Desert Willow Elementary School

Summary:

Desert Willow Elementary School is a public elementary school serving 456 students from kindergarten to 6th grade in Cave Creek, Arizona, which is part of the Cave Creek Unified District. This high-performing school consistently ranks among the top elementary schools in Arizona, with strong academic achievement across various subject areas and student subgroups.

Desert Willow Elementary School has maintained a 4-star rating from SchoolDigger for several years, with its highest ranking being 100 out of 1,079 Arizona elementary schools in the 2015-2016 school year. The school's proficiency rates in English Language Arts and Mathematics consistently outperform the state averages, and its 5th-grade students also excel in Science. The school's Hispanic and Special Education students, in particular, have demonstrated exceptional performance, ranking 123 out of 1,170 and 36 out of 417 Arizona elementary schools, respectively. Despite having a relatively low spending per student compared to nearby schools, Desert Willow Elementary School has been able to achieve these impressive results, suggesting efficient resource allocation and effective use of funds.

When compared to other schools in the Cave Creek Unified District, such as Horseshoe Trails Elementary School and Black Mountain Elementary School, Desert Willow Elementary School generally outperforms them in academic proficiency. However, when compared to schools in the Paradise Valley Unified District, such as Sky Crossing Elementary School, Boulder Creek Elementary School, and Wildfire Elementary School, the latter schools tend to outperform Desert Willow Elementary School, potentially due to their higher spending per student.


Detail:

Public K-6

 4322 E Desert Willow Parkway
       Cave Creek, AZ  85331


(480) 575-2800

District: Cave Creek Unified District

SchoolDigger Rank:
237th of 1,245 Arizona Elementary Schools

Per Pupil Expenditures:  $2,222 Help


Students who attend Desert Willow Elementary School usually attend:

Middle:    Sonoran Trails Middle School
High:    Cactus Shadows High School

Student/teacher ratio:  17.6 Help
Number of students:  456

Racial breakdown:

White:
71.7%
Hispanic:
22.6%
Two or more races:
4.8%
more

Free/discounted lunch recipients:  5.7% Help


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Performance Trends
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Compare Details Desert Willow Elementary School ranks better than 81% of elementary schools in Arizona. It also ranks 4th among 5 ranked elementary schools in the Cave Creek Unified District. (See more...)
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Compare Details In 2023 the calculated Average Standard Score was 79.25. (See more...)
Student Body
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Compare Details Racial makeup is: White (71.7%), Hispanic (22.6%), two or more races (4.8%). (See more...)
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Compare Details 5.7% of students are receiving a free or discounted lunch. (See more...)
Teachers
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Compare Details The student/teacher ratio at Desert Willow Elementary School is 17.6. 3 elementary schools in the Cave Creek Unified District have better student/teacher ratios. (See more...)
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Compare Desert Willow Elementary School employs 25.8 full-time teachers.
Finance
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Compare Details The average total spent per student at Desert Willow Elementary School is $2,222, which is the lowest among 5 elementary schools in the Cave Creek Unified District!
Schooldigger 2023 Rankings:

Desert Willow Elementary School:

SchoolDigger ranks Desert Willow Elementary School 237th of 1245 Arizona public elementary schools. (See Desert Willow Elementary School in the ranking list.)

Elementary School Test Score Ratings by Student Subgroup:


Multi-racial students:
Special Education students:
Female students:
Male students:
Hispanic students:
White students:


Cave Creek Unified District:

SchoolDigger ranks Cave Creek Unified District 88th of 540 Arizona school districts. (See district ranking list.)


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Rank History for Desert Willow Elementary School

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Compare

Rank History for all students at Desert Willow Elementary School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AZ State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2009 90.36 41st 1062 96.1%
2010 91.88 37th 1090 96.6%
2011 91.19 43rd 1075 96.0%
2012 86.02 88th 1141 92.3%
2013 87.95 69th 1158 94.0%
2014 89.81 76th 1079 93.0%
2015 85.74 112th 955 88.3%
2016 89.13 100th 1079 90.7%
2017 86.96 136th 1106 87.7%
2018 80.51 214th 1109 80.7%
2019 82.61 166th 1039 84.0%
2021 89.72 131st 1226 89.3%
2022 78.68 178th 1000 82.2%
2023 79.25 237th 1245 81.0%
See the entire list of Arizona Elementary School Rankings!

Rank History for Multi-racial students at Desert Willow Elementary School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AZ State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2021 52.18 420th 1027 59.1%
2023 38.26 430th 617 30.3%
See the entire list of Best Arizona Elementary Schools for Multi-racial Students!

Rank History for English Language Learner students at Desert Willow Elementary School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AZ State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2021 40.03 464th 975 52.4%
See the entire list of Best Arizona Elementary Schools for English Language Learner Students!

Rank History for Special Education students at Desert Willow Elementary School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AZ State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2018 80.53 36th 417 91.4%
2021 66.43 197th 1201 83.6%
2023 53.10 301st 820 63.3%
See the entire list of Best Arizona Elementary Schools for Special Education Students!

