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GreatSchools Rating

Desert Shadows Elementary School

Public | PK-6 | 482 students

 
 

Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 2 ratings
2013:
Based on 5 ratings
2012:
Based on 4 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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34 reviews of this school


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Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted November 6, 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


Posted October 4, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted February 1, 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


Posted August 7, 2012

Great school and great families. Children are very happy there. Only criticism...possibly needs more parent involvement.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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.


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted October 10, 2009

Great Community! Working together to make the school fun & educational ...
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 8, 2009

We have had our children in this school two years and love it!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 3, 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


Posted January 22, 2009

Absolutely Love it here!! My daughter wants to go to school everyday.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 7, 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


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 69% in 2013.

67 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
71%

2012

 
 
84%

2011

 
 
91%

2010

 
 
80%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 75% in 2013.

67 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
87%

2012

 
 
91%

2011

 
 
95%

2010

 
 
87%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 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 65% in 2013.

70 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
88%

2010

 
 
86%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 77% in 2013.

70 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
90%

2011

 
 
90%

2010

 
 
89%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 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 63% in 2013.

68 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
72%

2012

 
 
85%

2011

 
 
75%

2010

 
 
67%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

68 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
92%

2010

 
 
89%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 56% in 2013.

67 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
70%

2012

 
 
78%

2011

 
 
83%

2010

 
 
86%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 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 63% in 2013.

74 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
75%

2012

 
 
73%

2011

 
 
71%

2010

 
 
74%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

74 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
91%

2011

 
 
91%

2010

 
 
93%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2013.

74 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
87%

2012

 
 
80%

2011

 
 
75%

2010

 
 
93%
Scale: % meets or exceeds

About the tests


In 2012-2013 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 2012-2013 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 11% 43%
Two or more races 4% 2%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 2% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 5%
Black 1% 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 17%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 »

This school has not yet provided program information.


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5902 E Sweetwater
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Website: Click here
Phone: (602) 449-6900

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