Gecko Gazette

Desert Sage Newsletter - August 2022

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Welcome to a new school year!

Meet Mrs. Race, our new Assistant Principal

My name is Lindsay Race. I received my Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Arizona in 2008, BEARDOWN! I loved being in the school setting so much, I decided to start my graduate work in my first year of teaching. I then graduated with a Master’s in Educational Leadership –Principal in 2011.

This is the start of my 5th year in DVUSD. The past four years I spent as an EL Teacher Specialist helping staff and servicing students at 16 schools. Prior to that, I worked at ASU as a Writing Center Coordinator. However, the majority of my teaching experience came from 8 years as a general education teacher in Washington Elementary School District teaching 4th and 5th grade.

In my free time, I enjoy activities with my two kids. I also enjoy playing co-ed softball and napping. My husband Rob and I have been married for 10 years and enjoy sporting events together.

I am excited for my new position at Desert Sage and look forward to getting to know the community. #GeckoPride!

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.
  • 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.

All Things E.Q. - Social Emotional Support

Social Emotional Learning is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions ( Desert Sage continues to teach these necessary skills in our classrooms, and through our interactions with students.

We are happy to continue to bring All Things E.Q. to all of our Geckos. All Things E.Q. (ATEQ) provides students with daily lessons focused on positive self talk, perseverance, empathy, and teaches necessary skills to deal with change and uncertainty. Click on the ATEQ picture for more parent information about ATEQ, including our motto for this week and an introductory video.

Click on the link for additional resources to help support your family's social emotional needs. DVUSD SEL Resources

Student Early Release - PLC Days

Education is a field that continues to change rapidly, and we are dedicated to ensuring that our staff are able to fulfill their commitment of meeting the challenges of today’s educational environment. Supporting this commitment includes providing the time for staff to work in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) each week, at a regularly scheduled time, to collect, review and utilize student data to more effectively serve our students’ academic and behavioral needs.

The PLC work for teachers at Desert Sage includes working with their grade level, Special Education, Reading Specialist (K-3), and Gifted Sage teacher (3-6) colleagues to analyze ELA and Math data. They plan the intervention groups (Tier II and Tier III) that students will participate in daily for additional instruction on the learning standards. These intervention groups are fluid, meaning they change frequently based on students progress towards meeting the standard they are working on. Additionally, during this time the teachers work to create Common Formative Assessments, aka mini quizzes on the standard that will be used to determine student's growth. Finally, throughout all of this collaborative work, teacher determine the most efficient and effective instructional planning for whole group.

Each month we will include an "I Spy PLC" section to our Gecko Gazette. In this section, we will give a brief synopsis of the teachers' PLC work for that month.

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

Student Arrival & Dismissal Reminders

  • Students should not be on campus until 8:30 a.m. unless they are coming to school for breakfast (begins at 8:15 a.m.) Staff is not on duty throughout the campus prior to 8:30 a.m. and it is a safety concern if students are unattended.
  • Please make sure to drop students off only in the designated "Drop-Off" area.
  • Be patient and drive slowly throughout the parking lot.


  • If your child's dismissal procedure has changed, make sure to notify the teacher as soon as possible.
  • Be respectful of our neighborhood. Do NOT block driveways while waiting for your student to reach you. Do NOT park your vehicle on the sidewalk, forcing students to walk into the street.
  • Be patient and drive slowly throughout the parking lot.

Back to School Online Forms

If you have not completed your student's back to school online forms, please do so as soon as possible. This is to ensure we have the most up to date contact information for parents, health/medical information for your student, and correct emergency contacts.

If you need assistance call Mrs. Rodeman, school registrar at 623-445-4706.

Desert Sage Student Handbook

Have questions about something related to Desert Sage? Be sure to check the Desert Sage Student Handbook first. It is the "go-to" document for all things Desert Sage. Information such as attendance requirements, grading, dress code, health/medical requirements, campus visitors, and much more is included.

Click on the handbook picture for a direct link to the document.

Mark Your Calendar - Important Dates

  • Friday, 8/19: Dismissal at 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, 8/26: Dismissal at 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, 8/27: PTO Goodwill Donation Drive
  • Friday, 9/2: Dismissal at 2:00 p.m.
  • Monday, 9/5: No school, Labor Day
  • Friday, 9/9: Mid-Autumn Festival
  • Friday, 9/9: 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.

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 Lindsay Race is the proud assistant principal.