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Desert Vista High School

Public | 9-12 | 2974 students


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48 reviews of this school

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Posted April 7, 2014

Large - yes; impersonal - no. Moving from the East Coast, we selected the DVHS boundary for our home using many resources including this website. Compared to private middle schools our children attended in Wash, DC, our first surprise was the constant feedback and e-mail contact we received from teachers. Not heard of any other HS that fosters support, encouragement, and positive attitude to same high level. Our daughter and son quickly found a friend nucleus (dance and sports, respectively). No "bad teacher" experiences - just the opposite and both blossomed academically. At college our daughter continues to find she was well- prepared by DVHS academics. As a senior, our son is enjoying engineering curriculum and teachers that will be big benefit for his planned college major. Selecting this HS was one of the best decisions we've made for the growth of our children. - April 2014
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 28, 2013

I currently attend this school and I have been since Freshman year and when I tell you this school is amazing it really is. Great academic program and this school is really big on COLLEGE PREP! It will have you ready for college by Junior year. Great staff and administration. This school offers a great sports program. All in all Desert Vista is a great school that not only offers you child that great high school experience but also the experience your child will need for the future.
—Submitted by a student

Posted September 20, 2013

I highly recommend DV. We moved here from Chicago shortly before our son began freshmen year. The teachers and administration were especially helpful with the transition. We now have a second child enrolled and thankfully, both of our children are in honors and AP classes and they are ABSOLUTELY outstanding. The teachers are top notch. In addition to the fine academics, DV has fantastic athletics and clubs. Our youngest joined the school's Speech team and is having a wonderful experience thus far.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 21, 2013

My son is a sophomore at DV and loves the school. For the most part he has had excellent teachers who have challenged him. He walked on to Cross Country as a freshman and had a fantastic experience. The coaches are exceptional, and the team members are very supportive of each other. Each child needs to find their niche, and with the number of clubs they have something for everyone.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 13, 2013

Former student here. Graduated 7 years ago. Desert Vista was, and continues to be one of the best public schools in the nation. I can say this with full confidence because I have greatly benefitted from how desert vista prepared me for college and for life. Once I got to college, it became immediately apparent that I was much further ahead of my peers in the University I was attending. Some of the comments I just read from either parents or students complaining of bullying or teachers "just not caring" couldn't be further from the truth. Bullying happens in every school in every corner of America. To say it's unique to Desert Vista is a joke. Teachers pour their hearts out for their students- as evidenced by the personal time they make available for 1:1 attention before and after school. DV is less like a high school and more like a college prep academy. If you send your kid here- take my word for it- you just hit the jackpot.

Posted August 23, 2012

If you don't mind having your child bullied by students, other parents, and administration this is your school. This school allows and promotes negative behavior. When a parent brings a concern to the attention of administration, it takes them weeks to respond, and when they do respond it is considered not worthy of their time since so much time has passed. I am disgusted with the lack of protection they provide their students and teachers. They are more concerned with 'busting' someone for dress code violation than the boy being pushed around or degraded by other students.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 10, 2011

As an incoming freshman who is not from the two neighboring middle schools, I have to say Desert Vista is an excellent academic school. However, if you are not from the two nearby middle schools in which almost everyone comes from, you'll have a harder time making friends here. In the freshman class, almost everyone knows each other and form cliques of their own, not really interested in inviting kids who are not from the district into their group. But I have to say, the academics are great, the teachers are terrific and the principal genuinely seems to care about her students. I rate this school about four stars.
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 9, 2011

im 16 years old, i went to desert vista for about 6 months and i have to say it was the WORST school i have ever been to. no i am not saying that because im a kid and i "hate" school. unlike some kids i care about my education. i didnt get one here. kids were very rude and un welcoming. teachers could care less about their students. im now involved in online school and im happy im out of desert vista. id rate it -10 stars if i could.
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 5, 2011

I currently attend Desert Vista High School and I can personally say that I have no regrets in coming here. It's one of the best schools in the state, probably even #1! Despite the large population of students (almost 3000!), the academic is excelling and we have the best speech and debate team in Arizona, which consecutively wins the state championships. Also, the school spirit at this school is amazing!! It couldn't be any better- the students really love the school. The teachers and classes here are very qualified for their subjects. I feel as if the teachers here at Desert Vista were the best I have ever had. The environment at school is great! We have a beautiful campus with many great students and staff.
—Submitted by a student

Posted July 28, 2011

I have had three very different children attend Desert Vista. One was a very popular, social girl. One was a 'band geek', and one was a quiet, high achiever. As you can imagine they all had very different needs and I can say that not only does DV have an incredible teaching staff, EVERY child there has the means to succeed. DV has a plethora of resources for extra help that can be utilized, including teaching staff before and after hours in EVERY department. The staff at DV absolutely does care about giving our children the BEST education that they can get.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted July 25, 2011

