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7-8
Public
Scottsdale, AZ
Students enrolled: 701

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5858 E Sweetwater
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

School website
(602) 449-6800
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Map of Desert Shadows Middle School address.

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December 03, 2014
I go to this school and it is truly an amazing experience to be at Desert Shadows

- submitted by a community member
October 27, 2014
Amazing leadership which trickles down to super teacher morale! The principal is no nonsense, is very open with the parents and truly, genuinely cares for his students!

- submitted by a parent
October 04, 2014
I am a student at Desert Shadows Middle. It is one of the best schools I've ever been to! All the staff is AMAZING and really nice. they all try hard to do their best and help the students succeed. The administrative staff is the best there is. they do their job, they're involved, they know whats going on, and they are fun and active with the students, unlike anyone at Sunrise Middle school. The reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg is just one out of the many things this school does extra. I am over all EXTREMELY happy with this school. I came from Liberty Elementary, the main feeder school of sunrise (But a LOT better), and am SO happy I didn't go to that dump. Long live DSMS! Long Live The GWIGEON

- submitted by a community member
April 17, 2014
My kids and I have been extremely happy with DSMS! Most teachers are wonderful, caring and dedicated. The principal and vice principal are amazing! They set a tone of professionalism, leadership and acceptance. They set high standards for the teachers, staff and students. I feel my kids have been challenged academically and are prepared for high school. I would highly recommend this school to anyone.

- submitted by a parent
October 30, 2013
Desert Shadows Middle school is a rock solid community with great leadership. Our open enrolled 7th grader is very happy and challenged here. Principal Clancy's inclusive model sets the tone for kindness and acceptance. All are actively encouraged to get involved in the community and most students, teachers and parents do! Children are happy to attend school because they know that the administration and staff care. It is not surprising that kids excel in this type of positive environment. Desert Shadows offers many unique programs and opportunities that aren't available in most middle schools. These programs are fun, educational and foster community. Go on a tour, you won't be disappointed with it's high academic standards and inclusive environment.

- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2013
Great school with a staff that really cares. Very happy. Moving from a small charter school we are very happy with this school.

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2013
My daughters went to Desert Shadows Middle School. They graduated from college and became successful professional women, a CPA, a lawyer and a dependable, high earning real estate company employee, all now in Houston . I chose my neighborhood based on the reputation of "A++ Blue Ribbon Sandpiper Elementary, DSMS Middle School and Horizon High School. The oldest has a double major in Finance and Accounting from SMU, the middle one, a double major in Journalism and history with an advanced degree as a lawyer from the University of Arizona, and my youngest is about to sit for the CPA and graduated from Arizona State University. I am pleased with the education they received at these 3 schools.

- submitted by a parent
April 26, 2013
This is an amazing school for any child. We moved to Scottsdale from Portland, Oregon (Beaverton School District) and the difference between going to their schools is like night and day. The Academies are amazing and we had one daughter in Choir and the other in Art. They care about the Arts in Arizona, the community cares, and the teachers and the children are so involved. PV School District is amazing and I have heard Scottsdale is wonderful too. Our daughters are special needs and they are really supported at this school. They have extra time for all children to visit with their teachers each day in all classes and talk to them, catch up on whatever they are behind in...From the other parents I have talked to the other Academies - are wonderful too. If you have a child with high academic skills this school is great and leads into Horizon High and it is amazing too!! I love that there is open enrollment and you can make a choice as to what school you wish to have your child go to. The teachers have been here forever and they stay...athletics.. Mr. Clancy, Principal, Ms. Sardina, Mr. Goldblatt - they have amazing teachers!! We are so thankful we found DSMS!!

- submitted by a parent
September 06, 2012
Did You Notice The Rating? It's the leadership. When you have a good leader that believes in team work... that believes no one is above the other, you get a very caring community. EVERYONE here REALLY cares! My daughter is open enrolled & I believe leaving our area for a fresh new start was the best thing I could have done for her. She knew (1) person at the start of school in admin. She is typically quite & on the shy side. With in a day her teachers made her feel so comfortable she was sharing answers, reading to the class and making friends. She even had a few kids (she never met) come up to her at lunch (day 3) and ask if she wanted to eat with them. REALLY! The caring community of the school is rubbing off on the kids. My own experience while waiting after school for my daughter... The media center is in the center of the main building. Lots of windows to see in. I noticed a boy working on a computer and we caught eye contact. He smiled and waved to me. REALLY! Bottom line... Principal Clancy & his staff are very caring & giving. They treat the kids as if they are their own. They want everyone to excel ... No matter the level. My daughter LOVES it here.

