Welcome 5th Graders to DSMS!


Dear Future Desert Sky Parents,

Good Afternoon!
This information is for families that have a 5th grader that will be attending DSMS for middle school (students that live in the DSMS attendance boundaries and/or 5th grade students that have been accepted at DSMS under open enrollment for the 20-21 school year).
Please see the links below for our 5th Grade Welcome Video (in lieu of our 5th Grade Parent Night) and our Campus Tour Video (in lieu of our 5th Grade Student Visitation).
Welcome Video:
Campus Tour Video:
I hope you enjoy and we’ll see you soon!
Thank you,
Katie Dabney

Check-in and 20/21 Team Requests


Dear Desert Sky Families,

I hope you are all safe and healthy. We sure miss our middle schoolers and all of you!

I want to thank you all for your incredible support. The kindness and grace you have shown our teachers as we navigate the school closure has been incredible.

We are currently in the end of the fifth week of our new normal, and I hope you have had time to create a routine or sense normalcy in your home. We will continue to post Schoology activities each Monday as part of our new norm, and teachers/school staff will continue to find ways to connect with students. We will also continue to enter assignments into Powerschool so you can see the different assignments your child has completed.

I also want to acknowledge that as parents, right now many of you are working, parenting, and teaching. In a recent meeting we discussed this quote from Dr. Emily King: “Working, parenting, and teaching are three different jobs that cannot be done at the same time. It’s not hard because you are doing it wrong. It’s hard because it’s too much. Do the best you can. When you have to pick, because at some point you will, choose connection.

I believe this quote speaks to what many of us are feeling…. it sure spoke to me. I encourage you, as parents, to do what you need to do to take care of yourselves as well. You are all doing a really fantastic job…and as a mom, I know that it is not easy right now. Many of our families are in different places and facing very different things. We understand, and if we can help, your child’s teachers are only an email or Zoom away.

I also know that many of you have been wondering about team requests. Please see the attached letter for how to submit a Team Request for next year. This year will be a tad different. Instead of sending an email to Mrs. Marsh, please use the link below to submit your request.


Again, I hope you and your family are doing well.


Katie Dabney

Team Request parent letter 2020:21

School Closure Update – John Carruth

Dear Vail Parents,

We have been spending considerable time crafting plans to offer support to you and your children while our schools are closed as part of the state’s plan to slow the spread of COVID-19.

We are preparing to return to school on March 30th, while simultaneously preparing for the reality that school closures could be extended.

You will be receiving notice from your child’s principal soon regarding the specifics of those plans over the course of the remainder of the closures. Should the closures be extended, we will continue to communicate with you regarding the implications and our plans to move forward.

If you have specific questions regarding plans or the impact of the closures on certain events, please consult with your child’s principal or with me. Events around COVID-19 are changing rapidly. We will do our best to answer your questions with the information that we have at that time.

Our community is a very special place. Our children are our most precious gift. While we plan and adjust to this unprecedented time, we lean on time tested “Vail values” to guide us:

We are a place where education is a community effort.
We are reminded how to ACT.
And as a staff, we seek to provide you, parents, with a safe place where your children can obtain a quality education.

These values don’t prevent us from making mistakes, but they do call us all to work together, to extend grace to each other when we stumble, and simply, to do the best we can while educating our children and serving our community- regardless of the circumstances.


John Carruth

Parent Letter – Mrs. Dabney, Principal


March 18, 202

Dear Parents,

First, I hope that you are all taking care of yourselves and your families. While this is an event without precedent, we will respond to this challenge in the manner that we always do – with focus, with what is best for our students and our community, and with our typical every day support and care for each other.

As you are aware, Governor Doug Ducey has announced statewide school closures to take effect March 16th through March 27th. We acknowledge that our families are being impacted in many ways during this unprecedented time and that family routines may be different. Desert Sky Middle School and our staff will do our very best to provide your family support, while at the same time taking care of our own families’ needs.

District leadership and teachers are working on plans to provide stability, connections, and general educational opportunities while students are at home. During the week of March 23rd, your child’s teachers will be reaching out to students and their families via email or Schoology. In addition, on Wednesday the 25th, teachers will recommend activities, via schoology, to students while they are at home. The best way to contact your child’s teachers during this time is via email. Please see the Desert Sky website for teacher email addresses.

Extracurricular activities have also been suspended at this time. We will reevaluate as this event evolves. Suspended activities include:

• Any school activities using facilities
• Athletics – Activity fees will be returned if athletics is fully cancelled for the fourth
• Field trips or student/staff travel. EF Tours has been in contact with families
registered for the New York/DC Trip
• Facility rentals – the District is working to cancel facilities rentals through the end
of March
• Plays or performances
• Any athletic practices – All athletic practices have been suspended

Further, our Beyond Textbooks Parent Portal https://www.beyondtextbooks.org/ Parent_Portal, has a list of resources that can also be accessed from home. There is no way to fully replicate our school model into an online at-home model, but we will be providing general educational activities to keep students engaged during the closure.

We also recognize that many of our students may need support with breakfast and lunch, and some families may need support with food baskets. If you are in need of a food basket, please contact Krista Fields at fieldsk@vailschooldistrict.org.

In addition, if your child has medication at school, please make arrangements to pick up prescriptions on Friday, March 20 from 2-3:30 p.m. Maxine Valdez, DSMS health aide, will be available in the front office.

We ask that you are patient with us as we do the best we can to continue to provide quality opportunities for your child to be engaged.

This is certainly a challenging time for all of us, but we know that the Vail community is strong. We will get through this time of uncertainty together. Please be sure to visit our website and check email for periodic updates. Feel free to contact me should you have any further questions.


Katie Dabney
Desert Sky Middle School

Open Enrollment

Dear Open Enrollment Families,

Vail Unified School District accepts applications from VUSD parents wishing to have their child attend a Vail school outside of their home school attendance boundary area (In-District Transfer), as well as from parents living outside of the VUSD district boundaries who wish to have their child considered for enrollment in a VUSD school (Open Enrollment). 

Open enrollment/transfer applications are considered on an annual basis and a separate application must be submitted for each student each year. Students will be accepted based on space availability at the school/grade/program. 

The 2020-2021 online application can be accessed beginning December 1st on the VUSD website under “Our Schools” and then “Registration Information” or through the following link: https://vailschooldistrict.org/our-schools/registration-information/#1454604958106-ad259a8f-9597

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at 520-879-3982 or scanlonp@vailschooldistrict.org.

Thank you,

Pamela J. Scanlon, M.Ed.

District Enrollment Coordinator