Gecko Gazette

Desert Sage Elementary Newsletter - October 8, 2021

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2021-2022 Student Council Officers

Congratulations to our newly elected 2021-2022 Student Council Officers!
  • President: Allison Z.
  • Vice President: Abbie K.
  • Secretary: MacKenzie M.
  • Treasurer: Chloe K.
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Autumn 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 autumn celebrations at the end of the month, please reach out to them as soon as possible to begin planning with them.

Desert Sage Calendar

Have you ever wondered if it's a 2:00 p.m. release day or when we have a school event like picture day happening? If your response is yes, then make sure to bookmark our Desert Sage School Calendar on your devices. It is the "go-to" location for all things happening at Desert Sage.

Desert Sage School Calendar

Click on the item listed for the day for more information about the event.

Fall Parent Teacher Conferences

It is time to schedule your child’s fall parent/teacher conference. Below is a link to our scheduling program you will use to make your conference appointment. Conferences are being held the week of October 18 through October 22. Evening conference appointments are being provided on Wednesday, October 20. All fall conferences will be held virtually through Zoom. Once you have scheduled your conference appointment you will receive confirmation that includes the Zoom link for your specific conference date and time. For confidentiality purposes, please do not share this Zoom link information with anyone.

Conference appointment scheduling link: CLICK HERE

Tips for a successful parent/teacher conference:

  • It is important to be timely to your child’s conference as teachers will have conferences scheduled back-to-back.

  • Prior to the conference, write down any questions you may have about your child’s academics, behavior, classroom routines, expectations, etc.

  • Have your child’s report card with you to refer to during the conference. (Report cards will be sent home on Monday, October 18 with students.)

  • If more time is needed at the end of the conference, ask the teacher to schedule an additional conference time.

Desert Sage is Hiring

Join the Gecko family as a staff member! Positions currently available:

Substitutes: (as needed)

  • Crossing Guard Substitute (2 hours/day)
  • Playground Monitor Substitute (2-2.5 hours/day)
  • Inside Lunch Monitor Substitute (2-2.5 hours/day)
Classified Positions: (daily, M-F)

If you are interested in applying to join our team call the Desert Sage Secretary at 623-445-4704 or email at

Desert Sage PTO Membership Drive

For the month of October, the PTO is running a "Chews" the PTO Membership Drive. If you haven't had an opportunity to become a member of PTO now is your chance!

Becoming a member supports the PTO's goal to help support Desert Sage teachers and staff through parent involvement, volunteerism, fundraising, and community events. By supporting our teachers and staff we help to create a better school for all Desert Sage students.

PTO Membership: $15 per family

"Chews" the PTO and purchase your membership today here: PTO Membership Drive Sign-Up

The primary (PreK-2nd) and intermediate (3rd-6th) class with the highest membership, will receive an ice cream party.


PLCs are busy this month. Grade level teams are taking a close look at their students' end of quarter grades to determine possible whole group and small group reteaching needs. Every two weeks, DIBELS progress monitoring scores are being analyzed in order to revise intervention (RTI) services by grade level teachers and the reading specialist. Intermediate grades are analyzing writing scores from the district narrative writing submissions done at the end of September. Additionally, teachers are routinely reviewing your student's DreamBox Math and Amplify Reading online program data. This assists them with assigning future online lesson work and identify additional standards in need of support. Wondering how your student is doing on DreamBox or Amplify? Simply email your student's teacher and they can provide you a report with their progress at any time.

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

PTO Fundraiser Results

Last month we had two great fundraising events organized by our #extrodinary Desert Sage PTO. We are proud to announce the fundraising results of these events.

  • Goodwill Donation Drive: $458 & we gave back to the community by passing on our gently used items!
  • Panda Express Dinner Night: $854 & lots of yummy in our Gecko tummies!

Thank you for your participation, generosity, and everlasting support of Desert Sage! We look forward to you joining us at all of our future fundraiser and family events.

12:05 p.m. Early Release Days

Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22 will be 12:05 p.m. dismissal for all students. The early release is to allow additional time for parent/teacher conferences.

Please be sure to make appropriate arrangements for your child's early pickup on these days.

Birthday Treats

Desert Sage strongly recommends a “no food birthday treats” practice. The reason for this is to protect the health and safety of students. Due to the increasing number of students with food allergies; peanuts, tree nuts, fruits, dairy, etc. care has to be taken with food that enters the school. It is difficult to screen foods to make sure they are safe for all the students in the classroom.
  • It is recommended that items such as pencils, stickers, erasers, etc. be provided for birthday treats if the parent chooses. (Items must be delivered to the classroom at least 4 days prior to the day to be handed out, to maintain the 4 day quarantine practice for health and safety standards.)
  • The ONLY food birthday treats that can be given at Desert Sage is the DVUSD Birthday Buckets ordered from the DVUSD Food and Nutrition Department. Food and Nutrition ensures that all dietary restrictions and allergies are accounted for within the classroom. For more information or to order contact our school Cafeteria Manager at 623-445-4714. Please be sure to place orders at least 2 weeks in advance of your child’s birthday.
    • If food items are brought in for a birthday treat they will not be given out to the students. The food will be sent home with the student at the end of the school day.

Upcoming Important Dates

  • Friday, October 8: Dismissal at 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 9: Last day to order fall pictures online. Visit & search Desert Sage Elementary-Glendale, AZ
  • Monday, October 11 & Tuesday, October 12: No School, Fall Break
  • October 18-22: Virtual Fall Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Thursday, October 21 & Friday, October 22: Dismissal at 12:05 p.m.
  • Friday, October 29: Dismissal at 2:00 p.m.

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.