- submitted by a parent
August 02, 2012
If you have an academically advanced or gifted child, this is NOT the school for you. My son attended K-6 gifted programs in this district, only to be "thrown to the wolves" at this school. No one in the administration, nor science, math, or language arts departments knew anything about educating a gifted child. I reached out to DSMS admin & teachers to try to find an appropriate academic plan for my son, to no avail. My son's assessment was: If you are in "honors" classes, you have 100 vocab words instead of 50! Precisely the point! The teachers are more interested in "playing high school", with their misguided departmentalization, than they are educating high-achieving children.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2012
This school is fabulous. My family recently moved to Arizona from the Philadelphia, PA region. My daughters are have thrived, partly due to the sense of community at DSMS. The teachers and administration are readily accessible and genuinely care about their students. The only exception is the orchestra teacher. She was rude, unprofessional (with one of my daughters who is learning violin), to the degree that we had her removed from the class and placed into the band program. The band teacher is one of the most caring, genuine and professional teacher I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. He loves his students and treats them like family. Overall, both the elementary and middle school are wonderful for students to grow up in!

- submitted by a parent
July 17, 2011
This school was amazing. The 7th Grade Social Studies programs (Gettysburg Reenactment, Tombstone, and White House Dinner) were amazing. My son was able to take advantage of the science trip to Costa Rica with Ms. Kendrick and in 8th grade both the Washington DC trip and the France Foreign Exchange. I am truely amazed this is a public school. They offer much more than any of the private schools around.

- submitted by a parent
November 05, 2010
My 7th grade daughter is open enrolled at Desert Shadows Middle School and she is loving every minute of it. The teachers and administration have been very helpful in helping us find our way. There are many volunteer opportunities and there is a warm community feeling. I would recommend Desert Shadows to anyone!

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2010
My second child is in 8th grade at Desert Shadows Middle and I look forward to my 6th grader attending next year. Through the years with my older child and current student, I have found the teachers very approachable and communicative. We have experienced teachers who really try to challenge the students and bring out the best in them.. Middle school can be tough because of the social, emotional, and developmental issues for 7th and 8th graders, but the administration is very involved in getting the information and tools out to parents that help families not only get through the middle school years, but also prepare for high school. I would definitely take a tour and check out this school.

- submitted by a parent
August 04, 2010
I'm very disappointed in this school and their politics. The most pressing issue is that my child worked extra hard to achieve academic success. Grades averaged a 98 for the entire school year, including all classes. They had an award ceremony and didn't acknowledge my child. When questioned about it, they had the most ign----- teacher told me that they only had two academic awards, the recipients were determined/selected by teacher's choice, not by who earned it. The children that were selected could not compare academically to my child. Needless to say how heartbreaking that was for my child. In light of their mess, they do have an awesome honors math teacher.

- submitted by a parent
June 15, 2010
My son is going into 8th grade and we had a superb 7th grade year. The highlights of this school are the Social Studies program with Gettysburg and the White House Dinner. Also all his teachers seem to care and were good with communication, etc. I would recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2010
Our child is very unhappy with this school. Some of the staff simply want nothing to do with kids that have special needs. If your child is covered by an IEP, you should seriously consider anything other than DSMS.

- submitted by a parent
January 05, 2010
I go to Desert Shadows and i love it so much. i have made so many new friends and gotten really good grades. i recommend Desert Shadows Middle School.

- submitted by a student
no rating November 17, 2008
I go here and I am in 7th grade and I love it! Our Principle and our Vice Principle are the coolest people ever! Desert Shadows also has awesome, funny teachers! They have regular and honors teachers as well. I love this school, and even though it doesn't show it on the outside, on the inside there is great teachers that really love what they do.

- submitted by a student
August 03, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 13, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a staff
March 07, 2006
My son is in his second year at DSMS and is thriving in this warm, friendly, yet academically challenging school. The administration and staff truly care about the well being of every student here. I hope all parents in the area who are approaching the middle school experience with their child will consider this 'Excelling' public school.

