It’s morning, just a few minutes before the bell rings, at Desert Oasis Elementary School in Surprise, Arizona where we serve 492 students Pre-K through 8th grade. There is a special form of energy present here in this moment at Desert Oasis—a kind of energy that can only be felt at a school campus when students, teachers, parents, administrators, bus drivers, aides, and volunteers all come together to launch the day. When a school’s climate and culture are positive, safe, and supportive—as they are at Desert Oasis—this energy is electric, palpable, and it is laden with excitement and promise. This energy propels learning at Desert Oasis. This energy brings students to school and reduces absences. (Well, this energy, and a principal who recognizes a classroom’s perfect attendance by “scaring” students and teachers—but more about that will come later.) This energy brings students, parents, and community members out to Desert Oasis events in record numbers. This same energy brings a dedicated group of Desert Oasis teachers and the principal together in a combined effort to explain to the Arizona Education Foundation, to educators across the state, and to the community at large exactly how this energy is being created—with the hopes that it will then be replicated elsewhere with similar success. After all, given the right conditions and under the proper care, what starts as a simple seedling will one day grow into a garden.
Desert Oasis, whose seeds were planted in August of 2008, is the newer of the two elementary schools that comprise the Nadaburg Unified School District (NUSD). The District’s roots trace back to 1920, when W.H. Griffin donated land to the District so that a one-room, red schoolhouse could be built. While Nadaburg Unified School District has grown by leaps and bounds since then, the District honors its heritage by holding its Governing Board meetings in the original little red schoolhouse.
At Desert Oasis our Vision, Mission, and Values are as follows:
- Our Vision: We are inspired to grow a community of lifelong learners.
Our Mission: Desert Oasis cultivates excellence while celebrating individual learners. By preparing students to be respectful, responsible, and high-achieving, they will become the world’s future innovators. Our students will blossom into courageous, curious, and compassionate members of our global society
Our Values: We are a family. We believe that our entire community participates in a student’s success: the foundation for learning is built at home, and critical building blocks are added at school to support a student’s growth. We are committed to creating solution-oriented, critical thinking, caring, and compassionate individuals within a nurturing and challenging environment. Our school is a positive place where students and staff want to be every day.