I purchased my home in the Desert Shadows neighborhood 14 years ago under the assumption that Paradise Valley Schools are good, and Horizon High School was an acceptable choice for my future family. As a parent, I am an ardent supporter of sending children to their "home" school. Imagine my surprise (and luck) when I arrived at Desert Shadows for the first time in 2011 and found a community of families and teachers that really want the best for my children. Desert Shadows continues to strive for the community feeling while "STEAMing" ahead to the future. Teachers have always been available to hear my concerns and the staff has been nothing less than friendly and helpful. I am thankful for the life experiences my children have had at Desert Shadows Elementary because they have set the tone for a love of learning that I hope will carry them through the teenage years.
I have to disagree with the individual that submitted multiple reviews Nov. 28th, 2016. I feel the principal is exactly what DSES needed. Sometimes a change is needed...a new principal came with new programs, fresh clean slate. I know as a parent, I feel I can express problems or concerns with teachers, staff and principal and not feel like I am being judged or pushed aside. My opinions are valued. Do I believe there are some teachers better than others?! Yes, EVERY school has that. Personalities differ, strengths differ. We specifically enrolled out of district, drove 10 minutes each way just to be part of the DSES community 6 years ago. Since then, we moved into district as we have had a successful, positive experience. Susuki program, STEAM program, PBIS ( establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm).....to offer our children something that isn't mainstreamed into other schools.
My daughter used to like to go to school but now gets up in the morning sad and moping about having to spend another day there. There is so little support from the various teachers that its impossible for the children to develop any positive characteristics attending this school.
With the exception of the two teachers who are actually is teaching in their classrooms, the remainder of the academic teachers appear to not do anything in the class, but organize the children into groups to discuss the homework they did the night before and grade their own work. I have yet to get an answer from the reading teacher as to what she actually does in her classroom since the reading is done at home; the diary is written at home and discussed with other students in class. Her only role thus far that I can see is to collect the diary and grade it; which is a subjective grade scale as well.
There are plenty of studies supporting that children do NOT learn more by spending MORE hours a day studying. But the homework sent home with the children is NOT homework. Its busy work asking them to copy and regurgitate repetitive things for a grade?!?! This is not teaching. This is not constructive homework. What do the teachers do all day? While are the children being ask to do this all at home?
My child started Kindergarten with Desert Shadows and then we were nothing shy of impressed with the school and the teachers. Several years later I can say this school has taken a drastic swing for the worse. The main reason we chose this school out of the 20+ in the area was then they had a well balanced curriculum that allowed the children to have arts, PE, music and scholastic education - which has gone by the wayside with so many schools. About 3 years ago there was a major shift in how the school operates and this has left us looking at options of home schooling. The teachers just do not seem to care (at least at the higher levels of the grade school) and it shows. The massive amounts of "homework" is absurd and when you mention this to any of the staff you are treated with disgruntled apathy like you are causing them grievance. If it wasn't for being mid year I would have pulled our child out already.
Its sad that the school system in AZ is failing all the children. I guess it was only a matter of time till this school was corrupted too.
We moved to the area and we're so concerned about our girls changing schools for the first time. Not only did we find the teachers helpful, intelligent, and enthusiastic about our children's success, but the entire staff were delightful, and the PTA is very involved. WE showed up at recess to see how our 7 year old was doing, and found her running on the playgrounddhandin hand with two other girls. This school is amazing!