Advertisement
Advertisement

GreatSchools Rating

Desert Heights Charter School

Charter | K-4 | 405 students

Our school is known for our high expectations and a feeling of family.

 

Be sure to visit

Take along one of
our checklists:

 

Living in Glendale

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $89,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $880.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 6 ratings
2013:
Based on 19 ratings
2012:
Based on 12 ratings
2011:
Based on 9 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
OR
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

120 reviews of this school


Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted June 16, 2014

Desert Heights Preschool is just simply the BEST. This is our first year in the preschool program and my daughter simply LOVE her teacher, Mrs. Penalosa. My daughter can't stop talking about her all the time at home. I really appreciate how my daughter is treated in this school. She came in very shy, and now... wow... I would say she progressed 110%! Above and beyond our expectations! Keep it up Preschool!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 15, 2014

This is our first year at this school and we are very impressed. Our children have improved not only academically but socially and emotionally as well. I don't think that we were ever on the school's campus that every single teacher wasn't smiling. Desert Heights is a very welcoming school and I am so glad that we are a part of it.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 14, 2014

This school cares about the children and their education. I am proud to have children attending this school. The faculty works hard and is very family oriented.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 13, 2014

We love Desert Heights Charter School! The second grade teachers, after care teachers and principle are great!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 13, 2014

Best preschool ever! Love the teachers and the extra mile they go to ensure a healthy, safe, enriching program for our kids.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 12, 2014

DESERT HEIGHTS CHARTER AND PRESCHOOL IS NOT JUST A SCHOOL, ITS A COMMUNITY OF CARING FOLKS WHO LOVE KIDS. OUR PRINCIPAL AND STAFF ARE POSITIVE PROBLEM SOLVERS AND FUN LOVING PEOPLE. I WISH I HAD MORE TIME TO VOLUNTEER AT OUR SCHOOL, BECAUSE MY PARENTING SKILLS ARE STRENGTHENED BY WATCHING STAFF INTERACT WITH OUR KIDS. OUR ENTHUSIASTIC AND SKILLFUL TEACHERS ARE VERY ENCOURAGING, HELPING OUR KIDS TO BECOME BETTER THAN THEY BELIEVED THEY COULD BE. THE CREATIVE WAYS OUR STAFF HELPS OUR KIDS TO LEARN NEW CONCEPTS CONTINUES TO AMAZE ME. OUR TEACHERS HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH TALENTS THAT HAVE BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES, GIVING EXTRA TO OUR KIDS WHEN THEY ARE STRUGGLING IN AN AREA. WE KNOW WITH THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS CREATING INCREASING WORK AND DIFFICULTY FOR OUR STAFF THAT THEY THEMSELVES HAVE GONE ABOVE AND BEYOND TO HELP OUR KIDS GET AHEAD SOME SO THEY AREN'T AT RISK OF FALLING BEHIND WHEN FACED WITH CHALLENGES.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 21, 2013

Desert Heights had been a better than average school until this year. With the implementation of the Common Core State Standards the school has become mediocre at best. Teachers, fearful of students not meeting the benchmarks in tough subjects (i.e. mathematics), have begun teaching to the lowest performing students. Students are told that if they don't meet the standards, they will not be promoted to the next grade. While this may be true, students should not be provided with this information. Good teachers should have the skills required to teach students of all ability levels in one classroom. Sadly, the new teachers hired this year lack these necessary skills and the students are suffering.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 23, 2013

I love DHCS and DHPA. I have three children that attend the school, and I have never been at a school before where the teachers go above and beyond. Both principals at both campuses have great communication with the parents, and I can tell that the teachers truly care about the students.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 2, 2013

Desert Heights Charter School: provides my only child with a wonderful small town school feeling. It has provided my child with excellent & supportive staff , a safe & pleasant learning environment, and above average education that is NOT Focused on Teaching our children how to excel ONLY in AIMS tests. I love how the school provides excellent communication about what my child is learning everyday in class....as well as expectations for the quarter. I feel she is always being challenged by her teachers, no matter what the subject. The teachers have been available to talk at any time & answers any questions within 24hr time frame. My child loves the school & reports no signs of bullying. I feel she has received an excellent education over the past 3 yrs. at Desert Heights Charter School. Our plans are to continue attending as long as these above standards of education continue. There is no such thing as a perfect world/school..... but Desert Heights Charter School has a great team of staff and parental support working together to make sure that our kids receive a excellent education, in a safe & pleasurable environment.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 25, 2013