Rank History for Female students at Desert Willow Elementary School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AZ State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2018 73.42 270th 1023 73.6%
2019 72.62 207th 862 76.0%
2021 90.04 97th 1219 92.0%
2022 80.04 111th 824 86.5%
2023 81.25 199th 1219 83.7%
See the entire list of Best Arizona Elementary Schools for Female Students!

Rank History for Male students at Desert Willow Elementary School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AZ State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2018 81.99 181st 1032 82.5%
2019 80.90 134th 850 84.2%
2021 86.32 148th 1220 87.9%
2022 81.28 107th 830 87.1%
2023 73.20 285th 1216 76.6%
See the entire list of Best Arizona Elementary Schools for Male Students!

Rank History for Asian students at Desert Willow Elementary School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AZ State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2021 80.77 41st 620 93.4%
See the entire list of Best Arizona Elementary Schools for Asian Students!

Rank History for Hispanic students at Desert Willow Elementary School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AZ State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2018 46.35 436th 911 52.1%
2021 75.81 188th 1198 84.3%
2022 68.05 218th 716 69.6%
2023 84.44 123rd 1170 89.5%
See the entire list of Best Arizona Elementary Schools for Hispanic Students!

Rank History for White students at Desert Willow Elementary School

Year Avg Standard Score Statewide Rank Total # Ranked Elementary Schools AZ State Percentile SchoolDigger Rating
2018 68.13 223rd 720 69.0%
2019 64.39 188th 595 68.4%
2021 81.60 146th 1161 87.4%
2022 64.95 226th 800 71.8%
2023 63.23 333rd 1024 67.5%
See the entire list of Best Arizona Elementary Schools for White Students!

Data source: test scores: Arizona Department of Education, rankings: SchoolDigger.com

As you review the school rankings data, please be aware that some of the information from certain demographics is missing. The reason for this omission is that the data has been redacted from the source data itself due to low population samples in these specific demographic groups.

Redacting data from low population samples is a necessary step to ensure the reliability and accuracy of the results, as small sample sizes may not be representative of the broader population. Additionally, this measure helps protect the privacy of individuals belonging to these demographic groups.

Desert Willow Elementary School Test Scores
Tests: 
  
Grades: 
  
Years: 
  
Group by: 
District Scores:
State Scores:    
  
Subgroup: 






Data source: Arizona Department of Education

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Enrollment information for Desert Willow Elementary School

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Compare
Year White African American Asian Hispanic American Indian Pacific Islander Two or More Races Not Specified Total
2000 552 6 6 25 0 n/a n/a 0 589
2001 661 6 5 22 0 n/a n/a 0 694
2002 635 8 8 28 0 n/a n/a 0 679
2003 635 8 8 28 0 n/a n/a 0 679
2004 659 9 13 27 0 n/a n/a 0 708
2005 673 5 12 33 0 n/a n/a 0 723
2006 588 7 13 33 0 n/a n/a 0 641
2007 564 5 18 45 0 n/a n/a 0 632
2008 545 5 22 50 0 n/a n/a 0 622
2009 570 4 23 49 0 n/a n/a 0 646
2010 569 9 30 49 0 n/a n/a 0 657
2011 631 7 31 56 0 1 1 0 727
2012 614 7 34 72 0 1 3 0 731
2013 577 9 29 83 1 1 5 0 705
2014 548 6 24 87 1 0 7 0 673
2015 550 4 24 86 1 0 10 0 675
2016 527 7 21 85 2 0 15 0 657
2017 485 7 22 74 3 0 14 0 605
2018 500 7 17 81 5 0 16 0 626
2019 484 4 11 76 3 0 16 0 594
2020 481 2 10 76 3 0 17 0 589
2021 334 1 6 75 0 0 18 0 434
2022 374 1 6 93 0 0 21 0 495
2023 327 0 4 103 0 0 22 0 456

Data source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education.

About Enrollment/Ethnicity

For more information about how the Department of Education defines ethnicity, see Defining Race and Ethnicity Data, National Center for Education Statistics

Students eligible for free or discounted lunch at Desert Willow Elementary School

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Compare
Year # Students Full-time Teachers Student/Teacher ratio % Free/Discounted Lunch
2000 589 34.8 16.9 n/a
2001 694 38.0 18.3 n/a
2002 679 35.5 19.1 4.3
2003 679 35.5 19.1 4.3
2004 708 33.5 21.1 5.1
2005 723 35.0 20.7 5.1
2006 641 34.0 18.9 1.4
2007 632 40.5 15.6 3.5
2008 622 38.8 16.0 5
2009 646 35.0 18.5 7.1
2010 657 34.0 19.3 10.5
2011 727 36.2 20.0 8.7
2012 731 37.7 19.3 12.2
2013 705 35.2 20.0 1.3
2014 673 37.2 18.0 10.1
2015 675 34.0 19.8 9
2016 657 33.0 19.9 10
2017 605 30.2 20.0 10.2
2018 626 28.2 22.1 5
2019 594 29.2 20.3 3.9
2020 589 29.2 20.1 5.8
2021 434 30.8 14.0 n/a
2022 495 23.2 21.3 2.4
2023 456 25.8 17.6 5.7

Data source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education.

