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Desert Shadows Middle School Academies Unlock the Future

As parents of gifted students who are transitioning from elementary school to middle school, you want programs that will keep your child stimulated, engaged and challenged. Since Desert Shadows Middle School has a high population of gifted students and/or students taking honors courses, approximately 40 percent, we have developed unique programs to meet the learning needs of these students.

 

We offer Academies at Desert Shadows Middle School to help create an environment in which kids can feel invested and engaged in a program that suits their interests. When kids have a talent and passion in a specific area, are surrounded by other kids who share that same talent and passion, and are mentored by a teacher who is equally as talented and passionate in the same area, student outcomes are exceptional.  The Academies become a ‘home base’ for students. Our teachers are exceptional. The curriculum is exciting. Students leave our programs truly prepared for success in high school and beyond.

 

About the Honors Academy of Engineering

Students in the Honors Academy of Engineering are exposed to hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) principles every day. They study robotics and automation, learn mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation and computer control systems and much more. By using the Project Lead the Way curriculum, students learn to critically think and use Engineering skills to create products that meet the needs and wants of consumers.Desert Shadows Middle School Academies

Currently, there are 60 seventh grade and 45 eighth grade students enrolled in the Engineering program. A sample schedule for students in the Honors Academy of Engineering includes:

  • Advanced Math
  • Honors English
  • Honors Science
  • Honors Social Studies
  • Engineering (Level 1 in seventh grade and Level 2 in eighth grade)
  • An elective of choice

About the Honors Academy of World Languages

Learning a foreign language opens the door to understanding people and the diverse cultures in which we live. Additionally, research has shown that students greatly benefit from learning a foreign language, including scoring higher on standardized tests and college readiness exams and enhancing listening and memory skills.

Starting the seventh grade, students will take a semester in Spanish and French. In the eighth grade, students may choose to take a full year in both Spanish and French. Successful completion of two years of a world language at Desert Shadows Middle School will allow placement in the second year of world language at high school.

Currently, there are 40 seventh grade and 30 eighth grade students enrolled in the Honors Academy of World Languages. A sample schedule for students in this program includes:

  • Advanced Math
  • Honors English
  • Honors Science
  • Honors Social Studies
  • Spanish (semester course in seventh grade and full-year elective course in eighth grade)
  • French (semester course in seventh grade and full-year elective course in eighth grade)

Applying to the Honors Academies

To be considered for the programs, students must apply and will be accepted using the following criteria:

  • Must qualify for Honors core classes (Honors English, Honors Science, Honors Social Studies) by scoring at least 95 percent or above on any one of the three testing areas on the Cognitive Abilities Test (Cog )
  • Positive Teacher Recommendation
  • Report card from fifth and sixth grade with grades of “B” or better

 

The driving force behind the success of the Academies is the amazing staff at the school. Our teachers are remarkable across the board. We also have Academy programs in music (traditional and musical theater programs) and visual arts that are equally as popular and successful.




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