I like the uniformity, the emphasis of education and the excitement in providing the education to our children great job : )
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 23, 2013

DHCS cares about the community and it's families that attend. This is our third year. We couldn't be happier with the staff and teachers. It's like being part of a big family. If any issues are to arise they are taken care of immediately.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 11, 2013

Our family is very proud to be a part of the Desert Heights community for many years now. My children have started since they were little (one since preschool and one since 1st grade) and now are the Preparatory campus. This program is one of a kind with the staff and teacher truly caring about the success of our students academically and building a well rounded student. We feel at home here and couldn't imagine another place better for our family. The different activities, sports and other community events that take place within this school offers our kids great exposure to so many different things. The new campus that the Preparatory has moved to is beautiful and we are excited to see where it goes from here. If anyone is looking for a community where your children can start at Preschool and continue to grow and develop within the same community until they graduate high school, our family can truly recommend it. Highly encourage you to stop by one of our campuses and take a tour and meet the staff for yourself as I can promise you will feel at home.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 1, 2013

We've had our kids in the Desert Heights Charter system since they were in preschool. We've watched this school grow for many years now. The administrative team is top-notch. They truly care about the kids, their education and their future. I've read some of the negative reviews on this site and I've just never experienced any of what they are referring to. I am very involved in this community and wish other parents would be involved at a level that provides solutions instead of criticism and negativity. I have always found the admin staff to approachable and reasonable about any concerns I've had regarding my kids. The athletic program really took off last year. The athletes know that academics are the first priority. The coaches are really impressing the concepts of discipline and teamwork upon the students. They just recently moved the prep campus to a new location that is absolutely beautiful and feels more like a school. We are very pleased with this new location!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 23, 2013

I am a parent of DHCS student who excels in all of the classes. I believe this is because of her positive experiences with her teacher and aftercare staff. I am also a parent who is involved with her education and with some staff members. I donate my time out of my schedule to make sure my child and friends have a chance to enjoy all the fun family events the school offers. I am sorry for the disappointment of other parents. Yes, the our schools share funds. It is no secret, all parents have the opportunity to share their concerns at the board meetings in which I attend when I feel I need to. I am excited about our new location and so is my child. We look forward to attending it. I have met wonderful parents who have become our friends through the school community functions too. For anyone looking for a school come by and decide for yourself. I cannot speak for anyone else but we have had great success for the past four years.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 23, 2013

Desert Heights has been an awesome school for my grandson. I wouldn't ever even consider putting him in the public school he would go to. He is going on his 3rd year and although their may have been a couple bumps in the road they were taken care of. The teachers keep me posted both in his academics and at aftercare. My grandson is a little slower than a lot of children his age but the teachers are fantastic with him and getting him up to where other kids his age are. Normally if I have a concern I get a response back from whoever I addressed the same or next day.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 17, 2013

I have to say I am a new parent at DHPA and I feel this school is amazing. My son has moved up at least 25% in all subject areas and all the Teachers and Staff care so much about him. DHPA is so invovled with the student body and works everyday to make my studnet a well rounded young man. He is going to be a part of the athletic program next year, and he has been volunteering at all the school events. I have to say my family is blessed that we found such an amazing program.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 17, 2013

Desert Heights is a major disappointment. The prepatory academy does not have adequate guidance counslers to help kids prepare for school, the rules are made up as they go along and expect parents to just accept what they say. And because we told them that we were sending out kids to a different school we were basically told in no uncertain terms that they were not welcome back there by the school superintendant. There has been teacher turnover and what original teachers do remain have a hard time controlling their classes from what I have seen. Especially during the last week of school where a fourth grade teacher showed " the boy in the striped pajamas" as the kids "FUN MOVIE", and the school preceded to say that it was OK to do such. the prepatory academy was more interested in wearing uniforms and blazers instead of education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 16, 2013

