Desert Edge Community Quarterly

March 2021

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Rigor, Relevance, Relationships

Welcome Back Scorpions!

On Monday, March 15 we welcomed back many new and returning Scorpions to our campus for in-person learning. For some, this was their first-ever time on campus, while for others, it was their last 'first day' of school. The nerves and jitters surrounding the first day of school are always heightened, but for many, there was a heavy sigh of relief and happiness to be back in school and on campus.

Many students shared the same sentiment about their return to campus with seeing their friends, getting help from their teachers, and having a routine at the top of the list of reasons why they elected to return to campus. While it is understandable that some may have felt uncomfortable with the return, almost every student surveyed stated they felt safe and protected on campus and that there was plenty of cleaning materials and sanitizer at their disposal if needed.

The schedule to end the 20-21 school year might look a little different for in-person students with three classes per day and AOT built-in, lunch, and advisory; but for many students they were more eager to get back to a sense of routine with seeing their friends, learning without the use of a screen, and being with their teachers 4 days/week.

We look forward to a strong finish to the 2020-2021 school year, and look forward to the fun times ahead!

DEHS Class Schedule

Welcome Back Scorpions - March Quarterly

Class of 2021

We are looking forward to celebrating our Class of 2021 on May 15 at 9 AM at State Farm Stadium. Please be sure to check the DEHS website for important updates and information. That information can be found HERE

From the Counseling Department

We are so excited to welcome students back to campus! We look forward to catching up with students and checking in on them! Here are some updates from our department.

Summer, Summer, Summertime…. For many students summer will include taking classes, either for credit recovery or to get ahead.

Students who failed a required class and need credit recovery should sign up as soon as possible. If you are not sure if your child is off track for graduation please contact their counselor.

There are a variety of summer school options available:

  • In-person (Brick and mortar) - credit recovery

  • Online - credit recovery

  • Spring Forward- for original credit

  • Incoming Freshmen

  • Computer Science - NEW Course for 9 & 10

Summer school does fill quickly! Please register today!

Counselors have answered many questions regarding any possible ACT testing. As of right now, the district is planning to offer the ACT on April 6th for current juniors. At this time students do not need to do anything in order to sign up. Test prep resources will be sent to students via Google Classroom. It is important to note that current seniors attending university most likely do not need these test scores as most schools have moved to test-optional due to Covid19.

From the College & Career Center:

Fridays have been Virtual College Visits Days. Juniors have been invited to participate in virtual college visits from NAU, ASU, the University of Arizona, GCU, and Ottawa University hosted by college representatives. March 24 will feature an admissions workshop for Seniors from Estrella Mountain Community College.

Desert Edge, along with other high schools in our district, conducted a virtual College and Career Fair on March 3. Students were able to connect with representatives from colleges, vocational schools, and local business professionals. They were able to gain a clear understanding of the career pathway to dozens of possible occupations.

Many of our Seniors have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They are being awarded thousands of dollars from the federal government for their college education. Once again, Desert Edge leads the district in the percentage of seniors who have completed the FAFSA. There's still time for those that haven't completed it yet. From the DEHS website, go to the Parent/Student Resources tab and click on "Financial Aid" for details including worksheets and tutorials.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact your child’s counselor. We are here to support them with academic, career, college, and social/emotional needs.

News from DE Athletics

Greetings Scorpion Nation!!

Springs sports are in full swing! The Spring Season officially started on March 1st, 2021 and our teams are doing great in the early season. The Spring Sports include:

  • Softball
  • Baseball
  • Boys Tennis
  • Girls Tennis
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Track & Field

We are very excited to watch our Scorpions compete this Spring!

Winter sports winding down

Girls Wrestling:

  • On Friday, March 5th, two lady wrestlers competed in the AIA state championship meet.

  • Tanya Garcia (junior) and Kyera Quezada (freshman) both finished the tournament with a 1-2 record.

  • Winning a match at the state’s highest level is no easy feat and they look to build on this experience for next season to bring home some hardware.

Boys Wrestling:

  • On Friday, March 18th, 7 Desert Edge wrestlers headed to represent our school at the 2021 AIA DIV II State Championships. We are excited to report those results.

Boys Basketball:

  • The 4A West Valley Region Champion Boys Basketball team took their #6 state rank into the post-season. In the first round of the tournament, the Scorpions took down Tempe High School in dominating fashion. In the quarter-finals, our Scorpions gave #3 Paradise Honors all they could handle, outscoring them in 3 quarters. We ended up 2 points short but we are proud of the boys!

