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GreatSchools Rating

Desert Hills High School

Charter | 9-12 | 400 students

We are known for our unique student programs and four-day school schedule.

 
 

Living in Gilbert

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $159,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,230.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
Based on 7 ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 4 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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38 reviews of this school


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Posted May 29, 2014

Desert hills high school it is a school for second chances were students don't have to worry about their personality or bullying it might seem like that kind of school but it isn't....you will find teachers that they all love....they care about our students and help as much as possible....unless the new principle fires all those teachers that the students get along with....he came to the school got rid of all the students that didn't want to learn and were no point of being there....but expelling students that can't get accepted any where else because they wanted a circle k drink before school....why pay something that's 1.50 but is only half the drink of a 44oz....the principle needs to realize all of us students who actually try to learn and they get searched for no reason because according to the new principle " inside this school im above the law! " his actual words... he needs to realize that isn't right and all of us DHHS students aren't all bad:)


Posted May 20, 2014

Desert Hills is a fantastic school, the staff really cares about your child. They take the time to listen to the students and really help them. Students feel a sense of family while attending. Mr. Madden is retiring, there is a new principal with great ideas and new programs that will take DHHS to new heights!!! As a parent I am excited to see how they improve an already GREAT school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 27, 2013

Desert Hills HS is heavily into conversion the Common Core standards. This is most important in the Math curriculum as many changes and challenges are part of the new plans. The new PARC test will require problem solving and analysis techniques that many students have not been exposed to in great detail. The new curriculum will address those issues.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted August 1, 2013

Worst school in Arizona. Police are there almost every day. Most of the children are on drugs. If you love your child, do not send them here.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 20, 2013

As a graduated student from Desert Hills, I loved my school. I started high school off in the Higley school district and was miserable to say the least. I ditched school, failed classes and got mixed in with "the wrong crowd". While at Desert Hills I completely caught up and was able to graduate on time. I wasn't ostracized because of my clothing choices and I didn't feel the need to try to impress my peers. Unfortunately there is a negative stigma attached to going to Desert Hills, resulting from the infamous amount of drug users and arrests occurring at this school. I believe this school is good for teenagers who have already "found themselves". The younger students may fall into the wrong crowd more easily. This is the beat school when trying to catch up on credits. Whether you're child is right for this school boils down to how they have been raised and their attitude about drugs and fighting. The administration does a wonderful job dealing with students issues and treats them like adults rather than children. Every school has its good and bad sides, and while DHHS has some very strong negatives, I believe the positives out-way them, by far.


Posted April 19, 2013

My economics class was great. I loved it and learned a lot. It was my favorite class, I looked forward to coming to school only because of this class. I liked how the teacher was so interactive with us and let us have fun with lessons. I learned a lot, like what Republicans and Democrats are and how they view our economic system. I now know what credit is and how it is earned and how it works. Keep doing what you're doing Mr.B, you're one of my favorite teachers.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 23, 2013

A friend of mine was looking to put her son in Desert Hills but was concerned because of the last two comments on this page. She asked me what was going on. I told her my son is doing great and is very happy with the school and the teachers. As for the principal, I can proudly say my son does not know him because back in my day "going to the principal's office" was a bad thing. However, he speaks highly of his teachers and looks forward to going to school. Although no school is perfect, I think it is important to let people know that Desert Hills is a great school and I am proud to say my child attends.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 30, 2013

It is time for a changing of the guard at this school . Very bad things are happening here and it is hurting the students at a deep core level....Wake up ladies and gentleman ........ Change is coming for the better ! I pray that the evil within this school be removed and replaced with caring staff..
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 28, 2013

WARNING !! BEWARE !! I cant believe this school is even open. Their overall test scores are so far in the gutter , I dont know how or why the State of Arizona would even consider keeping the doors open. The head of this school could care less about his students. It is a common , well known fact that he has no interest in listening to the children. DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILDREN HERE !!!! Send them anywhere , but here....
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 8, 2011