My family moved from out-of-state prior to my son starting at DV. We chose this school based on academic scores. He is involved in football and track and has made many nice friends. We have had nothing but positive experiences with the teachers, principal and staff at Desert Vista. There is affluence in the area, but there are plenty of "regular folks" as well. My son has friends whose families make a lot of money, friends who have lost their homes, friends whose families are just getting by paycheck to paycheck and everywhere in between. They all get along and hang out together regardless. Whether in AP or regular classes, the teachers have been excellent! I have zero tolerance for bullying, but find it inexcusable for a parent to slander a child in a public forum. Cyber-bullying is just as bad! I hope anyone considering attending Desert Vista will realize that most people who have positive experiences will not take the time to write a review, but the negative ones will jump right on it. Don't let a few sour grapes ruin the reputation of a great school!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted May 23, 2011

There have been a lot of accusations of bullying, which I acknowledge, but it all depends on what classes you take. In the AP and honors classes, I guarantee you'll find some of the most down-to-earth, kind, intelligent, and hardworking kids in Ahwatukee, whom are hard to come by here. The regular classes, on the other hand, are mediocre at best. This is where you'll find all of the spoiled, arrogant "bros and hos" everyone's complaining about (we're called STDV for a reason....). These kids constitute the overall high socioeconomic status of DV, but the nerds are the ones who are maintaining our tradition of academic excellence. Just stay true to your academics and Desert Vista will be a great, enriching experience. As for the actual quality of the staff, the math, English, social studies, and fine arts departments all have phenomenal teachers. If only the same could be said for our science department..... we honestly only have a couple or so good teachers there.
—Submitted by a student

Posted December 28, 2010

The administration is by far the worst aspect of it. They fund football and leave nothing for academics. They once wasted $3,000 to spend for glow sticks at a prep assembly. In addition, talking with the student activities coordinators is like talking to rocks. They don't respond to emails and aren't even in their offices most of the time. They also take 5 hour "lunch breaks," which apparently makes them "way too busy" to even sit in their offices. As far as academics, things aren't looking much better. Most of the textbooks used in classes are outdated, and in many cases several editions outdated. The teaching quality is horrible, as the vast majority of teachers don't know what they are talking about. Only a handful of teachers are dedicated, and those teach rigorous courses. The good scores and success that comes out of the school is purely based on the students' personal drive and motivation with the exception of very few passionate educators. The school is also filled with a lot of rich, snobby kids who don't take school seriously at all. The only thing they do is cuss and talk about sex. There are also tons of cliques, segregated groups, etc.
—Submitted by a student

Posted December 9, 2010

Horrible! Lots of bullying! As a student I am bullied constantly!!! This is a horrible school!!! I recommend a smaller school like Horizon Honors High School.
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 31, 2010

Great Academics, Great Sports and Clubs, something for everyone, best in state AIMS, College Prep School
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 30, 2010

This is our child's second year at DV & we could'nt be happier! I have no idea what some of these people are talking about! Our child was not a "self disciplined" person, but is now because of what they teach at DV. Our child play's no sport's, & is so far a little shy about joining any of the over 100 clubs they have to offer at DV, but is treated no differently. We LOVE the principal & the staff has been outstanding! The Teachers are amazing! And are all Available to help students before and after school. The support here is unbelievable! The staff truley care's for all the student's, & they take their future's very personally. The opportunity's at DV are endless! Your experience is what you make it, but at DV it can be the BEST ONE EVER!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 2, 2010

Clean house, fire all those lazy office slugs and get a real principal! Great teachers suffer in these circumstances as do the kids!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 1, 2010

We moved from scottsdale last year to Desert Vista and it has proven to be much better then any of the Scottsdale schools my children have been to. My son is not a very movtivated child and his teachers have been there to push him and keep him on track. We have been very pleased with DV!!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 11, 2009

I'm a senior at this school and the best word to describe DV is elitist. While DV has good test scores and produces a great deal of national merit semifinalists, the majority of the teachers and students really couldn't care less. The regular classes at DV can be considered remedial at best. While some of the AP/honors teachers are amazing, most of the teachers make no attempt to inspire students or even to get them to pass classes. Half of my teachers seem to hate what they're doing because they've been forced to teach certain subjects due to budget cuts. The administration is highly unproductive, slow to reply, and blatantly authoritarian. You can often find the secretaries and assistants gossiping with each other while students wait to speak with them. Overall, DV an okay school that is over rated because of its test scores.
—Submitted by a student

Posted June 26, 2009

10 for 10...DV is the place to be. Always classy. The teachers are great and push students to do and be more!
—Submitted by a student

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.

The state average for Math was 64% in 2014.









The state average for Reading was 86% in 2014.









The state average for Science was 39% in 2014.







The state average for Writing was 74% in 2014.








Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests

In 2013-2014 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 "Excelling".
  • In 2009-2010, this school was designated "Excelling".
  • In 2008-2009, this school was designated "Excelling".

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 2013-2014 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 70% 42%
Hispanic 12% 43%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 9% 3%
Black 6% 5%
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 6%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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16440 S 32nd St
Phoenix, AZ 85048
Website: Click here
Phone: (480) 839-0292


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