What is a charter school?

Charter schools are public, state-funded schools that are autonomously run. They contract with an authorizer to provide a specific education service. Candeo’s authorizer is the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools. Their purpose is to provide choice in education and raise student achievement.

How do I know which charter school is the best fit for my child?

Charter schools are part of the education marketplace in Arizona. They exist to offer something different to a target population of students; thus, they provide parents with many educational choices. An important part of making a choice is gathering information on the philosophy, curriculum, instruction, and environment of a school. What is great for your neighbor’s child may not be best for your child. Be sure to access the school’s website and printed material, as well as tour the school to get your best understanding of its program of instruction. Your child should fully comport with the purposes and design of the charter school and be prepared to meet the expectations set forth.

The Arizona Charter Schools Association recently introduced our one-of-a-kind, online public school comparison tool dubbed, “Education Evaluator.” Already proclaimed the best new online tool by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, the Education Evaluator is a new way for parents to find and evaluate which of Arizona’s 2,000 public schools are best for their children. Parents can find schools using a variety of filter options including searching for schools by grade, number of students, zip codes, academic achievement labels, per student funding, math and reading proficiency, student growth, and much more. Legislators will also find it a useful tool as schools can be found using legislative and congressional district filter options.

What sets Candeo apart from other schools?

Candeo embraces a classical liberal arts education philosophy. We utilize the nationally recognized Core Knowledge curriculum for content, which stresses the knowledge most useful for comprehension, school learning, and communication within the civic life of a society. Candeo students are immersed in a rich sequence of World and American History and Geography, Science, Visual Arts, Music, English Language Arts, Foreign Language, and Mathematics. We center on the classics in literature, art, and music, and utilize primary source documents in our instruction. Everything we do and learn is in pursuit of the good, true, and beautiful.

Candeo’s culture reflects a commitment to excellence at every turn. We hire highly passionate and aligned teachers and administrators who believe in the mission and philosophy of Candeo, and have high expectations for all students. Our school has consistently ranked in the top one one percent of all schools in the state of Arizona since inception.

When and how can I register my child for Candeo?

Candeo begins accepting online applications in November for the following school year. If there are more applicants than spaces, a lottery is held to determine placement and waitlist order. You will be contacted by email to confirm your placement or spot on our waitlist. Once a placement has been made, you will be required to bring a completed enrollment packet along with your child’s original birth certificate (or other proof of age/identity) and a copy of shot records to the office in order to secure enrollment. Students must be present on the first day of school in order to be considered enrolled. Kindergarten students must turn 5 before September 1st. Please visit our application section of our website for further information.

What curriculum does Candeo use?

Candeo utilizes the nationally-recognized Core Knowledge® curriculum for its rich, specific, and sequenced content from Kindergarten to 8th Grade. Please visit the curriculum section of our website for further information.

Why does Candeo require uniforms?

School uniforms contribute to a safe and orderly environment. Uniforms relieve pressure to dress in expensive or trendy clothing. Our students are expected to fully abide by the uniform policy.

Our official uniform provider is Anton Uniforms.

What are Candeo’s calendar and school hours?

We operate a modified traditional calendar that includes an early start date and fewer instructional days per year than typical district public schools. In addition, we schedule two full fall breaks, a full winter and spring break, and extended weekends throughout the year.

Our hours are 8:15 am-3 pm for (K-4) students, 8:15 am -3:15 pm for 5th grade, and 8 am-3:15 pm for middle school students (6-8). Wednesdays are always half days, ending at 11:45 am (K-4) and noon (5-8).

What is the average class size at Candeo?

Candeo has less than 24 students per class. Our student-to-teacher ratio is 1:17. This ratio includes specialty teachers. Our full campus size is 600.

Does Candeo offer after-school and/or extracurricular programs?

Yes. Candeo provides a fee-based after-school program through an outside company, Innovation Learning, that is available until 6 pm daily. In addition, Candeo offers a variety of fee-based after-school enrichment programs, including chorus, chess, drama, winds and strings, Lego Engineering, martial arts, and sports. Various academic clubs are also offered.

We do not offer a before-care program.

Does Candeo charge Tuition?

No. Candeo is a state-funded public charter school that receives funds for every grade except full-day Kindergarten. If parents choose full day, they are responsible to pay the difference. The full day Kindergarten fee is $375 per month.

The State does not fund Kindergarten twice. If a child enters another public Kindergarten program early (birthday September 1st-December 31st), he or she must meet Candeo curriculum mastery requirements for 1st grade to be enrolled.

Does Candeo take donations and contributions?

Yes. Candeo is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, which accepts donations and contributions. In fact, we rely on parent and community financial support to make up the difference in funding between us and other schools. As a charter school, we receive about $1500 LESS PER PUPIL than district public schools, and thousands less than private. Contributions through Annual Giving go directly to the classroom to provide the best possible experience we can offer.


Annual Classroom Giving from each family is $1500 or more. The funds go directly to the classroom, ensuring the following:

  • Lower class size
  • Competitive teacher salaries, raises, bonuses, and performance pay
  • Ample resources in every classroom

In addition to reduced funding, we do not receive money for facilities, land, equipment, or furniture, as district public schools do. Contributions from our families, the community, businesses, and foundations are actively sought to assist us. Please contact our office to find out more about investing in our program.


Arizona tax law (ARS 43-1089.01) allows taxpayers a TAX CREDIT of up to $400 to contribute to public schools.

New laws have broadened the scope of items donation dollars can buy. Donations can now be used for playground equipment, shade structures, Chromebooks, appliances, approved curricular books, and consumable health care supplies, to name a few.

The credit is equal to the amount of fees paid or cash contributions, not to exceed $400 for married filing joint filers and $200 for all other filing statuses. This means that most taxpayers are eligible to assist a public school at no cost, since the entire amount of the donation is credited back in their Arizona state taxes.

To donate, click here.

Life At Candeo