I am very proud parent of my two boys that goes to DHHS one a sophmore and another a junior this year 2011. My boys really enjoys being at Desert Hills. The Principal, Mr. Madden and the Assistant Principal, Mr. Miller , runs a school that is safe for all the kids to enjoy their high school experience. They want every student to engage in clubs and in sports. They want each of them to enjoy high school and make it a great experience to remember. The staff are very helpful and friendly. The teacher are the BEST in what they do...they take the time to help those who may need additional help after school and on Fridays. They don't tolerate any fighting and any bullying from any students while in campus or the internet. They have a ZERO TOLERANCE. I am truly grateful from their caring dedication of their professional attitude as educators, counselors, and being a mentors for my kids. I would recommend Desert Hills High School for any parent to send their kids. I am a very happy parent and my kids enjoy going to this outstanding high school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 8, 2011

I am very proud parent of my two boys that goes to DHHS-one a sophomore and another a junior this year 2011. My boys really enjoys being at Desert Hills. The Principal, Mr. Madden and the Assistant Principal, Mr. Miller, run a school that is safe for all the kids to enjoy their high school experience. They want every student to engage in clubs and in sports. They want each of them to be successful and to challenge themselves. The staff is very helpful and friendly. The teacher is the BEST in what they do...they take the time to help those who may need additional help after school and on Fridays. They don't tolerate any fighting or any bullying from any students while in campus or the internet. They have a ZERO TOLERANCE. I am truly grateful from their dedication of being the top notch professional folks. I would recommend Desert Hills High School for any parent to send their kids. I am a very happy parent and my kids enjoy going to this outstanding high school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 4, 2011

This school is a complete false representation of what they state on their school recording system. The school is not safe, there are fights many times during the year between students. I have seen students led off in handcuffs on more than one occasion, and to add insult to injury the quality of education is very poor. Students are left to complete work on their own with very little interaction with the teacher. Some students are doing 4th grade level work, which in my opinion should not even be part of the curriculum. All in all, this school needs to step back and survey their standards and make some major modifications.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 10, 2011

My daughter is a straight A student but very shy, so for the longest time I fretted about what high school to send her to. Moving to the East Valley from the West Valley right before freshman year made it more stressful. She asked to go to a small school so I gave DH a shot, even though I was honestly worried it was a dumping ground for rejects. I'm so glad we went with DH. She has just blossomed and has had a fantastic year. She's made really good friends, and has had great teachers who truly go above and beyond. She has even- gasp- joined a club. The change in her is remarkable . She is so comfortable there and it has just been a pleasure to see. Thank you, Desert Hills!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 22, 2009

this school is a joke i spent my freshman year there and did not learn a thing. no one takes anything seriously.
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 11, 2009

DHHS has its ups and its downs. not all of the teachers there seem to have a real interest in the the students academic sucess but then there are also the teachers who continue to help the students sucess. one thing thats has changed significatly thought is the etracurricular activities. if you are looking to become involved in clubs this would not be the school for you
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 6, 2009

I started this school yesterday and withdrew from that school the same day and couldn't even finish the day! I was told that the teachers had control of their classroom and thats a big NO!!!! I couldn't concentrate due to others playing there ipods so loud you could hear it on the other side of the room. They even played it through those little speakers you can get and the teacher told them to turn it off, they didn't and they didn't get in trouble. I would highly suggest looking into other schools.


Posted October 9, 2008

My son left the worst district in AZ, the Higley District. Desert Hills has the best management, teachers, and setup of all schools. I consider myself some what of an authority after having 2 children in over 16 schools. Mr. Madden and Miller run a tight ship with fairness, compassion, and the best personalities for these positions. Teachers are always available for help and the Principal and staff are always helpful. I was afraid of the 'charter school' label since they take kids that have had issues. This school has no 'clicks' and everyone interacts. You can be who you are and you are accepted. The schedule allows a child to really understand each subject so that it is nearly impossible to fall behind. My son is very smart and is able to learn at a level that is appropriate for him. I love this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 30, 2008

I really like this school, I get the help I need from the teachers. But, everyone can say that the school they go to is so 'awesome' but it depends out what your child needs, but remember every school is going to has its ups and downs. But like I said I like this school I get the help I need and I finally feel comfortable in myself.
—Submitted by a student


Posted July 30, 2008

this school is pretty easy going. we go to school 4 days a week and fridays are our make up days or days for the sports teams to have extra practice. DHHS is getting better and better each year. yeah there are some trouble kids that are there but we also get lots of exchange students and we get students that strictly go there for the extra clubs and stuff we have available. you can work around any schedule. you can take day classes or night classes. you can easily get caught up if needed. teachers here do lots of one on one times. that is the reason we only have four days a week. fridays are there for kids that may need one on one time with their teachers to get a better understanding of whats going on. DHHS has something for everyone.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 29, 2008

Great school to help kids learn what the real world is all about, as well as catch up on missed arrears.
—Submitted by a student


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Math

The state average for Math was 62% in 2013.

