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  • How to Stay in Touch with Your Child’s Teacher Throughout the School Year

    Posted by PVSchools at 8/17/2017

    woman using a computer Throughout the school year, parents occasionally will need to reach out to their child’s teacher. Here are the most common ways for you to communicate with teachers.


    At the beginning of the school year, be sure to get your the teacher’s email address. With busy schedules, sending a quick email is the most convenient way to get in touch with your child’s teacher. Your child’s teacher will most likely respond to you within 48 hours. Please know that you should always email your teacher by using his or her work email address. Never ask for a personal email address from the teacher.

    Phone Call

    If it’s really important, you may want to call your child’s teacher directly. While the teacher may not be able to answer the phone while teaching the class, you can leave a message. Most likely, your child’s teacher will get back to you at the end of the day or before school the next day. Again, you should call the teacher’s office number. Never ask for the teacher’s personal cell phone or home phone number.

    Send Handwritten Notes

    You may want to send a handwritten note to the teacher when your child has trouble with a homework assignment or may need to leave early that day for an appointment. Show your appreciation to your child’s teacher by simply sending a thank you note every once in awhile.


    Teachers love to have extra help in the classroom to help make copies, pass out graded work, etc. By volunteering in the classroom, your child’s teacher will be more accessible, and you’ll be able to spend more time with your child.  

    Schedule a Meeting

    For more in-depth conversations about your child’s progress or any problems that he or she has been experiencing, you should schedule a meeting with the teacher either before or after school. Email the teacher to see which date and time that works best for him or her.


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  • SMS Text Messaging for School Emergency Broadcasts

    Posted by PVSchools at 8/15/2017

    Text Yes to 68453 If you are a parent or guardian and haven’t already signed up to receive emergency text messages, just follow the quick steps outlined below to get started:

    • If you are new to the district, please make sure you have your mobile number on file with your school via your student's emergency card. Student emergency cards are sent home at the beginning of each school year. If you have phone numbers (either home or mobile) that change during the year, you are strongly encouraged to reach out to your school and provide updated phone number information.

    • Once your mobile number is entered into the student information system or anytme your mobile number is updated in the student information system, you will receive an automated text message from our emergency broadcast system (SchoolMessenger) asking you to opt in to the SMS text messaging feature. FCC regulations require an opt-in process. Please note that you can opt out at any time, by simply texting the word NO to 68453.
      If your mobile number is already on file with the district, you can opt-in at any time by texting the word YES to 68453.

    • If there are multiple mobile numbers you want to have on file to receive emergency text messages, please note you must opt in each mobile number for your household in order to receive emergency broadcast alerts from your school or the district.

    Due to FCC regulations, anytime you change or add a mobile number, you will automatically get a new opt-in message from the district for each of the new numbers, unless you choose to opt-in by yourself.

    Please note: SchoolMessenger, the district’s emergency communication system, does not charge any text message fees; however, wireless carriers typically do. Please contact your wireless carrier directly for more information about their text messaging fees.


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  • Be Involved In Your Child’s School

    Posted by PVSchools at 8/14/2017

    Passion led us here Being involved in your child’s school is one way you can boost his or her academic success. Studies have shown that parental involvement can have a positive impact on academic achievement. At PVSchools, we welcome and encourage parental involvement at our schools. There are many ways in which a parent can be in involved in their child’s education, including:

    1. Attend school and district events
      Each year, our schools have numerous events such as fall or spring carnivals, school plays and musicals, band, strings orchestra and choir performances and sporting events that parents and community members are encouraged to attend.

    2. Chaperone
      Students often go on field trips, educational trips or have school dances in which they need parent volunteers to help chaperone the events.  Chaperoning is a great way to spend extra time with your child. Learn how you can be a chaperone.

    3. Join the PTO/PTA/PTSA/Boosters
      Parent groups typically hold monthly meetings and support schools by raising money for projects and materials. Parent groups need parents to help organize fall or spring carnivals, fundraisers and assist with other committees.

    4. Volunteer in your child’s classroom
      If you are available a few hours a week, your child’s classroom teacher could the extra help with making copies or on health screening days.  Site Volunteers are parents, stepparents or legal guardians who have a child enrolled in the school where he or she wishes to volunteer. Learn how you can apply to be a Site Volunteer.

    5. Volunteer In Paradise (VIP)
      If you have a few hours a week to spare, you can volunteer in our one participating schools. The award-winning VIP program is looking for dedicated, highly qualified volunteers in all subject area for Kindergarten through 6th grade. Learn more about VIP and to register for orientation.

    6. Attend a Governing Board meeting
      The PVSchools Governing Board meets twice a month. During Governing Board meetings, students and staff members are recognized for their accomplishments, presentations are given, and there is a student performance. Governing Board meeting materials are posted to the district website at http://www.pvschools.net/domain/1925.

    7. United Parent Council (UPC)
      The United Parent Council (UPC) is a district-wide parent group that has been active for more than 30 years. UPC brings parents together from across the district to be informed, have a voice and stand for children. Learn more about UPC.

