News & Events
April 13th, 2018
“I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap.” – Ani DeFranco
The heart of the new CCS Rock Garden came to life with color after its dedication in loving memory of our inspirational Co-Founder Mr. Greg Miller. Our rocks were painted and placed after watching a reading of “Only One You” by Linda Kranz. #spreadingjoy
April 7th, 2018
No school Saturday?….Who says?! The Challenge Charter School campus has been very busy this Saturday! CCS Alumni, Patrick Kontz, has been leading Troop 747 today in the construction of a very special Rock Garden…thank you for choosing CCS for your sustainable service project in pursuit of your Eagle status! We are excited to add each CCS Eagle’s individual painted rock to form our community garden during a ceremony this coming Friday. Keep an eye on the beauty as it continues to develop like our real garden each season and year. We were also proud to host the Destination Imagination competition at CCS today! The Destination Imagination program is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage, and curiosity through open-ended academic challenges in the fields of STEM, fine arts, and service further developing Teamwork skills. Congratulations to our team, the Imagination Eagles for taking first place in Engineering winning the ”Renaissance Award!”
March 14th, 2018
Thank you CCS families and students for coming out to our Art Gala and supporting the hard work of our wonderful student artists! We hope you enjoyed making photo props and crafts, taking pictures, dressing up, and scoping out the amazing vision of the school artwork on display! We’re excited for next year’s gala to be an even bigger success!
February 14th, 2018
Fourth grade students entered a statewide competition to show their art skills and AZ social studies knowledge in the first annual “We Are Arizona!” competition. Out of 52 entries, CCS 4th graders won second place for their entry entitled “The Home of Arizona”. Students won a field trip to the Mesa Arts Center to see a play by East Valley Children’s Theater and got their very own Mobile Art visit from local artist Therosia through the Phoenix Center for the Arts!
March 8th, 2018:
Fourth-sixth grade students competed in the annual CCS Science Fair. Students explained and defended the results of their projects to the science fair judges using the scientific method. Both their scientific knowledge and presentation skills, impressed the community judges. Students were invited to bring their parents to the evening event to view the amazing projects and see all of the winning ribbons. Thank you to all those who attended and to the volunteer judges.
March 2nd, 2018:
Read Across America Day is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually on March 2—Dr. Seuss’s birthday. On this special day, CCS students and staff celebrated with a character parade where students and staff dressed as their favorite book character. Classes also took advantage of the beautiful weather by reading outside with buddy classrooms. At CCS, we celebrate reading every day.
To quote Dr. Seuss, “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is w aiting, so get on your way!”
Officer Bud Machamer joined the CCS family in the fall of 2010 when he began working with our 4th – 6th grade students, teaching the D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T programs, equipping students with the skills they needed to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence, and instead, make positive choices and overcome peer pressure. For several years, he concluded his program’s lessons with an essay contest and hosted a pizza party for all the participants. Officer Bud also served as a community member on CCS’s School Advisory Council and provided us with valuable input related to school safety. In January 2013, when budget cuts threatened to eliminate these important programs, CCS staff, students and parents rallied on behalf of Officer Bud Machamer, showing up in large numbers to speak to the Glendale City Council in an attempt to save the program and keep Officer Bud at our school. While ultimately, the D.A.R.E & G.R.E.A.T programs were eliminated, Officer Bud remained a fixture on the CCS campus and served as our School Resource Officer. Officer Bud you have been an exceptional teacher, friend, and defender of CCS! We are so thankful to have been a part of one chapter of your life and we wish you many blessings as you embark on your next adventure! May it be full of the immense amount of joy you brought to us. You will always be a part of the CCS Family!
November 17th, 2017 :
CCS students showed us their best trot as they did laps around the field to raise money for new technology at Challenge.
A big thank you to all the volunteers and contributors that made our 4th Annual Turkey Trot such a huge success! CCS is so thankful for the amazing support during these events each year!
October 21st, 2017:
Thank you CCS families & friends who attended and participated in our annual Multicultural Day event. Families shared their culture, foods, and traditions. Multicultural Day is a time where the community comes together to learn and grow. We are thankful to have this opportunity each year and look forward to another successful Unity Day next year.
September 22nd, 2017
Families climbed aboard the Magic School Bus and were transported to CCS classrooms where they participated in amazing SCIENCE experiments and hands on activities created by CCS teachers and students!
It was a magical event where families and friends gathered for a fun filled night! Many CCS Alumni attended and signed our visitor board. We hope to see you there next year!
May 8th-May 11th 2017:
The ASU GSV Summit is a conference where you have the opportunity to learn from and meet the smartest and most influential learning & talented tech minds from around the world. Many big names from the learning and talent innovation community presented and attended.
With talented forward thinking minds everywhere there was great motivation to bring back something amazing! This is where the partnership with Tech Smart Kids began. Tech Smart’s program and creator amazed us, and we knew they would be a great fit for CCS.
Principal Miller also spoke on a panel, for the Center for Education Reform, discussing how Challenge Charter School with its traditional classroom design remains successful in the midst of newer web based distance learning styles. Leadership from all types of schools came to learn what makes Challenge so unique and prosperous.
February 25th, 2017:
Challenge Charter School won the 2017 Honeywell Fiesta Bowl Aerospace Challenge!
Congratulations to the Challenge Charter School Team of Champions!
