Welcome to

Desert Christian Schools

Desert Christian Schools is an independent, inter-denominational Christian covenant school partnering with parents who desire to see their children raised up “…in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4).

Desert Christian was founded in 1986 on Tucson's eastside as a high school and has since grown to include a second campus for preschool to 8th grade. Today, DCS represents more than fifty area churches as Tucson's only independent, comprehensive preschool - 12th grade Christian school. DCS is governed by a parent-elected Board of Trustees, staffed by licensed, qualified faculty and is fully accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).

DCS offers students a rigorous traditional liberal arts education taught from a biblical worldview. A wide variety of co-curricular activities are also offered to enhance each child’s experience beyond the classroom. Our professionally certified faculty members possess a vibrant faith and are committed to discipling students while providing the finest quality Christian education. As a result, Desert Christian produces academic excellence within a caring, Christ-centered environment.

Heritage of Desert Christian Schools

Desert Christian High School opened in 1986 following two years of planning and praying by four core families who envisioned a quality Christian high school on the east side of Tucson. Starting with just 23 students in grades 9 and 10 with a staff of 7, believing God was using them to accomplish “big things,” these families stepped out in faith and commitment.

In 1991, with an enrollment approaching 100 students, following God’s leading, the Board of Trustees expanded the school by adding the Middle School in early 2000 and the Elementary School in 2004. Again led by God, our current property was purchased at 7525 E. Speedway and the campus opened in 2001. In the fall of 2011, the present Preschool - 8th grade campus opened at Wrightstown and Harrison. Desert Christian Schools maintains an intimate, robust community currently enrolling 200 high school and 150 elementary and middle school students. The schools are served by 60 full and part-time faculty and staff.

Desert Christian Schools, celebrating 30 years, has been offering a Christ-centered education. Respected academically, over 95% of our graduates attend colleges, universities and military academies across the United States. In the last three years, our graduates earned approximately $5 million in scholarships for academic achievement, leadership and athletics.

In the last four years, ten of our seniors have been recognized as Arizona Interscholastic Association for Outstanding Students. In 2015 we had 1 National Merit winner. The K-8 regularly produces top finishers in regional ACSI Math Olympics and Spelling Bee. Students at all three schools consistently score well above the national average on achievement assessments, with DCHS having several National Merit Scholars in recent years.

Our performing arts and musical theatre department has established a reputation for excellence, attracting audiences from all over Tucson. In recent years, the Southern Arizona Shakespeare competition has chosen students to represent Southern Arizona at the national competition at NYC's Lincoln Center with one as a finalist. USA Weekend named the DCHS production of "Camelot" the "Best High School Musical" in Arizona.

Athletically, our boys and girls teams have distinguished themselves by winning many conference and state titles, but more importantly, character awards such as the Boyd Baker trophy for outstanding sportsmanship among all 1A-5A high schools in Southern Arizona. We have had several coaches named Coach of the Year and our athletic director has been nationally recognized for outstanding contributions to our state athletic association. DCHS has twice received the highest Arizona Interscholastic Association state honor, The Directors Cup Award, which recognizes the excellence of our co-curricular activities and the school's achievements in "Pursuing Victory with Honor." Our faculty and staff have also distinguished themselves with national recognition in the areas of science, yearbook, and the High School Senior Expo program.

There are many blessings that accompany those who seek God's Truth. We praise Him for His guiding hand upon our school and will continue to seek His will for future generations of young people who will impact the world for Christ.

Accreditation

Desert Christian Schools is a fully accredited member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), Rocky Mountain Region.


Accreditation Advantages

Spiritual

• ACSI accredited schools have remained the most theologically stable and consistent over the past five years of any surveyed.**

• Christian school graduates are significantly more likely to pray and read Scripture both alone and with a spouse and children.*

• ACSI accredited schools have these top priorities: for students to have a close, personal relationship with God and for students to develop a Christian worldview.**

• Christian school graduates are more likely to attend religious services and respect the authority of church leadership.*

• All ACSI accredited schools that were asked responded affirmatively that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that it does not err in moral, spiritual, and religious matters.**

*ACSI accredited schools, on average, offer more Advanced Placement courses than other Protestant schools.**

Find out more about these facts and the related studies by visiting www.acsi.org/about-acsi/why-acsi-schools. These comments do not promise the quality of an individual school; they are representative comments of ACSI schools as a whole.

* Protestant Christian schools compared with Catholic, public, and private nonreligious schools as well as homeschools

** ACSI accredited schools compared with other ACSI members, Protestant Christian schools, and Catholic schools

Cultural

• A greater percentage of ACSI accredited schools offer mission and social service opportunities both in the United States and Canada.**

• Christian school graduates donate significantly more money to their churches, religious causes, and other charitable causes overall.*

• A higher percentage of ACSI accredited programs have official ties to student social service organizations.**

• Christian school graduates give more of their time to volunteer in their congregations, on mission trips, and on relief/aid trips.*

• A higher percentage of ACSI accredited schools report student involvement in political campaigns, meetings, or rallies.**

• On average, ACSI accredited schools require more rigorous course loads in math, science, English, languages, civics, social studies, art or music, and Bible than all other programs surveyed.**

• ACSI school graduates attend college at a significantly higher rate than the national average (86 percent compared with 68 percent).

• Since 1974 ACSI schools have scored significantly higher than the national norm in every grade level on a national achievement test.

• A recent study shows that religious school graduates, on average, exceeded the SAT College & Career Readiness Benchmark while public school students, on average, failed to meet the same standard. On average, religious school graduates scored 44 points higher.

*ACSI accredited schools, on average, offer more Advanced Placement courses than other Protestant schools.**

Find out more about these facts and the related studies by visiting www.acsi.org/about-acsi/why-acsi-schools. These comments do not promise the quality of an individual school; they are representative comments of ACSI schools as a whole.

* Protestant Christian schools compared with Catholic, public, and private nonreligious schools as well as homeschools

** ACSI accredited schools compared with other ACSI members, Protestant Christian schools, and Catholic schools

Academic

Top Emphasis
ACSI Accredited vs. Public Schools

In addition to higher academic achievement, more than two-thirds (69%) of administrators in ACSI accredited schools said their top priorities for students were development of a Christian worldview, involvement in evangelism, or a close, personal relationship with God.

Eighty percent of public school principals said their top priority was for student basic literacy.

*ACSI accredited schools, on average, offer more Advanced Placement courses than other Protestant schools.**

Find out more about these facts and the related studies by visiting www.acsi.org/about-acsi/why-acsi-schools. These comments do not promise the quality of an individual school; they are representative comments of ACSI schools as a whole.

* Protestant Christian schools compared with Catholic, public, and private nonreligious schools as well as homeschools

** ACSI accredited schools compared with other ACSI members, Protestant Christian schools, and Catholic schools

Affiliations

Welcome,

It is my privilege and joy to serve as the Headmaster of this amazing school, which has effectively served the Christian community in Tucson for over thirty years. DCS is committed to:

  • Discipling Students to impact their world.
  • Partnering with Parents in the education and healthy development of their children.
  • Providing a Traditional Liberal Arts Education that recognizes the unique aspirations, needs, and learning styles of individual students, and…
  • Integrating a Biblical Worldview into all that we do.

As Headmaster, my passion for leading our schools is threefold:

  1. To provide an Authentic Christian Education, which fosters critical thinking skills; ensuring that we integrate the Biblical directive to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind” (Luke 10:27) into every area of the school.
  2. To provide a World-class Educational Experience; founded on research-based best practices.
  3. To provide a Student-centered Approach to learning; recognizing and affirming the unique aspirations, needs, and learning-styles of individual students.

In addition, here at DCS we process all that we do through the values of SAFETY, HONOR, INTEGRITY, and LOVE. We take these core values seriously and they are modeled by our teachers, our coaches, our volunteers, and our administration.

If the above commitments, passions, and values resonate with you, then we invite you to partner with us here at Desert Christian Schools.

Dr. Toby A. Travis | Headmaster