Vol. 16 Issue No. 4 | January 27 – February 2, 2010

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CCUSD Governing Board approves Desert Sun Elementary to become Desert Sun Academy

By Linda Bentley | January 27, 2010

CAVE CREEK – The Cave Creek Unified School District (CCUSD) Governing Board has unanimously approved a major change for Desert Sun Elementary School. Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, Desert Sun Elementary School will be Desert Sun Academy, a kindergarten through eighth-grade campus using the Core Knowledge® Sequence curriculum.

The Core Knowledge® Sequence is based on the concept that “Knowledge builds on knowledge,” using clearly defined sequential units that form and reinforce a solid core of lasting knowledge.

“We are thrilled that our Governing Board has voted to expand Desert Sun to a kindergarten through eighth-grade configuration,” said Dr. Debbi Burdick, Superintendent of the CCUSD, “and to the continued implementation of the content-rich Core Knowledge® Sequence.”

What this means to parents is that Desert Sun Elementary School will transition from kindergarten through fifth-grade, to kindergarten through eighth-grade, over the course of the next three years. One grade will be added each year: sixth-grade next year, 2010-2011; seventh-grade in 2011-2012; and, eighth-grade in 2012-2013.

“By the 2012-2013 school year, Desert Sun will be the first public, non-charter, kindergarten through eighth-grade school in the North Valley that uses the Core Knowledge® Sequence at all grade levels,” according to Desert Sun Principal Bert Honigman. “Emphasis will be placed on challenging academics and advanced preparation.”

“Desert Sun Academy will provide parents with a choice,” said Dr. Burdick. “A family can take advantage of the existing elementary and middle school configuration and curriculum in the CCUSD District. Or, parents may choose the academy option which allows their child to remain in the same school through the eighth-grade and explore the enriched opportunities afforded students through the Core Knowledge® Sequence.”

Students at Desert Sun Academy will be required to wear uniforms which will be casual rather than formal, for example, shorts or long pants for the boys, and skorts or long pants for the girls. Collared golf shirts or tee shirts will be part of the uniform, depending upon the weather. “Hoodies” will also be available. Desert Sun students are looking forward to designing the Academy’s crest which will be on the school shirt worn by all students.
“Monthly ‘Room Parent’ meetings started in January to answer questions and disseminate information to all our parents,” said Mr. Honigman.

Mr. Honigman believes “Desert Sun will continue as a family school where children learn in a joyous environment and parents volunteer to support our children and our teachers, in and out of the classroom.” He hopes “parents look forward with enthusiasm and excitement, as the staff does, to the upcoming changes.”

For more information about Desert Sun Academy,
please contact Bert Honigman, Principal, Desert Sun
Elementary at 480-575-2900 or BHonigman@ccusd93.org.