  • 4A West Valley Region Awards:

    • Coach of the Year – Scott Lovely

    • Player of the Year – Enoshay Cain

    • Defensive Player of the Year – Amarei Hunter

    • 1st Team – Jake Clapper

    • 1st Team – Amarei Hunter

    • 2nd Team – Adrian Banuelos

    • 2nd Team – Damaryea Cox

    • Honorable Mention – Dominick Tarrant

    • Honorable Mention – Amahni Hunter

Girls Basketball:

  • The Varsity team earned a #15 state ranking and a 7th consecutive trip to the state playoffs. On Tuesday, March 9th, the team traveled to Tucson to face the #2 Salpointe Catholic Lancers. The game did not go as well as we had hoped but the girls played hard until the final buzzer.

  • Our overall record was 10-8. We were 7-3 in region play (3rd place).

  • 4A West Valley Region Awards:

    • Offensive Player of the year – Haley Montano

    • 1st Team – Haley Montano

    • 2nd Team – Christina Sausedo

    • Honorable Mention – Samyia Davis

    • Honorable Mention – Madison Gardner

Girls Soccer:

  • The Scorpions Girls Soccer program is trending upward with a final season record of 7-3-2. The girls finished with the #19 rank missing the playoffs by a few spots

  • Although we missed the playoffs, it doesn’t take away from a very positive season. Several young players with major contributions will help lead the program going forward.

  • Kayla Garcia and Valerie Lamas finished in the top 10 in goals and points scored in the state!!

  • 4A West Valley Region Awards:

    • Offensive Player of the Year – Kayla Garcia

    • 1st Team – Mercedes Stevwing

    • 1st Team – Kayla Garcia

    • 1st Team – Valerie Lamas

    • 2nd Team – Brandi Spann

    • 2nd Team – Leonor Carlos

Boys Soccer:

  • The Boys Soccer program finished the season with a 5-7 overall record this season. The boys did a great job of fighting through the adversity of injuries and staying competitive in games. The 4A West Valley Region is tough and we finished 3rd as a team. The young team is looking forward to next season.

  • 4A West Valley Region Awards:

    • 2nd Team – Patrick Biegun

    • 2nd Team – Gabriel Afrigana

    • 2nd Team – Diego Reyna

    • 2nd Team – Patricio Chavez Moreno

    • 2nd Team – Cesar Feliciano

    • 2nd Team – Alish Aragon

JV/Varsity Pom

  • This year Varsity and JV Pom were grateful for the experiences they were able to have this season from game day to competition. Each team grew tremendously in skill and it showed on the competition floor. Below are the stats of their competition season in their respective division:

Varsity Pom

  • United Spirit Association Regional Competiton - 1st Place
  • Arizona State Cheer and Pom Tournament - 3rd Place
  • The Spirit Consultants Competition - 1st Pace
  • Arizona Interscholastic Association Qualifier - 8th Place

JV Pom

  • United Spirit Association Regional Competition - 1st Place
  • Arizona State Cheer and Pom Tournament - 2nd Place
  • The Spirit Consultants Competition - 2nd Place
  • West Coast Championship Nationals Competition - 3rd Place

Congratulations Pommies on representing Desert Edge with pride!

Athletic Eligibility:

Keep in mind our student-athletes must be academically eligible to participate in athletic competitions. We run several grade checks to ensure students are meeting those requirements. Each grading period a report will be used to determine eligibility. Students who are failing any class(es) on the date of grade reports, will face a one-week minimum sit period. After that week, grades will be re-checked. If the student is passing the class they were failing, they are eligible. If they are still failing, they remain out until the grade is passing and the Athletic Department verifies the grades. It is important that your student contact Mr. Linn or Mrs. Keanini for verification. Please see the Athletic Eligibility calendar below for more information pertaining to Athletic Eligibility periods.

Athletic Eligibility Calendar

4th Quarter Progress April 14, 2021
  • Mandatory Sit Week – April 17 to April 23
2nd Semester Grades May 20, 2021
  • Credit Evaluation for 2020-21 School Year

Any student interested in participating in a sport: please be sure to complete the packet on Register My Athlete. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact the Athletic Department Administrative Assistant, Michelle Keanini at

From the Library

The Library is always open with Sora!

Sora (OverDrive's Student Reading App) provides ebooks and audiobooks to all staff and students. A link to Sora can be found in Clever and on the Desert Edge website > Departments > Library Media Center page.

We are always adding books to Sora and would like your suggestions! Students and staff, please use the Ask the Librarian form to suggest titles to add to Sora.

Mobile Library Delivery is available to students returning to campus for in-person learning!

Students will be able to search Destiny Discover (online card catalog) and place books on hold, which will then be delivered during Advisory. More details available at

DE Library Media Center links can be found at

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Desert Edge Student Government

Student Government worked to host our annual Sting into Spring Spirit Week virtually! Our spirit days were as follows:

  • Monday: Music Monday (wear your favorite band tee or a concert you have been to)
  • Tuesday: Mathlete v. Athlete (dress either as a nerd or a jock)
  • Wednesday: Beach Bum Day (wear your favorite beach/travel gear)
  • Thursday: Jersey Day (wear your favorite team's jersey)
  • Friday: DE Fun Friday (DE spirit wear).

