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GreatSchools Rating

Desert Star

Public | K-8 | 715 students

Our school is best known for the excellent instructional programs offered to K-8
 
 

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 10 ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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33 reviews of this school


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Posted January 8, 2014

Desert School is a wonderful school. My son is excited to go to school each day. I'm very impressed with his progress. All of the teachers and staff are caring and concerned about all students.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 20, 2013

Desert Star is an awesome school that really cares about their students! I have two children that attend Desert Star and their teachers work so hard to help them reach their goals and to be successful! They make learning fun and provide a safe comfortable place to learn.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 10, 2013

I have two children that attend Desert Star. I love the friendly and warm atmosphere at the school and I believe it is a safe and nurturing environment for my children. Everyone is always friendly and helpful. I do wish they were offered more electives and that the class sizes were smaller, but overall, we have been very happy with Desert Star.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 10, 2013

I have two children that attend Desert Star and our experience has been very positive. The teachers work very well together and my children are receiving an excellent education. Both of my children love to read and that is because Desert Star has made it enjoyable for them.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 10, 2013

I have had all my 3 kids attend Desert Star and have always found the staff very helpful and outstanding. They go out of their way to make sure that my kids are cared for and are always checking in with me through emails, newsletters, phone calls as well as keeping their websites updated. I also love that I can check my kids grades on PowerSchool.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 9, 2013

My two kids have been attending Desert Star for over 6 years. They both have had wonderful teachers who take the time to get to know them on a personal level. As the travel through the grades I notice the amount of rigor increasing. It is obvious that the teachers and all the staff work hard to make this school a great place to learn and grow.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 8, 2013

My daughter LOVES Desert Star. She has an amazing teacher! The school maintains a strong focus on student achievement and offers many services for students. They have interventions during the day and after school. They also offer extracurricular clubs, sports, and activities. Parents are welcome to participate in many ways. The parent pick up runs smoothly now that it has been renovated.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 8, 2013

At Desert Star, we work very hard to help students achieve academic success, as well as support them in other aspects of their lives. We are very open to parent and community involvement, especially if there are changes you'd like to see. Many staff members are proud bring our children here as well. We love Desert Star and want to help every child be successful.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted October 8, 2013

My daughter has been in this school for two years and is now in 4th grade. Her teacher takes the time to understand my child's needs and keeps her challenged. The parent contact is consistent and I have found that any questions I have are answered quickly. The positive and supportive atmosphere is evident in my daughter's love to go to school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 7, 2013

I have two children attending Desert Star currently, one elementary and one middle school. I have been very impressed with all the teachers - they are extremely caring and professional. They maintain an "open door" policy when it comes to parent questions or concerns. They are always looking for additional ways to support and challenge my children. The staff is very friendly and respectful. I know I can rest easy when I send my kids off to school each day - they enjoy the school very much. Thank you to all the staff at Desert Star who seem to constantly strive to do better for all the kids in their care. It really does seem like they believe that every child is a "kid at hope."
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 15, 2013

My child went to this school, and I am so happy We switched him out! The teacher did not help him when he needed help, he was failing but in the report card he was doing good. His homework and spelling test said a different story,he was failing. This school is far behind and unorganized without a doubt!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 26, 2011

Kindergarten teachers are rude and two faced. Our Teacher is always late and never responds to any phone messages. I have witnessed on at least one account the teacher raising her voice to the kindergarteners to a tone that very loud and very upsetting even to me as an adult. I do not want my child at this school but I'm currently stuck. This school will charge you 2 bucks to feed your kids Hot Pockets for lunch. My child came home one day starving so I asked about his meal. He informed me that they has a bread stick with cheese for lunch. Being concerned and thinking my child must've been mistaken I asked about the lunch and sure enough that's a meal to them. I asked about protein, etc. To which I got the answer of, "Well there's tuna on the salad bar." Really? You want a 5 year old to know that he should eat tuna with his bread sticks? I've seen teachers grabbing kids by the arms and drilling them about their destination. Yet 5 yr old my kid gets to sit on a wall in the sun all recess for hugging a kid. The teachers act like the Gestapo. "Where are your papers?!" "Tuck in your shirt!" Heaven knows the world will stop spinning if kids didn't tuck in their polo's. Fact.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 25, 2008

There are not enough activites for the children to do at their homeshool. The school tends to lean the communitu clubs to provide activities as opposed to the kids doing more activities with their class mates.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 4, 2008

My son is in Kindergarten in Mrs. Gutekunst class and he loves her and Mrs. Stevens as well. He also has had very good things to say about the P.E. , Art, and Music teachers. I briefly met the Principal and she is a wonderful and very caring person who seems to run a very tight ship- and I state that in a most positive way. She has some very excellent security measures in place when it comes to drop -off and pick-up of the children and also pertaining to overall conduct of the students. I have to say that all of the employees in Administration and even the crossing guards are some of the nicest most helpfull people this school could ask for.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 25, 2008

