News & Events






In celebration of the 100th Day of School, Kindergarten—3rd grade students dressed as if they were 100-years-old! Here are some of our students and staff expressing their fun Eagle Pride!





We want to give a huge thank you to the Glendale West Rotary Club for generously providing us with drawstring bags as prizes for our Student of the Month Award winners! We are so thankful for their support in helping us award our students for all of their dedication and hard work.

We are excited to be handing these out once again to our next Student of the Month award winners next week! Go Eagles!


Fourth graders tested three different brands of hot chocolate to see what they observed to be the best brand! The brands that were tested were Swiss Miss, Nestle, Kroger, and WinCo. So what’s the best hot chocolate?? The class agreed that the best brand was Swiss Miss because it was the easiest to mix and it had the best taste, creaminess, and color!







Having fun while staying safe! Way to go Eagles!



What a tasty hands on way to learn about the five senses!! Way to go Kinder Eagles!


This is how CCS Eagles learn Order of Operations!


August 2020- Thank you to everyone that helped make these safety partitions possible!









1-22-2020- Kindergarten Kings & Queens Project!

Once Upon a Time at CCS  The Kindergarten classes  took a step back in time to learn about Kings and Queens and the Royal family. Along the way they read some famous fairy tales and stories. Some favorites were Cinderella, King Midas and the Golden Touch, and the Princess and the Pea. Students were asked to work at home with their families and come up with a STEAM project. They had to plan out their project, list the supplies needed, sketch out their project and finally make the final product. We had a great time showing off our projects to the school during our “Royalty Walk”.  

10-26-19-Another amazing Multicultural Day! A big thank you to all who made it possible!


2019-2020 Eagle Pride Shirt Now for Sale!

Final Order Due August 26nd! Order online by following this link!

Click to Order





Come Enjoy some pizza and support Challenge Charter School! Bring the attached flyer to donate 15% of the purchase to CCS!

Date: Tuesday, May 21

Time: 4pm-8pm

Place: Peter Piper Pizza at Arrowhead                                7525 W. Bell Rd. Peoria 85382



Congratulations CCS Alumni Audrey Beerman!

Audrey attended Challenge Charter School for all her elementary years from Kindergarten until the end of 6th grade.

She is among less than 1% of students receiving a perfect score this year on the ACT college entrance standardized exam!

Read more about this outstanding accomplishment here:

Way to go Audrey! We are so proud of you and excited to see what you accomplish next!

Principal Wendy Miller


We finished STRONG!!!!



We are halfway through our Fun Run fundraiser. Mighty Mike and the rest of the Apex team have been amazing and students and staff are having a blast! Remember to ask your child about the daily Apex “STRONG” leadership wristbands and lessons.  If you’d like to make a donation, go to and login with your child’s access code located on the front of their pledge kit! Thank you to all of our families and sponsors for supporting our school!



Today’s Apex Leadership Lesson: TRUSTWORTHY – A trustworthy person is someone that can be relied on as honest and truthful. We can build trust with others when we follow through.

This means that we “Do what we say, every single day!”

Save the Date—APEX FUN RUN

CCS is very excited to be hosting the Apex Fun Run as our last, big fundraiser of the year!

-Kick off April 16th       -Fun Run April 25th           

It’s cool to raise funds for your school!

Participate to raise money for new A.C. units!

Click here to learn more! Pledge forms coming home April 16th.



Apex Fun Run is coming to our school from April 15th through April 26th!!  

We’re so excited to tell you about our only major fundraiser this spring, the Apex Fun Run!  Apex Fun Run is a local company and will be on campus for 2 weeks teaching our students about leadership and fitness. During the Apex Fun Run, students will be challenged to get pledges for the laps they will run on Fun Run day.  Funds raised this year will be used to pay for new air conditioning units.  Please look for more info about the program and ways to support our school as we get closer to the event!



Literacy Character Day!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Our CCS Eagles grabbed a book and joined the parade around campus in their favorite literacy character costumes to celebrate Read Across America Day! What a fun way to celebrate Dr. Seuss birthday & Read Across America!





Vikings Raid in 3rd Grade

Third grade showed off their Vikings shields and ships today! What an awesome way to learn about history!!

Celebrate Screen Free with Decades Day!



No School December 21st – January 7th, School will resume January 8th.




11-16-18-  Thank you volunteers and sponsors for your commitment to another amazing Turkey Trot! CCS could not have done it without you!

September 7, 2018

Our garden continues to grow here at CCS as we welcome new students to paint their very own rock for the CCS Rock Garden. The CCS heart shaped rock garden was created as a tribute to Mr. Miller the “heart” of CCS and was inspired by the book Only One You by Linda Kranz. Sixth graders did a great job welcoming these students by sharing this story and gave a helping hand while students painted their rocks. A big thank you to Mrs. Grubb who coordinated this special event.



April 27, 2018

Thank you to the amazing Challenge Charter School Kids Care Club, for your service to Veterans through Youth for Troops! CCS after school service club Kids Care Club, teamed up with Youth for Troops, a youth-led nonprofit that serves veterans and their families. Kids Care Club collected food items for Veteran’s and their families over the last few weeks, donating their time and energy after school to help in every way they could. Thank you club leaders, Mrs. Isenberg and Ms. Robinson, for donating your time to this cause.

More info on Youth for Troops below:

Y4T Newsletter May2018

Y4T Presentation_Info Letter 2018

Y4T Donation List



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. #spreadingjoyApril 7, 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 14, 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 14, 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 8, 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 2, 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 17, 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 21, 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 22, 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 11, 2017:

Challenge administrators were fortunate enough to attend the ASU GSV Summit in Salt Lake City. 

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

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.”

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.



Nominate a favorite teacher for the 3TV Silver Apple Award! For complete rules and details please visit the AZfamily website!



Magic School Bus Night 

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.



Multicultural Day 

Thank you everyone who joined and participated in our annual Multicultural Day event. Families shared information mcdsiteabout 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.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Turkey Trot

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 intt-siteformation on how to become a sponsor call 602-938-5411.






Previous School Happenings


Lifetime Achievement Award


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!




2nd Grade Math Activity


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.




3rd Grade Music Activity


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!




5th Grade Parachutes


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!





Dance Party


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!





Civic Engagement button 2013-2014 (2)

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.










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