We have also had the opportunity to start brainstorming and planning a potential Spring Fling as well, gaining new vendors. Student Government continued through quarter three promoting mental health and wellness. The wellness committee also celebrated Black History Month throughout February via social media.

In Q3 StuGo also created a committee dedicated to brainstorming and planning out games and activities for our spirit assemblies. Once students return to in-person learning and have assemblies again we will have many unique and fun games prepared.

Student Government continues to host blood drives this quarter with our third blood drive being held on March 23rd from 9 am- 2 pm in the auxiliary gym. Anyone 16+ is able to donate, however, under the age of 16 needs a permission slip. We have worked to achieve a silver status for our quantity of donations and have been recognized by Vitalant.

In the final quarter of the 2020-2021 school year, we are looking forward to the final blood drive, spring fling, in-person learning, and a potential prom.

Desert Edge High School - By Department

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Conservatory Capstones are due March 23, 2021

Throughout the academic year, Conservatory students have been focused on completing their requirements for the Arizona State Seal of Arts Proficiency. The capstone project is one of the many requirements to receive recognition at graduation. A capstone project is a multifaceted assignment that explores a topic of interest, emerging from a student’s individualized program of study. Ultimately a capstone project represents new work and ideas and gives the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you have gained during your high school experience. In the past, the Conservatory has had students perform their rendition of female jazz musicians, conduct research about the psychology of music, choreograph musicals, run community-based arts workshops, and develop microbusinesses for design. The possibilities are endless for the capstone. The Conservatory instructors look forward to reviewing the capstone projects. All capstones are due by March 23, 2021.

Conservatory Rigor: Qualification for the Arizona State Seal of Arts Proficiency

To qualify for the Arizona State Seal of Arts Proficiency, a student will complete:


A final GPA of 3.0 or 4.0 in each qualifying Arts/Career and Technical Education (CTE) course.


4 minimum credit requirements in one of the following ways:

* A minimum of 4 credits in one artistic discipline: (dance, music, theatre, visual arts, or media arts)


* 3 credits in one artistic discipline, and 1 qualifying creative industries CTE credit or separate artistic discipline.


* 2 credits in one artistic discipline, and 2 credits in a qualifying creative industries CTE class or a separate artistic discipline.


45 hours for 2021 and then 80 hours of arts-related extracurricular activities by 2023.


A student capstone project

Conservatory Art and Performance Featured as District Highlight Reel

Throughout the pandemic, our Conservatory students have been creating, performing, presenting, connecting, and responding through performance and design problems at an exceptional level. Our Conservatory students have strongly adapted and increased their creativity during the pandemic. To honor the Conservatory artist’s achievement, work created through performance and visual arts will be presented through this year's Agua Fria Union High School District’s Fine Arts Department show toward the end of March and April. Please be on the lookout for several different viewing platforms to highlight the success of the arts from our Conservatory and throughout our school district.

Fine Arts


Despite the instrumental music program operating in the distance learning environment, many individuals have continued to excel! Our jazz and percussion ensemble have been developing their technique, broadening their understanding of music, and dabbling in improvisation. Our guitar students shine through as well learning about the guitar, its significance in our society, and above all, learning how to play better! The bands have spent the last 2 months developing their personal skills through rigorous technique drills and solo development. We have also been working on ensemble music with the hopes that we will be able to play together soon.


All choirs have been working on music for when we are able to return in person. The students have been practicing on their own, working in sectional break-out rooms, and singing online for each other on a regular basis. Many students have become self-motivated to find time to practice individually. They have become proficient in music theory and are able to sight-read music on a higher level. For those who are returning to school in March, we are planning a concert on April 28 & 29. More information will be coming as time progresses. One thing we have learned through all this is resilience and the ability to change plans depending on numbers, metrics, and health guidelines. I am so proud of these students for their dedication and determination. I know many of our students are looking forward to being able to sing together once again.


The Scorpion Dance Company just conducted our first Virtual Audition. The audition was for our Performance Dance class for the 2021-2022 school year. The virtual audition was a huge success and all of the students navigated the process amazingly! We were so proud of the great turnout we had and student involvement in the upcoming school year. The future is bright in our dance program. All levels have been working on either technique, assessments, teacher choreography, and student lead choreography. Students have been continuing to show great work and determination in this virtual learning experience. We are hopeful for an in-person return to school and being able to work with our students here at Desert Edge again. All of our dance students will begin class dances once we return from Spring Break. These dances will be used for our upcoming Spring Dance Concert. We are very hopeful to have this Dance concert in May. This may look completely different than in years past but something we feel would be a wonderful experience for all of our students.


