Newsletter | January 2023

Message from your Desert
Sky Principal
Happy New Year Dragon families!

Wow, Semester one flew by so fast. We've had so much fun being back to in person school events. From trunk or treat and fall festival to Peter Piper Pizza and cheer/dance shows, we are having a blast being together. Thank you for being a community that turns out and supports us for the various events we put on. We could not do it without you. Special thank you to those that donated water for the Reindeer Run. It was a huge success, and we are thankful that our community took care of those that could not bring for themselves. Dragons take care of dragons!!

I want to make you aware that our Reenrollment process opens on 1/9. That is your scholar's homework for that Jan. 9th day, to help parents finish the reenrollment process. We want to make sure you secure your spot as I know some grade levels will fill up fast and reenrollment has a hard end date of Jan. 26th, and then you would go on a wait list. It is so important that we keep our scholars so that they truly benefit year after year from the positive changes we continue to make. The data shows that the longer the scholars stay with us, the stronger the testing data. So, PLEASE get reenrolled. We have a couple events to assist with this should you need it (1/11/23 & 1/25/23 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm).

Thank you, Dragon Families, for teaming with us. You are my WHY!! I LOVE our school and feel 100% dedicated to our scholars, staff, and community as a whole. I look forward to continued growth and celebrations.

Be sure to join the fun and be in the KNOW by follow along with our Desert Sky Morning Announcements.

Happy New Year to you and WE GOT THIS,

Principal  (Do Whatever it Takes ~ Act with Honor ~ Be Vulnerable, Candid, and Kind)
Academy of Math & Science | Desert Sky
5701 W. McDowell Rd., AZ 85035
O: (623) 242-2597 ext. 11504  
Coaches' Corner
i-Ready Tip

Scholars NEED headphones with iReady!!!

Whether a scholar is testing or doing weekly iReady lessons, headphones are really important for scholars to have when using iReady. The lessons are interactive, so scholars will not be able to truly follow lessons or fully benefit without them. Please talk to scholars about the importance of using headphones.

This is a great opportunity to talk to scholars about taking care of headphones and technology in general. Thank you!

Jenna Ortega and Christopher Jaime
Desert Sky Instructional Coaches
Assistant Principal of Academics Updates

Testing Information

Hello Desert Sky Families,

Welcome back from the Winter Break, I hope you enjoyed the holiday season! For the month of January, we will be taking our i-Ready Diagnostic #2 for math and reading. Please ensure that your scholars arrive to school on time for these testing dates. As our instructional coaches shared last month, scholars can practice i-Ready lessons at home. Please reach out to your scholar's teacher if you need login information. Here is the i-Ready Diagnostic #2 testing window:

  • January 9, 2023-January 18, 2023: i-Ready Diagnostic #2 (Math and Reading)
Kinder through 8th grade scholars will be assessed in the areas of math and reading. These assessments will be computer-based.

Once again, thank you for all you do to help make our scholars successful!

With Gratitude,
Stephanie Jenkins
Desert Sky Assistant Principal of Academics
Assistant Principal of Scholars Updates
January Colby Corner

Reward Cards, Clubs and Sports and The Power of Volunteering

This month we focusing on our new scholar Reward Cards, our upcoming Clubs and Sports and of to become an AMS Volunteer this year!

  • The AMS Reward card system will be immediately replacing the Accountability Card system we have had for many years. This is a research based and highly positive change Network wide. It will allow scholars and educators alike the opportunity to build positive relationships and celebrate wins and progress, both academic and behavioral, like never before. It will work off of a point system (our amazing Deans describe it in more detail below) and will be rolled out at the beginning of January!

  • Third Quarter Sports and Clubs are in full swing upon our return from break! That being said-please make sure to look at our upcoming campus events to know when our games and clubs take place so that your scholar can attend (and the whole family on Game Days!)

  • Volunteering-We are looking for volunteers here at Desert Sky! Research has shown that there are Many Benefits (for both scholars and the adults in their lives!) to volunteering within your scholar's school, including; better grades and behavior for scholars, higher graduation and college attendance rates, and overall life satisfaction. If you are interested in volunteering for events, classroom helper jobs, or anything here on our campus-please inquire at the front office to get started! Hope to see you soon!

Colby Cackles for this month:
  1. What do Snowmen call their kids? CHILL-dren
  2. What is a Snowman's favorite snack? ICE Krispy Treats
  3. What do you get when you cross a Snowman and a Vampire? FrostBite...

Brittany Colby
Desert Sky Assistant Principal of Scholars
Deans' Corner
The F.I.R.E Store is Open!!

Hello Dragon Families!

The F.I.R.E. store is open and full of fun items that scholars can choose from. Scholars can earn dragon dollars on our campus by breathing F.I.R.E. (showing focus, integrity, respect, and excellence). Also, our scholars will no longer have Accountability Cards. Our Network is rolling out a new positive way to encourage good behavior on our campuses. AMS Reward Cards will be disturbed to every scholar. The Reward card can be signed in the hallway, during lunch, during recess, in the classroom, and in the office. This is just another way for scholars to earn points to use for passes and rewards.

Daniel Bremer and Robin Young
Desert Sky Deans of Scholars
Head of Operations Updates
Dear Families,
Please remember that school starts at 7:55am. We need scholars in driveline by that time. Just a friendly reminder that we need to keep the parking lot clear for safety reasons. We are too large of a campus to have scholars dropped off in the front, or parents parking and walking scholars up. Only parents with scheduled meetings or business to conduct with front office should be asking to go through the parking lot. We ask parents to please show integrity by following this important safety procedure, even when Ms. Thalacker is not in the parking lot.
The only two ways for scholars to get dropped off:
1.    By entering driveline and having scholars enter through gated by turf area or kinder gate
2.    By parking across the street and scholars walking over to the kinder gate (scholars should NOT be entering through the front office unless they are late).
Please take every possible measure to ensure scholars arrive to school on time. How the day begins impacts greatly the remainder of the day. Also, scholars need to be in the breakfast line by 7:50 in order to receive breakfast. Thank you for the help, we want our scholars to have a strong start to their Dragon Day!

 We want to hear from you! Have you seen our feedback kiosk in our front office? Our staff is always striving to provide you with the very best customer service. Please rate your visit and service anytime you are in the office by selecting the face that best represents how you feel your visit went. We hope you always leave our office feeling like one of our green happy faces! 

This feedback is separate from our Google Reviews. We want to know what makes you LOVE AMSDS!! Please leave us a review on Google if you haven't already done so! 
Karla Espinoza
Head of Operations
Counselor's Corner
PAC Meeting
Jan. 19, 2023

Our Jan. Parent Advisory Committee meeting will be in-person or on Zoom! We will focus on Health and Wellness.

Here is the Zoom login information:

Berenice Alvarez
Desert Sky Counselor
Important Dates:
JAN 3: Scholars Return to School
JAN 4: K-2 Dismissal at 12:45 & 3-8 at 1:10
JAN 9: Reenrollment OPENS Homework
JAN 9-18: i-Ready Diagnostic #2
JAN 11: K-2 Dismissal at 12:45 & 3-8 at 1:10
Jan 11: 4:00pm to 7:00pm Reenrollment Event Gym
JAN 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, NO SCHOOL
JAN 18: K-2 Dismissal at 12:45 & 3-8 at 1:10
Jan 18th: Kinder Round-up
Jan 19: PAC Meeting
JAN 25: K-2 Dismissal at 12:45 & 3-8 at 1:10
Jan 25: 4:00pm to 7:00pm Reenrollment Event Gym
Jan 27: Reenrollment Ends
2022-2023 Calendar:
Connect with the AMS Desert Sky Office Team