Desert Mountain Hawk's Eye View

Apr '23: Communication for our wonderful Blackhawk families

Have You Taken Advantage Of The Public School Tax Credit? It's Not Too Late To Donate!

The State of Arizona has extended the special provision for Public School Tax Credits that allows schools to use the donated funds for capital items, like playground equipment, computers, and shade structures. An individual may claim a nonrefundable tax credit for making contributions or paying fees directly to a public school in this state for support of eligible activities, programs or purposes as defined by statute. The public school tax credit is claimed by the individual taxpayer on Form 322. The maximum credit allowed is $400 for married filing joint filers and $200 for single, heads of household and married filing separate filers. This is an amazing opportunity to donate. Taxpayers can still claim the credit on the 2022 income tax return if you file after April 18, but the donation must be made on or before April 18, 2023.

Please go to the Deer Valley donation page at to donate!

April is Arizona State Testing Time!

AASA is the statewide achievement test for Arizona students in grades 3-8. All Arizona public school students in grades 3-8 will take the grade level AASA assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics. AASA is a valuable assessment tool used to determine overall proficiency and to measure the growth our students have made in the 2022-23 school year. Not only do we use the date to set school improvement goals, but the State of Arizona uses the data to award school letter grades. We want to make sure our scores accurately represent what our students have learned!

Parents often ask, "How can I help my student better prepare for the AASA tests?" Here are some simple strategies to ensure that your students feel supported and ready to do their best!

  1. Write an encouraging letter to your child: nothing is as powerful in preparing your child for their day than your support and love. Write a quick note telling them how hard they've worked and how proud you are of their achievements!
  2. Make sure your child gets a good nights rest the night before the test: turn off all electronic devices an hour before bedtime and make sure to set their alarm for the morning.
  3. Prepare a healthy breakfast: make sure that you include protein, dairy and other "brain foods" in your child's morning meal.
  4. Arrive at school on time: give yourself plenty of time in the morning and avoid situations that can cause stress for your child.
  5. Finally, schedule all doctors, dentists and other important provider appointments after the school day. Once a student starts their test, they need to finish the assessment in one sitting. All interrupted tests will be left incomplete.

With your support, we know our students will do their very best!

*Make sure to mark your calendars! No early release days during testing.

District Art Showcase Participants

DVUSD is having a K-8 district art showcase April 15th and 16th from 10-3pm at the Innovation Center.

Each school gets to have six students be a part of the showcase. The following six were selected to represent Desert Mountain.

From left to right, Kiley Smith (7th grade), Naomi Simonson and Kasen Roden (5th grade), Sawyer Roden (2nd grade), Juliette Deras (4th grade), and Olivia Zuccone (8th grade).

Lunch Time Is The Best Time!

Have you ever wondered who makes the delicious school meals at Desert Mountain? Mrs. Karen Schnider, Mrs. Shannon Rogers, and Mrs. Cindy Runo are some of the best chefs in the business! Besides cooking up hundreds of meals a day, they always have a smile for our students. Their sense of humor comes through in their food-centered messages on bulletin boards and in daily communication with our kids. Thank you ladies for making lunch time such a fun part of our students' day!

Meet Your Newly Elected PTO Board Members

Desert Mountain PTO held board elections on March 29. Please join me in welcoming the following voting members to the Desert Mountain PTO:

Co-President: Amy Moore

Co-President: Patti Atchley

Co-Vice President: Elizabeth Linka

Co-Vice President: Brittany Waxman

Secretary: Ellen Northrop

Treasurer: Samantha Holder

Member at Large: Amber Romo

Member at Large: Kaitlyn Hook

Member at Large: Kim Hancock

📅 Mark Your Calendars 📅

April 6-Battle of the Books @ District Office

April 6-Flag Pole Assembly @ 1:30pm

April 7-Spring Break Day-No School

April 10-21-AASA Testing Grades 3-8

April 26-Early Release: Multi School Collaborative Teams PLC

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Middle School Athletics

🌷 A Look Back at March Events 🌷

March Pizza with the Principal

Students at Desert Mountain have the option to spend their HAWK bucks on a lunch date with Principal Gillett. Our first Pizza with the Principal was held on March 31st and students enjoyed a couple slices while sharing exciting details about their lives. What a great lunch bunch!

Our next Pizza with the Principal will be held on April 28th.

Read Across America Door Decorating

Spirit Week: Dr. Seuss' Birthday

Guest Readers At Desert Mountain

Quarter 3 Academic Awards Assembly

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Students Raise over $5,000 for The American Heart Association

In March, Desert Mountain School partnered with the American Heart Association to raise funds for the Healthy Heart Campaign. This community service fundraising effort raised over $5,000 and will help families in need.

Our students exceeded the original goal of $3,500, and will be able to "pie" our PE teachers in the face. Additionally, because our students raised more than $5,000, Principal Gillett will join the pie crew and let a lucky student "pie" her as well! Thank you for helping our students give back to their community.

🍧 PTO's Family BBQ 🌭

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Thank You Mrs. Liz, Mrs. Ellen, Mrs. Patti, Ms. Sam and all of our AMAZING Volunteers!

PTO's Read-A-Thon Winners!

Thank you everyone for helping our students raise over $2600. These funds were raised to replace aging benches and tables on our campus. We're so excited to provide more outdoor seating options for our students!

K-2 Top Classes

1st place - Johnson (2nd Grade)

2nd place - Puckett (1st Grade)

3-5 Top Classes

1st place - Morgan (3rd Grade)

2nd place - Nelson (5th Grade)

6-8 Top Classes

1st place - Dyresen (7th Grade)

Students with most minutes read per grade

Kinder - Tori Galindo (Mckee's Class)

1st Grade - Hannah Johnson (Puckett's Class)

2nd Grade - Jonathon Know (Johnson's Class)

3rd Grade - Elijah Henry (Morgan's Class)

4th Grade - Steven Hook (Potts Class)

5th Grade - Katrina Long (Gary's Class)

6th Grade - Alyse Hook (Whitmore's Class)

7th Grade - Hayden Leivas (Dyresen's Class)

The first class to read 200 minutes by March 10th - Johnson's 2nd Grade Class

Thinking of Joining PTO?

Desert Mountain PTO is inviting all parents to join the team! We have several family friendly events planned and need your support to make them happen. Meetings are once a month and time commitments vary by event. Please contact our newly elected PTO Co-Presidents for more information. Click HERE to follow us on Facebook.

Next PTO Meeting:

April 26th @ 5:00pm in the Media Center

Upcoming Events:

Teacher Appreciation Week-May 1st-5th

BINGO-May 5th @ 5:30pm

Volunteers Needed

Parents looking to volunteer at Desert Mountain must have completed a District required Volunteer Training prior to volunteering. To view available training dates, please visit the District Volunteer Training website: