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5902 E Sweetwater
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

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(602) 449-6900
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Map of Desert Shadows Elementary School address.

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September 11, 2014
I am currently on my 2nd child at this school. DSES has continued to maintain a great atmosphere. The principal has been there for 13 years and has always had an open door policy; and has always been fair when it comes to teacher/parent issues. His longevity is amazing and is very important to the children & families in this community so reading some of these recent comments really have me floored! I think the main issue right now are the test scores. They dropped in 2013 after years of A's and B's. The principal held a forum after school to address the parents. In the meeting he had mentioned his decision to focus on Common Core standards last year to prepare the children for the roll out of the new test. I believe this change in curriculum statewide is going to contribute to growing pains EVERYWHERE and I am glad he was proactive in his approach to the new standardized test. There is an article on AZCentral that warns a sudden drop in scores across the state this year due to the new standardized test. I am interested to see how DSES does on the 2015 test because that is what is going to matter going forward. Hope the few parents don't mess up a great thing for the rest of us!

- submitted by a parent
August 31, 2014
If you notice a downward trend in the reviews of DSES that's because the school is in a spiral. While many good teachers work there I'd agree with the sentiment about the administration. The principal is aloof, detached, and in general seems anti-parent except when it comes to accepting PTA donation funds. Try meeting with him regarding any teacher issue and he consistently derides the parental concerns. Even though our older kids went through DSES our youngest has a few more years there and when we and several other parents requested specific teachers not ONE request was even considered...TOTALLY ignored. The school recently was awarded a "C" by the AZ D of Ed and the Principal actually replied that "we can only speculate as to why". If the administration cannot even SUGGEST causation how can the execute on a solution? A seriously pitiful response & in my opinion perhaps time to shake up the entire administration including the principal and his longtime gatekeeper.

- submitted by a parent
November 06, 2013
I am very torn on how to rate this school. That teaching and support staff were always wonderful to my children. My oldest was there from k-6. They teachers my children had would go above and beyond. The issues came from the poor excuse of an office. My children had IEPs and 504s. Their current school could not get the IEPs from the school after 3 requests. I finally had to get very upset with the office to get them. This is not right. It took almost two months to get them. The 504 was never given, but luckily one caring staff member had given me multiples for myself. The principal not only allows bullying, but seems to encourage it. I witnessed him embarrassing a staff member in front of a lot of other parents. There were many incidents that he should have taken care of but nothing was done. There are lot of bright spots. One teacher put on an amazing America show when my child was in 5th. This teacher also always went above and beyond for my child. The man who runs the drama group is awesome. The special ed teacher is so caring. The majority of the teachers are excellent. I would highly recommend this school if there is a change in the office staff.

- submitted by a parent
October 04, 2013
As a parent of two DSES students, I wanted to say how pleased I have been with Desert Shadows. Many hard decisions have been made at the school regarding class sizes and teachers over the years. The school and the district have made these decisions to keep class sizes small at all grade levels so the students can receive the instruction they need. Classes in the K-3 grades are now 28 students or less this year. I am disappointed misinformation has been posted about class sizes and the way the decision was made to adjust class sizes. The decision to move 2nd grade into 2 classrooms instead of three is allowing the school to take the 5th grade classrooms from 37 students to the middle 20s and keep the 2nd grade classes also in the mid 20s. The school welcomes parents and encourages them to be involved. . As a family, we feel DSES provides a great education for our kids and feel they strive to meet the needs of every student.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2013
DSES is a school lacking on many efforts, I have been a previous parent of a current 5th grader and now return to the school as a parent of a second grader. My previous experience was so mediocre. My son, had many issues with his 504 accommodations, he had over 20 accommodations and they would not consider an IEP. He was a bright kid, bored out of his mind, and he bullied. I transferred to another PV school and was pleasantly heard, and my son was given the help and encouragement he needed. He was given an IEP, resources needed, speech, occupational, and placed in gifted classes. All things that were that I had brought up with the staff over and over again. Now I return hesitantly, with my second grader, and she is having "Mean Girl" issues. She is worried about what she is wearing to school at 7, not to mention I was informed Friday that a big change of grades was being made slipped in with a voting form for a PTA event. NO PHONE CALL WAS MADE BY PRINCIPAL. My daughter's 2nd grade class of 19 is now becoming 30.

