One of the biggest draws to the Desert Ridge community is its wealth of excellent, A+ rated schools. The schools are all part of the Paradise Valley Unified School District, which has won awards from several organizations such as Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report. Moreover, the Arizona Education Foundation has included PV schools on its prestigious A+ Schools of Excellence, and the Arizona Business and Education Coalition has awarded the Higher Performing designation to PV schools. One distinction of this district is that it provides a wide variety of choice with academic programs specific to each school.
For example, Fireside Elementary is the newest addition to the Desert Ridge community. This “green” environmentally-friendly school was built in 2012 and offers a “Core Knowledge” based curriculum, from preschool to sixth grade. Fireside is one of four district elementary schools which offers a self-contained gifted program for grades K-6. Fireside also offers gifted cluster classes for Grades 1-4, as well as Honors classes for Grades 4-6. Fireside Elementary has both a gifted and talented preschool as well as a traditional preschool.
Northeast of Fireside Elementary, within Desert Ridge, is Desert Trails Elementary School. Desert Trails is another one of the four district elementary schools which offers a self-contained gifted program for grades K-6. Desert Trails also has an on-site preschool available to its students. Nearby Wildfire Elementary offers a “Core Knowledge” based curriculum for its K-6 students.
The middle school for Desert Ridge is Explorer Middle School. Explorer Middle School features innovative technology programs, a performing and visual arts program, as well as advanced level math courses and Honors English. The schools in Desert Ridge feed into the highly-ranked Pinnacle High School. In 2015, the U.S. News and World Report awarded the Silver Award to Pinnacle High School, and ranked Pinnacle at #11 in Arizona, based on factors such as college readiness, student to teacher ratio, as well as proficiency in reading and math. Moreover, the AP (Advanced Placement) participation rate at Pinnacle High School is a high 47%.
While the Paradise Valley Unified School District offers open-enrollment for its schools, giving those who don’t live within a school’s boundaries the opportunity to attend that school, not all schools in Desert Ridge may have openings for students who open enroll. Fireside Elementary, for example, has an extensive waiting list for all grades, so purchasing a home within that school’s boundaries is currently the only way to attend that school. Your realtor can help you to navigate these requirements in your home search.