Welcome to the Wolfpack!

What Makes Us Unique?

Academic Support:

Small class sizes and credit recovery allow kids to get back on track to graduate on time

Restorative and Compassionate:

We create a nurturing and safe student-centered learning environment where students are seen, known, and have agency

Wellness and Mindfulness:

Enrichments provide a high-interest engaging experience during the school day for credit


Retired Principal Dr. Kimberly Ortiz opened CRA in 2013 to create an educational environment that would meet the needs of students who felt left out in the traditional school setting. Current Principal Vicky Virnich joined Compassion in 2022 to continue the focus on providing students with academic and social emotional support tailored to their unique needs. We provide a rigorous credit recovery program, a focus on student well-being through our individualized social-emotional supports, and high interest enrichment classes. With a focus on helping students learn to balance academics, emotions and well-being, we have created a school that prepares students for real life. Compassion Road Academy operates with the belief that every student deserves a quality education to achieve their dreams.

What Do Students and Parents Think?

CRA makes me feel happy to go to school. CRA is the only school where the students and staff have welcomed me with open arms, and made me feel comfortable in my learning. The staff made sure that if I was ever struggling, they were right there to help me and for the first time in 3 years, I’m thriving academically and I like to learn. I couldn’t say enough amazing things about CRA. 

Ruth Ortiz, Student

CRA is a small school with huge opportunities. The best part about CRA would probably be the teachers and staff in my opinion. 

Priscila Nunez-Avila, Student

When asked what I like about CRA I had to stop and think about it. There are so many things but I wanted to really explore the why. I realized that when we first sent our daughter to CRA there was a sort of a stigma, as in, your child goes to an alternative HS because she doesn’t “fit the mold” of a “normal” kid. That’s when it hit me, I like CRA because they accept, welcome, understand, appreciate and embrace alternative kids.

Suzy Jonsen, Parent

For us, CRA is an oasis for kids who don’t necessarily fit into a traditional high school setting. Our daughter was enrolled in a public high school with 2,500+ students. She was lost and overlooked. She wasn’t in the popular group, she wasn’t an athlete, she wasn’t in theater, or a cheerleader, or on the debate team. She was in JRTOC and felt a wonderful connection there but overall, didn’t feel a real connection to the school.

She learns things differently (not like “normal” kids) and she felt like an outcast, when she questioned assignments she was tagged as a problem, when she brought up sadness or anxiety she was labeled dramatic. Basically, it was not a good fit.

We searched for months trying to figure out a place where she could learn, feel accepted and be embraced BECAUSE she was unique. That’s when we found Compassion Road Academy.

She (and I) were both very anxious when we went to tour the school and met with some of the administrators. We were pleasantly pleased and cautiously optimistic when we left. The faculty/staff we met with seemed genuinely interested in my daughter (and me as the parent). They asked thoughtful questions about how my daughter learned and what academic success looked like to her. Ms. Ortiz was a real person who talked to my daughter about who she was, how she best learned, what she wanted and where she saw herself in the future. This was repeated throughout the tour with all the faculty/staff we met. And, it was the first time ever we had anyone at a high school take that kind of interest in any of my kids. Side bar-I have two sons who went to a traditional public high school who had a fine experience, and they were more “traditional” kids.

I can’t say enough about the faculty/staff at CRA. These people are cut from a different cloth, they truly have the kids’ best interest at heart and will do whatever it takes to help the CRA kids find success. There are kids from every walk of life at CRA and they are all treated with respect and care.

All this to say, not all kids are created traditionally, therefore not all kids fit well in traditional schools. CRA was an amazing option for us. Our daughter, who we thought may not graduate from high school at all, will graduate this trimester. I credit CRA for this success!

I am a retired teacher who has volunteered at Compassion Road Academy for the last five years. I volunteer at Compassion Road Academy because I am extremely impressed by the level of emotional and academic support that all students receive from every staff member at the school. This unique program tries to anticipate any problems that might interfere with a student’s success. Staff works with each student to help the student learn ways to be successful. Compassion Road Academy wants to ensure that each student is college and career ready. The students also participate in many community events to help them develop caring attitudes toward others. I often hear students talk about how different Compassion Road Academy is from other schools and about how they are finally able to achieve success. I am so grateful to be a part of this school family.

Mary-Jane Giordano 
President Cultural Arts Residential Association (CARO)
A registered neighborhood organization

As a community member of the CRA Accountability Committee for several years, I see how deeply administrators and staff understand the importance of educating the WHOLE child.  While they know that acquiring academic credits for graduation is very important, these kindhearted people understand that you can’t teach a child until you heal what’s hurting them.  The warm and loving culture of this school makes it a beautiful place to learn. We are lucky to have them in our neighborhood.

Patti Capps
Former Principal, Montview Elementary, APS

My daughter was a junior when she transferred to CRA.  She had stopped going to school much and was having anxiety issues in the school environment. From the beginning, CRA staff were flexible, caring and
supportive, which allowed her to continue her schooling.  She felt the staff “let her be her” and the small environment allowed her to connect with her teachers and the rest of the staff. Ms. Scholl was extra special and went above and beyond to support and help her, including writing a recommendation letter for her college application. She ended up graduating on time and was finally able to sit through her SAT test. She was admitted into the University of Arizona and is in her second year doing well.

Tracy Coate

You guys are the BEST!  You have changed her life.  We went from struggling to get through a school day to a kiddo who is so sad school was cancelled.  Her last school told me that they did not think she could be successful in a classroom and that we should look at a GED.  Thank
goodness you all had more patience and faith in her.  She tells EVERYONE she meets how fabulous CRA is.  I really cannot say enough or adequately express my gratitude to you.

Holly Ortiz