- submitted by a parent
April 25, 2013
I have been less then impressed with most things at DSES over the last three years. The front office staff is rude and typically not very helpful. The principal is very hands off and not approachable for either students or parents. He seems to have his teachers backs to the detriment of the student population. One of the few saving graces has been having great teachers for the first two years. It really made it worth staying with everything else that was undesirable, but after this year we will be going out of district. Test scores keep dropping, parent involvement is lacking and getting help for smart kids is surprisingly difficult.

- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2013
We pulled our child out of this school after her 5th grade year had her teacher absent most of the time. Continuity of teaching is important, but they ensure the teachers are taken care of and the kids get second best.

- submitted by a parent
August 07, 2012
Great school and great families. Children are very happy there. Only criticism...possibly needs more parent involvement.

- submitted by a parent
May 21, 2012
Great school and wonderful families! It's so nice to be part of such a caring community. My son is happy and wants to go to school!

- submitted by a parent
May 13, 2012
I have to disagree with previous comment. Yes, this teacher was absent quite a bit, but her science is awesome. My child is not in her class, but they rotate. She comes home everyday excited by what she has done in that class. Her teacher is also great. She is always excited to teach herstudents. I do, however, have two complaints. Her math teacher relies on videos to teacher her class. Math was my child's favorite subject until this year. The principal allows bullying to continue in the school. He is not a positive force at DSES. If anyone should be let go, it is him.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2012
If you are considering this school, please stop and ask a student. The principal does nothing, he blatantly ignores the problem of bullying at the school. Teachers are simply waiting for retirement to come and they often compensate for lack of aides by asking teachers to select favorites to "monitor" the school yard. It creates a hierarchy on the playground. The teachers do not care about education and they humiliate students in front of their peers. The test for honors is useless as the teacher ends up deciding who moves onto the honors courses. The school is far behind others and desperately needs a better enrichment program. They make it extremely difficult for students to excel and play favorites. I highly recommend to consider an SUSD school, they understand what your child needs and they will do better than they ever would/did at DSES, or the further on schools.

- submitted by a community member
August 28, 2011
I moved my children from another neighborhood school. My children loved the experience they had at Desert Shadows. They received a top notch education and their experience with the other students and teachers was way beyond what I would have expected especially after the experience we had at the other school. We loved the Principal and the teachers. The whole experience was an A++. What a great school.

- submitted by a parent
June 22, 2011
I have two children that have attended DSES, one is currently attending and the other has graduated. I can tell you flat out that you will not find a better school period! The Principal is very involved and very caring, all of the Teachers are awesome and the staff is second to none. The school is the heart of our community, all of the Little League games are played on the school fields, the Cub Scouts meet in the cafeteria and the PTA is very engaged and involved, hosting two carnivals a year as fund raisers as just one very small example. I feel so lucky to be a part of this school and surrounding community. If you are thinking of sending your child to DSES....just do it you and your child will love the education and the experience.

- submitted by a parent
May 30, 2011
My daughter just finished first grade here (and she attended Kindergarten). Her teachers have been amazing, open and communicative. The principle is caring and engages with all students and parents. There is a great sense of Community and I know my daughter is making life-long friends. I'm looking at a house in Central PHX, but my heart breaks at the thought of leaving this school. It might be a deal-breaker for us. Thanks DSES!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 27, 2009
My daughter is in first grade and has attended DSES since Kindergarten. The staff at this school is so caring and involved. My daughter comes home from school just thriving to learn more she has become such an avid reader in the last couple years, I think that her teachers continue to give her inspiration and the encouragement she needs to continue growing. I understand that the teachers at this school have taken huge cuts since the fold of the economy and the classroom sizes have increased by a large amount however, these teachers are still just as dedicated as ever to continue teaching these children and helping them learn and grow.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 10, 2009
Great Community! Working together to make the school fun & educational ...

- submitted by a parent
September 08, 2009
We have had our children in this school two years and love it!

