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GreatSchools Rating

Desert Thunder

Public | K-8 & ungraded

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

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

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30 reviews of this school


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Posted September 2, 2011

My child has a 504 plan for her food allergy. The administration has been outstanding on accomidating her needs as well as her teachers. She had been attending for 2 years now and we really couldn't be happier. The staff is friendly and caring and the education she is receiving is great!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 1, 2011

My oldest is a 3rd grader who has an IEP and receives services threw the school. The services provided are bellow my expectations due to lack of individualized attention and slow process. My son has the same issue he started the year w/, unable to build clear thought sentences verbally and in written form. Due to his home room teacher he is ending the year on a descent note but could have been better if after school services had been available. As for my first grader he started the year on a good note but unfortunately is ending it poorly due to not doing well in reading and writing. Threw out the year I asked for tutoring and was denied multiple times due to services not being available. I was also advised his reading would pick up and not to worry. We help him w/ reading and writting on top of doing 2 -3 pages of home work a night w/ spelling. By the time his assigned work is completed he would be burnt out and our study time was always a struggle. He wasn't challenged in anyway and I trully believe he coasted by and his needs were ignored. Over all, DT is a good school, safe, clean, staff are approachable and the meals are balanced, tasty but can be small in portion.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 18, 2010

I attend Alhambra Traditional School, and now I am moving within the range of the school district here. I soon will be attending Desert Thunder. While reading the schools website, I saw things that many students would love. (Well from ATS at least) 2 weeks of winter and spring break, easy academics, and an easy grade scale. At Alhambra Traditional they have higher leveled academic procedures, a tougher grading scale, and the best scores in Arizona. I like ATS but some of the teachers there are... well just.... bad; but when reading reviews and the school website, I saw that many students that have atteneded DT have been beaten by their classmates, teachers are very strict in a hateful manner, and there is a uniform. The uniform is just a way to make a terrible school look professional. I do not look forward to changing schools here, and would recommend for you NOT to sent your child here.


Posted December 8, 2010

I have had 2 kids in Desert Thunder and I have not been happy with the quality. My son was punched in the stomach and when he told the teachers did nothing. We weren't the first family to have this kind of issue. My son was terrified of 1st grade teacher and I have never see such fear in his eyes. He had trouble expressing himself so we never found out why he was so scared. He peed his pants every day and was never sent to change yet he smelled from a mile away. Never had an accident before. I pulled him imediately after seeing his fear of his teacher and I now home school him. He's back to being a happy out going kid. Now my daughter now in 1st begs me to home school her and I am not an easy teacher. She has speech issues and I have had NO communication with them and I am just trying to find out if she even goes like she is supposed too. They after 2 months in school have already asked me to hold her back next year since she can't read. No offer to get her help or test her for LD's. I had to request testing and it's been a month and I have heard nothing!!! I plan on pulling her and Home schooling her very soon!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 5, 2010

In response to the 6th grader posting 4/15/10. I agree with you, some of the teachers are inappropriate, catty, vindictive, immature and often in plain sight cold. I have a clear knowledge of this due to being a parent of this school and having to deal with the teachers behavior. No matter how polite you are never and I mean never question a teacher at this school. I'm sorry you as a child had to deal with this, they are the adult.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 5, 2010

My daughter is in kindergartner at DT. She is our first child to attend school and is doing wonderful. By February, not even seven months into school year, she was reading on her own, could count up to 100, was introduced to other cultures around the world, learned about geography and is now very familiar with simple addition and subtraction. I have compared her learning with other children in the family that attend different schools in the same school district, all the children are only 1-3 months apart. (5 children total) and she is ahead by far. As a parent I feel the teachers are doing a great job. One of the things I feel needs improvement is the cafeteria food. The cooks serve the food waaaay in advance and by the time the children get it, ITS COLD!!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 5, 2010

School is great and I love the way they have set up student drop off and pick up. ALL children are picked up after only 15 minutes:-) All student's live close enough that parents can walk, if they choose to. Only thing I hate is the uniforms, so borring! At least do one top color and one bottom. There's a reason they are called uniforms, having 5 different color tops and 2 different color bottoms doesn't make sense.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 15, 2010

I am in 6th grade and have never been to a school so horrible. The students and teachers are extremely inappropriate. Some teachers are wonderful others are absolutely horrible. Do not even think about sending your child/children here i can almost guarantee that if you came from the schools i was in you would as well be upset.
—Submitted by a student


Posted December 4, 2009

I am so disheartened by all the school districts in the greater Phoenix area. My daughter is currently attending Desert Thunder and this school is no exception to the poor quality of education children receive in this state. We have recently moved here from the Mid-west and both of my children have never seen teachers and staff that care so little about childrens education. You must be your child's best advocate for a good education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 12, 2009

My Kinder and 2nd grdr are new to DT School this year. In comparison to the Tolleson Charter School, DT is just as great! I am an involved parent who has been greeted openly and friendly by the staff due to always being on campus and have never been made to feel as though I didn't belong nor any question was a bother. This year my kids will be seeing the Speech-Language Therapist who took the time to meet me on a short notice, again open and friendly. We have never worked with a male teacher but am open and hope for a successful year with he and the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 15, 2009

