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Why Dysart

Aerial photo of Dysart Unified School District

The Dysart Unified School District is an exciting, vibrant, and growing community of nearly 24,000 pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students in the Northwest Phoenix Metropolitan area.  The district encompasses 140 square miles, serving parts of El Mirage, Glendale, Surprise, Youngtown, and Maricopa County.  The district is home to four K-4 elementary schools, four middle schools serving grades 5-8, 12 K-8 elementary schools, four comprehensive high schools, a preschool, and one alternative program.
The district has been recognized both nationally and internationally with AdvancED Accreditation, the NCA Model School District Award, NSBA Technology Spotlight Award, and is home to a national elementary school principal of the year and an Arizona teacher of the year.
The Dysart School District is dedicated to serving the needs of all children with high quality academic coursework, before-and after-school programs, and services for the entire community.
Ensuring students are equipped with the skills necessary to meet the challenges and opportunities in a 21st Century society are at the heart of the mission and vision.  Dysart schools offers one of the largest selections of academic pathways in the state, allowing students a personalized learning experience while meeting Arizona Academic Standards.  Opportunities include full day kindergarten, Career and Technical Education, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, signature programs, and gifted and special education programs.
Boasting a graduation rate that exceeds both the state and national average, the Dysart Unified School District prepares all students to be ready for college and career through excellence and success.

The Dysart Governing Board worked collaboratively with district stakeholders to develop a Vision, Mission and Strategic Plan that guides the work of the district in support of student success.  The mission of Dysart Unified School District is to create a safe, diversified and engaging learning environment where every student attains academic excellence and is empowered to achieve life-long success. Through relevant and challenging curriculum, expanded learning opportunities and collaborative partnerships, our students will be:
  • effective communicators
  • critical and creative thinkers
  • informed problem solvers and decision makers
  • responsible leaders
  • productive citizens

  • Every student in all schools will be prepared with the knowledge and skills to achieve college and career success.
  • Dysart Unified School District will recruit, train and retain a highly qualified staff to cultivate a culture of student success.
  • The Dysart Unified School District culture will consistently be reflective of a safe and secure environment for all stakeholders.
  • The Dysart Unified School District will identify and maximize available resources to support student success.

Students waving American flags in classroom
Location / Population
The Dysart Unified School District encompasses 140 square miles, serving part of El Mirage, Glendale, Surprise, Youngtown and Maricopa County in the Northwest Valley.  The district boundaries run from Glendale Avenue north to Jomax Road, 115th Avenue west to Airport Road (White Tank Mountains).  Dysart educates nearly 24,000 students.  

Additional Resources:
District Boundaries
Aerial picture of Valley Vista High School
Campus Facilities
4 K-4 elementary schools, 4 middle schools serving grades 5-8, 12 K-8 elementary schools, 1 alternative program campus, a preschool, and 4 comprehensive high schools. Since 2000, 15 elementary schools and 3 high schools have been built with state and local support.

Additional Resources:
School Listings
Student looking through microscope
All schools are completing comprehensive continuous improvement plans.  Academic pathways in the district include advanced placement, honors, dual enrollment, career and technical education, International Baccalaureate, Cambridge, the Dysart Arts Academy, and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination).  Kindergarten is also available for all students.

Additional Resources:
Academic Pathways
teacher standing in classroom
The Dysart Unified School District offers a great working environment and strong traditions that provide unique experiences in the workplace.  We look for dedicated support staff, teachers, and administrators that are committed to student learning and excellence in education.

Additional Resources:
Job Openings
Student Teachers
Substitute Teachers
Cognia Accreditation Seal
Awards and Recognition
Cognia Accreditation - Cognia, formerly AdvancED, recognizes districts and schools, nationally and internationally, that meet rigorous standards focused on productive learning environments, equitable resource allocation that meets the needs of learners, and effective leadership. Earning accreditation from the Cognia Global Accreditation Commission means that the district and all of its schools are accredited, and that Dysart Unified School District is recognized across the nation and the world as a school district that meets Cognia Standards of Quality and maintains a commitment to continuous improvement. 
 AdvancED Accredited
AdvancED Accreditation - The Dysart Unified School District received district-wide accreditation through the AdvancED Dysart was the second school district in Arizona to receive the international accreditation.  Receiving AdvancED District Accreditation highlights Dysart both nationally and internationally and recognizes the district as a school district of high quality.  All of Dysart’s schools are also accredited through AdvancED.  To receive AdvancED Accreditation, districts receive a rigorous site visit from an accreditation team consisting of educators from across the country.  The three day visit ensures that the district is meeting the AdvancED standards in each school and as a school-wide system, assures the district is engaged in a continuous improvement process and monitors academic improvement through district and school accountability processes.

 NCA Model School District LogoNCA Model School District Award - The Dysart Unified School District received the Model District Award from the North Central Association (NCA) Commission on Accreditation and SchoolImprovement in 2009. Dysart received the award in recognition of outstanding progress by an Arizona school district. NCA awards the Model District Award in recognition for long-term contributions to quality school improvement. NCA documents school district progress through yearly validation and by conducting an external review of each school. The Dysart School District is the only Arizona school district to receive the Model District Award.

Leland E.G. Larson Quality Student Transportation Award - The Dysart Unified School District Transportation Department was awarded the Leland E.G. Larson Quality Student Transportation Award at the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) conference in 2012. This was the fourth time in 15 years that this prestigious award has been granted by NAPT. The Quality Transportation Program concept recognizes and rewards the school district that is most committed to improving the quality of their transportation services.  The Leland E.G. Larson Quality Student Transportation Program was developed to shine light on districts that provide high quality customer service in safety centered operations in three phases which include an initial application process, a live interview between the department and the program’s peer review committee, and an extensive on-site evaluation of the Transportation Department by representatives of the peer review committee where a full day is spent analyzing and evaluating the district’s transportation operation.

 TLN Technology Spotlight Award LogoTLN Technology Spotlight Award - The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Technology Leadership Network (TLN) named the Dysart Unified School District in Surprise, Ariz., a 2010 Salute District in recognition of the district’s use of technology to promote student achievement.  As part of the recognition, Dysart hosted a site visit by the NSBA Technology Leadership in April, 2012.  Educators from around the United States traveled to the Dysart District to observe the use of student-owned devices, robotics, STEM programs and much more.  

2012 and 2014 Teachers of the Year - Ms. Kristie Martorelli was named the 2012 Teacher of the Year and Mrs. Beth Maloney was named the 2014 Teacher of the Year by the Arizona Educational Foundation. Martorelli was a kindergarten through 3rd grade reading interventionist at Thompson Ranch Elementary School in El Mirage. Maloney is a fifth grade teacher at Sunset Hills Elementary School in Surprise.  The annual Teacher of the Year program is the premier event of the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF), a statewide organization that promotes and awards the exceptional efforts being made in Arizona’s public schools.

Additional awards include:
ASPRA*tion Awards for Excellence in Public Relations, Spotlight on Success Award from the Arizona Department of Education, Western Maricopa Coalition (WESTMARC) Best of the West Award Winner, Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) and Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) distinctions for financial excellence, Arizona Interscholastic Assocociation (AIA) Administrator of the Year Award (James Braden), Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year Award (Dr. Gail Pletnick), and the Digital Schools Award (Large District Category).