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GreatSchools Rating

Desert Canyon Middle School

Public | 6-8 | 632 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
No new ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

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16 reviews of this school


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Posted April 15, 2014

I have children in both private and public schools, as well as a daughter in college. Two of my kids attend this school and are moving to a different SUSD school for the 2014/2015 school year. Disappointing issues with the school include: outlandish student/teacher ratios (38:1); lack of responsiveness from the teachers (after several e-mails over the course of three weeks did not receive a response until I copied the principal); poorly designed curriculum (not the school's fault because they are bound by SUSD policy/rules but disappointing none the less); overly lenient grading practices; lack of communication with parents from teachers and administration. This school will not do your children any favors if they attend a competitive high school program (IB or AP course study).
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 27, 2014

On Tuesday 2/25/14, three 11-year-olds were held in a room and interrogated by the vice principal and a police officer. Please check with your children to see if any of them were held. Parents were NOT notified by school officials or the police.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 31, 2012

My child was a happy, energetic student who could not wait until school started each day. Unfortunately, attendance at DCMS has changed all of that! The Assistant Principal singles out certain children (unfortunately my child is one of them) and no matter what the children do it is not right. They are policed by the security guard, watched in the cafeteria at lunch, and receive some sort of nonsence reprimand once or twice a week. My child's spirit has been broken! It is horrid! Bathroom visits are not even permitted sometimes in times of urgent need! (What I am saying here is female students personal hygene needs are being ignored and disrespected)!! Even when my child has explained why a trip to the restroom is urgently needed it has been denied! And my child is not the only student this has happened too in just the past 2 months! The SUSD really needs to conduct some serious retraining at this school or in the alternative replace some of the personnell!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 25, 2012

I am a student here at DCMS and boy, am I glad that I'm finally moving on to HS next year. It seems like the administration really does not care about you, and if an incident happens at the school, their views become very biased. They favor certain students and totally dislike others, including me. I'm not a bully or a bad kid by any means, but a certain incident happened in which nobody was really a victim, but they totally stretched the story and made ME out to be the bully. While sharing my side of the incident, they kept calling me a liar throughout and threatened to mark me as an argumentative and rude student. They told me to tell the truth and be more like the other student who was involved, and while he got off easy, I received a longer suspension. When I was allowed back on school grounds, I noticed that the vice principle and security officer would eyeball me whenever I ate lunch in the cafeteria. I now feel like I can't go to them if I get bullied or get involved in a situation. The teachers, however, are great for the most part. They seem to be good, hardworking people who are dedicated to their job and are excellent teachers.


Posted November 1, 2011

I wanted to follow up on the review dated December 24, 2010 and note that the teacher in question has been replaced.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 23, 2011

I have 3 children who have attended DC. I feel the teachers are sincere and dedicated. Parental involvement is excellent. However, I have been underwhelmed by the leadership demonstrated by the administration. School morale seems poor and leadership inconsistent, information spotty. Despite volunteering for 2 years and many hours on campus, I feel no closer to understanding the rudeness of the administration. I have stopped volunteering and am in the process of moving my children out of the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 17, 2011

I am a parent of two students that have participated in the gifted self-contained program, which is a rigorous academic program for kids that have excelled in the the core subjects. This program has an excellent core of teachers and administrators, and we have been completely impressed with the quality of learning and growth that both our daughters have experienced in this program. Also, strong kudos to the choir program at Desert Canyon - the teacher is outstanding as well.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 24, 2010

I can't speak for much of the school, frankly, but for the part I am in, I have some comments: The 'comprehensive gifted program' has some major flaws. The English teacher assigns many assignments but has NEVER returned any this year. It is safe to say that her class is a complete waste of time. As for math and science, the curricula is well thought out, and taught by wonderful teachers. Overall, I believe if your career goal is more involved with mathematics and science, it's a fantastic program. Otherwise, your best off at another school, or gifted program, anyhow.


Posted December 30, 2009

I've been through a variety of schools, private, charter, and public. This seems to be the best yet. The gifted programs gives every thing you need to succeed. If you want a real challenge. Try the gifted program.
—Submitted by a student


Posted March 1, 2007

This school is one of the best schools I have attended,I wish there were more diversity in the school but over all its an amazing school
—Submitted by a former student


Posted June 4, 2006

They never go on any field trips. There is no hands on learning.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 28, 2005

My daughter attends Desert Mountain and although the quality of their academic program is good, Scottsdale schools have had to cut much or their music and art curriculum. Parents are not that involved (myself included) but the teachers do seem dedicated to teaching our kids. Being a middle school, there is a lot of 'mean girl' type things that go on, but that's everywhere nowdays.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 30, 2005

I would highly recommend Desert Canyon Middle School. The faculty is very nice and supportive and strives to put student's needs first. Parent involvement is high as teachers and parents work together to achieve the best results for the children. In addition, expectations for academic achievement are set at high standards. My kids love attending DCMS and I wouldn't send them anywhere else.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 9, 2005

Wonderful experience, great parent involvement and good variety of sports programs too. Very happy
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 19, 2004

My step-son was failing 8th grade back in New York. We moved him out here and enrolled him in Desert Canyon. The staff worked with us to make sure that my step-son not only passed the 8th grade, but raised his grades from D/F to B/C avg
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 10, 2004

Desert Canyon dumbed down my daughter in her 6th grade year. No clear direction was given, there seemed to be a lot of behavioral problems that were not addressed properly by the administration and my child spent more time protecting herself from verbal and physical abuse from the problem kids than concentrating on schoolwork. For 7th grade we placed her in an advanced placement school where she was given high expectations and clear direction. She excelled tremendously and finished the shcool year very successfully as a high B student. I would not recommend Desert Canyon as a place to go if you expect your child to be in a safe learning 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 61% in 2014.

2014

 
 
79%

2013

 
 
77%

2012

 
 
74%

2011

 
 
80%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 80% in 2014.

2014

 
 
92%

2013

 
 
90%

2012

 
 
92%

2011

 
 
95%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2014.

2014

 
 
73%

2013

 
 
68%

2012

 
 
67%

2011

 
 
79%
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

Math

The state average for Math was 64% in 2014.

2014

 
 
77%

2013

 
 
77%

2012

 
 
77%

2011

 
 
82%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 86% in 2014.

2014

 
 
89%

2013

 
 
90%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
94%
Science

2014

 
 
n/a
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2014.

2014

 
 
74%

2013

 
 
59%

2012

 
 
67%

2011

 
 
68%
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

Math

The state average for Math was 59% in 2014.

2014

 
 
77%

2013

 
 
67%

2012

 
 
78%

2011

 
 
77%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 70% in 2014.

2014

 
 
78%

2013

 
 
81%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
84%
Science

The state average for Science was 63% in 2014.

2014

 
 
82%

2012

 
 
90%

2011

 
 
85%
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 81% 42%
Hispanic 9% 43%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 6% 3%
Black 3% 5%
Two or more races 1% 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 5%
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 12%N/A47%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Assistant principal(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
Nurse(s)
PE instructor(s)
School psychologist
School social worker/counselors(s)
Speech and language therapist(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school community.

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Special education / special needs

Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Garden/Greenhouse

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons

Language learning

Staff resources available to students
  • Speech and language therapist(s)

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

Fax number
  • (480) 484-4601

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Speech and language therapist(s)
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Library
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

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
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Flag football
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Parent involvement
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Note: Data provided by community members,
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10204 E McDowell Mountain Ranch
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Website: Click here
Phone: (480) 484-6100

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