    8. The PV Schools Education Foundation
      You can make a tax-deductible donation to the PV Schools Education Foundation (PVEF). Donations are used to support a wide variety of projects for students in PVSchools, including the PSATs, District Spelling Bee, Fine Arts Festival, Digital Library, STEM initiatives and Teacher mini-grants. Learn more about PVSEF.


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  • Your Guide to PVSchools Partnership Flier Program

    Posted by PVSchools at 8/10/2017

    Art Partnership Flier Program Does your business offer educational services, including health and dental services for children? Do you need help spreading the word about these services? If you answered yes, then PVSchools has a Partnership Flier Program that’s a win-win situation for your business and our district.

    Here’s what you need to know about the PVSchools Partnership Flier Program.

    What is the PVSchools Partnership Flier Program?

    The Partnership Flier Program is administered in accordance with Governing Board Policy KHB - Advertising In Schools, and exists solely for the purpose of generating revenue via program sales or student recruitment and retention. As such, flier displays do not constitute a public forum. Visual and textual content of fliers is limited to speech that conforms to advertising standards articulated in the policy.

    Who can submit fliers?

    PVSchools Partnership Flier Program is open to for-profits, nonprofits, school-affiliated organizations and organizations not affiliated with the schools.

    How does the program work?

    The flier display opportunity consists of placement of a PDF file on the district’s eBackpack web page at pvschools.net/pvpartners and placement of 15 trifold brochures or fliers in the flier area of elementary and middle school front offices; high school offices are excluded from the program. Delivery of school lobby placement materials is the responsibility of the sponsor. In exchange for the district display(s), the sponsor must provide either payment or one of the following promotional trades:

    • Sponsor will display the district’s 11x17 poster in a business window or interior site visible to sponsor customers for the equivalent duration of the PV Partners web page display;
    • Sponsor will include two sentences of district information, including a hyperlink or URL, in widely distributed enews materials for the equivalent duration of the PV Partners web page display;
    • Sponsor will include a digital district ad on the sponsor’s website home page for the equivalent duration of the PV Partners web page display.

    Which categories does PVSchools display fliers under?

    PVSchools accepts fliers for the following categories:

    • Sports
    • Groups and clubs
    • Academics
    • Events
    • Camps
    • Professional services

    What is the cost and payment terms?

    In exchange for web display, and elementary and middle school lobby display of sponsor’s flier, one option must be chosen – payment or trade:

    Payment: The cost is $200 per year payable by check or money order and made out to the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Please note that the district is unable to accept cash or credit cards. Sponsors must pay in advance.

    Trade: Sponsor must provide proof of trade performance within one week of flier approval. Sponsors who fail to provide proof of performance as agreed upon in the sponsor agreement will be prohibited from displaying ads for the remainder of the current school year and the following school year.

    Does any paperwork need to filled out before I display my flier?

    Yes, prior to having a flier approved and displayed, the Partnership Flier Program Agreement must be completed and submitted via email to dtheiss@pvschools.net or fax at 602-449-2005. You must also send your flier by email as a PDF in order for it to post it online. The Partnership Flier Program Agreement is found on page 3 of the Participation Packet.

    How are fliers displayed?

    PVSchools only accepts fliers for display in the front offices of our elementary and middle schools. Please note that high schools are excluded from from the program. Once the flier is approved, 15 printed trifold brochures or fliers may be placed in the front office. It’s the responsibility of the sponsor to deliver the fliers to the schools. Fliers are also posted on the PVSchools website at www.pvschools.net/pvpartners.

    What must be included in the flier before it’s displayed?

    All fliers that are submitted must include the PVSchools disclaimer - The Paradise Valley Unified School District neither endorses nor sponsors the organization or activity represented in this material. The distribution or display of this material is provided as a community service.

    When does PVSchools accept sponsors for the new school year?

    PVSchools Partnership Flier Programs is open from August 17 through May 15.

    For detailed information about PVSchools Partnership Flier Program, including the agreement, please review the Participation Packet.

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  • SchoolMessenger Communications Consent for Parents

    Posted by PVSchools at 8/10/2017

    woman using smart phone Under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), PVSchools is requesting permission from parents to send non-emergency school-related voice broadcast messages via an autodialer system.

    It's important to know that when filling out your Emergency/Information Card for the 2017-18 school year there will be a provision for parents to review and sign for school-related notifications. This permission gives express consent for non-emergency school-related voice broadcast messages made using automatic dialing equipment or a prerecorded message to any telephone number assigned to a cell phone or any service for which the called party is charged for the call.

    You can opt out of non-emergency calls at any time. Voice call instructions are included at the beginning of the call on how to use touch tones on your phone keypad to stop receiving calls.

    Below are some important facts to keep in mind about the opt out feature for non-emergency voice broadcast messages:

    This opt out feature doesn’t apply to voice broadcast messages made from either the district or individual schools which are deemed as for “emergency purposes.” Under the TCPA, “emergency purposes” are defined as a call made necessary in any situation affecting the health and safety of consumers.