The 3rd quarter has seen the start of our newest round of THEATRE I, II, & III classes. To begin, our Theatre I students have been traveling through the ages, from Ancient Greece & the musings Sophocles in Oedipus Rex to Ancient Rome and the discovery of the first African playwright, Terence. Students have created Greek Choral Odes in honor of Greek gods & goddesses and have learned the art of pantomime to create stories through movement. Students have also stamped their passports in Feudal Japan with Kabuki, the Middle Ages in Europe with the playwright nuns Hrothsvitha & Hildegard and have just arrived in Renaissance England to learn about the Bard himself, William Shakespeare.

Meanwhile, Theatre II students started the quarter by studying one of the greatest American plays focusing on the African-American experience in post-WWII America, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. After studying the form of the play and using it as the focus of our script analysis unit, Students have now started exploring the art of playwriting by using their own experiences to develop personal monologues. I am extremely honored by what these students have shared with me through their writings. They have all shown a level of honesty that has made their pieces extremely personal and meaningful and I look forward to their future assignment to perform them.

Theatre III students started the semester off by presenting contemporary duo or 2-person scenes. Being the big-dogs of the Theatre program, these students were expected to memorize, stage (especially challenging when you are acting through the computer screen) & perform for their classmates. Now, these same students are focused on bringing theatre to our DE family in the next quarter: online options AND an in-person courtyard performance for students during lunch called Arts Café! We are looking for ways to keep theatre alive and relevant in our socially distanced reality.

Lastly, I wanted to highlight the work of our Tech Theatre II students who are continuing to work on and support the production of our Spring Musical, WE WILL ROCK YOU! The show, set in a future dystopian society where shopping on the I-planet is the goal and Rock has long been subverted into lost memories, is the culminating project for my small, but mighty, Techies (as they love to be known!) They have created sound effects, developed inventory systems for costumes and props, helped design visual moods through lighting, and have helped build sets and props. WE WILL ROCK YOU will be performed ONLINE ONLY during the end of April. Information regarding how to purchase a “stream” will be available on April 1. I am extremely proud of the entire CUTTING EDGE THEATRE family for dreaming big and continuing to make the Arts a reality for our DE Community, despite having to develop new ways to reach our audience. DE Theatre students are living proof that we WILL find ways to express our creativity and tell the stories that have meaning and resonate with us, no matter what obstacles may come our way.

Visual Arts

It is times like these we have to be creative, thinking outside, and considering our environment we adapt and create in different ways. Mr. Galto and Mr. Williams are proud of our DEHS Visual Arts students’ ability to adapt to this Covid environment with limited access and continue to create, connect, respond, and present their artwork at exceptional levels. Our students have established personal home art studios, attend virtual classes, and are creating art through drawing, painting, sculpture, and design. Please take a moment and view some of the samples of work created by DEHS Visual Arts students.
All DEHS CTE programs have been under review through two procedures this fall - AZ Department of Education’s Program Monitoring and WestMEC’s TQI process. We are still awaiting final results on the reviews but are confident our programs shined during our interviews with WestMEC and reviews with the AZ Department of Education - we cannot wait to share our results with you as soon as we get them!

Agriculture Education

Ag 1 classes have been diving into some basics of Plant and Animal Growth and Development. The Ag 2 class has been diving into the issue of Animal Rights vs Animal Welfare and looking at the practices in agriculture as they relate to this. Ag 3 class has been deep-diving into Plant Science and the anatomy that makes plants ‘tick’. Ag 4 has divided their time between designing things for our plasma table and completing the Budgeting, Debt, and Life After College units in Foundations in Personal Finance.

Ag 2, 3 & 4 classes also competed in the AZ State FFA Career Development Events (CDEs) online yesterday. We had teams in Ag Mechanics, Aquaculture, Floriculture, Food Science, Meats, Wildlife & Veterinary Science

In the CDEs students had a variety of tests from identification to problem-solving. They did great and we’ll hear our results on March 24th.

All classes have also been doing their SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) projects. Students choose and developed their own SAE to meet their needs and interests. SAEs range from small animal care, to livestock production, gardening, mechanics, and much more. Visit our website to learn more about SAEs.

