Top-rated middle schools in Phoenix, Arizona 2024

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Thanks to its warm weather, great job opportunities, growing population, and strong local economy, Phoenix is a great place to live. There are plentiful entertainment options, including great outdoor recreation, a variety of museums, zoos and cultural centers, plus professional sports teams to cheer for.

With many family-friendly neighborhoods, Phoenix offers quality schools, parks, and community events.

What to look for in a Phoenix middle school

Selecting a middle school in Phoenix, Arizona can be a complex process. As the fastest-growing big city in the United States, there is a diverse range of education options with 325 public schools in 30 school districts, along with more than 200 charter and private schools.

Arizona is an open choice state, meaning students can attend any public school they prefer.

It’s crucial to consider factors such as location, specialized focus, academic programs, specific offerings like STEM or language programs, and proven student success data.

Middle school is a crucial time in students’ academic and social development, so it’s important to find a school that provides personalized learning to prepare them for college, careers, and life – in a supportive environment that values diversity and supports success for all learners.

The best local middle schools in Phoenix, AZ

When it comes to choosing the best middle schools in Phoenix, we selected schools with a track record of student success in college prep programs, personalized support, and a focus on preparing students to reach future academic milestones.

Beyond academics, the best local middle schools feature a positive and inclusive school culture, where students feel safe, respected, and engaged in their learning.

1. ASU Prep Academy Phoenix Middle School

ASU Prep Phoenix Middle School students in hallway

ASU Preparatory Academy Phoenix Middle School stands out as the premier choice for middle school education in Phoenix, offering a personalized, tuition-free, PreK–12 public charter school experience that sets students on the path to college and career success.

Personalized curriculum allows learners to work at their own pace, developing critical thinking and social-emotional skills through relevant projects and activities.

Along the way, students can choose to get ahead by completing high school courses for credit while still in junior high school, learning to set goals and becoming active participants in their own education. Chartered by Arizona State University, the school provides unparalleled opportunities for students to earn university credits and internship opportunities while in middle and high school, along with a diverse and supportive community of learners.

ASU Prep Phoenix Middle School boasts a range of opportunities to get involved. Whether it’s participating in a student club like Robotics, or attending an ASU Prep community event with fun for the whole family.

The school’s rigorous yet inclusive approach, combined with its focus on early college opportunities and personalized learning, positions it as the top choice for families seeking an exceptional middle school education in the Phoenix area.

ASU Prep Phoenix provides continuity of exceptional education, starting in kindergarten and extending through elementary school, middle school, and high school all in one campus.

Name: ASU Prep Phoenix Middle School

Address: 735 E Fillmore St, Phoenix, AZ 85006

Contact Number: 602-496-3100


2. ASU Prep Academy South Phoenix Intermediate

ASU Prep South Phoenix Intermediate students

ASU Preparatory Academy South Phoenix Intermediate School, a tuition-free public charter school, is an ideal middle school choice, offering a personalized path to college and career success in a diverse community. ASU Prep South Phoenix provides continuity of exceptional education, Pre–K through grade 12.

A rigorous curriculum allows learners to work at their own pace, developing critical thinking and social-emotional skills through relevant projects and real-world activities. Students at ASU Prep South Phoenix can earn high school credit in middle school. Once entering high school, they have the opportunity to take Arizona State University courses for credit at no cost to them. This allows students to explore college majors and earn university credit, reducing both time and cost toward their future degrees.

ASU Prep South Phoenix Intermediate features small class sizes, and a supportive environment with a community-focused approach to education. There are several student clubs, including: Student Government, Yearbook, Robotics, and Marketing. Students also have paid internship opportunities through Chicanos Por La Causa. 

Family involvement is encouraged, including ASU Prep community events. Currently, students benefit from a special partnership with The Salvation Army Kroc Center Phoenix, reinforcing the community’s dedication to holistic student development. 

Overall, ASU Prep South Phoenix’s mission to make academic dreams a reality, combined with its comprehensive educational approach and community-focused initiatives, makes it the ideal destination for students aspiring to achieve academic and career success.

Name: ASU Prep South Phoenix Intermediate/High School

Address: 4445 S 12th St, Phoenix, AZ 85040

Contact Number: 602-842-1722


3. Basis Phoenix

BASIS Phoenix Middle School students in hallway

BASIS Phoenix Middle School, a tuition-free public charter school, serves students in grades 6-12 and is part of the globally recognized BASIS Charter Schools network. BASIS Phoenix Middle School aims to empower students to achieve at globally competitive levels and foster a love of learning, natural curiosity, and a desire to excel.

