School Details

Desert Mountain High School

12575 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale, AZ 85259
(480) 484-7000

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 2304 students 20 students/teacher (AZ avg is 21)

Test Scores by grade


Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS)

In 2011-2012 Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) was used to test students in reading and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and 10, writing in grades 5, 6, 7, and 10, and in science in grades 4, 8 and 10. AIMS is a standards-based test, which means that it measures how well students have mastered Arizona's learning standards. Students must pass the grade 10 AIMS in order to graduate. The goal is for all students to meet or exceed state standards on the test.
  • This school in 2014
  • Scottsdale Unified District average
  • Arizona state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Desert Mountain High School is a public high school in Scottsdale. 2,304 students attend Desert Mountain High School and are mostly White, non-Hispanic; Hispanic; and Asian. 0.3% of the Desert Mountain High School students are "limited in English proficiency." 6% of the 2,304 students here have subsidized lunches. The student to teacher ratio at Desert Mountain High School is 20:1. Notre Dame Preparatory is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities


  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Orchestra
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Mandarin
  • Spanish


  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
White, non-Hispanic 80% 69%
Hispanic 8% 19%
Asian 8% 4%
Black, non-Hispanic 2% 3%
Asian/Pacific Islander 10% 5%
American Indian/Alaskan Native 0.5% 2%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.4% 2%
Multiracial 0.2% 1%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.04% 0%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 6% 24%
Limited English proficiency 0.3% 4%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (11 months ago)

    The IB program is for the most part top-notch particularly the science and math classes. My daughter who just completed her freshman year had to work hard to achieve As. We recently relocated from the east coast and were concerned that schools here would be too "soft" at least with the IB program that's not a problem!

  • (1 year ago)

    We have had two students attend Mountainside. What you hear is true. The IB and accelerated programs are remarkable if your student is motivated and qualifies. If your student is average the school is a piece of cake and won't prepare them for much. One hour of homework (max..literally) per night no papers longer than 2-3 pages very little computer training make up tests and homework determined by student's schedule. It is a piece of cake. I am in awe of how little effort this school requires. Your students will never sweat over a test paper quiz or homework. Here's the problem. Our oldest went to college and was shocked and behind big time. Not used to long papers and exams with no make-up allowances. He was so unprepared and I warned him for years while in highschool. Really quite sad. He'll catch up and learn work ethic the hard way. The other one is still in highschool and her teachers text her and snap chat. Are you kidding me? "Nice" school safe and in a good location. Academics a complete disappointment.

  • (2 years ago)

    I am a student in the IB Program and I couldn't love this school more. IB is challenging but you get to meet great people and learn to love the teachers! Join the DMHS IB Program! It's amazing!!!

  • (4 years ago)

    I'm currently in my senior year and I still haven't discovered why high school is "the best time of my life". There is a BIG problem with substance abuse but the school sweeps it under the rug. I can count on one hand how many teachers that I've liked and learned from. But I've had quite a lot of classes where the teachers just couldn't control the class! The administration is not very helpful at all. As a senior going off to college next year I would appreciate it if I was treated like an adult. But I get the complete opposite--a five year old going to kindergarten for the first time. As for the students... I'm just happy to say that I found my friends without having to mingle with them. The majority of the students need to step out of Scottsdale for one day and experience life!

  • (4 years ago)

    We pulled our son out of DMHS mid-year because of poor choices he was making. The problem was that hundreds of students there were doing the same thing! DMHS seemed to lack the necessary controls to monitor the substance abuse problem the inappropriate displays of affection the dress code violations and disrespectful students. The Counseling Dept. let us down when we most needed guidance. When I tried contacting all his teachers only one cared enough to reply. I applaud the DMHS IB program (our younger son chooses this path) but if your son/daughter struggles with motivation and is more of a "hands on learner " they will suffer at DMHS. We've chosen to go out-of-district with son #2. He's in honors and AP classes and loves it. Whatever substance problem they have at his school is minor in comparison to DMHS. Good luck going there. You will need it.

  • (5 years ago)

    I was a student at desert mountain until my junior year when my family moved to colorado. The education was a joke. The administration had no control of the overprivileged students that ran the school. I Spent probably half my classes with my head phones in my ears so i didn't have to listen to the bickering that was occurring between the students and the teachers. The school was run by politics and the teachers were too scared to do anything for fear the wrath of parents would come down on the. I experienced many drug deals and sexual activities in plain sight with no actions being taken to stop it. Fights occurred regularly as well. It seems like an A+ school but that is just because it is so easy to get an A.