- submitted by a parent
March 05, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
March 02, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
February 21, 2006
Academic quality surprisingly & disappointedly low - both my children were much more challenged in K-6. Seventh grade staff sets the basement standard. Greatest weakness overall in the math department. The 'departmental' philosophy of the staff indicates they want to be high school teachers, but can't cut it, and have no educational methodology teaching skills that the elementary teachers have. The longevity of teachers statistic at this school may at first sound like a positive attribute, but is actually indicative of a staff mentality of counting days until retirement instead of improving and updating instructional skills with current research on brain function in middle schoolers and teaching to different learning styles. Parents may be involved as long as their expectations do not attempt to raise the bar on what actually happens in the classroom. Adult cheerleaders are showcased. Parents who expect more from a public school system are ignored.

- submitted by a parent
February 09, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2006
Our family has been extremely happy at DSMS. Dedicated, professional educators with many yrs of experience, yet open to continual revision and application of new goals/teacher strategies to meet all students' goals. Grouping of students into 'teams' has resulted in community building among both staff and and students. Focus is on core academics, and yet there is ample opportunity for students to explore diverse interests through foreign languages, technology, and video production. The music teacher is incredible, a variety of sports for boys and girls, several after school clubs and committees- there is something for every kid to get involved with at DSMS. Parent involvement quite active with a PTO, which also interfaces with student council. Site council has both community and parental input. My daughter has been able to mix 'academic rigor' with developing new relationships with friends and teachers. We were worried about middle school, but DSMS has exceeded our expectations!

- submitted by a parent
January 13, 2006
We Chose DSMS for their high test scores and lower enrollment. We ar in District Transfers and are completely satisfied, overyjoyed with our choice. The teachers care about the student's education and are always willing to help. My daughter loves school and comes home with possitive things to say always!

- submitted by a parent
December 09, 2005
There is alot of parent involvment at DSMS. The current Music teacher, Mr. Brasen, is kind. I hate sports, so I didn't take any this year, but last year P.E. was decent. There are a few clubs, but there are pretty much pointless. Some of the teachers can be a little harsh, but they still teach very well. The important thing about DSMS is that if you try, you will do well. The only students that fail at DSMS are the ones that don't turn in their homework. Everyone else, even the students who would normally have trouble understanding certain things, does really well at this school. (Probably because all of are teachers are really good!)

- submitted by a student
August 24, 2005
My son is in his second year at DSMS and loves it. DSMS promotes and environment that enhances learning, socialization, drug awareness, and parent interaction. For such a short stay (by comparison to elementary and high schools) I feel that I'm familiar with so many of the staff and families from neighboring schools. Each year I grow to know more. I feel that my experience at DSMS is just as important as my child's. The #1 asset: strong leadership. The #1 complaint: camp aesthetics (but it improves every year.)

- submitted by a parent
January 20, 2005
I found the teachers to be very child centered. They truly care about the students. The administration is very open to parent communication.

- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2004
I am a former student of DSMS, and while most of my teachers were very good, there were a few who didn t really know how to teach us the material and relied on pointless projects and busywork to do their job for them. There was also too much teaching to the test (there was a mandatory class given to the honors students designed to raise their test scores), and the principal didn t seem to care about us at all; she seemed very insincere. Despite all of this, I still liked DSMS because I had several exceptional teachers who taught their material well and did their best to make the class interesting and fun.

- submitted by a former student
June 08, 2004
Both of our children attended DSMS and they received a great headstart for AP classes in high school. The teachers are responsive and the administration always has time to listen!

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2003
We moved into the district when my daughter began 7th grade. I was very impressed with the music and language opportunities offered at DSMS. I am somewhat disappointed with the academics, however. My daughter had little to no homework during the entire year. The science book the school used for 7th grade, my daughter had used in 6th grade. There are very few projects, writing assignments or research papers assigned. I would give the school a C to C- for academics.

- submitted by a parent
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Desert Shadows Middle School
5858 E Sweetwater, Scottsdale, AZ  85254
(602) 449-6800
Last modified Desert Shadows Middle School is a Public school that serves grades 7-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Desert Shadows Middle School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 35 reviews. Top