Gecko Gazette

Desert Sage Elementary Newsletter - August 11, 2021

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COVID Reporting Reminder

If a student tests positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19, or if a student has come into close contact (within 6 feet for 15 or more minutes over a 24 hour period) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the parent must, do the following:

  • Keep child at home.
  • If child tests positive and lives in the same household with siblings who attend DVUSD schools, then other siblings should stay home as well.
  • Complete the Student COVID-19 Information Form at (The form works best when using Chrome as your internet browser.)
  • Email Nurse Gretchen Brunstein and Principal Gill informing them of the situation. Specify in the email if the situation involves a positive test, suspected positive test or close contact with someone who has had a positive test or suspected positive test. Include in the email: Name, student ID number, date of test and date that symptoms began, or indicate asymptomatic if no symptoms, and include a copy or picture of the positive test result.
  • Complete regular student absence procedures for notifying school of student absence. Desert Sage School Attendance line: 623-445-4790
  • If a parent has any questions, the parent can email and/or Nurse Gretchen Brunstein.
  • A district or campus based representative will follow up with the parent regarding the received report and continue contact tracing data collection.

Optional Chromebook Protection Plan

The Deer Valley Unified School District is providing a device protection plan for 4th-12th grade students and parents utilizing take-home devices. Enrollment in the plan is optional with the understanding that if students/parents do not enroll in the protection plan they may carry full liability for the student device (iPad or Chromebook) in the same way they do for other damaged or lost school property, such as textbooks. Purchase the protection plan online:

Click here for more information about the Optional Device Protection Plan.

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.

Classroom 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.

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. Roque, school registrar at 623-445-4706.

Free Breakfast & Lunch Continues

All children under the age of 18 will continue to be eligible for free breakfast and lunch each school day through the entire 21-22 schoolyear. No registration is required.

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.


  • 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.
  • If your student rides the bus, they are required to wear a face mask for the duration of the bus ride.
  • Be patient and drive slowly throughout the parking lot.

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 Dress Code

Any attire that detracts from the learning environment is not acceptable. Students should dress in a manner that, in addition to the following guidelines, takes into consideration the educational environment, safety, health and welfare of self and others.

  • Clothing must cover the entire buttocks. Shirts and tops may not expose bare midriffs, bare shoulders, nor be deeply or narrowly cut in the front, back, or under the arms. Halter tops, spaghetti straps, and strapless tops are not acceptable. Clothing that exposes undergarments will not be tolerated for males or females.

  • Bare feet are never acceptable. In the interest of safety, shoes must be worn at all times. Closed shoes are to be worn for any type of physical activity, such as physical education, cheer practice, weight lifting, etc. Flip-flops are prohibited.

  • Hair color should be of a natural color. No bright, distracting or unnatural colors are allowed (ex. pink, green, blue, purple, etc.)

  • Jewelry or ornamentation shall not be worn if it presents a safety hazard to self and/or others.

  • No hats may be worn inside any campus buildings at any time, except for properly approved occupational safety headgear required for special classes.

  • Defamatory writing, obscene language or symbols, or symbols of drugs, sex, or alcohol on clothing or jewelry are expressly prohibited.

  • Tattoos displaying defamatory writing, obscene language or symbols, or symbols of drugs, sex, or alcohol must be covered.

(Ref. DVUSD Policy JICA)

*Exceptions for special school activities or health considerations may be pre-approved by the principal.

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.

Upcoming Important Dates

  • Friday, August 13: Dismissal at 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, August 20: Dismissal at 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, August 27: Dismissal at 2:00 p.m.
  • September 6-7, 2021: Labor Day Recess, no school
  • Tuesday, September 14: PTO meeting at 4:15 p.m. in the library

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.