Dysart's Year In Review
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — 5/28/2020
The 2019-2020 school year has come to a close for the Dysart Unified School District’s 26 schools and more than 24,000 students. While it was a challenging year, there are numerous things to celebrate across the district.
Dysart continues to provide extraordinary education for families in the community. This year, Shadow Ridge High School was named a 2020 Best High School by U.S. News and World Report, and they also became Dysart’s first A-rated high school since the state’s accountability labels launched. Additionally, Dysart gained several more A-rated schools, with 17 schools receiving either an A or B rating. Over the past ten years, eight of Dysart’s schools have earned an A+ School of Excellence designation from the Arizona Educational Foundation.
Dysart takes fiscal responsibility seriously, having earned the Arizona Association of School Business Officials (AASBO) Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for 23 years in a row. In addition, the district’s 8.7% administrative cost per pupil is significantly lower than the state average. In the spirit of financial transparency, budget details are always available on the district website at Dysart.org/Budget.
This year more than 1,800 seniors graduated from Dysart’s four high schools and earned nearly $40 million in college scholarships. Seniors are planning to attend schools all over the country, including West Point Military Academy, UC Davis, University of Southern California, Wheaton, Columbia, and Texas A & M, as well as local schools like Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona. Forty-seven Dysart students also earned the Arizona State Seal of Arts Proficiency in its inaugural year.
Dysart has strong programs that prepare students, our future workforce, for college, career and life. Dysart was named to the Advanced Placement (AP) District Honor Roll, which recognizes districts for increasing access to Advanced Placement course work while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. Willow Canyon High School became one of only 24 schools in the country to be named a Model of Excellence - the highest award bestowed by SkillsUSA to recognize schools for exceptional integration and application of personal, workplace, and technical skills. Additionally, Shadow Ridge High School won first place in the Secondary Degree programs architecture category of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) student competition.
Two new schools were added to Dysart’s school choice options - Asante Preparatory Academy and Freedom Traditional Academy, and unique and innovative Signature Programs were developed at each school. Growing Minds Preschool launched, and continues to grow and expand to additional sites. Over the next year, Dysart will be in the planning phase for integrating middle schools into the district structure, to provide even more choices to the community.
Dysart is proud to support the local communities that it serves, employing over 2,400 staff members. Our students and staff volunteer throughout the community in many ways - whether it is cleaning up someone’s yard, or performing for an event. This year, when the COVID crisis hit, Dysart fired up its 3D printers to print ear guards for healthcare workers needing to wear masks for hours on end - donating 2,714 ear guards to nearly 30 local health facilities. Additionally, Dysart kept an emergency daycare option open for those on the front lines that still required childcare after all the school closures. Dysart opened the Vista Center for the Arts, a professional stage for popular traveling shows. Another great season kicks off this fall.
This year Dysart began offering competitive athletics classes for high school students participating in after-school sports (baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, spiritline, volleyball) to help students hone their athletic skills and abilities during the school day. Teams had another successful year with six regional champions and 25 state playoff qualifiers. Dysart is also home to a state champion. Valley Vista Girls Basketball earned their third state title in four years with Marisa Davis named 6A Player of the Year. Willow Canyon Pom squad also earned the highest recognition, a national championship. Additionally, many of our student athletes have received college athletic scholarships from schools across the country. Not surprisingly, four of our coaches were named region coaches of the year, and Valley Vista Girls Basketball coach Rachel Matakas was named AZ Preps 365 Conference Coach of the Year.
Dysart is proud of all the extraordinary accomplishments our students and staff achieved over the year, and we are looking forward to what the next school year, our 100th school year, will bring. The 2020-2021 school year begins on Tuesday, August 4. Students that need to register may do so online at Dysart.org/Enrollment throughout the summer.