By DVUSD Superintendent Dr. Curt Finch
Enrollment in Arizona is on the comeback trail! Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD) enrollment rose significantly this school year and kindergarten jumped over 9%. The enrollment surge mirrors state numbers and is recording a positive trend after a statewide drop in 2019. The Early Childhood Task Force (ECTC) reported that Arizona had over three times the growth in population of young children than the national average from 2000 to 2010; Arizona recorded a 19% increase during the 2000-2010 decade, while the United States, a 5% increase.
The Great Recession slowed Arizona’s growth, impacting the state’s population changes as hundreds of families moved out of the state, looking for work. Maricopa County is now one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. Although arriving families are becoming traditionally smaller, the younger trends have reignited again from the influx of migration and a more stable in-state birth rate. The two-year impact of the pandemic has not been sorted out yet for the state, but the growth trends appear positive for the DVUSD attendance area. The direct impact of the Taiwan Semi-Conductor Manufacturing Company on Deer Valley is yet to be realized.
During the Great Recession, Arizona’s Governor and Legislature cut $1 billion from public education, the largest in the nation and never replaced the revenue, hence the reason Arizona always slides to the bottom in the nation in dollars-per-student for education. Despite the lack of revenue, DVUSD stayed committed to offering a full-time kindergarten option for parents. Quality preparation in early learning supplies proper socialization, learning enthusiasm, cooperation, team-work, patience, and personal confidence for students to be successful. Daily art, physical education, music and before and after-school programs are also available. An excellent start to a student’s education, begins with quality kindergarten. It was Robert Fulghum who said, “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.” He was on to something. Kindergarten is important!
DVUSD is quickly becoming one of the best public school districts in all of Arizona. The DVUSD kindergarten highly-qualified teachers are some of the best. Students need to be 5 years old by August 2022, or 5 years old between September 1 and December 31, 2022 to qualify for Early Entry Testing.
Registration for kindergarten is now open and can be found at www.dvusd.org/enroll before heading to your neighborhood school with the child’s birth certificate, immunization records, proof of residency, and some form of parent/guardianship identification. To open enroll at another DVUSD school outside of your home school boundary, go to http://openenrollment.dvusd.org/application. DVUSD’s free All-Day kindergarten registration for 2022-2023 has already started and seats are going fast. DVUSD’s kindergarten early enrollment has increased again on the heels of last year’s big jump. Preparation is key, so the sooner you sign up, the better the chance to secure a seat.
For more information about DVUSD’s kindergarten program, visit www.dvusd.org/kindergarten. Come learn with the best and receive a great educational start!
Dr. Finch can be reached at email@example.com.