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GreatSchools Rating

Desert Meadows Elementary School

Public | K-8 | 850 students

Our strength is our focus on improving social and academic skills.

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
Based on 4 ratings
2011:
Based on 6 ratings

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Parent involvement

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33 reviews of this school


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Posted January 14, 2014

Bullying is rampant, kids overrun the classroom, and the resource teacher doesn't return phone calls or emails. It seems like all the "problem" kids get lumped in together so one teacher is forced to manage and entire classroom of behavior issues with little actual support. This kind of chaotic environment makes it even harder for kids with learning and attention issues to focus.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 4, 2013

I have been here just about a year with my kids. I found the teachers to be very forthcoming and the administration easy to work with. Some of the kids are rowdy but that is to be expected with the age group. The staff works very hard! I love this school
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 11, 2013

This school has been a terrible experience for my kids. My two struggling children are not getting the help they need, and my other child is bored. The bully issues are rampant, the oversight of the teachers over the students is non-existent, and the principal is neither responsive or forthcoming. They claim there is a bully form that can be used, but how exactly does a piece of paper fix an obviously ongoing problem. The in-class behavior the students are allowed to get away with is terrible, and the teachers, no matter what they spout off, are just teaching the kids to one test or another and nothing else. Who cares about helping the kids think and learn when we can push them through the assembly line to make our AIMS scores higher so we look better. Nevermind the ongoing problems.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 14, 2012

I have a new student to Desert Meadows this year and can't believe how professional and polite the staff is. My son is in 7th grade and I am amazed by the dedication of his teachers to help him become acquainted with the school. He comes home each day with homework and is eager to do it! I am looking forward to a great year at Desert Meadows!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 12, 2012

I had an excellent experience with my children the first week of school. There were lots of friendly people to assist me on the first day and my kids came home excited about their teachers. I even had a good experience working with the principal when I had a question about my youngest ones teacher.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 27, 2012

Sadly the Principal and VP have lost touch with the staff and the teachers at this point. Students now attack teachers but the staff doesn't want to deal with the parents so they do nothing. Sadly, this school was so promising, but now it's just a plain old school of sub par factors now. Glad we moved our kids out of here....
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 8, 2012

My son loved Meadows from k - 3rd grade ('07 - '12). His teachers were wonderful. Our family was very involved in the Parent Teacher Student Association. Meadows teachers are exceptionally involved - but then they don't get much parental help - so pick up that slack. Most outstanding Bully issues need to be put squarely in Laveen Elementary District's (LED) and the district's voters laps. Student supplies and extra school staffing were drastically cut when LED budget overrides were voted no on a year ago. Lost by just a handful of votes. Adding to the resulting classroom crowding pressure is the lack of administrative continuity. LED assigns Desert Meadows and Mr. Pries a NEW vice principal EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Some were experienced, some raw VP trainees. They do their best but the kids and parent do not know them. It is a Vice Principals job to handle student discipline issues. Principals manage teachers and are spokesmen for the school community. Don't get me wrong its a good school - but it is not perfect. It could be great. I challenge each Meadows parent to volunteer in a classroom, the cafeteria or recess yard just 3 hours of time each year.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 16, 2011

We are very glad that this is our daughter's last year at Desert Meadows. She has endured a lot of bullying while attending this school. The teachers have done little to stop it when we have complained and the principal does not return phone calls or emails but has someone else handle the problem, which is usually the assistant principal. It is amazing what you hear from other parents when you attend a sports event or any other program. There are a lot of parents who agree there is a bully problem, communication problem between teacher's and parents, and while the office staff is okay, the principal needs a stricter review of his performance. Bullying in any form should have a zero tolerance and teachers need to be sending students to the office, the office needs to be calling parents, and students need to be picked up and taken home if they are going to be continually disruptive and negative in classrooms. Some kids do want to learn even if they are not honors students.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 14, 2011

My son has attented this school for 2 years and it has been a nightmare with all of the bulling, he is more advanced than the other kids and he has been harrasased by the other students since he was in 2nd grade and the teachers. The principal tries to put a stop to it but only for a short period of time and then it goes right back to the bulling. This school has made my son not want to go to school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 6, 2011

This is my kids' second year at Desert Meadows, and it's been a good school for us. They are currently in 7th grade and 2nd grade. All the teachers they've had have been really good. Ms. Zachary in 2nd grade is great! My 7th grader is in the honors program and is doing really well. The office staff is just okay. Anytime I've tried to contact the principal via e-mail or phone, I get a response from someone else or, more often, no response at all. But other than that, I would recommend this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 21, 2011

Bar far one horrible school for my Kinder!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!! I have never had such a bad experience in a public school as I had. School Started August 9 and my child just went downhill since the first day of School Who treats Kinder as if they are in boot camp!!!!!!! I know I volunteered for the first 2 weeks, and teachers if they do not like your kid you better make sure that the teachers are not roomates because they will tag team your child!!!!!!!!!! I would not send a sack of Scorpions to Desert Meadow. Tried to get help with the Vice prinicpal and the Principal and was treated so badly and Talked down to. I cried. Got my daughter out as soon as I could. Get yours out too!!!!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 10, 2011

Desert Meadows has been a mixed bag for our son who attends there. He has a had very inexperienced teacher who was difficult to work with, rigid in classroom approaches, difficult to work with as a parent, and lacking in student empathy. This person also was extremely difficult to communicate with through any means, email, phone calls or in person. However, Mr. Priess, the principal, offset a good deal of our negativity with his support and his efforts to resolve the challenges with that teacher. During the new school year that just started,our son's new teacher is experienced, dedicated and very focused on results and communication with families. Our son is succeeding above our expectations, and enjoys going to school. We are very pleased that such efforts went into taking a negative experience and transforming it into a positive outcome. For parents who are less than pleased, we would suggest speaking directly with the principal. Also, the new assistant principal, Ms. Epacs, has also gone above and beyond this year in making our son's experience a positive one. Desert Meadows certainly is moving in the right direction, though there is room to grow.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 26, 2011

