Gecko Gazette

Desert Sage Elementary Newsletter - March 29, 2021

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AzM2 Testing for 3rd-6th grade

Each year much time and vigilant planning is done when scheduling AzM2 (formally known as AzMerit) and AzSCI (new 5th grade Science test) testing dates within the allotted assessment windows. We work diligently here at Desert Sage to ensure each student is fully prepared to be successful on all assessments. We value as much instructional time prior to testing as is possible. For the testing dates for AzM2 and AzSCI for each grade level click here.

Testing attendance matters, and we ask for your support. On-time attendance on the dates listed for your child’s grade level is imperative. Children assess with greater focus and less stress when surrounded by the comfort of their classmates and teacher. Please do not schedule any appointments or trips that will cause your child to be tardy or absent on their scheduled testing dates.

If you would like more information regarding AzM2, you can visit This website will provide general resources and sample testing practice opportunities for your child.

Desert Sage Standardized Testing Letter

DVUSD State Testing Letter

Student & Staff Face Mask Requirement Continue

Desert Sage and DVUSD will continue implementing the current face mask procedures outlined in our Return to School Operational Safety Plan. Students, staff and any visitors must continue to wear a face mask when on DVUSD property. It is important to remember that mask wearing is still identified as the primary mitigation measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

DVUSD Face Mask Parent Update 3/25/2021: LINK

Kindergarten Cap & Gown Pictures Wednesday

This coming Wednesday, March 31, 2021 Lifetouch will be doing Kindergarten cap and gown pictures. You have an opportunity to order copies of this picture if you choose. To order pictures go to, enter picture day ID "EVT8KJCC2", and place your order. All kindergarten students will have their picture taken, even if a picture order is not placed.

No School, Friday, April 2, 2021

This Friday, April 2, 2021 there is no school. See you back on Monday!

Virtual Book Fair

We are working hard to keep kids reading and raise critical funds for our school with our Scholastic Online-Only Book Fair from Monday, April 12th - Sunday, April 25th.

The Fair will connect your kids to notable books and inspiring characters — helping them become lifelong readers. And you’ll love the new option to shop for Book Fair exclusives — directly from the interactive booklist.

• Access to over 6,000 products

• All orders ship direct to home

• FREE shipping on book-only orders over $25*

• All purchases support our school and earn 25% in rewards

Visit our Book Fair homepage to learn more and get started with online shopping:

Read-A-Thon Results

The Read-a-Thon results are in, we collected $21,819! Desert Sage will receive $13,091! All of our students put in their reading time and their outstanding efforts have paid off. Congratulations to Mr. Tsang's kindergarten class for bringing in the most funds at $2748 and Mrs. Chen's kindergarten class coming in second with $1985. The Desert Sage PTO will use the received funds towards new library/media center furniture and playground upgrades.

COVID-19 Reporting Reminder

  • If your child has tested positive for COVID-19 (or is awaiting test results), he/she should not attend school. Immediately report this to DVUSD at
  • If your child has had close contact to a COVID-19 case, he/she should not attend school. Report the close contact to the school immediately 623-445-4700 or

Upcoming Important Dates

  • Wednesday, March 31: Kindergarten Cap and Gown Pictures
  • Thursday, April 1: National Special Education Paraprofessional Day
  • Friday, April 2: No school, Spring Break Day
  • 4/5-4/9: National Assistant Principal Week
  • Tuesday, April 6: National Librarian Day
  • Tuesday, April 6: Virtual PTO meeting @ 4:30 p.m. (Email for meeting link)
  • Friday, April 9: Dismissal at 3:30 p.m.
  • 4/12-4/25: Scholastic Virtual Book Fair
  • Friday, April 16: Dismissal at 3:30 p.m.
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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.