  • (5 years ago)

    We have moved here from out of state- so I have a junior and freshman this year. Freshman seems to be doing fine since she is in pre-IB program. Hard cirriculum and she likes her classes. My Junior though is struggling with the mean girls aspect of the class and it seems that the 13+girls that run the school are quite vicious. My daughter loved high school till she came here and now cant wait to get out. The teachers so far have been ok and genuinly seem surprised that I would reach out to them to introduce myself and involve myself with my kids education. On the other hand the junior counselor is un approachable mean and seems to not like the kids or job very much- to date has been completely un helpful. DMHS is the school of mean girls......

  • (5 years ago)

    Impressive!! The staff and teachers at the school are top notch and very supportive. Sure you will always find a teacher you're not pleased with just as you will anywhere in life but this school has a remarkably high number of fantastic dedicated teachers!

  • (5 years ago)

    This school and the very dedicated teachers help the students reach their potenial.

  • (6 years ago)

    I went to desert mountain and yes was part of the IB program. IB was where the students who went to the top tier universities came from and its obvious why. I was so prepared for my university which is top tier even more prepared than some of my peers here who did AP at their high schools and were top of their class. IB just fosters an environment of intellectual stimulation and yes pulls the best teachers for an obvious reason - its got the best students who are eager and ready to learn. I can't say much about the non-IB courses. However extracurricular at GW were great. the arts - from drama to music to visual arts were at least while I was there top notch. People who put down DMHS are those who don't put forth the effort to get everything they can out of the school.

  • (6 years ago)

    A+++ school. Desert Mountain is a nationally ranked school. They have fabulous teachers for all students. The students are very nice and respectful.

  • (7 years ago)

    It is the worst school. My first day of teaching the teachers told me I could not be creative I had to teach exactly what and how they taught and I was required to submit lesson plans to them in advance so they could approve.

  • (7 years ago)

    This is a school where you have the opportunity to choose your path. The students who want to succeed in life will take the responsibility and learn and the students who don't care will blow off their classes and teachers. Really it's not about the quality of the school at all it's about the quality of the students and the community and Desert Mountain has all different varieties. However as a former student I will say that many kids think that just because their parents have loads of money that they can do nothing and money will magically appear. Perhaps instead of rating how well a school is preparing kids for life we should look at parents to start taking some responsibility. A teacher is there to teach their curriculumn to the best of their ability but they can't teach all students about motivation success hard work determination etc...

  • (7 years ago)

    I'm a senior this year at DMHS- in the IB program... Some teachers are awful and some are fantastic... IB is extremely difficult but worth it if you are willing to work hard for a great academic environment. IB attracts kids who are truly passionate about learning... Kids outside of IB are generally pretty snobby and non-IB teachers tend to be subpar. The adminstration can often be disorganized as well... The school isn't great but it isn't awful either... Just make smart decisions as to which classes/teachers you choose.

  • (7 years ago)

    I'm a very happy DMHS parent. My son is a senior this year and is not in IB and I have been very happy with his teachers and the school every year. Before sending my son to any of the schools on the Scottsdale Ranch I made sure it was an area we would be happy living in. Its a wonderful area but not for everyone. To anyone who thinks its snobbish I can only say 'why are you sending your kids to school with people you don't like?' There are so many other good schools in AZ to choose from other than DMHS if you aren't happy with it.

  • (7 years ago)

    I just finished my freshman year at DMHS and i thought that it was a terrible school. if it had not been for my close friends i dont know if i would have put up with it for so long. I actually attempted to switch into xavier college prep and unfortunantly they had no vacancy. i am not an IB student but i did attend some honors programs and they were fine. Although my average classes were TERRIBLE. the teachers were unexpierienced and unprepared to handle the students and there attitudes. Everyone there is sooo stuck up! And not just that they have to show it off. i will not be atending desert mountain next year. that is how terrible it really is.

  • (8 years ago)

    I graduated in 2002. I was the first student to receive a national scholarship. I think that my education there was top notch! I was truly prepared for college. I took several IB classes but was not an IB student. I graduated college with a 4.0 at American University. I have lived in 3 other states and now have a daughter of my own and I want to move back to Arizona just so I can send her to DMHS! the education at that school compared to not only other schools in Scottsdale but others across the united states is one of the best. I love DMHS! do wolves!

  • (8 years ago)

    I came to this school from Horizon High School and I find it very disapointing that the IB program tends to drain all the good teachers. Average students who do not take Honors or AP classes will find they are not prepared for college nor life. I am not in the IB program and I'm happy I'm not. To me it seems like an overated honors-class substitute. However I do take all honors/AP classes but from my experiance IB=not worth it unless you wish to study outside of the country (It's called International for a reason).

  • (8 years ago)

    I gradeuated in 05' and as a second year student at U of A I will tell you that DMHS and the teachers did not prepare me well enough for college.

  • (8 years ago)

    This is one of the best schools in the state forget about the city. The teachers are well-informed and the students are goal-oriented with a bright future.The pre-IB program is excellent hard but well worth it. Keep it up DMHS.

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Overall score

(based on 68 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement


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