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GreatSchools Rating

Desert Marigold School

Charter | K-12 | 302 students

We are best known for Waldorf Inspirted Curriculum.

 
 

Living in Phoenix

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $92,900. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $830.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 5 ratings
2013:
Based on 8 ratings
2012:
Based on 3 ratings
2011:
No new ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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64 reviews of this school


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Posted October 22, 2009

This is our third year at Desert Marigold. Our family is very pleased with the Waldorf curriculum and the warm and thoughtful approach to learning. My son leaves the school happy and excited about his daily lessons. He loves to retell stories he has heard and proudly shares his accomplishments. Faculty take their job seriously and are devoted to nurturing and respecting each child. They are friendly and approachable should you have a question or concern. DMS administration is very busy and at the same time they are open to listening to my concerns. They strive to make this community work as they too support the school-wide activities. Parents in the community also deserve credit for stepping up and volunteering, sometimes year after year, to make our community events so successful and memorable. This beautiful, natural campus is a hidden treasure in South Phoenix.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 4, 2009

This is a Waldorf inspired school. It is so amazing in it's approach to education! Really innovative and interesting. Do yourself a favor and research the Waldorf Educational values.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 23, 2009

My children attended DMS for many years. The campus is beautiful and the waldorf curriculum is fantastic. However, it seems to be filled with empty promises and lack of follow through. They preach alot of collaboration and community, however, the adults in the community, especially the administration and faculty have alot of growing up to do. They shirk away from any type of conflict, try to ignore it and as a result many families leave after years of trying to work in their 'collaborative community' model. They are not interested in what the parents want, they simply want to push their own personal agendas. I want a school that walks their own talk!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 10, 2009

My child has attend DMS since the 2nd grade. She has just graduated the 8th grade. She received a well rounded and wonderful education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 29, 2009

I admit it's been hard finding the right thing to do at Desert Marigold. So I've been spending more time studying the works of Rudolf Steiner. He believed that the children already have knowledge and that the work of the teacher and adults is to remove encumbrances. He said there is a curriculum that will really meet these children and in a way make their souls sing. I did not understand all this until I took a study course that my daughter's teacher taught. I know now that education starts with the feeling life and with the soul and I feel that I am a better parent for the education my daughter is receiving. If you have a chance, send your child. I heard they're all filled up for the next school year, but maybe you'll get lucky.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 29, 2009

When I think public school I gag at the send them to the office for punishment, script teaching that 'meets the standards.' For getting any rambunctious boy into juve hall? I love this Waldorf charter school, love it! My boy would never do anything besides play the video games, he was just a couple of big thumbs, all of a sudden he wants to sing, and play recorder and knit. Then I go to a parent meeting and learn that knitting is like Thinking, that following that thread until you get yourself a sweater, well, it's like making an idea come true! This school has totally opened up horizons for my child. And it's been wonderful for me too. I am treated like an individual, and I honor my son's teacher who has had the stamina to stay with him all these years!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 29, 2009

I was disgruntled for five years. For five years I thought those people at Desert Marigold were not meeting my children's needs. This past year a teacher reprimanded me for taking my child home early. What nerve. Now my children are at different schools. I feel they are conforming more, and meet the state standards for education. Still, I am beginning to wonder if there is more to life than meeting these standards and I wish I had found a way to work out my differences with the administration at Desert Marigold.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 29, 2009

Okay. So I went to highschool and I was really happy to get out of that Waldorf school where we were always hearing stories about nature and stuff. I figured that my mom just wanted me to be nice and not be in a bad situation. But then I get to highschool and I know about 1,000 times more than anyone else. Like people know the answers to stuff but they never know why, and they never ask questions. There's a lot of times I'm bored and the teachers get mad at me but I think it's because they don't really know as much as they're pretending. At Desert Marigold, even if I felt bored, I knew that I was learning cool stuff.
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 27, 2009

If you are looking for a true Waldorf education, you will not find it here. There is a loose use of the Waldorf methods, when they are used at all. I found my children received more of a waldorf style of education by enrolling them in a traditional public school. The head administrator is also painfully absent from all of the daily activities. My advice would be to look elsewhere.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 19, 2009

I had my children in DMS for 4 years and every year it became more and more disappointing. I tried to remain hopeful because I believe in the Waldorf philosophy of child development and education, but that is not what is being offered at DMS. My children made great friends while at DMS, but when we left and entered a more traditional school system I realized how ill equipped they were academically. When I think back on how situations concerning my children and myself were handled, I am angry at myself for keeping the children in such a dysfunctional environment. My advice is to proceed with caution.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 29, 2009

During the time 5 years that my children attended DMS, the quality of education decreased drastically. There was an issue with one of my children and the teacher involved & administration where not very professional.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 28, 2009

We placed our son into DMS 6 years ago as an alternative to public school. Though I do believe he thrived psychologically from the waldorf principles taught at DMS we felt the academics were sorely lacking. We placed our younger son in DMS 3 years ago and while his math skills seemed adequate he was not taught to read. The administrator at this school is rarely seen and obviously cares little about meeting the state standards in academics. The communication between teachers and parents is completely lacking except if the teachers need volunteers or fund raising.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 7, 2009

I went to Desert Marigold for middle school. After graduating from 8th grade I went to a regular public high school. I felt really behind academically from the other kids. I made some great friends at Desert Marigold but I really wish I had gone to a regular middle school. Desert Marigold has good extracurricular activities such as sewing,gardening,and art but, they lack academics especially math. I wouldn't suggest sending your child to the middle school.