Established in 1998, BASIS charter schools have consistently been named among the top schools in the nation, with 10 of the top 20 charter high schools in the U.S according to U.S. News & World Report 2023 rankings. 

The school offers a transformative K–12 academic program that combines a STEM-infused, liberal arts curriculum designed to cultivate critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and creativity.

The middle school curriculum progressively moves students toward a greater understanding of fundamental concepts in each subject, with classes led by knowledgeable Subject Expert Teachers. Students are exposed to advanced material typically taught in high school. By grade 8, students are mastering complex concepts, taking responsibility for their educational goals, and focusing on their post-BASIS future. The curriculum prepares them for a variety of Advanced Placement exams.

Beyond academics, BASIS Phoenix Middle School offers a range of extracurricular activities, including sports teams that have won state championships, and a highly awarded Speech & Debate team. These activities enhance the learning experience, providing opportunities for enrichment, socialization, and achievement beyond the classroom.

To learn more about BASIS Phoenix Middle School, please visit their Facebook.

4. Great Hearts Academies – Archway Chandler

Great Hearts Academies - Archway Chandler students

Located in the thriving city of Chandler, Great Hearts Academies – Archway Chandler is a state-chartered, tuition-free public school committed to delivering a comprehensive liberal arts education, grounded in the rich traditions of Western Civilization. 

Great Hearts Academies – Archway Chandler offers a college preparatory experience, marked by a dynamic and rigorous curriculum that prepares students for success in higher education and beyond. 

The curriculum is a tapestry of the liberal arts and sciences, designed to challenge and inspire students in grades 6–12. Classical education aims to cultivate the minds and hearts of students through the pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

A Great Hearts education prepares students to be more than just proficient test takers, but rather, to become great-hearted leaders capable of success throughout their higher education and professional careers.

Great Hearts Academies schools, including Archway Chandler, are often highly rated, indicating a strong academic program and positive community feedback.

To learn more about Great Hearts Academies – Archway Chandler, please visit their Facebook.

5. Madison Traditional Academy

Madison Traditional Academy trophy

Madison Traditional Academy, named one of U.S. News Best Middle Schools in Arizona, is the only preschool through 8th grade school in the Madison School District. Their motto is “Inspiring Passion for Learning and Leading in an Ever-Changing World.”

With a focus on academic excellence, character development, and a supportive community, the school provides a well-rounded education that prepares students for success. 

All grade levels receive math instruction at a one year accelerated level and a nurturing environment fosters a strong foundation for students’ future endeavors. 

Additionally, the school’s commitment to personalized learning and extracurricular opportunities ensures a comprehensive educational experience. Signature Programs allow students to develop their talents and explore new opportunities in addition to their regular academic classes. This helps students become more engaged in their classes and have a more rounded educational experience. Programs include International Baccalaureate, Gifted, Spanish Immersion, and STEAM. 

Families must meet the behavior, attendance, and family volunteer requirement to continue enrollment each year.

To learn more about Madison Traditional Academy, please visit their Facebook.

6. Adams Traditional Academy

Arizona State Champions Flag Football

Adams Traditional Academy, a public charter school in north Phoenix, offers a traditional back-to-basics education for students in kindergarten through 8th grade. 

The school’s philosophy, safe environment, and commitment to academic excellence create a strong foundation for student success. 

Rigorous curriculum goes beyond state standards, featuring Core Knowledge, Spalding Integrated Language Arts, Singapore Math, Excellence in Writing, and Latin programs, as well as a robust science lab component.

The school received an “A” rating from the Arizona Department of Education, recognizing the expertise of its teachers and the students’ success. 

The school’s mission is to provide students with a solid knowledge foundation, foster critical thinking, and develop good citizenship and leadership skills. 

Emphasizing academic excellence, individualized attention, and a focus on developing future leaders, Adams Traditional Academy offers a compelling educational experience for families seeking a nurturing and academically enriching environment for their children.

To learn more about Adams Traditional Academy, please visit their Facebook.

7. Sonoran Foothills School

Sonorans Foothills School students

Sonoran Foothills School, a K-8 Deer Valley public school is committed to creating a challenging and diverse learning environment through engaging instruction tailored to individual differences. 

According to U.S. News & World Report, Sonoran Foothills School is ranked #18 for middle schools based on state test scores. Maintaining a favorable student-teacher ratio of 18 to 1, Sonoran Foothills School ranks better than most elementary schools in Arizona, highlighting its dedication to providing quality education.

Sonoran Foothills School offers a diverse range of activities for its students, including Athletics, Band, Chorus, National Junior Honor Society, Reptile Club, Robotics, and Student Council. Chief Science Officers are dedicated to igniting new opportunities in STEM and innovation. These activities cater to different interests and provide students with opportunities for personal growth, skill development, and community involvement. 