- submitted by a parent
May 03, 2009
We have had the pleasure of attending this school through open enrollment for 9 years and have been blessed by the staff daily!

- submitted by a parent
March 31, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
February 08, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2009
Absolutely Love it here!! My daughter wants to go to school everyday.

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 07, 2009
This principal is the worst ever. He is not positive and regularly berates his teachers in front of students. In addition, he encourages bullying by not addressing it.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
no rating August 26, 2008
DSES is a great school that offers a great education for my kids and a fun safe place for kids and moms. Lots of involved parents, a very approachable principal, and great teachers who love the kids.

- submitted by a parent
November 17, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 29, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 29, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
October 06, 2006
This school is so pumped up on education. The teachers make learning so fun, I forget I'm even learning.

- submitted by a student
April 24, 2006
This is a terrific school in an excellent community! Love the staff and the students! A big plus also, is the local Little League plays all it's games in the adjoining fields. So convenient and a great asset! A really close knit and fun neighborhood!

- submitted by a parent
January 10, 2006
This is a superior quality school. Location next to the middle school and close to the high schol is very helpful. My 4th grader is in the honors program and I must say I am very impressed. I chose this school before my 2 kids were school age and then moved closer to it. My 2nd grader had some issues with learning and they worked with him, helped and encouraged him to excel. Parent involvement is very high and we all know and help each others kids. I am a single dad w/custody and the school has been very helpful/aware of the situation and dealt with the accompanying issues beyond my expectations. Great programs and very high level of awareness as to special needs children from what I can see. I highly recommend this school and have turned down jobs that have relocated the kids elsewhere

- submitted by a parent
October 30, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2005
Seem to have a hard time finding eachers for their younger grades. Student/teacher ratio is not great. They could use more teachers aides to apply a more one on one approach, especially to kids who are struggling.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2005
The size of this school is great.

- submitted by a parent
July 11, 2005
This school is amazing. The teachers are all competent in their knowledge. The office support is helpful and the Principal is always supporting what is best for the school and children

- submitted by a teacher
April 21, 2005
This school has great parent involvement. The teachers are also good and seem to have good communication between eachother and with the parents. I'm not too impressed with the music/band program and think it lacks somewhat. My kids seem to like art and p.e. well. The PTA is great! They also have an early education program for pre-schoolers. It' great if you can get in. Overall I'd give it a 4 out of 5 rating. There is always room for improvement. Wish the classroom sizes were smaller.

- submitted by a parent
November 09, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a administrator
November 08, 2004
Outstanding curriculum with excellent teachers. Superior Parent teacher organization. Small class size. Innovative programs in all areas - including the arts.

- submitted by a parent
August 20, 2004
Desert Shadows Elementary is an excellent school. The teachers are very knowledgeable and the extra assistance that is available to students is stellar. One problem with the school is the odor inside. It smells like it may have some serious mold problems, although I have been told that they have tested for mold and it has not been an issue.

- submitted by a parent
June 24, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 15, 2004
Wonderful school with great teachers.

- submitted by a parent
April 13, 2004
As a kindergarten parent I have been very pleased with my childs teacher-she is reading alone which was an important goal for us and she is very excited about learning. I am greatful for her teacher! As for the school-I am thrilled! There is a very strong sense of community here-everyone feels like family even people who do not have children at the school anymore come back to support DSES with fund raisers, I think that says a lot about how people feel about thier school.

- submitted by a parent
January 28, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 06, 2003
As a mother of three and as a student working towards my Masters in Education I could not be more pleased with the programs, teachers and environment Desert Shadow Elementary School has to offer. I am confident my children are receiving a quality education with teachers who consistently teach 'above the state standards' and are always fully preparing them for the next grade level. Outstanding job Desert Shadows teachers!

- submitted by a parent
November 05, 2003
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
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Last modified: December 16, 2014

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Desert Shadows Elementary School
5902 E Sweetwater, Scottsdale, AZ  85254
(602) 449-6900
Last modified Desert Shadows Elementary School is a Public school that serves grades PK-6. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Desert Shadows Elementary School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 45 reviews. Top