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10203 E McDowell Mountain Ranch
Scottsdale, AZ 85255

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(480) 484-4600
(480) 484-4601
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Map of Desert Canyon Elementary School address.

December 10, 2014
We love Desert Canyon Elementary. We have a 5th grader and 3rd grader who have been there since Kindergarten. The teachers, administration, staff, and PTO are wonderful. They focus on building character as well as academics. Great community! Great school!

- submitted by a parent

July 06, 2013
My child has special education needs and Scottsdale school district made him worse. They put him in a program with emotionally disturbed boys, all in grades above him. The class was always chaotic and the teaches were always stressed. My son received little academics but learned bad behaviors. If your kid has an IEP. Move. I am!!

- submitted by a parent

August 06, 2012
I have two children in Desert Canyon and they've been in the school for 4 years. For the most part, I think the teachers are fantastic. The environment is warm and nurturing but the kids aren't coddled. I would like to see greater consequences for children who are disruptive in class or are poorly behaved. I am disappointed with the turnover in administration and a change in the assistant principal again this year but for the most part, I think the administration runs a great school. The parents are very involved and the PTO has been fantastic in raising money to supplement curriculum with great programs like Accelerated Reader, Art Masterpiece, etc. In general, the kids and families in this school are wonderful and my children have really enjoyed their experience in the school. Is the school perfect? No, but what school is.

- submitted by a parent

August 05, 2012
We have one child attending Desert Canyon. He was in Kindergarten last year and will return as a 1st grader. Overall, we were satisfied with the school and the curriculum, activities, etc. However, his K-garten teacher had very poor communications skills, seemed disorganized (almost dazed and confused at times) and completely ignored emails and other messages even though she initiated the email and solicited communication - she rarely responded to our inquiries. In speaking with other parents, this particular teacher is notorious for this strange behavior and is not reflective of the overall school performance or focus. This year, there is an uproar over the creation of a split Kindergarten / 1st grade class due to a staff shortage and so far no teacher has been assigned only two days before school starts. To make matters worse, none of the parents were notified prior to learning about this new structure. Rather, parents learned about it when the class lists were posted on the cafeteria windows. This school continues to have terrible communication with the parents in spite of their claims to the contrary. In short, not a bad school, but not one of best by any means.

- submitted by a parent

June 07, 2012
I'm a grandparent of two newly enrolled students in your school. Of course I have an interest in my grandchildren's success but as well as a former elementary school principal I'm interested in the academic opportunities offered ie. curriculum enrichment, club programs, athletic skill development, practical out of school field trips, invited guests etc. Certainly, my motivation in this day and age would be to emphasis/foster a keen interest and understanding re: the value of math and science. Take care.

- submitted by a community member

February 13, 2012
I have 4 kids attending this school and have been very pleased. Except for 2 teachers in our 6 years there, all the teachers have been outstanding. The 2 bad teachers were fine academically but were mean to the students. They have both been teaching too long and should be retired, but I think you will find a few teachers like that anywhere. The parents are really involved and the administration is good. The vice principal is on top of bullying issues and other problems but is fair and friendly. I highly recommend Desert Canyon Elementary!

- submitted by a parent

September 20, 2010
My son started Kindergarten at DCES this fall. He absolutely loves his teacher and enjoys going to school. As a parent, I am unsatisfied with the class size this year. Right now DCES Kindergarten has 25 in each class and could go to 27. In addition, they have eliminated instructional assistants from the classrooms. If my child will be in a class of up to 30 kids in coming grades, I will be looking into charter or private school options.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
October 30, 2009
I am surprised with a few posts here. To each his own... but I find my children's school and staff excellent. The principal has tough rules, but to me that is great! The teachers thus far have been terrific. I am very pleased and my children are happy, and thriving! Thank you DCES staff!

- submitted by a parent
no rating
October 21, 2009
Excellent, caring teachers!!!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating
October 12, 2009
Desert Canyon Elementary has a very diverse teaching program, including special needs classes for kids with learning disabilities and kids with ADD/ADHD that require more 1:1 attention. All this in addition to providing extracurricular activities/afterschool activities that help to broaden and enhance the children's self-esteem/knowledge (band, Spanish, Chess, monthly ball sports, tennis, science, etc.).

- submitted by a parent

June 17, 2009
I have not been pleased with this school. The principal and assist. principal are terrible. They do not care about the parents, teachers or students. They really don't relate well. While I have had some great teachers in the past, this year my 2nd grade daughter was bored every day and wanted to know why she kept learning the same things over and over and my older son had a terrible teacher who was just not nice at all (and this is not a trouble maker). Watch the 10 rating, they should be an 8. Parent involvement is super though.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
January 27, 2009
good educators not so good loving and caring for children.

- submitted by a community member
no rating
February 29, 2008
Very pleased with the teachers, and staff, my only complaint at this time, is the sand. My child comes home with half the playground in her shoes, as I'm sure your kids do too. Are there any plans on removing the sand, and replacing it with rubberized material? Also, the sand hides things, such as the 3 inch nail I found poking up by the swings on the first day of school.