Additionally, Sonoran Foothills School students are engaged in STEM initiatives, coding, and teacher resources further enrich the educational experience for students.

To learn more about Sonoran Foothills School, please visit their Facebook.

8. Reid Traditional School Valley Academy

Reid Traditional School Valley Academy students and faculty

Valley Academy, a tuition-free public charter school within the Reid Traditional Schools family, offers an accelerated back-to-basics, traditional education for students in Kindergarten through 8th grade. The school has consistently ranked among the best in Arizona, reflecting its commitment to academic excellence and student success.

The school’s traditional education provides a challenging, sequential, teacher-directed, standards-based, textbook-driven curriculum supported by individual accountability and high academic and behavioral standards.

Valley Academy’s comprehensive middle school program serves as the capstone of a nine-year course of study, emphasizing a challenging and enriching educational experience for students. The curriculum focuses on language arts, reading, and math, providing a strong foundation for further academic pursuits. Additionally, the school offers various before- and after-school programs, fostering student enrichment and development.

The school provides diverse activities and clubs, including Athletics, Band, Chorus, National Junior Honor Society, Reptile Club, Robotics, and Student Council, contributing to a well-rounded educational experience and personal growth for students.

The faculty and staff at Reid Traditional Schools are dedicated to personalized education, utilizing student data to promote growth and success. Valley Academy’s structured curriculum and nurturing environment further enhance its reputation for academic excellence and holistic student development.

To learn more about Reid Traditional School Valley Academy, please visit their Facebook.

9. Stetson Hills School

Stetson Hills School building

Stetson Hills School, a Deer Valley public school, offers a top-rated comprehensive middle school program for students in grades 6–8, focusing on academic excellence and holistic student development. The school has been recognized for its outstanding academic performance, ranking #23 among Arizona middle schools. 

With a strong dedication to student success, the program creates a nurturing and conducive learning environment for students to excel both academically and personally.

The school’s commitment to academic excellence and student well-being is further highlighted by accolades such as the A+ School of Excellence award. Furthermore, the school’s vision focuses on creating a community of lifelong learners, while its mission is to provide extraordinary educational opportunities to every learner.

Stetson Hills School’s philosophy underscores the importance of an excelling staff, successful students taking responsibility for their learning, a collaborative community involving families and community partnerships, and an embracing school culture that values all individuals and promotes good character.

Stetson Hills School provides a variety of extracurricular activities like Athletics, Choir, Student Council, Band, and National Junior Honor Society, as well as before- and after-school programs.

To learn more about Stetson Hills Schools, please visit their Instagram.

10. Union Park School

Union Park School students at book fair

Union Park School’s middle school program is committed to fostering an inclusive and culturally aware environment, placing a special emphasis on Spanish language literacy and diverse cultural awareness. As the first school in the Deer Valley Unified School District to offer a Spanish Immersion program, students have the unique opportunity to earn high school credits during their middle school years, with the option to take Spanish 1-2H.

The school’s commitment to nurturing academic achievement is further demonstrated through its Renaissance program, which aims to boost student performance and acknowledge academic accomplishments.

In addition to its academic focus, Union Park School offers various extracurricular programs like Athletics, Choir, Student Council, Band, and National Junior Honor Society. The school emphasizes academic success, physical fitness, character development, discipline, and good sportsmanship. 

Furthermore, the school’s middle school program reflects a dedication to providing a well-rounded education that not only emphasizes academic excellence but also encourages cultural awareness and inclusivity. 

The school anticipates rapid growth due to the ongoing development of new homes and apartments in the surrounding area.

To learn more about Union Park School, please visit their Facebook.

Comparing top-rated Phoenix middle schools?

ASU Prep Phoenix Middle School and ASU Prep South Phoenix Intermediate are tuition-free public middle schools offering personalized paths to college and career success. 

We believe all students can achieve success at the highest levels, and it’s why our education is personalized, project-based, and delivered at a pace that meets students where they are. The pathway to higher education and career success continues through high school at ASU Prep Phoenix High School and ASU Prep South Phoenix High School. 

Our goal is that each ASU Prep student will graduate with a minimum of 12 ASU college credits at no cost to our families. We offer every student the chance to take university or concurrent courses while in high school, saving them time and money when they get to college. 

Chartered by Arizona State University, ASU Prep Academy students are Sun Devils from day one, receiving regular opportunities for mentorship by ASU students and faculty. It’s how we’re helping students discover and pursue their passions, achieve their goals, and build a lifelong love of learning on their journey to success.

To learn more about ASU Preparatory Academy, please visit our website.