COVID-19 Updates

Please review the following important updates:

View the 2020-2021 School Year Plan here: 2020-2021 Reopening Plan 2020-2021 School Plan.

View the school's Mitigation Plan* here: Mitigation Plan

View the current Student Mask Policy here: Student Mask Policy

Maricopa County Health Metrics 

From the Principal

December 2020:

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” - C.S. Lewis

COVID-19 closed all of our schools, many of our businesses, and dramatically altered our lives in March 2020. The unexpected and unprecedented nine months to follow have created hardships and challenges for many members of our CCS family and so many people in my heart and on my mind across the globe.

This time will be a part of the history we teach future generations. Some of the changes that became necessary for survival will be a part of the experiences and stories that shape our children’s character. While it is a natural instinct to “protect” them from this, it may be a part of their “extraordinary destiny.” The impression left from this time may be the inspiration they need to change the future world.

This year, closed campus offers less chances to visit with the kids about their progress and dreams. I sure do miss those visits and I am truly humbled by how many of our sweet little Eagles grab the moment when we do talk to make sure they say “THANK YOU…. Thank you for having school right now and for making this school for us.” Their perseverance and gratitude inspire me.

I share in their Attitude of Gratitude! Thank YOU CCS parents for trusting us to be a part of their journey. Thank YOU for keeping every sniffle home, choosing distance learning when possible to keep others safer, becoming the best homeschool teachers, your patience, and the million ways you have continued to share your appreciation with us.

Some other things that I feel especially grateful for this Holiday Season:

  • The best teachers and staff in the world. Seriously, the BEST!!!
  • A strong mitigation investment and plan that is sustaining our school during the worst times of illness in our area. Thus far, we have avoided any campus spread. This takes us all. Stay diligent!
  •  My American freedoms and the democracy of this Great Nation.
  • The way that movement, nature, and music can change any mood and bring relief for all ages in difficult times
  • That miracles come in all shapes and sizes, often disguised as inconveniences. Keep your eyes and heart open for them this Season!

August 2020:

We have been diligently preparing to welcome our Eagles back to the nest this summer and you can always count on CCS to put kids first in all decision making. In this unprecedented time, we understand that the ability to learn on campus according to the already established school day and school calendar Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm for many kids and families is essential.

Per Executive Order 2020-41 and 2020-51, all Arizona public schools shall provide safe “on-site learning opportunities and support services for students needing a place to go during the day” as of August 17th, 2020. Challenge Charter School believes that all children deserve the same access to meet their educational needs and goals and that families should have the authority to choose what is best for their child(ren)’s education.

Having given much time and consideration to all stakeholder feedback, available resources and research, and currently released state guidance/executive orders, the Challenge School Inc. Board of Directors voted unanimously Monday August 10th to adopt the Challenge Charter School Mitigation Plan and to proceed with our hybrid reopening offering an on-campus learning option as scheduled on Monday August 17th, 2020.

At this time CCS is recommending that ALL families with the ability/flexibility to select the distance learning option remain in that program until all three Maricopa County Health Metrics for safely reopening school benchmarks have been within at least the minimal to moderate level for 2 consecutive weeks in Maricopa County.

Please ensure you that you review the recently released metrics prior to having your child(ren) attend on-campus learning or support services as these recommended metrics have not been reached in Maricopa County. Please use the provided dashboard link in this guidance to monitor these metrics closely especially if you, your child, or anyone in your home is immune compromised or showing any signs of illness and please select the distance learning option until all three metrics reach recommended benchmarks if your circumstances allow you to do so.

The 2020-2021 school year plan has been established based on parent and student input and collaboration with our faculty, staff, leadership, and stakeholders. The safety of our students and staff remains my number one priority!

This plan in intended to provide our families as much  flexibility as possible throughout the year. A large investment, a lot of heart, and really hard work has gone into the increased safety measures here on campus to provide kids safe space to interact and meet their social-emotional developmental needs.

We have also made great strides and are excited to show you the many ways we have taken Google Classroom to the next level becoming even more user friendly at home for our young learners.

2019: Challenge Charter School kids are Learning & Leading the Future!: 

As the first TechSmart Kids school in Arizona, CCS is leading the way to add value to, not replace, other important content by integrating computer science coding instruction directly into our content-rich Core Knowledge® curriculum that our kids already love and that is proven successfull!

Learn more about this unique opportunity here....

This partnership takes math instruction to the next level as well as problem solving, logic, sequencing/order of operations, and computer science! 

“It’s been shown that learning to code can help you do better in other subjects that you’re studying or learning. Within programming, you learn how to break down a problem into individual steps and to use a language that the computer understands to logically create a working program.”       -

CCS has 11 Certified Coding Instructors that have successfully graduated from  an intensive training program. We have devoted significant time and consideration to the research behind coding instruction benefits and to finding just the right fit and best available program to align with the school’s consistent mission and emphasis in science and technology. 

We can’t wait to see our Eagles soon and we know they are UP to the TechSmart Kids CHALLENGE!

Previous CCS stories and news:

Challenge Charter School has 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.

These four dynamic and dedicated Challenge Charter School 6th grade girls proved that they are UP TO THE CHALLENGE in this rigorous Space RACE!

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.”

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.”  

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.

CCS has been rated one of the best elementary school in Arizona on Niche K12:

Upcoming Events 

Monday, August 10th, 2020: First day of school. All students will start using distance learning

Monday, August 17th, 2020: First day of hybrid learning to include on-campus.

Tuesday, April 13th: SOM/VIP Assemblies 

Wednesday, April 14th: SOM/VIP Assemblies 

Friday, April 16th: Mid-Term

Saturday, April 17th: Magic School Bus Day (10am-noon)

April 19th & 20th: AZSci Field Testing for 5th grade

Friday, April 23rd: Mid-Terms go home

May 3rd - 4th: Galileo Testing

Wednesday, May 5th: SOM/VIP Assemblies 

Thursday, May 6th: SOM/VIP Assemblies 

Monday, May 24th:  SOM/VIP Assemblies

Tuesday, May 25th: SOM/VIP Assemblies 

Wednesday, May 26th: Last day of school / Early Release at 11:30am / Report Cards go home

Monday, May 31st: Holiday, Office closed

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