About Foothills Academy

Dr. Donald Senneville


Foothills Academy was founded to serve students with potential to become academically advanced students who are college-bound and who flourish in a highly student-centered learning environment. To maintain our productive, individualized academic environment we have kept our classes informal, allowing each student to grow and develop to maximum potential. Our teachers are qualified to teach their grade levels and subject areas appropriately for each student, providing meaningful challenges and sensitive to students’ personal needs.


Foothills Academy was established in 1993 as a coeducational college preparatory school.  It became a “first wave” charter school following charter legislation in 1995.  It remains one of the very few free-standing charter schools in the state and has maintained its college preparatory mission and its reputation to this day.  FA now serves grades Kindergarten-8th grade.  Involvement is part of the learning process for Foothills Academy students. This process includes strong advisement and individualized attention to student’s college and career goals.  

At a time when charter school operators are forming charter chains, Foothills Academy continues to provide a family run, locally focused, stand-alone college preparatory experience, serving students in N. Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Desert Hills, N. Phoenix, and Anthem.


“Today’s Foothills Academy continues and builds on our long history of rigorous education. Our students are challenged academically, intellectually, and personally to meet high expectations. Our teachers teach to those expectations, and endeavor to bring all students as closely as possible to the highest level. What that means in part is that as students progress upward through school they engage in learning activities designed to prepare them (in the not-so-distant future) to achieve high scores on tests such as AzMerit, and later, PSAT, SAT — the scores from which are predictors of success in college and university and provide a mindset for academic and personal success. It also means that our students work hard, practice diligently, and produce their finest work. They learn to think, perform, and grow toward meeting the highest expectations for exemplary performance in each of their subjects. They are extremely well prepared to succeed in high school. This is the definition of rigor at Foothills Academy, from Kindergarten through 8th grade.”

Six shared values of the Foothills Academy community are stressed:







Foothills Academy faculty and staff are dedicated to the success of our students. Our highly qualified teachers are eager to assist, guiding our students, encouraging them to set goals, and motivating them to reach their full potential. We are proud that several of our staff and faculty members have been with us for ten or fifteen years. Such commitment to students and school alike is a testament to our professional and credentialed faculty. We are fortunate to have a dedicated and happy team of teachers who genuinely enjoy teaching FA students. Retaining quality faculty brings continuity to Foothills Academy and fosters smooth grade transition for our students.

What is a charter school?

Charter schools are public, state-funded schools, made possible in Arizona through legislation in 1995. They provide an educational alternative to traditional public schools, and while each has its own unique mission and vision, charter schools must meet Arizona State Standards. Charter schools are held accountable by the state and federal governments academically and operationally in similar ways as other public schools.

The resources below offer a helpful starting place to learn more:

Arizona State Board for Charter Schools

US Dept. of Education Charter School Resource Center


National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Arizona Charter Schools Association

Foothills Academy is dedicated to utilizing the newest technologies to support our students with a rigorous individualized learning environment.  Our investment in technology integration shifts the learning environment towards a student-centered model, enabling more dynamic academics, and better preparation for future learning, resilience, and self-direction.