Gecko Gazette

Desert Sage Elementary Newsletter - December 14, 2021

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Rookie Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Ms. Lauren Fultz, Desert Sage kindergarten teacher. She has been awarded the title of DVUSD Rookie Teacher of the Year. She is an extraordinarily talented educator who works diligently everyday to ensure her students receive the highest level of education while infusing it with engaging, fun activities. Desert Sage is proud to have her as part of our team.

12:05 p.m. Early Release Days

This Friday, December 17th will be 12:05 p.m. dismissal for all students. Please be sure to make appropriate arrangements for your child's early pickup on these days.

Winter Class Celebrations

Food for classroom celebrations must be organized by the classroom teacher with approval from the school nurse. This guarantees all students with dietary restrictions and allergies are taken care of and can safely participate in the celebration. Unapproved donations of food will not be accepted and returned to the donating family.

If you are interested in supporting your child's teacher with their class celebrations, please reach out to them as soon as possible to begin planning with them.

A Good-bye Message from Mrs. Lari

To my Desert Sage Family,

It is with great excitement, and equal parts sadness, that I share the following news. I have accepted a position at the district level as the Lead Registrar. This new position will take me away from my Desert Sage home, but offer new challenges and experiences.

Desert Sage has been responsible for educating my own children, as well as being a stellar place to work. I have enjoyed my time here, and love meeting, and getting to know all the students and their families. I will miss my daily interactions with both parents and students, and value the experiences, and treasured memories I have made here at Desert Sage.

It has been my privilege to watch Desert Sage students grow into strong, kind, compassionate individuals, with a desire to achieve. While I will no longer be on campus, please know I appreciate all of you! My heart is at Desert Sage, but this new opportunity will allow me to spread my wings, and offer assistance in a new way. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey. I will miss seeing each of you, but know you are in my heart!

Desert Sage Gear for Sale

2021-2022 Desert Sage Elementary Clothing for Sale! Our fabulous PTO has added hoodies to the selection. Great for our cold-ish weather.

Order online here: LINK

The store will be open for a short while, so get your orders in quick. For questions, please email

Winter Break: No School

Winter break begins Monday, December 20th and continues through Monday, January 3, 2022. We hope everyone enjoys their holidays and has an excellent start to the new year.

We look forward to having all students return to school on Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

Mandarin Program Host Family Opportunity

We are looking for a family to host one of our Mandarin teachers from January through May 2022, and another family to host another teacher for next school year, end of July 2022 through May 2023.

As a host family, you will need to provide a private bedroom, as well as a bathroom that can be shared. The host family will be paid rent each month.

If you are interested, please contact Kim Cash ( for more information.

Public Review of Gifted Adoption Materials

DVUSD is pleased to announce the opening of the public review for the finalists in our ELA 6-10 Gifted 6th, Renaissance 6-8, Advanced 7th and 8th, IB-MYP 6-8 and 9-10 as well as Honors 9-10 adoption. The public review will be open until February 28th, 2022.

We are in search of more parents to join our committee meetings which will be January 27th 4-6pm for Gifted 6th and Renaissance and January 31st 3-5pm for Advanced, MYP and Honors 6-10. If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Elizabeth Harris ( for more information.


Grade level teams are taking a close look at their students' mid-year assessments for possible whole group and small group reteaching needs. These assessments include DIBELS Benchmark for kindergarten through 3rd grade, Math Inventory for all grades, and Reading Inventory for 1st through 6th grade.

If you would like more information about PLCs, please visit our DVUSD PLC website.

Upcoming Important Dates

  • Tuesday, December 14: Student Council Meeting 3:35-4:10 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 14: Winter Choir Concert 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, December 17: Dismissal at 12:05 p.m.
  • December 20, 2021 - January 3, 2022: Winter Break, no school
  • Tuesday, January 4, 2022: School resumes & 3rd quarter begins
  • Monday, January 10: 2nd quarter report cards go home

AZ School Tax Credit for Desert Sage

Your school tax credit donations can provide Desert Sage students with opportunities to after school and summer programs, field trips, music and athletic programs or any other extracurricular activity.

  • The Arizona tax credit program (A.R.S. 43-1089.01) allows a tax credit of up to $200 for individuals and up to $400 for married couples, filing jointly, in support of extracurricular activities.
  • The tax credit reduces your tax burden to the state of Arizona, dollar for dollar.
  • This year, AZ tax credit dollars can help us purchase needed capital items as well if donated to the general fund.

Desert Sage Elementary

We are an A school in the Deer Valley Unified District. We educate children pre-k through grade 6 & offer Mandarin Language Immersion. We are the home of the geckos. Kristy M. Gill is the proud principal and Dr. Heidi Hopman is the proud assistant principal.