Principal's Message

  • Welcome to the 2021 – 2022 school year at Desert Foothills Junior High School! 

    It is with great enthusiasm that the Desert Foothills Staff and I are looking forward to our new school year returning to our more traditional school setting. While masks and face coverings are not required for students and staff, we will continue to observe mitigations and COVID carefulness with sanitizing, hand washing before and after lunch, and use of the air scrubbers in all of our classrooms.  We want to ensure all students and staff are safe, healthy and prepared for an amazing new school year. 

    susie smith headshot

    Desert Foothills offers a true middle school experience in which students are placed on an academic team consisting of five core teachers providing a school-within-a-school atmosphere. This environment provides purposeful interventions where needed and  improves  communication and integration. Each team of teachers builds camaraderie and infuses the DF team spirit while watching out for the students’ well-being and promoting positive youth development during the impressionable 7th and 8th grade years. All academic teams offer advanced classes in math, reading and science. In addition, an outstanding group of special education teachers works with each team to meet the needs of students with learning disabilities in reading, writing and math. We offer a reading and writing block for remedial and English Language Learners.  To support all of our students in our math classes, additional staffing has been allocated to provide smaller class sizes to ensure mastery of the state standards.  The Intervention for All period provides students with a 30 minute small group of instruction to support academic learning and social and emotional growth. 

    Middle school students need exposure to a lot of different exploratory programs. Our great variety of elective classes helps our students find their interests leading them to select courses later in high school that ultimately will enhance their careers in the future. Desert Foothills offers drama/theatre, exploratory music, choir, orchestra, band, guitar, keyboarding/piano, PE, art, technology, multi-media and leadership as elective classes. Our school day begins in homeroom with breakfast in the classroom and an advisory/intervention period focused on the social and academic growth of all of our students.  We strive to create a safe atmosphere in which all students can be academically successful and experience positive social development throughout their middle school years. 

    There is such a thing as a free lunch at Desert Foothills! We will continue to participate in the Community Eligible Provision (CEP) for the 2021-2022 school year. The CEP allows schools to offer free, nutritious school meals to all students through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. What this means for families at Desert Foothills is that all students will be able to receive both breakfast and lunch at no charge for this school year without having to fill out a meal application. If your child just wants a beverage instead of a full meal, he or she can purchase milk or juice for 35 cents.  Water bottles are available for $1 for a 22 oz. bottle, and we have four fillings stations of chilled, filtered water on campus to promotion good hydration. 

    It is an honor to serve as the principal of Desert Foothills. I am committed to creating a whole school of excellence for Desert Foothills that promotes the academic and social growth of every student. Please know my door is open for us to communicate and partner for your child’s success. You are always welcome to call or come to the office. The Desert Foothills staff and I welcome you to our school and look forward to a wonderful school year. Go Scorpions!

    susan p smith