This school is HORRIBLE!! I moved to the area in the middle of the school year last year. My son was enrolled in 3rd grade at the time, I went to enroll him and they set me free on the campus while school was in session to go see his "new classroom" which ended up not being the correct one. My son would come home ever day crying because he was being bullied by peers and older children at the school. He said his teacher cussed a lot and yelled at the class. I had SEVERAL issues with the front office staff, they are very rude and seem more interested in gossiping in the office together instead of taking care of the parents/students in the office. I ended up taking my son out of that school and enrolling him somewhere else. When I tried to get his paperwork from the school the same front office staff would not fax the info to the new school and told me I was going to have to wait until she was ready to send it. It was a bad experience all around.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 4, 2010

Desert Meadows is a work in progess. BUT, Ms. Warren, my son's kindergarten teacher is the best. She cares about the kids and teaches them well above what a K-class should be. I know my son is getting a great education with her.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 17, 2010

I am very disappointed in DM. My four year old kindergartner was placed in the wrong classroom all day and was reported absent by his original teacher. When I arrived at the school to pick up my child, NO had a clue where he was, because according to there records he never came to school. My child was found a hour after school was dismissed in what seemed to be a first grade classroom. DM offered no formal apologize for the terrible and terrifying error and has been very insensitive to the hole situation.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 23, 2010

My son attended for his 5th grade year with Mr. Goldwasser. His progress was incredible and his teacher CARED... Awesome
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 9, 2010

My family has only been at this school since October but I am impressed. The focus is on student success. My son talks about goals and he likes his teacher. The campus is a nice place to visit. I am very pleased.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 14, 2009

It is with great pleasure and gratitude that I write this review for Desert Meadows Elem. Everytime I drop my children off at school, Mr. Preis and Ms. Zembruski are always visible - before and after school. It makes me feel like my children are looked after, and they feel safe. My son loves Mr. Preis. He told me that he wants to be a principal when he grows up, 'Just like Mr. Preis, Mommy!' Continuing on; The school focuses on good behavior and delves out strong consequences for poor behavior if need be. Fortunately, we've not had to deal with consequences. We have had several good things come home with our children. I am a strong believer in complementing and encouraging children at young ages so that they will grow up to be learners as well as good people, just like Mr. Preis and Ms. Zembruski.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 14, 2009

This is a great school. I love the way the teachers and school staff communicate with the students and parents. Mr. Pries is always around speaking with the kids.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 30, 2009

I continue to be impressed by this school. We have been here since it opened and this year is the best yet. Most of the teachers are back and the office staff has really improved since the secretary left last year. I am also happy that it is a Performing Plus school for the second straight year.
—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.

88 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
60%

2012

 
 
67%

2011

 
 
60%

2010

 
 
68%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 75% in 2013.

88 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
65%

2012

 
 
74%

2011

 
 
65%

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 65% in 2013.

117 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
65%

2012

 
 
60%

2011

 
 
75%

2010

 
 
62%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2013.

117 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
75%

2012

 
 
65%

2011

 
 
78%

2010

 
 
68%
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.

87 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
60%

2012

 
 
64%

2011

 
 
58%

2010

 
 
42%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

87 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
79%

2012

 
 
71%

2011

 
 
77%

2010

 
 
60%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2013.

85 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
55%

2012

 
 
41%

2011

 
 
38%

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.

88 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
44%

2012

 
 
57%

2011

 
 
42%

2010

 
 
51%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

88 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
68%

2012

 
 
71%

2011

 
 
61%

2010

 
 
63%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2013.

87 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
38%

2012

 
 
45%

2011

 
 
31%

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

Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

92 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
72%

2012

 
 
58%

2011

 
 
42%

2010

 
 
45%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 85% in 2013.

92 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
75%

2011

 
 
66%

2010

 
 
69%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 52% in 2013.

91 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
45%

2012

 
 
35%

2011

 
 
41%

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.

99 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
49%

2012

 
 
49%

2011

 
 
44%

2010

 
 
60%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 72% in 2013.

99 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
65%

2012

 
 
66%

2011

 
 
70%

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

  • 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 55% 43%
Black 22% 5%
White 14% 42%
American Indian/Alaska Native 3% 5%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 3% 3%
Two or more races 2% 2%
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 48%N/A47%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Assistant principal(s)
Art teacher(s)
ELL/ESL Coordinator
Gifted specialist(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Security personnel
School psychologist
School social worker/counselors(s)
Speech and language therapist(s)
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
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
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many needs and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program for very challenging needs such as autism or complete visual impairment
Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • 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
Music
  • Band
Clubs
  • Art club
  • 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
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
Staff resources available to students
  • Gifted specialist(s)
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:00 am
School end time
  • 3:00 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • No
Fax number
  • (602) 237-9135

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Common Core Standards
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
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
  • Intensive - the school offers a full program for many needs and/or offers at least one very comprehensive program for very challenging needs such as autism or complete visual impairment
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)
  • ELL/ESL Coordinator
  • Gifted specialist(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Security personnel
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Counseling
  • Mentoring
  • Remediation
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
  • Tutoring
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Laveen Lions
School leaders can update this information here.

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and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Flag football
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Soccer
  • Softball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
Music
  • Band
Performing arts
  • None
Media arts
  • None

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Art club
  • Yearbook
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
Betty Fairfax High School
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

6855 W. Meadows Loop East
Laveen, AZ 85339
Website: Click here
Phone: (602) 237-9100

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