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About Us

Mission Statement

Desert View Learning Center is an open, accepting learning environment dedicated to academic excellence through individualized instruction for students in grades K through 4. Building on a foundation of family engagement, children learn in small classes from experienced, dynamic teachers and are encouraged to work, play, and explore in a variety of flexible, mixed age groupings, in both the classroom and in the beautiful desert surroundings. Desert View students participate in hands-on, cross-curricular learning that incorporates leadership, problem solving, respect, and kindness with a strong emphasis on the arts.


We could tell that Desert View was special from our first visit.  We watched kids playing in the desert, happily involved in games they had invented on their own.  The only things they have to play with in the desert are their classmates and their own imaginations.  It is everything they need.  This resourcefulness is a quality that tends to stay with these kids as they grow up. 


While Desert View honors their students as the little people that they are, our school also sends the gentle persistent message that each child plays an active part in their own learning and social relationships.  Many times I have noticed a teacher pull aside a child or two and ask them thoughtful questions about an issue brewing on the playground or during free time.  Rather than telling a child how to behave, the teacher has gently included the kids in the process of solving their own problems. 


Desert View leaves an imprint on parents, too.  Talking with other parents at drop off, on field trips, and volunteering in the classroom helped me realize that the challenges of being a parent are more common than I'd guessed, and that I was in good company!


I was especially grateful for the way Desert View teachers appreciated my kids for the unique individuals they are, and at the same time challenging them to be curious, learn, and grow in their understanding of the world and themselves.  My kids were so fortunate to have teachers like that in their young lives. 

-Marian Florey

Former Parent

Our Goals

  • To foster academic excellence.

  • To provide a warm, accepting, and academically challenging environment in which children learn to enjoy school and see themselves as competent individuals.

  • To create individual academic and social goals based on the abilities and needs of each child.

  • To encourage self-sufficiency by teaching social and problem-solving skills.

  • To offer a wide variety of experiences without the limitations of common stereotypes.

  • To inspire children to have a lifelong love of learning.

The DVLC Way

DVLC is a magical place to learn and where childhood is cherished. Students have time to move, explore and play in a joyful elementary school experience. Play is important and a key part of the DVLC experience. Instruction and experiences provided maximize children’s potential while giving them time to come into their own. These learning opportunities integrate active, hands-on, experiential activities. As an independent school, DVLC is also proud to be a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, NAIS. 


Children discover their gifts and talents and gain an understanding of self. Individuality is celebrated and children are accepted for who they are. There is a strong belief in the student’s potential. Social interactions, meaningful relationships and the development of social skills are fostered as a priority in the development of the whole child. Leadership in students is fostered through respect, trust, accountability and serving the common good for society. Cross-age friendships and buddy programs foster leadership in older students.


DVLC is a safe place to make mistakes and learn from them. Children are taught to be respectful, use their words, and to be well mannered. Through Friday Performances and oral reports, students learn to be a good audience member and to ask and answer questions. Children learn how to present in a confident manner through presentations, performances, as well as learn how to be respectful listeners. Dramatic arts experiences and public speaking at an early age make for confident children who have less stage fright.


Students and families participate in child-centered events throughout the year, including a Thanksgiving celebration, a winter singalong, and a Valentine carnival. Students also eagerly look forward to Night School, a DVLC tradition when the school day is shifted later for one very special day.



Desert View students experience school life differently than children who attend more traditional private or public schools. Desert View's teachers believe that developing a true environmental mindset can only come from the interactions, enjoyment and experiences in the actual, natural environment. Saving trees is much more personal and meaningful when you have read a book in the branches of a large mesquite.

-Piya Jacob 
Desert View Director

(1974 to 2014)

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