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Primavera Online High School

Primavera Online High School is a publicly funded charter school serving grades 6-12 in Arizona. The school was founded in 2001 by Damian Creamer[2] and was made possible by a program established by the Arizona Legislature in 1998. Primavera targets vulnerable youth at risk of not graduating from conventional high schools, estimating that 70% of their students are high risk.

Primavera Online High School
2471 N. Arizona Ave., Building 1
Chandler, AZ
TypeCharter school, virtual school
FounderDamian Creamer
School districtPrimavera Technical Learning Center School District
PrincipalDonald Mitchell
Enrollment3,299[1] (2016)
Color(s)green, white



Primavera Online High School is accredited by AdvancED.[3] There are no fees for students aged 14–22, and only students 22 or younger are accepted.[4] Two types of students attend Primavera: full-time and concurrent-enrolled. Primavera offers two types of diplomas. The standard diploma requires 22 credits while the advanced scholastic diploma requires 23 credits and has a stronger emphasis on math, science, and foreign languages.

Primavera has open enrollment throughout the year, and offers block scheduling. Students take two courses for each six-week block. Each course equals one half credit. All teachers are certified and are required to stay in constant contact with each student throughout the course.

Primavera claims a student-to-teacher ratio of 33:1,[5] although records at the Arizona Department of Education indicate 68:1.[2]


In 2017-18, there were 21,782 students enrolled in grades six through 12.[2] In 2017's state standardized tests, under a quarter of its students passed mathematics and around a third passed English, both below the state average. [2]

The school had the third-highest drop out rate in Arizona in 2017, with 49% dropping out; around 10 times the state average.[2]


Primavera, like other charter schools in Arizona, is publicly funded per pupil, although at a reduced rate due to being online-only.[2]

Primavera opened in 2001 under the management of Primavera Technical Learning Center, a nonprofit charter management organization.[6] In 2015, the school's charter was transferred to for-profit education management organization Flipswitch and its subsidiary, American Virtual Academy, Inc. Flipswitch was renamed Strongmind. It has one shareholder, Damian Creamer. [5]

Creamer has been criticized for using this funding structure to pay himself an $8.8 million yearly salary and making large payments to other companies he owns. [2] The school has also been criticized for teacher salaries and diverting educating funding to a for-profit investment portfolio, worth $36 million in 2015.[5]


  1. ^ "Public School Search". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Primavera online charter school CEO pays himself another $1.3 million from school funds". azcentral. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c Harris, Craig. "Primavera charter CEO gets $8.8M despite having Arizona's third-highest dropout rate". AZCentral. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  6. ^ "Primavera Form 990". ProPublica. Retrieved 2018-11-24.

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