- submitted by a parent

December 20, 2007
Awesome school, dedicated teachers and a principal who really cares. I couldn't ask for more.

- submitted by a parent

September 01, 2007
Excellent parental involvement, nice community surrounding the school. Teachers were good overall and concerned about the kids.

- submitted by a parent

August 03, 2006
My son has attended DCES since Kindergarten and is approaching the third grade. His sister will be attending Kindergarten next year and we can only hope that her path, and experience with teachers is similar pleasing.We have thoroughly enjoyed the enhanced programs the school has begun to develop (math club, science lab, cultural music and art) along with the teachers he we have interfaced with. The school seems committed to parent involvement, education, safety and a well rounded experience for their classrooms. AIMS scoring is high, but not at the top, however very well balanced.

- submitted by a parent

August 21, 2005
Excellent school, teacher's principal.

- submitted by a parent

July 30, 2005
A fabulous school. My son will be going into 2nd grade this year and he absolutely loves it!! I am very happy with the parental involvement and the caring supportive staff.

- submitted by a parent

April 12, 2005
Overall, a quality school; excellent facilities, wholesome, uppper middle-class neghborhood. My daughter has attended Kindergarten thru third grade and has scored well on AMES and grown as a student and person. Formed a particularly strong bond with her 2nd Grade teacher. Lone downside of Desert Canyon is the prinicipal, Darlene Johnson, who is not readily accessible and not parent-friendly. Makes decisions in a silo and is not particularly interested in parent feedback.

- submitted by a parent

March 16, 2005
My child has been at Desert Canyon for four years and my youngest will be entering in the Fall. Overall, impressions of the school have been extremely positive. Teachers have ranged from very good to outstanding (2nd grade). Mailing hand written school sponsored postcards from teacher to student congratulating excellent performance is very impressive/motivating. Homework beginning in 3rd grade is heavy and requires alot of parental involvement for all but perhaps the most motivated students. Principal/Vice Principal leadership is very good-strict, but caring and interested. Experience with extra curricular activities has been positive. Parental involvement is definitely encouraged - class moms even send emails to inform/remind about class/school events. I feel lucky that we have such a great school in our neighborhood.

- submitted by a parent

January 05, 2005
We have had great success at Desert Canyon with two kids enrolled this year in 1st and 5th grades. The 5th grader has been at DCES for 4 years...and has had the best teachers there. The 1st grader has a super teacher. Parent involvement is high and welcome. I wish that the strings program would have more consistency for the 4th and 5th graders.

- submitted by a parent

January 04, 2005
Clustered desks for 'mentoring'. Slower kids copy off smarter kids. Parents discouraged to participate except give money.

- submitted by a parent

October 20, 2004
Wholesome, safe environment. Focuses on skills, with a strong reading and writing program. Like most public schools, the curriculum seems to lack solid content, but my 4th grader is very happy there.

- submitted by a parent

October 11, 2004
My 2 boys have had an excellent experience at Desert Canyon Elementary. The teachers are very committed and take an interest in the education process. The only thing I have found is that the classes can be too large with not enough help for the teachers.

- submitted by a parent

June 02, 2004
Our oldest daughter attended DCES since its first year 6 years ago, and our youngest since 1st grade. We have been very pleased with the teachers we have had; all have gone above and beyond to ensure personal attention and support. Our biggest disappointment has been with the Scottsdale school district and their boundry changes. We sold our home and left the district so that we would not have to put our children on busses to middle and high school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating
May 19, 2004
Wonderful principal and staff, happy kids, great curriculum and educational opportunities for kids.

- submitted by a teacher

May 17, 2004
There are some great teachers in the lower grades that we have experienced. The sense of community is strong in this school.

- submitted by a parent

May 14, 2004
I think Desert Canyon is a great school. The administration and staff are always available and willing to work with you to make your child successful. I do not however care for the Everyday Math program which they began in 2003. I do not believe it allows the children to master the concepts and the material is I think not presented in a sequential manner to build on what has been previously learned. Some grade level teacher groups seem to be more organized than others. Also the level of communication via monthly newsletters is not as detailed as in the past.

- submitted by a parent

May 04, 2004
All 3 of my little ones attended this school-fabulous!coming from n.Y., It took a bit of time initially to become accusomed to the very strict routine-trust me,it pays off!young, enthusiastic, bright, encouraging, engaging teachers! we need this discipline/accountability in our school systems nowdays-wonderful experience!

- submitted by a parent

October 15, 2002
This is our child's first year at Desert Canyon. We just moved from New York and we always sent our children to private schools. Naturally, we were very apprehensive about sending our child to a public school. To date we are very pleased with the school and its staff

- submitted by a community member
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Desert Canyon Elementary School
10203 E McDowell Mountain Ranch, Scottsdale, AZ  85255
(480) 484-4600
Last modified Desert Canyon Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Desert Canyon Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 40 reviews. Top