Principal's Message

Welcome to the 2020 - 2021 school year at Desert Foothills Junior High School!

As we navigate through this global pandemic, COVID19, and begin our school year with distance learning, please know that the Desert Foothills Staff and I are working diligently to provide all of our students and families the very best support for a successful school year.  The best form of communication is through email to support our students’ social and academic needs.  Chromebook devices are available for each student in WESD to support online learning. 


Each Desert Foothills student will follow the individual class schedule of the five academic classes and one elective class each day of online learning.  All students will begin in our Homeroom Period from 8:45 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. for attendance and social emotional learning.  At 9:00 a.m., the students will start with their first period class and continue through the class schedule with a lunch period from 12:08-12:38 p.m. for all students.  All students will have 30 minutes of direct online instruction in reading, math, intervention (Writing) and the elective class.  Science and social studies are provided every other day for 30 minutes.  We are dividing each class up in half for the virtual learning to be taught in small groups. 

Students are to begin their day by logging on their WESD Student Account and go to and click on the waffle on the upper right corner.  Then click on the Google Calendar.  From there, students will see that their individual Google Calendar have been filled with the specific classes and times throughout the week. When students click on their class in the Google Calendar, they will have access to the Google Meet and the Google Classroom Code for each class. It’s like a personal student planner as it’s unique to each student.  If a student is not using a WESD Chromebook device, please log on and login using their WESD Student Acct. 

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 an ELA Intervention and Title I math for regular education students struggling with those concepts. 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 music, choir, orchestra, band, guitar, keyboarding/piano, PE, art, technology, multi-media and leadership as elective classes. 

Grab ‘n Go Bags – Breakfasts & Lunches                                                                                                           Beginning Monday, August 10, 2020, from 6:30 – 9:30 a.m., Grab ‘n Go Bags will be distributed from our cafeteria to all Desert Foothills students and/or parents with five days of breakfasts and lunches.  This program offered through WESD Nutrition Services will continue during virtual learning. 

 It is an honor to serve as the principal of Desert Foothills. Mr. Steve Whynott, AP, and I are committed to creating a whole school of excellence for Desert Foothills that promotes the academic and social growth of every student. Please know that we are here for your child’s success at Desert Foothills.  You are always welcome to call or email with any questions or concerns.  The Desert Foothills staff and I welcome you to our unique school year with distance learning and look forward to a wonderful school year.           


Susan P. Smith