About Us

SDA > About Us

An exceptional future
starts here.

Self Development Academy is based on a belief that free public education should be rich with exploration, discovery, and connections to everyday life. Learning should connect the mind and heart of a child, while also forming relevant applications to the world around them.

Twenty years and four campuses later, we have grown throughout the Greater Phoenix area. But we have never outgrown this core belief.

At each campus and in every classroom, caring and experienced teachers help scholars learn to think critically and creatively. An accelerated curriculum infuses traditional subjects with science, technology, engineering, mathematics, music, philosophy, literature and language. Through personalized learning and discovery, each child grows and thrives, becoming confident and successful inside – and outside – the classroom.

Students are encouraged to ask What if? What else? 

Beyond mastering a concept, they are able to explore what they can do with newfound knowledge.

Leadership and service opportunities build four important character traits: respect, responsibility, readiness and resilience. It’s how our students learn to hold themselves to high expectations as good citizens in our schools, communities, and nation.

#1 Best

Arizona, 2017

#1 Best
School Teachers

Arizona, 2018

#1 Best Public
Middle School
Teachers in America


#2 Best Charter
Elementary School
in America


Accelerated Learning.

We are relentlessly focused on each individual student – because every single student will make an impact on our world.

We measure the progress of every scholar each week. Then, our teachers adjust instruction to meet each child where they are – accelerating their progress to where they are capable of going.

Our rigorous approach is based upon an accelerated curriculum one grade level above the standards set by the Arizona Department of Education.


Enriched Education.

Core subjects are infused with science, technology, engineering, mathematics, music, philosophy, literature, and language.

Students are then able to make connections across subjects, discovering relevancy between seemingly diverse concepts.

Scholars also enjoy performing arts options including dance, choir, percussion, violin, and woodwinds. In combination with Student Council, Young Scholars, Chess Club, Science Olympiad, mindfulness, and other self-discovery options, students explore and develop a wide range of interests.

Best Elementary
School Teachers in the Valley

The success of our rigorous academic program is attributed to the passion, care, and pedagogical acumen of our classroom teachers, who are among the best teachers in Arizona (according to Niche.com).

Our world-class educators utilize the intellectual, social, and emotional prowess of young people and are able to help every student achieve high goals and realize their full potential. Our teachers also have rich subject area expertise, which means they provide insights and context that help subjects come to life. Equal parts mentor, coach, counselor, and instructor, our teachers are passionate about helping young people achieve success.

As part of our rigorous selection criteria, we look for teachers:
With post-baccalaureate degrees (master’s and doctorates)
Able to adapt to learning style and demands of different students
Able to understand statistics so they can analyze student performance data
Able to provide insights and direction on student performance
Able to take responsibility for student's learning
Able to look for ways to make sure students master the standards taught

  Inspiring Exceptional Futures! ♡  

Analysis + Creativity
= Discovery

SDA’s Additional
Distinguishing Features.

In addition to our advanced and accelerated curriculum, SDA achieves high marks in areas other elementary charter schools do not come close to, including:


DA balances academics with leadership and service to others through enrichment activities including Student Council, Young Scholars, Chess Club, Science Olympiad, and Dance Club, to name a few.

Social Emotional Learning

Because real self-development includes academic, physical development, and also social-emotional development, SDA teaches mindfulness, empathy, and conflict resolution to all students.


SDA is one of the most consistently highly ranked and recognized charter schools in the state, including the distinction of being named Best Charter Elementary School in America.



+300 Graduated Students


+20 Years of Experience


4 Awards & Prizes


1 Succesful Model

★ ★ ★

Think deeply.
Create wildly.

We teach a grade higher than most Arizona schools, but our curriculum is much more than that. We focus on instilling an ability to learn but also to think deeply and create wildly.

(480) 641-2640

(602) 274-1910


Contact Us

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Self Development

Exceptional futures start here! We provide all the tools, resources and opportunities students need to achieve and succeed both in school and beyond. Challenging, nurturing and rewarding learning experiences that positively impact students, families and communities are all right here at Self Development Academy.
Enroll today!

Inspiring Exceptional Futures