Team R.A.C.E: the Rapidly Ascending Cosmic Eagles:
Ruth Cox, Ada Stanley, Catherine Taylor, Emily Taylor, and Coach Amanda Dismukes
Team R.A.C.E worked tirelessly doing research to prepare for the challenging mission: to “create a scale model and written report about an International Logistics Mission to colonize Phobos, a moon of Mars. The primary purpose of this mission is to develop a plan to establish a sustainable base on Phobos with minimal support from Earth. A secondary mission of the base is to develop an infrastructure to support Command, Control, and Communications (C3) for robotics and humans on Mars. The base must be able to support a crew of 24 people within 10 years supported by nine launches per year from Earth.”
On Monday February 6th, at the ASU Polytechnic Campus, R.A.C.E. wowed the Honeywell Engineer judges and took first place during the first round of the semi-finals. Approximately 300 schools, from across the state, mostly middle-school students, compete in the semi-finals. 6 Teams are selected to compete in the Finals. Challenge was very proud to be one of those finalists, less than 1 % of the competition makes it to the finals.
Finalists prepared a ten minute oral presentation to be delivered to a tough panel of judges on Saturday February 25th at the National Bank of Arizona Conference Center. Following their presentation, R.A.C.E. shone during a judging Q & A session.
While the judges deliberated, the teams enjoyed learning from a real astronaut, Ed Gibson. When someone in the audience asked Ed what the Earth looked like on the way to the moon, he said it was “Familiar, yet more grand and more beautiful.” Also, grand and beautiful, were the moments that followed when Team R.A.C.E. was announced as the winners of the 2017 Honeywell Fiesta Bowl Aerospace Challenge!
Later the judges said they stood out for their “teamwork and energy” & “knowing their stuff!” Judges also told the girls that everyone has “butterflies” when they present in public and commended them that their “butterflies flew in formation.”
R.A.C.E. has made us all so very proud and won on all expenses paid trip to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville Alabama. They are going to Space Camp! They will also be making an on field appearance at the 2017-2018 Fiesta Bowl.Their perseverance, teamwork, and talent are an inspiration to us all. We appreciate the support, help, and collaboration of their families, their Coach, Mrs. Amanda Dismukes the CCS Technology Teacher, Ms. Meghan Sheehan, the 6th Grade Coordinator, and CCS Alumni Patrick Kontz.
Congratulations Team R.A.C.E! Thank you to the Fiesta Bowl, Honeywell, National Bank of Arizona, Astronaut Ed Gibson, the ASU Polytechnic Campus, Mesa and all of our community partners.
Magic School Bus Night was a big hit! Families and staff were able to see all the hard work CCS students and teachers put into decorating their classrooms and setting up science experiments for families to try.
Thank you everyone who joined and participated in our annual Multicultural Day event. Families shared information about their culture, foods, and traditions. Multicultural day is a time where the community comes together to learn and grow. We are thankful to have this opportunity each year and look forward to another successful event next year.
Thank you to everyone who helped make the 3rd Annual Turkey Trot such a huge success. The Turkey Trot is a fun and fit activity that raises funds for Challenge. For more information on how to become a sponsor call 602-938-5411.
Previous School Happenings
What a celebration! On October 28, 2015, the Arizona Charter Schools Association recognized CCS Founders, Greg and Pam Miller, with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Education. The Millers received a standing ovation as they accepted this honor and spoke to the sold out crowd about their motivation and passion to ensure every child has every opportunity possible.
On November 20th, CCS students showed us their best trot as they did laps around the field to raise money for new technology at Challenge.
A big thank you to all the volunteers and contributors that made our Second Annual Turkey Trot such a big success!
Second grade students were introduced to several new strategies to help them to add and subtract fluently. To practice the subtraction strategies they’d learned, the second graders enjoyed turning the classroom into a bowling alley in order to play “Subtraction Bowling.” The kids took turns as pin setters, bowlers and score keepers. After students in each lane set up the number of Dixie cup pins they wanted, up to 20, the bowlers used tennis balls to try and knock down as many pins as possible. The pin setters quickly scooped up the pins that had been knocked down, and the score keepers, had to subtract the number of pins that were left standing from the number they had started with to find out each bowler’s score.
Third grade learned about Time Signature. The students learned how to determine how many beats were in a measure when looking at a musical line combining math and music. Once they were able to identify the beats per measure, they created their own musical measures. We clapped out the different beats once everyone was finished. The students love it!
After studying the ancient Maya, Aztec, and Inca, the fifth graders were challenged to design a parachute that would allow an Aztec prisoner to escape from the top of the temple. The students could use a variety of materials from tissues to construction paper and dental floss to yarn, and they could design it in any shape or size they felt would work.
Once completed, the students went to test them out!
First Friday Dance Party is a BLAST! Every 1st Friday of each month at 8:10AM, Principal Miller turns the music on and dances her way around campus with our CCS Eagles. Everyone gets to show their best dance moves before the school day begins. We have so much fun!
Congratulations to the Challenge Charter School community! CCS is the only elementary school in the State to be recognized for the highest level of Excellence in Civic Engagement by the AZ Department of Education! CCS held an essay and speech contest for 6th graders to select the student who would represent the school during the awards ceremony on Constitution Day: September 17th, 2014. All of the speeches were excellent!! They were all bound in a book and given to the Department during the ceremony and can be viewed by using the included link and all of the students who participated received a Principal’s Pride Award. Congratulations to Gracie Senseman! She received the most student votes and did a great job representing CCS on the 17th giving her speech in front of all of the other schools, the Department of Education and Superintendent Huppenthal! To read all of the speeches given during the 6th grade competition see our 6th grade page! For more information about the award please see the Press Release put out by the AZ Dept. of Education.