School Details

Desert Sky Middle School

9850 E. Rankin Loop, Vail, AZ 85747
(520) 762-2700
10

(out of 10)

Public Grades 6-8 700 students 18 students/teacher (AZ avg is 21)

Test Scores by grade

88%
83%
63%
92%
92%
79%
74%
73%
53%

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 2013
  • Vail Unified District average
  • Arizona state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

89%
87%
65%
96%
95%
85%
75%
73%
52%

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 2013
  • Vail Unified District average
  • Arizona state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

87%
83%
58%
93%
89%
72%

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 2013
  • Vail Unified District average
  • Arizona state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Desert Sky Middle School is a public middle school in Tucson. The principal of Desert Sky Middle School is Kevin Carney. 700 children attend Desert Sky Middle School and are mostly White, non-Hispanic; Black, non-Hispanic; and Asian. 0.4% of the Desert Sky Middle School students are "limited in English proficiency." 20% of the 700 students here get reduced lunch prices. The ratio of students to teachers at Desert Sky Middle School is 18:1. Cottonwood Elementary School is one of the nearest middle schools.

Extracurricular activities

Arts

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

Languages Taught

  • Latin
  • Spanish

Sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
White, non-Hispanic 63% 69%
Black, non-Hispanic 5% 5%
Asian 4% 3%
Hispanic 27% 22%
Native American or Native Alaskan 1% %
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.2% %
Multiracial 0% %

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 20% 17%
Limited English proficiency 0.4% 2%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (2 years ago)

    I went to Desert Sky last year and now am in high school. All in all the school looks great on the outside. Good test scores responsible students exceed all of the state standards but it all comes at a cost. The school is very strict and the teachers and principal crack down hard on the rules. If you forget a pencil detention your paper isn't long enough by one line detention you typed instead of wrote detention. I was lucky enough not to get detention all three years but it is not easy. The monitors are also very biased. If there are a group of girls all in short shorts the monitor will only call out maybe two of their least favorite people in the group. Again this never happened to me (because I always wear jeans) but you get the point. The staff always said the discipline they gave would prepare us for high school when in reality high school is much easier. (and I'm in all honors classes with some of the toughest teachers!) Desert Sky puts on a good face but is way too strict!

  • (2 years ago)

    I give it a great school. Very awesome with benchmarks and homework. However this school is struggling with social skills. I saw a 6th grade girl getting bullied. It made the 6th grade girl get really bossy and now everyone runs away from her or they be really mean. I am a student and when I was new everyone hated me. Now I made friends with most of them but I have a bully and he keeps telling me to shut up. So I give this school a 10/10 of learning but a 7/10 on social skills. Even though they have a room to teach you social skills. And if your lonely There is this lunch group called "Circle of Friends" that is hosted almost every Wednesday. Today me and my friends were fake fighting but we didn't hurt ourselves.

  • (3 years ago)

    Desert Sky is a great school. My son is in his 3rd year at DSMS and we have to say that we are very fortuned to be at DSMS. Desert Sky is an A+ school. From the beautiful campus and great activities like WEB and Steel Drums to a wonderful band to the excellent teachers and staff! we have no complaints. We sure are blessed as parents to be able to feel at ease that we send our son to an excellent school.

  • (3 years ago)

    Vail is an excellent and amazing school district. They worked with us to find the right situation when we found that Desert Sky was a disastrous fit for our son. He struggled from the first moment he got to Desert Sky and no one -- principal teacher or admin staff -- cared at all. When we spoke to the principal it was painfully obvious that he had no interest in helping our son succeed. So we pulled him out of that school and very sadly he missed nothing about it. Not the students not the teachers not the staff. Desert Sky gets great ratings and I know some students love it and it's the right school for probably most kids but it is definitely not for every student. Our three kids have been to quite a few schools as Army Brats and this is the only one where we had problems like this. I guess my son was a square peg in a very round hole here.

  • (4 years ago)

    Yes this school has high expectations so that the people who graduate are more prepared for college and high school. If you have a problem with high expectations then don't complain about it on here. Go to a different school. The faculty are friendly and helpful. They have a lot of motivating rewards for good students but they also have consequences for the miss-behaving student. Yes you can get in trouble over little things but for those who complain 1) don't do things you shouldn't 2) what part of HIGH EXPECTATIONS don't you understand.

