Desert Star is located on 3 acres in Cornville.
In 2007 the school opened its doors at the three acre site in Cornville, Arizona in the heart of the Verde Valley. In 2010 a second facility was opened nearby exclusively for Kindergarten in a tree canopied site. Amid vistas of Sedona Mingus Mountain, the high desert and the lush Verde River basin, this land is the perfect setting to bring our curriculum to life. The main campus borders State land and offers space for the school to grow to its full potential in serving students grade K-8. Under the clear blue skies, children feel connected with the natural cycles of life and there is ample space for play and our new organic garden.
GreetingsDesertStar families! We hope your summer has been enjoyable. As the start of our 2013-2014 school year approaches, we would like to invite all families to consider in which area you would like to offer volunteer services. All schools need and depend on volunteer efforts, and encourage families to participate because your volunteerism will also positively affect your child's academic success. There are many areas that need your help.
1) The Desert Star campus and Kindergarten campus both need people who enjoy gardening to help get the summer's weeds under control. This is a service that needs to be done before school starts. There are also the different class gardens that need to be replanted with flowers, herbs, or other plants as they are weeded. It is our hope that the children come back to their gardens and are delightedly surprised with how lush and weed-free everything looks! The community garden has been under the supervision of gardening volunteer Laurie Mather this summer and is doing well.
2) Parent Council is composed of the Parent Council Chairperson, Parent Representatives from each classroom and all interested parents within our school community. The group also includes at least one faculty liaison; they meet at pick-up time (3:15) on the second Tuesday of the month at the main campus.
The objectives of Parent Council are to help the teachers of each classroom with a variety of needs including classroom support and festivals. At each meeting, the Chairperson(s) facilitate a discussion of priorities brought by the reps or others. It's a fun and rewarding way to volunteer and get to know other parents in our school community.
If you desire to become a Parent Representative please contact your class teacher. If you want to be considered for Parent Council Chairperson you must complete the nomination form in the office and a ballot will be sent out to families in August for election. These are only two areas where volunteerism is needed and there are many other opportunities to use your talents.
Laurie Mather will be coordinating both gardening and weeding volunteer parties and also the information for Parent Council. You may contact Laurie by calling 928 592 7218 or emailing her at email@example.com.
Thank you in advance for your interest and support.
The curriculum of Desert Star Community School is based on Rudolf Steiner’s Waldorf education and Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences. We believe in educating the whole child and recognize that each child possesses a unique blend of intelligences, i.e.: linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalist and others. We have used these complementary educational philosophies to design a curriculum that leads to a mastery of standards while cultivating and expanding all intelligence areas in a developmentally appropriate context.
Waldorf education provides an exceptional academic education and an enriched humanities curriculum that introduces children to world history and culture through legends, literature, mythology and the creative arts. The arts are integrated into all academic subjects giving students a meaningful, creative, and multi-sensory context for understanding. The academic, “core subjects” are taught by the class teacher during main lesson each morning. Lessons are alive and interesting; they challenge and stimulate both the child's imagination and intellect. The main lesson often begins with a story from the great traditions of classical literature (multicultural fairy tales, Aesop’s fables, Greek Mythology, etc). The curriculum themes for each grade, inspired by Steiner’s developmental indications, are outlined below.
The students’ academic themes and skills are documented by the creation of personal main lesson books and portfolios. As lessons are taught students create illustrated books for each subject, accurately and artistically recording the substance of their lessons. In this way art is integrated into every subject.
The sciences are taught through experiential activities with a reverence for the wonder and beauty of nature. Projects and experiments are approached through inquiry-based approaches that ignite curiosity, sustain interest, and allow children to make their own discoveries as a bridge to understanding scientific concepts.
In grades 1-4 the main lesson begins with a circle time of greetings, thematic songs, verses, games and physical rhythmic exercises designed to develop cognitive and motor integration. Lesson themes may be introduced during this time so that the child has an experiential basis for understanding new concepts. The afternoons provide time for projects and multi-age instruction, physical education, and specialty classes. Music permeates and harmonizes the school life through a curriculum designed to develop the innate musicality within each child. Singing is integrated throughout the day; playing the recorder begins in 1st grade and the violin instruction begins at 3rd or 4th grade. Handwork and the practical arts are an integral part of the curriculum, teaching coordination, patience and perseverance. Spanish is taught beginning in the 1st grade progressively through the grades along with cultural awareness and appreciation. This year we are also offering Japanese language and culture classes. Daily, weekly and seasonal rhythms as well as integrated school-wide themes and festivals help to provide a consistent and meaningful structure to the educational process.