Graphic Design

In our Graphic Design 1 program, our students are working on developing the foundational skills necessary to be good designers. This quarter we focused on using online software Photopea to learn the basics of photo manipulation. In one exercise students were provided 3 separate photos and asked to combine the photos into 1 realistic image displaying a fictional relationship (Shown below)

Here is an example of a student's work: (The happy couple on a beach)

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All the Graphic Design students had the opportunity to compete in the FBLA Region Virtual Spring Conference held on January 23rd. Students choose their competitions, and choose wisely as they experienced success. We are so proud of the following students for their performances:

Team Competitions

Patrick Biegun - 3rd place in Graphic Design

Daniela Garcia - 3rd place in Graphic Design

Cecilia Castillo - 3rd place in Graphic Design

Connor Ott - 3rd place in Social Media Strategies

Madison O'Halloran - 3rd place in Social Media Strategies

Individual Competition

Madison O'Halloran - 2nd in Introduction to Event Planning

Madison O'Halloran - 3rd in Advertising

Kimberly Alacantara - 3rd in Introduction to Information Technology

Congratulations to these students as they represented Desert Edge very well.

Interior Design

Interior Design 1 spent the first quarter learning about drafting, floorplans, and architectural details and materials used in homes. They completed a big project converting a garage into a one-bedroom apartment for a college student. They have also tried their hand at several custom design projects, a window treatment, a door, and a rug. Next semester they will be learning about furniture, art, and accessories, green and universal design, and will cap their semester with a dream remodel of their bedroom. They will also be earning their Retail Fundamentals certification from Rise Up.

Interior Design 2 spent all of January doing the FCCLA state interior design STAR project which was a home remodel for a family of three. They had to create work at home space for all daily members and remodel the master bath. They themed their design on art pieces from Walter Andersen and Roy David. Another project they did was to design two rooms in Victorian style for their choice of character from Sherlock Holmes. They started an advertising unit which we will end after the break. Next quarter they will be working on an orthographic and isometric drawing, different projects for their interior design-related businesses, and their Retail Fundamentals certification from Rise Up.

Interior Design 3 students also did the state STAR interior design project and Sherlock Holmes project. They started their real-life client design project which will take them through the end of the year where they will present to their clients and the class. They are also doing the Retail Fundamentals certification.

Sports Medicine

The Sports Medicine Program has been busy for the 3rd quarter.

Sports Medicine 1 has learned all of the anatomies of the leg and figured out how to differentiate between common injuries that are suffered during Physical Activity. More than one student has reported that they were able to help a family member with an injury they sustained. Students have also said that they have been able to have meaningful conversations with healthcare providers about their treatment based on the material that was taught in the CTE Class

Sports Medicine 2 has spent the Quarter developing the skills needed to be healthcare providers. The start of the semester was dedicated to the psychological aspect of healthcare and how to help athletes manage anxiety and provide more effective treatment programs through motivation and goal-setting strategies. We then shifted our focus to the differences between different healthcare systems throughout the world and ended the Quarter with each student creating a Simulated Healthcare clinic from the ground up. Students were responsible for creating their clinic goals, physical spaces, budgets, and staffing lists.


Marketing 1 students are in the beginning stages of Branding. These plans are aligned with the competitive versions of DECA writing events. Students are working in groups (virtually) to begin the process of the own “Brands." The event involves one to three students developing a proposal to start a business, then presenting the proposal to a potential investor or financial institution representative. The proposed brand may be a sole proprietorship or partnership. The event provides an opportunity for the students to develop and demonstrate mastery of essential competencies as they apply to the analysis of a business opportunity, the development of a marketing/ promotional plan and the development of a financial plan. With this event preparation, students will learn how to communicate, build teamwork, and gain valuable leadership skills.


English Department

Many end-of-semester activities are underway in the English department! In English 1, students were analyzing the novel "Anthem" this semester and working in groups to create a Utopian society of their own. They are also beginning to learn about the research process. They have all selected topics they are interested in (ranging from make-up and social media to video games and aliens!) and are practicing the process by using the GALE database to find answers to their questions. In English 2, students are completing a novel unit on Fahrenheit 451, and students are creating their own dystopian society. We're excited to see students use their understanding of the novel and their creative skills to create societies that were intended to be perfect worlds but have gone terribly wrong. English 3 is reading The Great Gatsby and pondering if we can repeat the past. English IV is currently in the midst of Frankenstein and discussing the concepts of feminism, monstrosity, beauty, and prejudices to name a few. The ELL classes are writing an argumentative essay on which basketball player should be considered the greatest of all time. They are also reviewing grammar for their upcoming AZELLA assessment. Read 180 is currently working on the argumentative essay and incorporating citations and structure writing as well as reading an excerpt from The Martian Chronicles in which they are analyzing setting, plot events, and making inferences. Throughout this quarter students have successfully read many eReads (short articles) at or above their reading levels. We are so proud of the commitment our students have made during this pandemic! AP Lang has been learning about satire and how to analyze it in various situations to discover the goal of the author/speaker/artist. Students will be using this information to complete a project where they will create their own satire. Last, but not least, AP Lit is finishing their Frankenstein unit, and students working on an essay. They have also been integrating AP Classroom activities to help prepare for the AP exam this spring.

