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GreatSchools Rating

Desert Sky Middle School

Public | 6-8 & ungraded | 700 students

 
 

Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
No new ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

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16 reviews of this school


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Posted April 3, 2012

I went to Desert Sky last year and now am in high school. All in all, the school looks great on the outside. Good test scores, responsible, students exceed all of the state standards, but it all comes at a cost. The school is very strict and the teachers and principal crack down hard on the rules. If you forget a pencil, detention, your paper isn't long enough by one line, detention, you typed instead of wrote, detention. I was lucky enough not to get detention all three years but it is not easy. The monitors are also very biased. If there are a group of girls all in short shorts, the monitor will only call out maybe two of their least favorite people in the group. Again, this never happened to me (because I always wear jeans) but you get the point. The staff always said the discipline they gave would prepare us for high school when in reality, high school is much easier. (and I'm in all honors classes with some of the toughest teachers!) Desert Sky puts on a good face, but is way too strict!


Posted March 1, 2012

I give it a great school. Very awesome with benchmarks and homework. However, this school is struggling with social skills. I saw a 6th grade girl getting bullied. It made the 6th grade girl get really bossy and now everyone runs away from her or they be really mean. I am a student and when I was new everyone hated me. Now I made friends with most of them but I have a bully and he keeps telling me to shut up. So I give this school a 10/10 of learning but a 7/10 on social skills. Even though they have a room to teach you social skills. And if your lonely, There is this lunch group called, "Circle of Friends" that is hosted almost every Wednesday. Today me and my friends were fake fighting but we didn't hurt ourselves.


Posted October 20, 2011

Desert Sky is a great school. My son is in his 3rd year at DSMS and we have to say that we are very fortuned to be at DSMS. Desert Sky is an A+ school. From the beautiful campus and great activities like WEB and Steel Drums, to a wonderful band, to the excellent teachers and staff! we have no complaints. We sure are blessed as parents to be able to feel at ease that we send our son to an excellent school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 15, 2011

Vail is an excellent and amazing school district. They worked with us to find the right situation when we found that Desert Sky was a disastrous fit for our son. He struggled from the first moment he got to Desert Sky, and no one -- principal, teacher, or admin staff -- cared at all. When we spoke to the principal, it was painfully obvious that he had no interest in helping our son succeed. So we pulled him out of that school, and very sadly, he missed nothing about it. Not the students, not the teachers, not the staff. Desert Sky gets great ratings and I know some students love it, and it's the right school for probably most kids, but it is definitely not for every student. Our three kids have been to quite a few schools as Army Brats, and this is the only one where we had problems like this. I guess my son was a square peg in a very round hole here.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 14, 2010

Yes, this school has high expectations, so that the people who graduate are more prepared for college and high school. If you have a problem with high expectations then don't complain about it on here. Go to a different school. The faculty are friendly and helpful. They have a lot of motivating rewards for good students, but they also have consequences for the miss-behaving student. Yes, you can get in trouble over little things, but for those who complain,1) don't do things you shouldn't 2) what part of HIGH EXPECTATIONS don't you understand.


Posted March 10, 2010

I WAS a student at this wonderful school. The expectations for this school is tremendously high and with the positive environment, nearly all of the students met all the requirements. Teachers, students, and parents, get involved with this school to make it a positive environment. During an 'Award's Assembly' more than half the kids would have principle's award (strait A's on the previous report card). All the teacher's cared and shrived to help the student's to achieve the extra mile. Previously I had been a 7th grader at this EXCELLING school, I had moved to a preforming and and very disappointed. Don't leave this school
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 5, 2009

Please, be aware of this school, as well as some others in the Vail school district. I just graduated from a school as far away from any of the Vail schools as possible. I had a very rough time and was very traumatized from my experience. The old principal, vice principal, staff, and teachers were very rude and didn't understand much. I needed accomodations that were not provided for me, and was accused of being a liar. My parents ended up calling in a representative from the state to help me get some accomodations, and I ended up leaving this school at the end of the year. Please, use caution, investigate, and listen to what your children are telling you.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 17, 2009

