Desert Sky Middle School's mission is to provide:

  • a safe and positive learning environment
  • high standards for academic and behavioral excellence
  • trusting and respectful relationships
  • varied learning opportunities

9850 E. Rankin Loop - Tucson, AZ 85747

School Hours: 8:00-3:00

Office Hours: 7:30-3:30

Phone: (520) 879-2700

Fax: (520) 879-2701

Safe Schools Hotline: (520) 879-1111

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

School Closure Information

March 15, 2020

Dear Vail Parents and Guardians,

Governor Doug Ducey has just announced statewide school closures to take effect March 16th through March 27th.

Please review the announcement from the Governor and the State Superintendent to parents here.

This means that Vail students will have an extended Spring Break through March 30th. We are making plans to provide learning opportunities for the week of March 23rd through March 27th and beyond if necessary.

The Governor’s announcement encourages the continuation of childcare options. As of now, our Community Services and VIP childcare will remain open.

Please be on the lookout for further communication before school resumes on March 30th.

John Carruth

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

Lost and Found

Dear Cougar Families–

Our Lost and Found is overflowing! These items will be laid out during lunch for students to claim from December 16th-19th. If your student has lost an item, please send them to come check out our Lost and Found Box before it’s too late. Items that have not been claimed by the beginning of our winter break will be donated to a local charity.

Thank you,

DS Administration