Exceptional Student Services Department

Remote students receiving ESS services can access support during their teacher or paraprofessionals AOT link(s) Monday-Friday. If your student is having a difficult time connecting with his/her teacher, please have your student email the teacher directly for the link.

Please encourage your student to use this opportunity to access additional support.

International Languages Department

The International Language Department has stepped it up with our students' use of the language this quarter. All courses are working on using the language concepts in real-world situations.

Spanish 1 students got to create a menu for a restaurant of their own design. They enjoyed the chance to get creative and decide what food and drinks they would serve and how much to charge for each item.

Spanish 2 students created their own city center and gave directions around it. They got to use commands and had to think critically on how to give the best directions.

Spanish 3 students are working through a career unit. They have looked up job postings and have created their own classified ad. In the fourth quarter, they will be participating in a mock job interview. They have been not only using the vocabulary and grammar that they have been learning, but have been thinking about their futures and everything that it takes to get a job.

Our AP Spanish students discussed what factors contribute to one's quality of life. They have compared different countries as well as made a video as a social media influencer to give tips to their followers on how to better their lives. They have also discussed environmental and political challenges around the world and have seen how those issues impact people's daily lives. Next quarter, AP Spanish will kick it into high gear to get ready for the AP test on May 12th.

We are all excited to finish the year strong and continue to expand on our fluency!

Math Department

The DE Math Department is having a great year amidst the COVID Challenge that we are all facing. We continue to see the positive impact of our technology efforts on our student’s learning. Teachers are using the advantage of digital platforms to actively engage students with programs like Get More Math, Kahn Academy, Schoology, Desmos, Nearpod, Peardeck, and many other programs. Students are utilizing this benefit of real-time personalized instruction that extends beyond the classroom, boosting their mastery. Our intervention/enrichment programs such as Project-Based Learning along with the Math Lab have made an incredible difference in student learning here at Desert Edge. The Math Lab, even with the challenge of Covid, has helped students remediate standards with great success this year. We have seen its impact in helping the large majority of attending Math Lab students to master the remediated standards. The Math Department is excited about the direction that the Math Lab is leading for student remediation. We are looking forward to the continued development of these programs and the positive impact they will have on the Desert Edge Community.

Physical Education Department

The Physical Education department implemented an educational fitness training software app, PLT4M, for our Personal Development, Lifetime Fitness, Strength and Conditioning (girls), and Sports and Fitness classes. The workouts are broken down into sections with videos and demonstrations focusing on proper technique. Students work at their own pace and adjust the exercises to fit their abilities. The programs focus on bodyweight exercises and using household items for resistance or weights, if available. General fitness workouts along with flexibility and yoga lessons are performed regularly. It is entertaining when we see younger siblings appear on-screen during our class meets to exercise with an older sibling. Young children think exercise is fun while teenagers view exercise as work. :)

Sports and Fitness class is continuing to learn about the history and rules of both team and individual sports. Lifetime Fitness, Strength and Conditioning, and Advanced PE classes are learning about strength training principles and have already covered units on anatomy and the health-related and skill-related components of fitness. The Strength and Conditioning (boys) and Advanced PE classes also complete home workouts. Our strength coach, Coach Collins, provides instruction for these workouts.

The Physical Education department is beyond excited to have students back on campus to participate in physical activity. Our staff is looking forward to interacting with our students and seeing their sweaty faces in person.

Science Department

The Science department is creatively finding ways to get students to enhance their skills virtually. We are incorporating new websites/programs to enhance all of our students' experiences. While we are lacking some of the hands-on experience they would normally get, they are utilizing online tools to work through problems, research information, present information, and model systems.

AP Biology:

Students created stop-animation movies about how our cells respond to signals and how hormones circulate through the body to initiate a response. Students have also been conducting virtual labs about the cell cycle.

Honors Biology:

Students created infographics about different methods of biotechnology to share this information and educate each other on these topics. Another project students have been working on for the third quarter is an inquiry project in which students conducted a variety of labs and experiments from home. Some students presented their findings at STEMcon, entering projects in both the Marie Curie and Einstein Divisions of this event. We wrapped up the week of STEMcon by watching a guest speaker talk about CRISPR, one of the new and innovative genetic technologies that we discussed throughout our molecular genetics unit.

Principles of Science:

Students are learning about the cell and osmosis, discussing this concept through the lens of hydration.

Environmental Science:

We have been exploring topics such as human population, forests, agriculture, water, and atmosphere. Students calculated just how much water it takes to support their lifestyle. Most students were well over 1,000 gallons per day! Of course, that is including the water used to produce everything that you buy. Then they came up with water-saving strategies like eating less meat and taking shorter showers (shower is approx 2.5 gallons per minute).