Posted August 26, 2008

Desert Marigold School, has been a life saver for my daughter and for myself. The curriculum nurtures all aspects, the exposure to the Arts in all it's ramifications is what is so wonderful, Worlds apart from conventional public schools. Individuality is respected, as well as non tolerant for trends! a 100% healthy , educating, and nurturing environment! Drive by take a look!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 9, 2008

This school needs to chose quality teachers that really care about the education they are trying to get across to the children. We have been at this school for 6 yrs. Its great for younger children the upper grades very disappointing.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 2, 2008

We have attended DMS for the past 5 years and are leaving disappointmented in a program of education that we believe, when done right, offers the best education for a child. I urge anyone who is interested in this school to request the right to observe the teacher and classroom their child will be joining. Lack of discipline, educated teachers and classroom management skills is a problem in many of the grades. If you encounter problems do not expect a resolution, from administration or faculty, in a timely or satisfactory manner. I admire what this school is trying to offer but if they are to move forward and become a model for charter Waldorf schools they need to start taking decisive action towards removing administrative and faculty members that are not advancing the growth of the school. Unfortunately that means making difficult decisions that are not made entirely with the heart.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 10, 2007

My daughter attended (K-8) and my son is attending (7th). As I understand it, Waldorf methods are designed to support children to become well-rounded (confident, capable, and balanced) while providing a solid academic foundation. I have seen firsthand the evidence that Waldorf's holistic methods are effective. I particularly appreciate the gentle approach to academic growth. I did have to supplement my children's reading education with a summer tutor when, after the third grade, each were still struggling with reading. Now they are both avid readers and never had to endure what would have been the inevitable embarrassment of being labeled 'slow learners'. The school is alive it continues to grow and strengthen its programs. Bravo
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 23, 2007

Instruction in the arts is varied and adequate, instruction in math, reading and writing is mediocre to poor. If you choose this school be prepared to supplement your child's core academics. In the 6 years that I have been associated with Desert Marigold I only remain hopeful, not convinced, that this school can provide sound educational opportunities for children. We will not return next year.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 22, 2007

My son has attended Desert Marigold for almost 6 years now and has an amazing teacher who challenges the class. My daughter has been attending for 3 years and loves her teacher also. The school is 20 miles from my house and I make the drive because I believe in the Waldorf curriculum and philosophies. These children are growing up to be intelligent, well-rounded, kind human beings. It is a beatiful environment for them to grow up in as well-an experience you would be hardpressed to find elsewhere. No matter which school your child attends, there will be positives and negatives. This school's positives eclipse the negatives.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 26, 2007

Beautiful School, Peaceful and Nurturing. Well rounded children I believe is the goal. All students learn musical instruments, Spanish, handwork, and art. Loving safe environment.
—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.

25 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
56%

2012

 
 
71%

2011

 
 
50%

2010

 
 
56%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 75% in 2013.

25 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
72%

2012

 
 
83%

2011

 
 
67%

2010

 
 
64%
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.

22 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
69%

2012

 
 
38%

2011

 
 
54%

2010

 
 
20%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2013.

22 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
95%

2012

 
 
73%

2011

 
 
83%

2010

 
 
52%
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.

26 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
57%

2012

 
 
57%

2011

 
 
28%

2010

 
 
43%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

26 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
85%

2012

 
 
75%

2011

 
 
74%

2010

 
 
71%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2013.

26 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
50%

2012

 
 
54%

2011

 
 
28%

2010

 
 
76%
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.

27 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
59%

2012

 
 
41%

2011

 
 
41%

2010

 
 
47%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

27 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
81%

2012

 
 
74%

2011

 
 
91%

2010

 
 
74%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2013.

27 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
44%

2012

 
 
37%

2011

 
 
73%

2010

 
 
72%
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.

27 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
74%

2012

 
 
70%

2011

 
 
56%

2010

 
 
60%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 85% in 2013.

27 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
93%

2012

 
 
85%

2011

 
 
89%

2010

 
 
90%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 52% in 2013.

27 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
41%

2012

 
 
78%

2011

 
 
44%

2010

 
 
75%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


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

Source: Arizona Department of Education

Math

The state average for Math was 58% in 2013.

26 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
62%

2012

 
 
43%

2011

 
 
54%

2010

 
 
39%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 72% in 2013.

26 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
67%

2011

 
 
75%

2010

 
 
61%
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 62% in 2013.

12 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
59%

2012

 
 
46%

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
Reading

The state average for Reading was 83% in 2013.

12 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
83%

2012

 
 
85%

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
Writing

The state average for Writing was 70% in 2013.

12 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
50%

2012

 
 
77%

2011

 
 
n/a

2010

 
 
n/a
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".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was designated "Performing".

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 76% 42%
Hispanic 12% 43%
Black 5% 5%
Two or more races 4% 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 3% 5%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 1% 3%
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 22%N/A47%
Female 58%N/A49%
Male 42%N/A51%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
Reading specialist(s)
Special education coordinator
Foreign languages spoken by school staff American sign language
French
Italian
Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school officials and community members.

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Special education / special needs

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

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Garden/Greenhouse
Clubs
  • Gardening

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
Clubs
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • American sign language
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Kitchen
Clubs
  • Cooking club
  • Gardening
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

School start time
  • 8:30am
School end time
  • 3:15pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
School Leader's name
  • Charles D. Burkam
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Fax number
  • (602) 243-6933

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Waldorf
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Global
  • Social justice
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
  • Japanese
  • Spanish

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • Reading specialist(s)
  • Special education coordinator
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • American sign language
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Music room
  • Playground
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify 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
  • Circus Arts
  • Crew / Rowing
  • Equestrian
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball
Girls sports
  • Circus Arts
  • Crew / Rowing
  • Equestrian
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Cooking club
  • Gardening
  • Yearbook
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Volunteer time after school
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Apply

 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
Apply now
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

6210 South 28th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85042
Website: Click here
Phone: (602) 243-6909

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