL are also many of the skills sought by employers.

Too often, traditional learning never ventures beyond the realm of the purely academic. Arizona Project based learning connects students to the real world. Project-based learning prepares students to accept and meet challenges in the real world, mirroring what professionals do every day. Because of its focus on 21st-century skills, the PBL model also enhances students’ technology abilities. Jennifer Gonzalez noted how project-based learning helps students develop teamwork and problem-solving skills, along with the ability to communicate effectively with others. The collaborative nature of projects also reinforces the social-emotional learning (SEL) programs being implemented at progressive schools around the world.

Instead of short-term memorization strategies, project-based learning provides an opportunity for students to engage deeply with the target content, bringing about a focus on long-term retention. PBL also improves student attitudes toward education, thanks to its ability to keep students engaged. The PBL structure lends itself to building intrinsic motivation because it centers student learning around an essential central question or problem and a meaningful outcome.

Daniel Pink, in his TEDTalk and influential book, Drive, says people are intrinsically motivated by three things—autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Popular terms like grit and rigor become embedded dispositions when learners sink their teeth into meaningful endeavors.

A recent collaborative study conducted by the University and Michigan and Michigan State University suggests the implementation of project-based learning correlated positively with student achievement, particularly in schools serving high-poverty communities. This research emphasizes the importance of projects being standards-aligned and supported with research-proven instructional strategies. These interpersonal aspects of PBL dovetail perfectly with the use of technology in the classroom. Technology-based projects are interdisciplinary, collaborative, inquiry-based, self-directed, motivating, and address the full range of student needs and learning styles, according to Christa Love of TechnoKids. Additionally, digital literacies and digital citizenship objectives become ingrained in tech-based projects.

Speaking of learning objectives, a quick review of ISTE’s recently revised standards for students will disclose the relevance of Project-based learning to modern learning. By highlighting standards including empowered learner, innovative designer, creative communicator, and global collaborator, you would think these standards were tailor-made with Project-based learning in mind.

What is Arizona Project Based Learning?

Arizona Project Based Learning is more than just a teaching method. It’s a revitalization of education for students so that they can develop intellectually and emotionally. By utilizing real world scenarios and problems, students obtain useful knowledge and skills that will increase throughout their designated projects.  The goals of using complex questions or problems is to develop and enhance student learning by encouraging critical thinking, problem solving and teamwork. The project’s proposed question drives students to make their own decisions, perform their own research, and review their own and fellow students’ process/projects.

In other words, Project-based learning is a student centered pedagogy that involves a enhanced dynamic classroom approach which is believed that students acquire a more extensive amount of knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems.

Chronic Pain: Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment

Chronic Pain: Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment


  • Chronic pain is often defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Whereas acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible injury, chronic pain is very different. Chronic pain persists—often for months or even longer.
  • Chronic pain may arise from an initial injury, such as a back sprain, or there may be an ongoing cause, such as illness. However, there may also be no clear cause. Other health problems, such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite, and mood changes, often accompany chronic pain. Chronic pain may limit a person’s movements, which can reduce flexibility, strength, and stamina. This difficulty in carrying out important and enjoyable activities can lead to disability and despair.


  • Pain is a very personal and subjective experience. There is no test that can measure and locate pain with precision.  So, health professionals rely on the patient’s own description of the type, timing, and location of pain. Defining pain as sharp or dull, constant or on-and-off, or burning or aching may give the best clues to the cause of the pain. These descriptions are part of what is called the pain history, taken during the start of the evaluation of a patient with pain.
  • Since chronic pain may occur in a variety of locations in the body and for many different reasons, patients and their health professionals need to work together to identify the causes and symptoms of that pain and how it can be relieved.
  • Although technology can help health professionals form a diagnosis, the best treatment plans are tailored to the person, with input from healthcare team members, who each have different training backgrounds and understand chronic pain. The person with pain and his or her loved ones also must be actively involved in the treatment.


With chronic pain, the goal of treatment is to reduce pain and improve function, so the person can resume day-to-day activities. Patients and their healthcare providers have a number of options for the treatment of pain. Some are more effective than others. Whatever the treatment plan, it is important to remember that chronic pain usually cannot be cured, but it can be managed. The following treatments are among the most common ways to manage pain. Visit Chandler’s Top Pain Management Clinic today!