The AP class explored some similar things but also included energy and city design. With our world demanding more and more energy, students are challenged with trying to find the best source of energy to meet this demand. Can renewable energy sources really replace fossil fuels? Fossil fuels currently supply about 80% of the energy in the U.S. This is but one of the many challenges facing our world. Every generation has the responsibility to educate people on these issues and find ways to solve them.

Social Studies Department

AP World History and World History students have been learning about the major turning points in history beginning with the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. DE students are hard at work determining the causes of nationalist movements and the push for independence in the Americas and Europe. We moved onto the Age of Imperialism to learn that the European world, including the United States and Japan, continued the old age habit of empire-building and how it set the stage for the world's first global war. This semester, students have amped up their historical thinking skills by analyzing primary and secondary sources, responding to document-based essay prompts, and researching economic systems from around the world. It's been a busy quarter and most students are happy to be learning about modern history and how it's relevant to the world they live in today.

The U.S. History team has had a great start to the semester, studying the turn of the century and recently wrapping up units on the 1920s and 1930s. It has been very interesting to discuss how many of the economic policies in the ’20s led to the Great Depression in the ’30s and drawing similarities to the financial strains that many are dealing with today. It was during the 1930s that buying on credit became more common and soma classes, even played with an interest calculator, calculating how long it would take to pay off $500 in credit card debt and how much extra they would pay by the time they paid the interest. Hopefully, this will encourage good spending practices in the future. We are looking forward to discussing America’s involvement in World War II after Spring Break and learning about the contributions of so many sectors of society as we fought to help win the war. AP U.S. History, AP Government and AP Psychology are all busy preparing for the AP Exams.

The Free Enterprise students have been completing FAFSA applications and essays. We are pleased to see how many students completed the application and will qualify for a significant amount of financial aid as they enter college or a trade school. We would like to thank Mr. Cravens for his time and dedication to helping our students with the application process. Students have also been learning about scarcity, opportunity cost, cost-benefit analysis, and evaluating various economic systems. We have spent time analyzing the impact of supply and demand on prices as well.

World Religions is having a lot of fun this semester learning about Eastern Religions. We wrapped up the first quarter with a guest speaker from the Sikh community and learning about how so many faiths have similar practices and traditions. While we will miss taking our traditional field trips to different houses of worship, we are hopeful that we will be able to bring in some more guest speakers to our class virtually and get some of the same experiences we would in a normal year.

Upcoming Events & Dates to Remember


March 23: Blood Drive Sponsored by StuGo

March 24: Cap and Gown Drive-Thru Pick-up; 12:30 - 3:30 PM

March 27: Arizona College Consortium Virtual Conference and College Fair; 10 AM - 1 PM

March 29: Picture Day on campus for Grades 9-11 during school hours

March 30: Picture Day on campus for Grades 9-11 during school hours


April 2: Deadline for Commencement Speech Submissions (EXTENDED)

April 3: Deadline for Senior Pictures taken at Grads Photography

April 6: ACT Test - Class of 2022; 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM

April 12: AZSci Test; 8:30 - 10:25 AM

April 13: AZM2 Writing Test 8:30 - 10:25 AM

April 14: Governing Board Meeting; 5 PM

April 16: No School

April 19: AZM2 Reading Test 8:30 - 11:25 AM

April 20: AZM2 Math & CTE Test 8:30 - 11:25 AM

April 21: REQUIRED Senior Virtual Graduation Meeting (A-L 1 PM; M-Z 2 PM)

April 26: Senior Honors Ceremony Deadline to submit awards/scholarships

April 27: Arizona College Consortium Virtual Conference and College Fair; 9 AM - 1 PM


May 1: Senior ONLY Prom

May 5: Governing Board Meeting; 5 PM

May 11: Last day for in-person Seniors

May 12: Last day for remote Seniors

May 13: In-Person Senior Checkout

May 13: Senior Honors Awards Ceremony; 6 PM

May 13: Senior Celebration; 7:15 PM

May 14: MANDATORY Senior Virtual Graduation Practice

May 15: Class of 2021 Graduation; 9 AM, State Farm Stadium

May 20: Last day of school

Please visit for the most up-to-date calendar information

DEHS Site Council

Want to be a member? Desert Edge Site Council is open to all parents and community members. The main focus is to exchange information about what is happening at Desert Edge High School between the principal and Site Council members. Members are encouraged to attend as we discuss things that impact our campus. Due to the current pandemic, no meeting is currently scheduled, but when a meeting is scheduled, the information will be posted in our Weekly Scorpion Scoop newsletter. Meetings are quarterly and are announced in each newsletter, as well as on our website. We invite you to join us as we partner in making Desert Edge a premier school in the West Valley. Thank you for your participation in education!

