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Camelback Desert School

Private | PK-6

 

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Living in Scottsdale

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $238,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,070.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 7 ratings
2012:
Based on 7 ratings
2011:
Based on 4 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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64 reviews of this school


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Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Great summer camp experience for my twin 7th graders! Lots of fun activities, swimming, and field trips!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 13, 2013

CDS has been such a blessing to our family, but more importantly our Son. He was attending another school that was not meeting our sons needs. CDS teachers and staff has gone above and beyond meeting our sons needs and our expectations for education. He is attending summer camp and has already jumped leaps and bounds on so many levels. I appreciate that the principal is visible and you can reach out to her as well.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 17, 2013

My eight year-old son is attending the Camelback Desert School summer camp for the second year in a row and absolutely loves his camp! In the summer of 2012, I signed him up for three weeks. We realized within the first week that this is a great "fit" for him so we made sure we scheduled him there for the whole summer of 2013. The staff is caring and (properly) attentive. Everyone calls him by name when I drop him off and pick him up. The program is stimulating and enriching. He is getting a fun summer education in model building, cooking, dance, computers and other activities. Heck, he even loves the food! He'll be back for 2014!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 1, 2013

Camelback Desert is by far the best elementary school I have ever encountered. I have two college age children also and have experienced every grade and every kind of school. With a current Camelback Desert 2nd grader, I can say with confidence that this is a school that every other school, private or public should eminate. After a challenging year in public 1st grade, my daughter was bored, unchallenged, and generally unexcited about school. Camelback Desert has erased all of that and provided an environment that makes my daughter enjoy school again. She is happy, wants to go to school (even when she is sick), loves her teacher and classmates, is challenged, and most of all has fun learning. The individualized approach and small class sizes, along with the superior administration really makes this school one of a kind. The art and music classes are superb, along with all of the after school classes. If you are weighing the cost of private school versus public, this school is well worth every penny and more. Your children will not get a better, balanced and fun education anywhere else. The principal is more involved then I have seen anywhere and he is great at it!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 11, 2013

We just enrolled our son for his 8th year at this school. This is the kind of school environment that I wish every child could have. He and his classmates have excelled academically while being able to be kids. The school fosters well rounded growth through fantastic enrichment teachers, cross cultural activities, students from other countries, service opportunities, art shows, musical performances, sports, etc. His classmates are a diverse group yet have developed deep friendships. The overall atmosphere is positive and supportive.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 31, 2013

We wanted an environment that would allow our children to be challenged emotionally, intellectually and socially. CDS has the special ability to recognize the students as individuals and adjust the learning process to maximize the potential of the individual student. This is done in a warm and caring environment with a staff that is creative and innovative. This type of atmosphere has helped instill confidence in our children and has allowed them to flourish. As parents we cannot thank CDS staff enough for keeping our children safe and giving them the confidence to expand their comfort zone and challenge themselves to become better. We have enjoyed becoming part of the CDS family and interacting with the other families through different school events. We take great comfort dropping our children off at CDS knowing they are in an environment where they are nurtured and valued.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 26, 2013

I have two children currently attending CDS and I couldn't be happier. After touring many public and private schools in the area, the support and education provided is unparalleled. My oldest son has Autism and the staff at Camelback have been like a second family to us, adjusting to our needs and creating a safe yet still challenging environment. The small class sizes are wonderful. My daughter will be starting in the two-year-old Beginners class next year and it's comforting that the entire school already knows her name. The special classes are remarkable, especially the art program. I know my kids are receiving the very best curriculum and teachers in the valley.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 25, 2013

I cannot say enough good things about CDS. From the minute my twins started pre-K with Susie Morton through summer camp and into kindergarten with Vici Bernstein, I have been delighted with the commitment the faculty and administrators have to helping each child grow and develop academically and socially. My children learn in very different ways, and they both have flourished in the school. They know things I am pretty sure I didn't learn until later in elementary school. The teachers and administrators are wonderful about communicating with parents one on one to make sure we are all on the same page about progress, individual goals, and school events. As an admittedly somewhat picky parent, I am thrilled with the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 7, 2012

We love CDS! It is always amazing to me to see how different people can see the same people different ways. . We are so pleased with Mark, Katie and Jean, the administrative staff. They have been so kind to our whole family this last year and we are excited to have a wonderful new year starting in a few weeks! The school keeps getting better.... This can only happen with an attentive, approachable and hard working administrative team. We are more than pleased with the teachers and specialty teachers alike. We are so happy here.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 3, 2012

My sons went to the summer camp this year and it was absolutely wonderful. The staff is fantastic. The curriculum is full of great programs. I especially like that they do so much swimming but all of the other activities are great. My sons are sad to see summer camp end and so are we. We will definitely be back next year.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 16, 2012

Good morning Jean, First let me say a very large thank you to you and all that made our time at CDS so magnificent! Gianna excelled at a rate we would not find anywhere else! Ms. Morton as her last teacher for 4's pre-k is the most nurturing and inspiring teacher I have seen especially for this age. I could not be more grateful. Thank you and very best wishes to all of you! You make a beautiful difference in this world!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 16, 2012