'I have found that the school likes to label the children and once the label has been given do not want to work with the student to change the circumstances'. This is so true. I have to say though, Not all the teachers do that. My son is in third grade now,and so far he's had 2 good teachers and two really bad ones.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 31, 2008

I have two children that attened Desert Thunder for the 2007-2008 school year. We moved them to the school and were very pleased with the improvements the children made in a very short amount of time. The staff is amazing and they really seem to care about the children. I think the kids are more excited to go back to school this year then they have any other year.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 12, 2008

I am a student at Desert Thunder going into 6th grade, and have been attending Desert Thunder since it oppened, along with my younger sibling (moving into 4th). everyone there is friendly and help their students the best they can. Any decrease in the school efficiency for the year could easily be due to the huge growth in students. No matter what parents may think, I am a student and know exactly what happens at school. I knot that Desert Thunder is still soaring to the top, learning, learning, learning!
—Submitted by a student


Posted April 23, 2008

Desert Thunder has experienced tremendous growth this year. The administration, teachers and staff have done an excellent job accomodating to the changes. Highly recommended school!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 21, 2008

Without a doubt, a crazy year in 7th grade. When the teachers said it would be a big change they weren't kidding! Last year I would have given the school a 4 or 5 star. Now I struggle to give a 2. I will say the new teachers have come in and given some stability in the grade. Things might have been better if they were there all year.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 12, 2008

My children have attended the school since its opening in 2004. The school like any school has had its struggles yet I've never seen a group of teachers work so hard to make my kids successful. This year there is a new administratioin and I feel they are doing a great job. I am confident that the Principal and teachers will continue to meet the challenges of today and provide my kids with a strong education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 10, 2008

I consider this school an exceptional example of teachers doing the best they can with the funding they get. One needs to give them credit for reaching the Performing Plus level that they have reached having only been open for a few years now. I send out kudos to Mrs. Reinhart for taking her 2006-2008 class on comet ride to excellence. My daughter has shown her true potential and some of that is owed to this teacher. I also want to commend the 6th grade staff. The level of expectation for their students is first rate.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 28, 2007

I have been very unhappy with this school for the last 2 school years. My son has attended this school since Kindergarten and is now in 2nd grade. I believe the class sizes are much to large. I do not think that the new administrative staff has done a very good job this year and miss Dr. Beason's leadership. I have found that the school likes to label the children and once the label has been given do not want to work with the student to change the circumstances. I wish there were charter schools available in Goodyear so that my son would have a school that fits his needs and is more inviting.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 27, 2007

I have two children at DT this year and I must say that the Teachers and staff are a cut above the rest. From the moment you walk into the front office you are greeted by friendly and very helpful front office staff. To all the teachers I deal with, that are very helpful and always keep me informed on my daughters progress, a big example of this is your Dibel testing that is done. It is great to know where your children stand throughout the year and not just when report cards come out. Keep up the great work, you are doing a super job and deserve to be commended on all your hard work.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 28, 2007

I worked with a fantastic staff of devoted and caring teachers. I taught some of the best kids I've ever come across. Mrs. Gray and Mrs. Aguilar are amazing teachers in 6th grade and amazing to work with. I observed Ms. Haines while doing buddies with them and there isn't a better teacher out there. I know Mr. Deffenbaugh is doing the best he can to make DT a great place to learn. I saw growth in the school all three years I was there. The biggest negative that I saw from the school was that middle schoolers didn't always have the opportunities that other middle schools have. That being said, I think most students liked coming to work.
—Submitted by a teacher


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.

53 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
61%

2012

 
 
67%

2011

 
 
71%

2010

 
 
56%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 75% in 2013.

53 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
75%

2012

 
 
77%

2011

 
 
82%

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.

73 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
59%

2012

 
 
63%

2011

 
 
62%

2010

 
 
62%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2013.

73 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
76%

2012

 
 
71%

2011

 
 
74%

2010

 
 
73%
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.

69 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
46%

2012

 
 
60%

2011

 
 
57%

2010

 
 
37%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

69 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
74%

2012

 
 
75%

2011

 
 
77%

2010

 
 
71%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2013.

67 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
49%

2012

 
 
51%

2011

 
 
54%

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 63% in 2013.

76 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
43%

2012

 
 
60%

2011

 
 
53%

2010

 
 
46%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

76 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
68%

2012

 
 
77%

2011

 
 
88%

2010

 
 
78%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2013.

70 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
63%

2012

 
 
66%

2011

 
 
60%

2010

 
 
63%
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.

88 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
60%

2012

 
 
60%

2011

 
 
59%

2010

 
 
60%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 85% in 2013.

88 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
87%

2012

 
 
90%

2011

 
 
83%

2010

 
 
79%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 52% in 2013.

84 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
51%

2012

 
 
40%

2011

 
 
36%

2010

 
 
84%
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.

93 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
60%

2012

 
 
65%

2011

 
 
61%

2010

 
 
51%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 72% in 2013.

94 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
77%

2012

 
 
77%

2011

 
 
79%

2010

 
 
73%
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 45% 43%
White 34% 42%
Black 15% 5%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 4% 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 27%N/A47%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »

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School basics

Fax number
  • (623) 772-4720

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
School leaders can update this information here.

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16750 W. Garfield
Goodyear, AZ 85338
Website: Click here
Phone: (623) 772-4700

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