It’s hard to believe, but kindergarten registration for the 2022-2023 school year has begun! Luckily for local families, Deer Valley Unified School District (DVUSD) offers a free full-day kindergarten program at all of their K-6 and K-8 schools.

“DVUSD kindergarten classrooms are filled with caring, kind-hearted, and genuine certified teachers,” says Mirage Elementary kindergarten teacher Stephanie Salcido. “Teachers respect every student and provide a safe and caring space, embracing each uniqueness and the strengths that we all have as individuals.”

These teachers are not only nurturing, but they are also fully certified in early childhood education.

“That includes reading, math, science, social studies and writing for young children. We know teaching is a constant work in progress. Parents can rest assured their kindergartner will receive the rigorous, highest standards of teaching anywhere,” says Lisa Hoelzen, a kindergarten teacher at Copper Creek Elementary. “At the same time, we mindfully consider the developmental stage of each child. We create learning environments that are exciting, hands-on, and engaging.”

In Deer Valley, 92% of K-6 and K-8 schools are rated an A or B by the Arizona Department of Education. Teachers have helped their schools achieve these high ratings by nurturing the whole child.

Parents sending students off to kindergarten for the first time often wonder what a day will be like for their little ones. “A full six-and-a-half-hour day in the life of a kindergartner looks, sounds, and feels exciting, motivating, and engaging,” says Hoelzen.

Salcido adds, “A day in kindergarten is filled with love, compassion, empathy, understanding, and curiosity. There is a constant willingness to explore, overcome, and learn about the world around us.”

To support learning, across Deer Valley schools, classrooms are packed with technology, including iPads for every student, smartboards, document cameras, Apple TVs, 3D printers, and more. Another way the DVUSD kindergarten program is unique is in providing special classes (art, music or PE) every day for kindergarten students at all DVUSD K-6 and K-8 schools to enhance overall learning, growth, creativity, and physical development. Several studies have shown that classes like art, music, and physical education increase achievement in literacy and mathematics.

Parents can learn about the DVUSD kindergarten program at Kindergarten Preview Event Weeks are taking place in November and March. For a complete list of events, visit