  • (4 years ago)

    I WAS a student at this wonderful school. The expectations for this school is tremendously high and with the positive environment nearly all of the students met all the requirements. Teachers students and parents get involved with this school to make it a positive environment. During an 'Award's Assembly' more than half the kids would have principle's award (strait A's on the previous report card). All the teacher's cared and shrived to help the student's to achieve the extra mile. Previously I had been a 7th grader at this EXCELLING school I had moved to a preforming and and very disappointed. Don't leave this school

  • (5 years ago)

    Please be aware of this school as well as some others in the Vail school district. I just graduated from a school as far away from any of the Vail schools as possible. I had a very rough time and was very traumatized from my experience. The old principal vice principal staff and teachers were very rude and didn't understand much. I needed accomodations that were not provided for me and was accused of being a liar. My parents ended up calling in a representative from the state to help me get some accomodations and I ended up leaving this school at the end of the year. Please use caution investigate and listen to what your children are telling you.

  • (5 years ago)

    I am currently an eighth grader at Desert Sky Middle School and i hate it. The teachers are WAY too strict and picky. You can get in trouble for the smallest things. Even at lunch you can't go walk up and talk to your friends or else you can get lunch detention or have to wipe tables. The teachers give you detention if you don't do the smallest things on your homework (like write in pencil instead of pen or use size 14 font instead of size 12). So this school is really unfair and if I were you i'd pick a different school to send my kid to.

  • (6 years ago)

    i think it is a wonderful school in a great area.

  • (6 years ago)

    This is an Awsome school with very good people in it and running it!

  • (6 years ago)

    I was a student at desert sky for 3 years. For the most part it was a very good school. I never once got PRIDE or a NO stamp and we were rewarded well. The school has its ups and downs it was very very strict and they tolerated nothing. A lot of the things kids would get in trouble for seemed beyond stupid to me and everyone else i have ever talked to. Many eight graders were very happy to finally get out. But in all the school was good the teachers were nice and although most will deny it if asked the PRIDE program was a good idea...

  • (6 years ago)

    Desert Sky Middle School is a great school. Stories of children receiving NO Stamps for small mistakes and unpreparedness are rumors for the most part. If extremes such as those are taken they are not taken often and are taken by teachers (it is not necessarily encouraged by the school). Desert Sky is an amazing school which holds high standards for its students but also rewards it students often as well. I have been a student at Desert Sky for three quarters and really enjoy it. Both the curriculum and extracurricular activities provided by the school are great in addition to the staff (you rock Mr. Carney). Good job DSMS. )

  • (7 years ago)

    This is one of the worst schools in the Vail school district. If you plan on sending your child to Desert Sky please think again. The school is extremely unorganized.

  • (8 years ago)

    This is my daughter's second year at Desert Sky and she's never had detention. She's had PRIDE once. As an involved parent I know that the PRIDE (Personal Responsibility in Daily Efforts) program has helped my daughter to become a better student ready to accept responsibility for her actions. Education is a collaborative effort between parents and teachers. If the teachers directive is to do the assignment in pen than you do the assignment in pen. Holding students accountable at this age is critical to their academic success and to their success in life. Kudos to the teachers who will not settle for mediocrity. That's what makes the majority of schools in this district a success. The faculty is great! They are accessible hardworking and dedicated. The campus is beautiful and well maintained. Receiving an 'Excelling' label is not easy. Keep up the good work Kevin and staff. Go Cougars!

  • (8 years ago)

    This School only has a 79% completion rate.. Anyone care about the other 21%? Its 7th and 8th grade.. anything but 100 is intolerable! Any school that gives an hour detention for not putting a correct date on a paper or doing an assignment in pen rather than pencil (and the list goes on..) can not represent itself as a good school. As adults we need to create positive environments for our children to succeed.The average student has detention 3 hours a week or more..

  • (8 years ago)

    As a teacher of 35 years I want to commend the staff of Desert Sky Middle School. After retiring I substituted there for three years. Everyone from the office staff principals teacher teacher aides was very helpful to me as a 'non-staff' person. I loved the children. They were - most of them - respectful and hard-working.

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Overall score

(based on 18 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement

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