Gecko Gazette

Desert Sage Newsletter - January/February 2023

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Happy New Year & Happy Valentines Day!

Spring In-Person Parent Teacher Conferences

It is time to schedule your child’s spring 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 February 13 through February 17. Evening conference appointments are being provided on Wednesday, February 15. All spring conferences will be held in-person at Desert Sage in the classrooms. Once you have scheduled your conference appointment you will receive confirmation that includes the meeting room number for your specific conference date and time.

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

12:05 p.m. Early Release Days

Thursday, February 16 and Friday, February 17 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.

Valentine Class Celebrations

Valentine cards may be distributed by staff and students. Cards cannot include food/candy of any kind due to strict health and safety guidelines in place.

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.

Lunar New Year Celebrations

No School, Monday, February 20, 2023

In observance of President's Day, there will be no school on Monday, February 20, 2023. All students are welcome back to campus on Tuesday, 2/21

Volunteer at Desert Sage

Desert Sage welcomes our community to volunteer to support our students and staff. There are a variety of opportunities for volunteerism at Desert Sage. This includes chaperoning field trips, classroom activities support, teacher copy assistant/project prepper, office support, school events support (picture days, field days, etc.).

If you decide to volunteer, you will need to attend a mandatory district volunteer training before you are able to volunteer in any capacity for the school. Desert Sage offers in-person training in our media center throughout the year. The next training date at Desert Sage is on March 23, 2023 at 8:00 a.m. If you cannot attend these dates or are in need of an earlier training date, you can attend any volunteer training provided at a DVUSD school campus or you can reach out to our Desert Sage Secretary Elisa Anderson at

District Volunteer Information with Training Dates

Thank you for considering volunteering at Desert Sage!

Attendance Matters!

Attendance matters every day for every child. Please ensure your child is attending school each day. If your child is going to be absent for any period of time within a school day (i.e. full-day, half-day, 1 class period, etc.) you must call the Desert Sage attendance line at 623-445-4790.

If your child is absent and you have not called in the absence you will receive an automated voice recorded message notifying you of the absence.

Arriving to school on-time also matters. Students are expected to be in their classrooms, starting their day by 8:45 a.m. Learning begins right away in our classes and if students are late, then they are missing the review of the days expectations and the beginning of instruction in vital subjects such as reading and math. If students arrive to their classroom after 8:45 a.m. they are considered tardy. Tardies are tracked by our office and students will have to get a pass to go to class. If your child is going to be tardy (arriving after 8:45 a.m.), an adult is expected to bring the student to the office and sign them in.

Please click on the info-graphics below for information about how absences and tardiness effects students learning. If you have questions regarding your child's attendance, please call the Desert Sage office at 623-445-4700.


Grade level teams are reviewing current student classwork and assessments to strategically plan intervention and enrichment activities to meet the needs of their students for content instructed since the start of the quarter. Intermediate grades are developing lesson plans for whole group and intervention groups, targeting skills addressed on upcoming state standardized testing (AASA) happening in April.

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

Mark Your Calendar - Important Dates

  • Friday, 2/3: Dismissal at 2:00 p.m.
  • Monday, 2/6: Lantern Festival
  • 2/6-2/10: Kids Heart Challenge Jump Rope for Heart Events
  • Wednesday, 2/8: Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
  • Friday, 2/10: Dismissal at 2:00 p.m.
  • 2/13-2/17: Parent Teacher Conference Week
  • Thursday, 2/16 & Friday, 2/17: Half-day 12:05 p.m. Dismissal
  • Monday, 2/20: No School, President's Day
  • Tuesday, 2/21: Sonic Family Dinner Fundraiser Night
  • Wednesday, 2/22: School Bus Driver Appreciation Day
  • Wednesday, 2/22: Spring Picture Day (Class & Club Photos)
  • 2/22-2/24: STUCO Lunchtime Smencils Sale
  • Friday, 2/24: Dismissal at 2:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, 3/2: Read Across America Day
  • Friday, 3/3: 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.

Make your tax credit donation to Desert Sage at:

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 Mrs. Lindsay Race is the proud assistant principal.