It is the school’s philosophy to foster the development of interpersonal and social-emotional intelligence in students. Emphasis is placed on the development of communication skills, empathy, respect for self and others, taking responsibility for one’s actions, conflict resolution, cooperation and collaboration skills. There are also opportunities to develop “intrapersonal” (knowledge of self) intelligence through inner reflection, guided experiences in self-knowledge, emotional awareness and self-esteem enhancement. Teachers model and teach healthy, respectful and compassionate ways of relating and problem solving in the classroom setting.
History of Rome and the Middle Ages; reading; grammar; composition; business English; geometric drawing; business math, beginning to work with formulae and percents; geography of the hemisphere and poles; meteorology; astronomy; physics; music ensembles; woodworking; handwork; Spanish; physical education6th Grade
Ancient civilizations through Greece; reading, grammar and composition; freehand geometric drawing; arithmetic, including decimals; geography of the United States; science through descriptive study of plants; exotic animals; singing; recorder playing; strings and wind instruments; 4-needle knitting; woodworking; Spanish; physical education including participation in the regional Waldorf Greek Olympic games.
Norse mythology; reading; grammar/composition; form drawing; arithmetic, fractions; Arizona history and geography; science through descriptive morphology of animals; singing; recorder playing; stringed instruments; cross-stitching; Spanish; physical education.
World cultural and creation stories including Old Testament and Native American stories; reading and writing (cursive); grammar; form drawing; arithmetic, measurements, practical studies of farming, house building, craftsmanship; science through practical studies; recorder playing; singing; sewing; Spanish; physical education; gardening, and violin lessons in the 2nd half of the year.
Registration is led by the Admissions Chairperson. It is the purpose of this person to review new student applications in conjunction with the Business-Administration and teacher. To ensure that our specialized curriculum and program are suitable for each individual, we follow a four step process:
A student is formally admitted only after these interviews have taken place, required school records have been received, and space is available in the class. If a student is applying from out of town/state, a phone interview will take place. In accordance with the Arizona State Statute a prospective Kindergarten student must be the age of 5 and a prospective 1stgrader must be the age of 6 by September 1stof the school year. Children whose birthdays fall shortly thereafter are evaluated on an individual basis for readiness only if there is space after all age appropriate students have been enrolled.
Arizona State Law and MOS require the following forms to be completely filled out by the parent/guardian prior to admittance:
1. A DSCS Registration and Parent Information Form.
2. A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate: Please bring the original and we will copy and certify it for our records.
3. A ‘Certificate of Immunization’ signed by a licensed physician certifying that the child has received age-appropriate immunizations as required by Law, or a ‘Request of Exemption from Immunization’ form signed by a parent or guardian. Please bring the original and we will copy and certify for our records.
4. ‘ESEA Eligibility Guidelines for Free and Reduced-Price Meals’
5. ‘Home Language Survey’
6. An ‘Emergency Medical Information’ card. Please notify the DSCS office immediately upon change of address, daytime phone number, or emergency contact information.
7. A ‘Transmittal for Release of Records’ from the child’s previous school.
8. Blank copies of all of these, except the birth and immunization certificate, are available in the school office.
Currently enrolled students will be automatically re-enrolled unless notice is given to the Business-Administrator.
Desert Star Community School will follow the open enrollment policy required by Arizona (A.R.S. 15-184). The school will enroll all eligible new pupils during the open enrollment period beginning March 18, 2013, who submit a timely Application for Enrollment , unless the number of applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level or building. The school will give enrollment preference to pupils returning to the school after a subsequent year and to siblings of pupils already enrolled in the school. The school will not limit admission based on ethnicity, national origin, gender, income level, disabling condition, proficiency in the English language or athletic ability.