Advertisement
Advertisement

GreatSchools Rating

Desert Shadows Middle School

Public | 7-8

 

Be sure to visit

Take along one of
our checklists:

 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 4 ratings
2012:
Based on 3 ratings
2011:
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
OR
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

27 reviews of this school


Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted September 6, 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


Posted August 2, 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


Posted May 9, 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


Posted 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


Posted November 5, 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


Posted November 2, 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


Posted August 4, 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


Posted 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


Posted February 1, 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


Posted January 5, 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


Posted 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


Posted March 7, 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


Posted 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


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 65% in 2013.

362 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
84%

2012

 
 
80%

2011

 
 
83%

2010

 
 
83%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 85% in 2013.

362 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
94%

2012

 
 
96%

2011

 
 
96%

2010

 
 
92%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 52% in 2013.

350 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
68%

2012

 
 
74%

2011

 
 
74%

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 58% in 2013.

338 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
77%

2012

 
 
80%

2011

 
 
76%

2010

 
 
82%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 72% in 2013.

338 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
90%

2010

 
 
91%
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 76% 42%
Hispanic 12% 43%
Two or more races 6% 2%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 4% 3%
Black 2% 5%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 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 14%N/A47%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Assistant principal(s)
Music teacher(s)
Nurse(s)
PE instructor(s)
Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School psychologist
School social worker/counselors(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school community.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Orchestra
  • Rock band
Performing and written arts
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Video / Film production

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School psychologist
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Programs

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Spanish

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Robotics/Technology specialist(s)
  • School psychologist
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Science lab
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Track
  • Wrestling
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Softball
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Orchestra
  • Rock band
Performing arts
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Video / Film production
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

Apply

 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
Apply now
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

5858 E Sweetwater
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Website: Click here
Phone: (602) 449-6800

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »

Compare

Add this school to compare

Nearby schools

Devereux
Scottsdale, AZ




Freedom Academy
Scottsdale, AZ


Cocopah Middle School
Scottsdale, AZ


Sunrise Middle School
Scottsdale, AZ


ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT