DVUSD Focus Schools

  • Focus Schools

    Academy of American Studies at Sandra Day O’Connor High School (First in Arizona)

    • Focuses on in depth lessons of U. S. history throughout a four-year program
    • Students will participate in special lectures, visits to historical local and national sites, and technology
    • Students can participate in special clubs and Saturday Academies focusing on special topics
    • Tutorials will be held for college prep tests and AP study sessions
    • Affiliated with Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History

    Academy of the Arts at Terramar

    • Focuses on art, music, band, dance and drama
    • Students receive arts instruction integrated with academics program to learn math, science, reading, writing, social studies, and 21st Century Skills
    • Provides students opportunities for premier art experiences that include Phoenix Youth Symphony,
    • Ballet Arizona and Phoenix Art Museum
    • Students can participate in a free after school music conservatory

    Aerospace Academy at Anthem School

    • Focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) course work
    • Activities include studying the science of aviation, physics, and more
    • Students are offered opportunities to work with Arizona-based Aerospace companies, Deer Valley
    • Civil Air Patrol and Arizona Department of Transportation

    Core Knowledge at Bellair, Greenbrier, and New River Schools

    • Traditional curriculum
    • Provides a sequential learning system and academic focus from grade to grade
    • Encourages consistency in instruction

    Desert Studies Academy at Desert Mountain School

    • Focuses on the Sonoran Desert and surrounding areas
    • Students participate in an “outdoor desert habitat classroom” that includes a cactus garden, reptile habitat, and nature trails
    • Offers an integrated curriculum and project-based learning experience encompassing technology and global ideas
    • Hands-on activities include special hikes, nature trails, and tours

    Gateway to Technology Academy at Hillcrest Middle School

    • Focuses on STEM courses combined with a rigorous academic curriculum
    • Hands-on projects include digital circuitry, automation and robotics, flight and space, and other related aeronautical projects

    Global Studies Signature Program at Boulder Creek High School

    • Focuses on Global Studies throughout a four-year program
    • Students can receive World Language instruction in Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese
    • Provides college preparatory curriculum including College Board AP courses and Dual Enrollment
    • Students can participate in Career Technology Education programs including engineering, marketing, graphics and media production

    International Baccalaureate at Barry Goldwater High School

    • 1 of 16 offered in Arizona - addresses the academic needs of the highly motivated student
    • Students can choose one of two programs – IB Diploma or IB Certificates
    • Students can earn IB Certificates in English, French, Spanish, American History, Biology, Physiology,
    • Physics, Math Studies, Theatre, Visual Arts, and more
    International Baccalaureate Middle School Years Programme at Norterra Canyon School (Candidate Phase)
    • Partnering in an MYP to Diploma Program continuum with Barry Goldwater High School
    • Inclusive curriculum model in grades 6-8 that provides an integrated, global focus
    • French and Technology/Design instruction 2-3 times weekly; physical education, music, or art daily
    • Daily instruction in math, science, STEM, individuals and societies, language and literature
    • Focus on rigorous, critical thinking and problem solving with relevance to the real world      

    Literacy Based Preschool Programs at 14 School Locations

    • Students receive daily exposure to verbal and written language in literacy rich preschool classes
    • Designed to promote enjoyment through work and play, refine gross and fine motor skills, promote physical coordination and encourage creativity and development
    • Students participate in listening, art, science, technology centers, and other center-based activities

    Mandarin Chinese at Diamond Canyon & Gavilan Peak Schools

    • Provides students with critical foreign language opportunities at the K-8 grade level !Develops an appreciation for Asian culture
    • Expands multicultural awareness among students, parents, and staff

    Project Lead the Way Academy at Mountain Ridge High School

    • Focuses on STEM courses throughout four years of school
    • Courses include Digital Electronics, Civil Engineering, Architecture, and more
    • Hands-on projects include specialized computer software, creating models of three-dimensional designs, and more
    • Most courses can earn course credit at accredited colleges and universities

    Renaissance Gifted and Music Academy at Highland Lakes and Canyon Springs

    • Provides individualized curriculum designed to each students’ unique learning needs
    • Program includes foreign language instruction, technology, extended day musical experiences (Highland Lakes), and drama classes
    • Students grades 7-8 can receive instruction in Spanish

    Music Academy at Esperanza Elementary

    • Provides students with daily access to vocal/and or instrumental music instruction
    • Students participate in strings, a piano lab, and an instrumental pilot program
    • Partnership with Musical Instrument Museum
    • Opportunities for musical performance with instrument of choice

    Senior Institute at Barry Goldwater High School

    • Designed to help students discover a career path they would like to purse
    • Focuses on encouraging students to pursue personal interests through service learning projects
    • Students will create personal digital portfolios, work with personal teacher mentors, and complete an end of year “Senior Project”

    STEM Academy at Sierra Verde School

    • Focuses on STEM curriculum
    • Expose students to STEM labs, computer-aided design, robotics, and more
    • Students can participate in Claymation (clay animation movie-making) Club, Journey Inside the
    • Computer Club, Engineering Club, Primary Builder’s Club, and the SAGE STEM Club