About Foothills Academy

Dr. Donald Senneville


Foothills Academy was founded to serve academically advanced students who are college-bound and who flourish in a highly personalized learning environment. Our task is to balance student-centered, personalized teaching approaches with the curriculum-centered emphasis of college preparation. To maintain our productive 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 subject areas at advanced levels. At the same time they are 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 K-12 with a K-6 campus and a 7-12 campus.  There is an online school (Foothills Academy Connected) serving grades 7-12.  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.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ACADEMICS CLICK ON THE APPROPRIATE SCHOOL: High SchoolMiddle School, Elementary School, Online School.


“Today’s Foothills Academy provides an expanding array of opportunities for students to practice and begin to excel in using skills in thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration. Through class activities, online study, membership in school organizations, volunteering and internships in the local and global community, students begin to develop the skills necessary to lead. A key part of the job of the Foothills Academy teacher is to help our students find the best path to success as they grow, according to their interests and learning styles. The Foothills Academy graduate is not just qualified to get into the college or university chosen. The Foothills Academy graduate has the skills to succeed there and go on to bigger things, perhaps to take the lead in helping to solve the problems of the local community, the state and the world.”

Six shared values of the Foothills Academy community are stressed:







Foothills Academy College Prep 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. Our shared goal for every Foothills Academy graduate is to be admitted to the college or university of the student’s choice. While high teacher turnover is not uncommon in some schools, we are proud that several of our 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.