Medications, acupuncture, electrical stimulation, nerve blocks, or surgery are some treatments used for chronic pain. Less invasive psychotherapy, relaxation therapies, biofeedback, and behavior modification may also be used to treat chronic pain. These methods can be powerful and effective in some people. When it comes to chronic pain treatment, many people find adding complementary or alternative  medicine (CAM) approaches can provide additional relief. These may include tai chi, acupuncture, meditation, massage therapies, and similar treatments.

Self-management of chronic pain holds great promise as a treatment approach. In self-management programs, the individual patient becomes an active participant in his or her pain treatment—engaging in problem-solving, pacing, decision-making, and taking actions to manage their pain. Although self-management programs can differ, they have some common features. Their approach is that the person living with pain needs help learning to think, feel, and do better, despite the persistence of pain. Improving communication with the healthcare provider is part of that empowerment.
Through NIH-supported research, starting successful self-management programs has reduced many barriers to effective pain management, regardless of the underlying conditions. Individuals who participate in these programs have significantly increased their ability to cope with pain. They improve their ability to be active, healthy, and involved members of their communities. In fact, new research suggests that the best self-management programs teach people different ways of thinking about and responding to pain, making their actions to relieve it more effective.

Sewer Line Repair

Who Is Responsible for Sewer Line Repair in Arizona: City or Homeowner?

So all of a sudden you’re faced with a nasty (and expensive) Sewer Line Repair job.

But now you’re wondering who’s actually responsible for sewer line repairs.

Every city has slight variations to this rule but most cities, including those in Arizona, state that homeowners are responsible for any maintenance, repairs or work needed on the sewer lateral lines.

In this article, we’ll explain:

  • What lateral lines are
  • What you as a homeowner are responsible for
  • What to do when you need sewer line repairs

Homeowners are responsible for “sewer lateral lines”

The sewer lateral lines (otherwise known as private laterals) is the part of the sewer line that runs from your house and connects to the sewer main in the street.

Homeowners own and are responsible for these lateral lines.

Do home warranties or homeowner’s insurance policies cover sewer line repairs?

Tough question.

It really depends on your particular policy. But most basic homeowner’s insurance won’t cover sewer line repairs, especially if the damage occurs outside the “footprint” of your home’s foundation or is a result of aging and “wear and tear”.

However, some home warranties do cover the cost of sewer line repairs.

This site gives you a better idea of what’s covered under a basic home warranty.

But, remember, to get a true answer as to whether your home warranty or home insurance policy covers your particular sewer line repair, contact your insurance or warranty company directly.

What to do when you need a sewer line repair

If you’re in need of a sewer line repair, the faster you act the better you’re able to protect your home (and your wallet) from further damage.

The first thing you need to do is hire a professional plumbing company that you trust to handle the job.

Once you’ve hire a licensed contractor, their process will look something like this:

Step 1: Clear standing water/sewage in the line
First, it will need to be determined exactly where the line needs to be repaired and what kind of repair is needed.

To do this your plumber will first need to get the sewage and water in the line to go down a bit. This is done by either running a sewer cable (drain snake) down the line or possibly a high pressure water jet. A water jet is a machine designed for cleaning drains and sewer with controlled high pressure water.

This step needs to be completed first otherwise the standing water or sewage in the line will prevent the damage from being visible in the next step.

Step 2: Determine the damage
Next your plumber will need to inspect your sewer lines. If your contractor offers video inspections of your sewer lines, opt for this service.

Video inspections are the most accurate way to diagnose your sewer issue. They cut down on time and decrease the potential for unnecessary repairs/replacement. The plumber will be able to show you in real time, exactly what the issue is on their video screen and give you some options.

Step 3: Access the sewer line
Your sewer lines run underground, so accessing them will require excavation.

Occasionally, depending on how the sewer line is installed and how the property is landscaped this can be a rather large undertaking. It may require not only excavation, but cutting and removing concrete, and/or the removal of plants, or trees as well.

Step 4: Repair or replacement
Once the damaged portion of the pipe is accessed, your plumber will need to either repair or replace your line.

A sewer line repair involves replacing just the damaged or broken section of sewer pipe, whereas a replacement of the damaged sewer means going from the closest point of connection at the home to the connection of the city owned line.

Depending on the extent of the damage though, your plumber may be able to use a “trenchless” alternative that prevents damage to your landscaping.

Note: if it’s determined that you need to replace your sewer line, you may need to get a permit from your city to make sure everything is up to code.

In need of a Phoenix plumber?

AMPM Home Services offers advanced camera inspections that help get your sewer repair done quickly and correctly, the first time. We also offer trenchless sewer repair or replacement technologies.

Contact us today to get an estimate on your sewer line repair or replacement.