My son is now in second grade and his Kindergarten teacher was great. Very informative and he learned so much. So was his first grade teacher. They even had computers in his class and they did reports on the computers. It is a very good school
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 24, 2008

Most of the previous posts are over 2 years old. A lot has changed. The principal is a wonderful, caring, involved woman who truly goes the extra mile. The teachers are incredible. My son had Mrs Hicks in 1st grade. I couldn't possibly have hand picked a better teacher if I had every teacher in the district to choose from. All of them are wonderful. As for parental involvement, we definitely need more of that. The PTO had a rough start last year but they are really pushing foreward and striving to make the whole school even better. My main complaint is parents who complain about the lack of support but do nothing to help support the school themselves. Get out there, help make the changes, participate, make a difference. If you don't, who will?
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 9, 2008

I've heard other parents voice their concerns about pick-up and drop-off at Desert Star. I have been one of them. Luckily plans were presented to the community for the new pick-up drop off area and construction should begin shortly. I truly enjoy the hard working and wonderful teachers @ our school. I encourage parents to volunteer at least a couple of hours a semester, especially those of you who have concerns. I thought I knew how our schools ran but I was rather surprised at everything that goes into running a school and how hard our childrens teachers work. I am proud of the fact that my children are exposed to different languages @ school, (maybe they will pick up a little bit of it.)
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 23, 2008

My daughter's kindergarten teacher is Mrs. Johnston and she is wonderful. That is about as far as I can go with the compliments. The pick up/drop off routine is a complete nightmare. Give yourself at leat 20-30 minutes to actually get near the school, find a parking spot in the nearby neighborhood and finally walk to school. You will feel like you are in Mexico around the campus with the parents and students speaking spanish all around you. We can't wait to move before it gets even worse!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 21, 2007

If I was to rate the Teachers only, I'd have to give a 5 star....to the school as a whole...it has a long way to go. Moving from Cave Creek Unified School district...this was a complete shock. My daughter still having class in the Music room. The drop off and pick up of the students is horrible. I know that when I asked the office staff about the P.T.O. offices, they had no idea what was going on. If there are so many students at this school, why is the P.T.O. without officers, and where is the Parent envolvment?
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 10, 2006

My child had Ms.Higgins and she was fantastic! I loved bringing my child to school each day. Wonderful communication with parents. People in the school office are always pleasant and helpful. Safety not so great with the bus last year, and hopefully that has improved.
—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.

94 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
49%

2012

 
 
68%

2011

 
 
51%

2010

 
 
59%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 75% in 2013.

94 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
71%

2012

 
 
79%

2011

 
 
73%

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.

78 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
42%

2012

 
 
51%

2011

 
 
57%

2010

 
 
56%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2013.

78 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
76%

2012

 
 
66%

2011

 
 
74%

2010

 
 
69%
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 63% in 2013.

74 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
43%

2012

 
 
61%

2011

 
 
60%

2010

 
 
53%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

74 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
79%

2012

 
 
75%

2011

 
 
80%

2010

 
 
72%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2013.

74 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
46%

2012

 
 
47%

2011

 
 
48%

2010

 
 
67%
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 63% in 2013.

73 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
44%

2012

 
 
55%

2011

 
 
53%

2010

 
 
47%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

73 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
73%

2012

 
 
76%

2011

 
 
79%

2010

 
 
79%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2013.

73 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
45%

2012

 
 
46%

2011

 
 
47%

2010

 
 
62%
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.

76 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
53%

2012

 
 
70%

2011

 
 
57%

2010

 
 
63%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 85% in 2013.

76 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
82%

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
79%

2010

 
 
81%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 52% in 2013.

75 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
43%

2012

 
 
46%

2011

 
 
39%

2010

 
 
55%
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 58% in 2013.

102 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
53%

2012

 
 
46%

2011

 
 
52%

2010

 
 
48%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 72% in 2013.

102 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
68%

2012

 
 
61%

2011

 
 
72%

2010

 
 
70%
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
Hispanic 48% 43%
White 37% 42%
Black 11% 5%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 3% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 2%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 32%N/A47%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Nurse(s)
School psychologist
School social worker/counselors(s)
Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Clubs
  • Television/Radio News
  • Yearbook

Language learning

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
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Kitchen

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
Clubs
  • National Honor Society
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 7:45 am
School end time
  • 3:10 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 6:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Kara Largent
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • No
Fax number
  • (623) 772-4620

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Direct instruction
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Individually guided instruction
  • Multi-aged
  • 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
  • Moderate - the school consistently offers a full program for particular special education needs
Foreign languages taught
  • None
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • 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
  • Flag football
  • Soccer
  • Track
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Performing arts
  • None
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Environmental Club
  • National Honor Society
  • Student council/government
  • Television/Radio News
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Volunteer in the classroom
School leaders can update this information here.

Visit

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Elementary school
Middle school


 

How to apply

Does this school have an application or enrollment process?
 

No

Planning Ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Desert Edge High School
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

2131 South 157th Avenue
Goodyear, AZ 85338
Website: Click here
Phone: (623) 772-4600

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