This "School" is horrid.BEWARE!!! Teachers that don't care and don't listen. A Principal that only talks to you through emails and a superintendent that takes money from the Elementary and gives it all to the "precious" Prep part of this school.The more money you give them the "better" you are to them. Kindergarten was great but half-way through First grade everything went down hill. My daughter actually came home and told me "my teacher doesn't care about the class" that's pretty bad for a 7-yr-old to say. If you want to know the truth read the real ratings (1-2 stars) not the ones the school gets their staff to put on sites. Yes we got emails telling parents to give good ratings on websites!!! The Prep part of this school was ASKED TO LEAVE where the school was and now miles away because they were forced to move because of the behavior of the students. There are better choices in Glendale don't give this school anymore money.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 10, 2013

I am a teacher and a parent. I work with a large group of professional individuals who partner with the parents of our children to help them succeed academically, emotionally, and physically in a safe environment. I am grateful for the parents and their ongoing support in our schools volunteering day after day. We are a successful school because of the close relationships we have with our peers as well as our parents. It is the ongoing fundraisers and family nights that help us raise money to improve our classrooms and support our specialty classes. My child is excelling and it is because of the efforts of our staff. THANK YOU TEACHERS AND THANK YOU PARENTS!
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted March 8, 2013

I agree with a previous post that they seem to only care about the money. However is it better than public schools. I say NO.. My kids now attend public school and is it perfect no but when there is an issue it gets resolved. I think that no matter where you go you must be involved. Desert heights likes to hire all their friends and family and if you don't fit into that qualification they disregard your opinion or issues. Years ago they had a great school going then the past 3 years the school has become greedy about getting money from the state. Its obvious ownership has changed here. There are teachers and staff that get involved in the teenage drama and its pretty pathetic. I do not RECOMMEND this place if you have a child older than 4th grade. The 5th through 11th on a different campus together.
—Submitted by a parent


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 69% in 2013.

86 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
85%

2012

 
 
69%

2011

 
 
79%

2010

 
 
68%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 75% in 2013.

86 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
84%

2010

 
 
78%
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

Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

72 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
66%

2012

 
 
66%

2011

 
 
74%

2010

 
 
80%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2013.

72 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
90%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
90%

2010

 
 
86%
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 Plus".
  • 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 60% 42%
Hispanic 24% 43%
Black 6% 5%
Two or more races 6% 2%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 3% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 1% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 38%N/A47%
Female 53%N/A49%
Male 47%N/A51%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Dance teacher(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
Special education coordinator
Speech and language therapist(s)
Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Let your school shine!

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

Awards

Community service awards received in the past 3 years
  • SSBTR (2010)
  • SSBTR (2011)
  • SSBTR (2012)

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
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Science lab
Vocational or skills-based training offered
  • Computer programming
  • IT support
Clubs
  • Science club

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
Vocational or skills-based training offered
  • Industrial / graphic design
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Theory
Performing and written arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Graphics
Clubs
  • Art club
  • Dance club
  • Drama club
  • Student newspaper
  • 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
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
Clubs
  • Cooking club
  • Yoga club

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • Summer college prep programs
Clubs
  • National Honor Society
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 »

School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 3:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 6:00 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Katherine Miler
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 2 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • No
Fax number
  • (602) 467-9540

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • College prep
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
  • Individually guided instruction
  • Project-based
  • Standards-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • None
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
  • Computer programming
  • IT support
  • Industrial / graphic design

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • Special education coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Tutor(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • 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
  • Summer college prep programs
Transportation options
  • Intercampus transportation
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Internet access
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Playground
  • Science lab
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
  • Cross country
  • Flag football
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Track
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Flag football
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Theory
Performing arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Graphics

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Art club
  • Community service
  • Cooking club
  • Dance club
  • Drama club
  • National Honor Society
  • Science club
  • Student council/government
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbook
  • Yoga club
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
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
  • Monitor the playground
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
More from this school
  • Safe environment Stringent promotion policy Strong parent participation Academic Excellence Integrity of Character Social Awareness
School leaders can update this information here.

Visit

Be sure to visit

Take along one of
our checklists:
Elementary school


 

How to apply

Does this school have an application or enrollment process?
 

No

Planning Ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Desert Heights Preparatory Academy
College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
Summer college prep programs
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

5821 West Beverly Lane
Glendale, AZ 85306
Website: Click here
Phone: (602) 896-2900

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »

Compare

Add this school to compare

Nearby schools







ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT