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!
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!
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.