93 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
34%

2012

 
 
31%

2011

 
 
44%

2010

 
 
47%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 83% in 2013.

87 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
69%

2012

 
 
73%

2011

 
 
78%

2010

 
 
75%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 70% in 2013.

88 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
58%

2012

 
 
54%

2011

 
 
62%

2010

 
 
75%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 Arizona used the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. GreatSchools' profiles currently show AIMS mathematics, reading and writing results. 2013 AIMS grade 10 results represent on-track 10th graders for the 2013 test year. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

  • In 2010-2011, this school was designated "Performing".
  • In 2009-2010, this school was designated "Performing Plus".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was designated "Performing Plus".

About the tests


Arizona uses AZ LEARNS Achievement Profiles to indicate schools' overall performance each year. For elementary and middle schools, the profiles are based on current and historical aggregated AIMS results, MAP results and whether or not the school made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). For high schools, AIMS results, AYP status and graduation/dropout rates are used. Schools are identified as Excelling, Highly Performing, Performing Plus, Performing, Underperforming, Failing to Meet Academic Standards or Pending.

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 57% 42%
Hispanic 27% 43%
Black 11% 5%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 2% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 5%
Two or more races 1% 2%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 39%N/A47%
Female 45%N/A49%
Male 55%N/A51%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

College readiness and student pathways

Students typically attend these schools prior to attending this school Liberty Arts Academy
Percentage of students going to 2-year college 40% (2013)
Percentage of students going to 4-year college 20% (2013)
Percentage of students going to the military 5% (2013)
Percentage of students going to vocational programs 15% (2013)
Percentage of students going directly into the workforce 20% (2013)
Colleges most students attend after graduation Chandler Gilbert Community Col
Mesa Community College
Arizona State University East
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students College counselor(s)
Computer specialist(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Gardening teacher(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
PE instructor(s)
Security personnel
Special education coordinator
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Japanese
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Awards

Community service awards received in the past 3 years
  • Red Cross (2013)
  • St. Marry's Food Bank (2013)

Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Outdoor learning lab

Arts & music

Clubs
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Japanese
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Advanced placement courses
  • Honors track
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Community college courses
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Clubs
  • National Honor Society
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 2:05 pm
School Leader's name
  • Art Madden
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Block scheduling
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (480) 813-1161

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Advanced placement courses
  • College prep
  • Direct instruction
  • Honors track
  • Outdoor / Farm-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Business
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Vocational or skills-based training offered
  • Agriculture
  • Business management
  • Construction / building

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • College counselor(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Security personnel
  • Special education coordinator
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Career/college counseling
  • Mentoring
  • Remediation
  • Title I Targeted Assistance program (TAS)
  • Tutoring
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Community college courses
  • School-sponsored trips to college campuses
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • College/career center
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Internet access
  • Outdoor learning lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
School leaders can update this information here.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Track
  • Wrestling
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • None
Music
  • None
Performing arts
  • None
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
  • Future Farmers of America
  • National Honor Society
  • Student council/government
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found for this school
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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
More from this school
  • Desert Hills High School is a campus dedicated to success. We offer our students a unique four-day school weeek, with a fifth day (Friday) available to excell or make-up work. We also provide many dynamic agricultural and buisness related programs. At Desert Hills students are more than a name; they are family.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?

Students typically come from these schools
Liberty Arts Academy

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Chandler Gilbert Community Col
Mesa Community College
Arizona State University East
College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
Community college courses
School-sponsored trips to college campuses
Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Students' post-graduation plans in 2013
2 year college - 40%
4 year college - 20%
Military - 5%
Vocational - 15%
Workforce - 20%
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

1515 S. Val Vista Dr.
Gilbert, AZ 85296
Website: Click here
Phone: (480) 813-1151

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