Such a great camp experience! Our kids (two are attending) have had so much fun at CDS Camp this summer. Our kids are excited to go every day and the staff is exceptionally nice! We loved the format of the children being able to choose classes this year and try out so many different things like field trips, karate, video production, chess, yoga...and the list goes on. It has been great to have them 'test out' the many different classes to see where their interests are. Now I know what my children are really interested in and can put them in more full time classes this fall. I'm not sure what the negative response below is for about Summer Camp, our experience has been 100% positive I'm sure any front desk person can appear crabby when 100's of requests are thrown at her at once. We have had nothing but good experiences with her and all the front office staff. I wish we could afford this school year round. We will be back next summer!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 6, 2012

Summer Camp. Horrible. Operates like a cheap day care. Terribley disorganized. Crabby front office lady. They need to focus on making their classes more charactor based. Everyday, I would enter to pick child up - kids were all scattered about, doing seperate stuff. This is how a preschool class should run: This is about teaching kids to connect with each other. Whole group does projects together. Greet other children when they arrive, say goodbye when each other leaves. They were all so disconnected - it was scarey! I should have known this would be bad - the first day, I was expecting to drop him off in a classroom to meet our new friends and was told to drop them off at the playground. There was no teacher to meet. After 2 weeks and a request "not to go back there", because, "the kids just played by themselves and were mean" - we pulled him out! And this is NOT our first school, we had been happy at other places,this was just a new place to try. When I discussed this with their director, my concerns were completely dismissed, I was told my child seemed fine. I said I don't know you from Adam, but your program needs to be improved. Take from it what you will.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 26, 2012

Our entire experience with Camelback Desert School has been positive and professional. The staff is friendly and supportive. The parent teacher organization is welcoming, and actively involved in providing fun learning and social experiences for the entire school. CDS also provides increased arts and extra-curricular classes that are comprehensive, and taught by organized and experienced teachers (Public Schools are more limited). We believe CDS offers high quality teachers, with exceptional academic opportunities, and we are pleased with our choice to join the CDS family.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 23, 2012

Camelback Desert School is the kind of school everyone dreams they went to as a kid. It has a Montessori feel in terms of focusing on individual learning, character development and the overall home-like feel to the campus itself, yet ensures all students are meeting or exceeding National standards. All students have the same basic requirements at each grade level, but teachers inspire and encourage their students to find and use their own interests to further expand their knowledge. The special area teachers are phenomenal and clearly love their fields of interest, which shows in their teaching. The principal has a personal relationship with each student and works very hard to make sure everyone feels comfortable and happy in every aspect of their education. He has an open door policy to both students and parents and has a very welcoming personality. All staff members at Camelback Desert school make it a mission to get to know all students throughout the school and are clearly invested in them. It's clear that the staff want their students to live up to their true potential both academically and socially. I would highly recommend this school! ~parent of a 6th grader
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 9, 2011

Love this school! Very non snobby atmosphere with incredible integrated learning. The staff is genuinely motivated to make the students feel like it's home. The small class sizes allow for top notch student/teacher interaction. Camelback Desert is very progressive, accepting and diverse in comparison; We looked at all the private schools in the Phoenix are and this one is a jewel; just really refreshing and one of a kind!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 11, 2011

Love this school! We have been a part of Camelback Desert School for years. In fact many family members attended when I was a child. That says a lot for a school to stick around for such a long time.I'm very involved and have watched the school suffer in the last few years. They let go in May of the last principal as she was just not able to be what the school needed to excel. She was unprofessional and not a good leader. The assistant principal has done a wonderful job as interim principal. I've been impressed with her dedication. Gratefully, we have a NEW PRINCIPAL!! From my interactions with him so far, I'm totally impressed. He is warm, sincere, caring and listened to everything I shared with the true intent of hearing my thoughts. His resume and background is impressive, a true refreshment to the school. I know this school will continue in the course of amazing growth, excelling academics and what its known for, its close knit family environment where the administration and teachers care about my children with intention of knowing them as if they were their own. Feels like the school is getting back to its roots. I'm more than thrilled!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 3, 2011

The members of the Camelback Desert family look forward to a rejuvenating and constructive academic year. Positive decisions have already taken place under the new direction and new leadership. Leadership skills and consistency that the previous principal lacked are already present in the new administration. Enrollment has increased since her absence. Families and highly qualified staff members have remained faithful to this school for years. The few parents who have left must be unaware of just how unprofessional and ineffective the previous principal was. The atmosphere on campus is now vibrant and professional. What a relief...
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 14, 2011

The teachers and staff have been very easy to work with Ms. Morton in the 4 year old class is just fantastic. The kids love PE and swimming, art, and science programs!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 28, 2010

I have two children at CDS and have found the overall experience to be a very positive one. The teachers are engaged and interested in each one of their students. There is a very active parent teacher association at the school. This is an informed and educated community of parents, teachers and administrators who go above and beyond to provide the best to all students. The Stanford test scores across all grade levels rank very high. Our sons artistic abilities have flourished at CDS and our daughter just loves her small class. I absolutely recommend giving your child the opportunity of a lifetime by attending CDS!!!!
—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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 74% 42%
Two or more races 5% 2%
Hispanic 2% 43%
American Indian/Alaska Native N/A 5%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander N/A 3%
Black N/A 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander N/A 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
Music
  • Choir / Chorus

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:30
School end time
  • 3:05
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
  • Before school
Gender
  • Coed
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NIPSA
Fax number
  • (480) 451-8197

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Gifted / high performing
  • Honors track
  • Independent Study
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
School leaders can update this information here.

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Uniforms
School leaders can update this information here.

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9606 East Kalil Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Website: Click here
Phone: (480) 451-3130

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