What the "Title 1" Label Means for Desert Edge

Most stakeholders are aware that Desert Edge is a Title I School, but the question is: What does that mean? The purpose of Title I is to ensure that all children have a fair and equal opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach proficiency on State academic achievement standards and state academic assessments. For this to occur, the U.S. Department of Education provides supplemental funding to local school districts to meet the needs of at-risk and low-income students. The basic principle of Title I is that schools with large concentrations of low-income students will receive supplemental funds to assist in meeting student’s educational goals. For an entire school to qualify for Title I funds, at least 40% of students must enroll in the free and reduced lunch program.

How the Title I funds are used primarily rests with Desert Edge. However, there are guidelines that must be followed regarding school spending. Title I funds can be used to improve curriculum, instructional activities, counseling, parental involvement, increase staff, and program improvement. In the past, Desert Edge has used Title I funding to provide tutoring, summer school, and supplemental courses in English and Math. Technology has been infused into the classroom in the form of chrome books, laptops, iPads, and printers. Class sizes have been reduced through the hiring of additional teachers, and extra instructional materials have been purchased to enhance learning. Guest speakers with motivational messages have been invited to the campus to make connections with students. As a result of Title I funding, Desert Edge has been able to bring valuable resources and supports (that it would not normally have) to its students, teachers, and parents.

Overall, being a Title I school should be embraced rather than being viewed as a negative representation of the student demographics. Desert Edge is flourishing and it is these types of positive programs that will help it achieve its vision of "All Students College and Career Ready."

Tax Credit Information

Support DEHS - Extra-Curricular Tax Credits Made Easy!

You can donate up to $400 and receive it all back with your Arizona taxes! It is so easy, and so beneficial to you, your student, and our school; that everyone should do it.

Here are some fun facts that will help you to donate:

  1. You can donate $200 if you are filing single or $400 if filing jointly.
  2. You can donate for the tax year 2020 up until April 15, 2021, Tax Day.
  3. You can donate to any extra-curricular club, participation fees, sports, and/or co-curricular activity fees.
  4. You can donate in installments. You don’t have to donate all at once.
  5. You can divide it between different activities if the student you are helping has more than one.
  6. You don’t have to donate the maximum amount. Donate what you need to, or you can afford.
  7. You can share the love and simply donate to any deserving program or help out any of our deserving students.

The easiest, and best, way to process your Extra-Curricular Tax Credit donation is to visit the DEHS web store website, print out the extra-curricular tax credit form, and come on into the bookstore at DEHS. Our bookstore employees can assist you in filling it out and making sure it is applied where you want it.

Please do not try and pay online, we have had the money go to places other than DEHS.

Support our students and programs by donating to our school. You can receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit and help out in a major way!! For more information, visit our district's tax credit page by clicking HERE

DEHS Parent Specialist

Please stay up to date with your students' grades and attendance through ParentVue. If you need help activating your account or resetting the account, please contact Ms. Koblinski at or 623-932-7500 ext. 3160

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Need Help or Have a Question?

Should you have questions or need assistance, please fill out our Remote Learning Help Form which is found on our website, and your question/concern will be directed to the right person/department. The Help Form can also be accessed by clicking HERE.

About DEHS

Located near the Estrella Mountains, Desert Edge High School is the third high school in Agua Fria Union High School District, opening in the Fall of 2002. Desert Edge was the first "Green" Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certificate high school in Arizona, and the fourth in the nation.

Desert Edge is an A+ School of Excellence! (2016 and 2020). The A+ School of Excellence™ Program is a comprehensive school assessment program that celebrates outstanding schools and brings to light the positive stories and successes happening in public schools every day.

Desert Edge has consistently been awarded the Washington Post's America's Most Challenging High School and US News and World Report Best High School in America. Desert Edge is the only high school in Arizona to earn gold medal status in the Beat the Odds program for the 2018-2019 school year. Additionally, Desert Edge was recognized in 2019 for building "a college-going community" with The Most Innovative Player Award from the Governor’s Office of Education and The Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education.

Desert Edge is located on Estrella Parkway and Yuma Road near the Goodyear Ballpark, Spring Training home of the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians.

Desert Edge High School is an A+ School of ExcellenceTM award recipient presented by the Arizona Educational Foundation. A+ School of Excellence is a trademark or service mark of the Arizona Educational Foundation and is used by permission.

Counseling Department Information

Counselors are available daily to support students with Academic, College/Career and Social/Emotional needs. Please reach out if you have any questions.

· Mr. Vernier A - D

· Mrs. Bethel E - H

· Mrs. Sears I - M

· Mrs. Padilla N - R

· Ms. Hurley S – Z

· Mr. Cravens (College and Career Specialist)