I am currently an eighth grader at Desert Sky Middle School and i hate it. The teachers are WAY too strict and picky. You can get in trouble for the smallest things. Even at lunch you can't go walk up and talk to your friends or else you can get lunch detention or have to wipe tables. The teachers give you detention if you don't do the smallest things on your homework (like write in pencil instead of pen or use size 14 font instead of size 12). So this school is really unfair and if I were you i'd pick a different school to send my kid to.
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 29, 2008

i think it is a wonderful school in a great area.
—Submitted by a student


Posted August 22, 2008

This is an Awsome school with very good people in it and running it!
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 22, 2008

I was a student at desert sky for 3 years. For the most part it was a very good school. I never once got PRIDE or a NO stamp and we were rewarded well. The school has its ups and downs, it was very very strict and they tolerated nothing. A lot of the things kids would get in trouble for seemed beyond stupid to me and everyone else i have ever talked to. Many eight graders were very happy to finally get out. But in all the school was good : the teachers were nice, and although most will deny it if asked the PRIDE program was a good idea...


Posted March 11, 2008

Desert Sky Middle School is a great school. Stories of children receiving NO Stamps for small mistakes and unpreparedness are rumors for the most part. If extremes such as those are taken, they are not taken often, and are taken by teachers (it is not necessarily encouraged by the school). Desert Sky is an amazing school, which holds high standards for its students, but also rewards it students often as well. I have been a student at Desert Sky for three quarters and really enjoy it. Both the curriculum and extracurricular activities provided by the school are great, in addition to the staff (you rock Mr. Carney). Good job DSMS. :)
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 21, 2007

This is one of the worst schools in the Vail school district. If you plan on sending your child to Desert Sky please think again. The school is extremely unorganized.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 23, 2006

This is my daughter's second year at Desert Sky and she's never had detention. She's had PRIDE, once. As an involved parent, I know that the PRIDE (Personal Responsibility in Daily Efforts) program has helped my daughter to become a better student, ready to accept responsibility for her actions. Education is a collaborative effort between parents and teachers. If the teachers directive is to do the assignment in pen, than you do the assignment in pen. Holding students accountable at this age is critical to their academic success, and to their success in life. Kudos to the teachers who will not settle for mediocrity. That's what makes the majority of schools in this district a success. The faculty is great! They are accessible, hardworking and dedicated. The campus is beautiful and well maintained. Receiving an 'Excelling' label is not easy. Keep up the good work, Kevin and staff. Go Cougars!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 17, 2006

This School only has a 79% completion rate.. Anyone care about the other 21%? Its 7th and 8th grade.. anything but 100 is intolerable! Any school that gives an hour detention for not putting a correct date on a paper or doing an assignment in pen rather than pencil,(and the list goes on..) can not represent itself as a good school. As adults we need to create positive environments for our children to succeed.The average student has detention 3 hours a week or more..
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 13, 2006

As a teacher of 35 years, I want to commend the staff of Desert Sky Middle School. After retiring, I substituted there for three years. Everyone, from the office staff, principals, teacher, teacher aides, was very helpful to me as a 'non-staff' person. I loved the children. They were - most of them - respectful and hard-working.
—Submitted by a teacher


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 63% in 2013.

223 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
88%

2012

 
 
90%

2011

 
 
91%

2010

 
 
85%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 79% in 2013.

223 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
92%

2012

 
 
98%

2011

 
 
96%

2010

 
 
90%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 53% in 2013.

219 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
74%

2012

 
 
79%

2011

 
 
77%

2010

 
 
77%
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.

279 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
84%

2011

 
 
79%

2010

 
 
89%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 85% in 2013.

279 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
96%

2012

 
 
94%

2011

 
 
93%

2010

 
 
94%
Writing

The state average for Writing was 52% in 2013.

276 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
75%

2012

 
 
76%

2011

 
 
72%

2010

 
 
90%
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.

245 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
87%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
85%

2010

 
 
86%
Reading

The state average for Reading was 72% in 2013.

245 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
93%

2012

 
 
91%

2011

 
 
90%

2010

 
 
95%
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 61% 42%
Hispanic 28% 43%
Black 7% 5%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 4% 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 5%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 2%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 21%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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9850 E. Rankin Loop
Vail, AZ 85747
Website: Click here
Phone: (520) 762-2040

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