22/23 School Year Proves to be One of Dysart’s Best
DYSART SCHOOLS - Dysart saw great success in academics, arts and athletics in the 2022-2023 school year, including top-ratings in state rankings, as well as an increase in state championships and arts seals earned.
Dysart more than doubled the number of “A” schools in the district this year, with a total of 22 schools now boasting an “A” or “B” rating. When compared to local charter schools, 11 Dysart schools outranked them all. Freedom Traditional Academy was ranked #8 among K-8s in the entire state, three K-8s in the top 100 and two high schools in the top 50 across the state.
This year Dysart also added to its’ A+ School of Excellence list, with a total of 11 schools now with this designation over the last 13 years. El Mirage Elementary School was named a Model School by the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE). Additionally, El Mirage, along with Western Peaks Elementary School were in the top ten for academic growth in the state of Arizona.
Academically, Dysart students are excelling. This year brought a Flinn Scholar, four National Merit Commended students, two Dorrance Scholars and a Phoenix Suns/Helios scholar, among many other student accolades, including over $33 million in college scholarships. Dysart High School came in second place in the state for the AZ Council of Economic Education’s (ACEE) Stock Market Game, and two students, one each from Valley Vista High School and Dysart High School, were InvestWrite state winners for their essays. Shadow Ridge students were Overall Grand Champions in the Racing the Sun solar-powered go-kart competition, and several Willow Canyon High School students won Cambridge Scholar Awards of Merit or Distinction, in addition to one Top in Country Award for History.
In the arts, for the second year in a row Dysart students earned the second most Arts Seals of Proficiency in the state. 139 seals were earned this year, up from 107 last year. Dysart schools earned numerous “superior” ratings for their bands and choirs at regional and state festivals, solo and ensemble festivals, marching and choral competitions. Additionally, our schools earned multiple superior ratings in theatre at their State IA and One Act competitions. This year Willow Canyon theater was even named a Gold Honor Troupe, the district Winterguard was named champions, and a Valley Vista student won the Congressional Art Competition.
Dysart Schools won 14 state championships in high school athletics this year, up from nine last year. The girls basketball title was our fourth in a row, and the sixth time in the last seven years. 21 students were named region players of the year, with two conference players of the year. 11 coaches were region coaches of the year, and one was conference coach of the year, and 87 students signed letters of intent to play college sports. A Willow Canyon softball player was named to the USA Today watch list for HSAA Softball Player of the Year.
Student safety has been a top priority in the district, and this year safety glass was installed in all front offices, safety drill and risk management audits took place at all campuses, and over 120 campus safety checks took place throughout the year. This year Dysart added School Resource Officers at middle schools, and plans to add more through Safety Grant funds next year. The focus will continue through strong partnerships with law enforcement, specific safety protocols, planned drills and training, and coordinated Threat Assessment Teams and School Safety Committees.
As the largest employer in the cities of Surprise and El Mirage, Dysart employs over 3,000 teachers and support staff. Accolades abound with 57 National Board Certified staff members, a 94.5 Kool FM Outstanding Music Educator, Tancer Award Finalist, and a staff Leadership Award recipient for Early Childhood. Dysart was even named a Top 10 Healthiest Employer by the Phoenix Business Journal. Dysart Schools are always hiring, and openings are posted at Dysart.org/Careers.
Dysart takes fiscal responsibility seriously, having earned the Arizona Association of School Business Officials (AASBO) Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for 27 years in a row. Administrative costs (8.5%) are lower than the state average (10.2%), and those of peer districts. Dysart has been diligent in submitting much needed repair projects to the Arizona School Facilities Board, and were able to get approval and funding for over $14 million for building repairs such as roofing, flooring, weatherization and painting, cooling tower and heat pump repair and replacement, and walk-in cooler/freezer construction. Budget details are always available at Dysart.org/Budget.
The 2023-2024 school year begins on Thursday, August 3. Enrollment can be completed online at Dysart.org/Enroll.