About Students eligible for discounted/free lunch:

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides low-cost or free meals to students in U.S. public and nonprofit private schools based on household income. Those with incomes below 130% of the poverty line receive free lunch, while those between 130% and 185% qualify for reduced-price lunch. The percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch serves as a marker for poverty, as it reflects the socioeconomic status of families in a given school or district. A higher FRPL rate typically indicates a higher concentration of low-income families, suggesting that the school or district may face additional challenges in providing adequate resources and support for student success.

Student/Teacher Ratio Desert Willow Elementary School

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Compare
Year # Students Full-time Teachers Student/Teacher ratio % Free/Discounted Lunch
2000 589 34.8 16.9 n/a
2001 694 38.0 18.3 n/a
2002 679 35.5 19.1 4.3
2003 679 35.5 19.1 4.3
2004 708 33.5 21.1 5.1
2005 723 35.0 20.7 5.1
2006 641 34.0 18.9 1.4
2007 632 40.5 15.6 3.5
2008 622 38.8 16.0 5
2009 646 35.0 18.5 7.1
2010 657 34.0 19.3 10.5
2011 727 36.2 20.0 8.7
2012 731 37.7 19.3 12.2
2013 705 35.2 20.0 1.3
2014 673 37.2 18.0 10.1
2015 675 34.0 19.8 9
2016 657 33.0 19.9 10
2017 605 30.2 20.0 10.2
2018 626 28.2 22.1 5
2019 594 29.2 20.3 3.9
2020 589 29.2 20.1 5.8
2021 434 30.8 14.0 n/a
2022 495 23.2 21.3 2.4
2023 456 25.8 17.6 5.7

Data source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education.

About Student-Teacher Ratio

Student/teacher ratio is calculated by dividing the total number of students by the total number of full-time equivalent teachers. Please note that a smaller student/teacher ratio does not necessarily translate to smaller class size. In some instances, schools hire teachers part time, and some teachers are hired for specialized instruction with very small class sizes. These and other factors contribute to the student/teacher ratio. Note: For private schools, Student/teacher ratio may not include Pre-Kindergarten.
Finances

Per Pupil Expenditures for Desert Willow Elementary School

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YearPersonnel Expenditures from Federal FundsNon-Personnel Expenditures from Federal FundsTotal Expenditures from Federal FundsPersonnel Expenditures from State and Local FundsNon-Personnel Expenditures from State and Local FundsTotal Expenditures from State and Local FundsTotal Expenditures Per Pupil (All Funds)
2019 $143 (1.6%) $27 (0.3%) $312 (3.5%) $6,175 (68.9%) $2,622 (29.2%) $8,797 (98.1%) $8,967
2020 $152 (2.4%) $83 (1.3%) $387 (6.0%) $5,385 (83.6%) $825 (12.8%) $6,209 (96.4%) $6,444
2021 $1,389 (17.3%) $30 (0.4%) $2,808 (34.9%) $5,515 (68.6%) $1,101 (13.7%) $6,616 (82.3%) $8,035
2022 $129 (5.8%) $50 (2.3%) $308 (13.9%) $1,544 (69.5%) $499 (22.5%) $2,043 (91.9%) $2,222

Data source: Arizona Department of Education
Pre and Post Pandemic Data

Impact of COVID-19 on Desert Willow Elementary School

The coronavirus has had a profound impact on education in America. Learning shifted online overnight, attendance numbers dwindled, and enrollment decreased. SchoolDigger.com is making it easier for you to better assess how COVID-19 has impacted your school. Through the collection of pre-pandemic (2019) and current data, SchoolDigger.com is sharing test scores, enrollment numbers and school demographics from schools across the country – and we make it easy to see how impacted schools compare locally and statewide.

Rankings

Rank
Pre-pandemic (2018-2019)
Rank
Post pandemic (2022-2023)
Change (%)
Ranks 166th of 1039 Elementary schoolsRanks 237th of 1245 Elementary schools
 3.1%

Student Body

Number of students
Pre-pandemic (2018-2019)
Number of students
Post pandemic (2022-2023)
Change (%)
Total Students594456
 23.2%
African American40
 100%
American Indian30
 100%
Asian114
 63.6%
Hispanic76103
 35.5%
Pacific Islander00
White484327
 32.4%
Two or More Races1622
 37.5%
% Free/Discounted Lunch Recipients3.9%5.7%
 1.8%


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Frequently Asked Questions about Desert Willow Elementary School

Desert Willow Elementary School ranks 237th of 1245 Arizona elementary schools. SchoolDigger rates this school 4 stars out of 5.

Students who attend Desert Willow Elementary School usually go on to attend:

Middle : Sonoran Trails Middle School
High : Cactus Shadows High School

In the 2022-23 school year, 456 students attended Desert Willow Elementary School.

Students at Desert Willow Elementary School are 72% White, 23% Hispanic, 5% Two or more races.


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SchoolDigger data sources: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Arizona Department of Education.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS: Not all boundaries are included. We make every effort to ensure that boundaries are up-to-date. But it's important to note that these are approximations and are for general informational purposes only. To verify legal descriptions of boundaries or school locations, contact your local tax assessor's office and/or school district.





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