    • Requests to opt-out of voice broadcast messages aren’t instantaneous. Requests will be processed on a regular basis by your individual school. Please be sure to send your opt-out request through a second time (by pressing 5 when you receive a voice broadcast message) should you feel your initial request has not been processed in a timely manner, or you may wish to contact your individual school directly

    • Opt-out requests only apply to the number on which the request is submitted. This means if you receive a call at your home telephone number and would like to opt-out that particular number, you may do so by pressing 5 anytime during the message and then pressing the number one to confirm; however, the opt-out request only applies to that particular number being called.

    • Please contact your individual school directly if you wish to be opted back in at any time or feel your telephone number(s) have been opted out in error.


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  • AzMERIT Results

    Posted by Steve Jeras at 8/10/2017

    student taking a math test In the spring of 2017, Arizona’s Measurement of Educational Readiness to Inform Teaching (AzMERIT) was administered to all Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVSchools) students in grades three through high school in English Language Arts and Mathematics at their grade level. Schools will distribute individual student results within the first two weeks of school, either through student backpack mail or at the school’s curriculum night. Please contact your school about the method of delivery.  

    AzMERIT scores are an opportunity for parents to see how their child(ren) is performing in the assessed areas compared to other students in the district and across the state. PVSchools teachers will use these results in a variety of ways to promote student growth. Individual student scores will help teachers improve instruction and ensure each child is appropriately challenged. Student scores will help district leadership work with teachers and principals to identify which instructional practices and programs are serving us well while identifying areas to target for improvement.

    Most importantly, the results can contribute to the conversation between teacher, parent, and student about how to best support your child.  AzMERIT is just one piece of data in a child’s academic profile, and all evidence of learning needs to be considered when evaluating growth and developing an educational course for a student. By working together, teachers and parents can identify in-class and at-home strategies to best meet the needs of each student.

    Thank you for your continued support as we work to provide the highest quality educational opportunities for your child(ren).

    About the author:

    Steve Jeras Steven Jeras is the Director of Assessment for the Paradise Valley Unified School District. He began his educational career as a high school English and Journalism teacher and then served as the Assistant Principal at Desert Shadows Middle School.  Most recently, he was the Principal of Sandpiper Elementary School, where he helped develop the district’s first dual language immersion program. In 2002, he received his Masters in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, and he is currently pursuing his doctorate in Educational Leadership.


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  • PVSchools Fine Arts Teachers Explore the MIM for Inspiration

    Posted by PVSchools at 8/8/2017

    Professional Development Day for PVSchools Fine Arts teachers  PVSchools Fine Arts teachers spent part of the day at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) for Professional Development to kickoff the start of the new school year. During the Professional Development, 128 Fine Arts teachers learned about the educational resources that the MIM has to offer for both themselves and their students.

    Through the workshop experience, teachers explored the connections between the arts and culture, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Additionally, teachers learned ways in which they can partner with the MIM and also explored ways to create deeper and richer experiences in the Arts for our students.

    PVSchools teachers had the opportunity to tour the MIM and learned more about the wonderful resources that are available to them and students. All of the teachers participated in a Cultural Diffusion Activity, which required them to research cultural instrumental music expressions for inspiration. In addition, they explored science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics (STEAM) while inventing a functional musical instrument from found objects.

    Learn more about PVSchools Fine Arts program at www.pvschools.net/arts.


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  • Your Guide to Viewing the Total Solar Eclipse

    Posted by PVSchools at 8/7/2017

    solar eclipse On August 21st, the United States will be able to experience the total solar eclipse. This is the first total solar eclipse visible in the continental United States in 38 years. Even though Arizona residents will not get to see a total eclipse, the best time to view the partial eclipse is 10:33 a.m. In Arizona, the elcipe will start at 9:13 a.m. and will be over by noon.

    What is a total solar eclipse?

    A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for about three or more hours. According to NASA.gov, for this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location is about two minutes and 40 seconds.

    What do you need to know about viewing it safely?

    It’s important to know that you should never look directly into the sun without the appropriate eye wear. You’ll need to purchase special eclipse glasses for viewing purposes. NASA has compiled a list of helpful tips so that you can safely view the eclipse.

    • Always supervise children using solar glasses.
    • Don’t look at the partial eclipse through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical devices.
    • If you normally wear glasses, keep them on and put the eclipse glasses over your eye glasses.

    When will the next total solar eclipse in North America occur?

    The next time the United States will experience a total solar eclipse will be on April 8, 2024.

    What was the earliest recorded solar eclipse?

    The Babylonians recorded the first solar eclipse on May 3, 1375, BCE. There is evidence that the Babylonians knew about the Saros Cycle (18 years and 11 days) and could use it to predict the approximate years of eclipses.


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  • Celebrate Your Family - August is Family Fun Month

    Posted by PVSchools at 8/2/2017

    family riding bumper cars Did you know that August is Family Fun Month? There are many fun activities that your family can do all month long, including:

    1. Play Board Games
      Who doesn’t have Clue or Monopoly stashed away in a closet? Dust off a board game and make it a family game night.

    2. Cook a Meal Together
      Make a pizza from scratch with the whole family helping. From making the pizza dough to marinara sauce to chopping up the veggies, there is a job for everyone.

    3. Visit a Museum
      Spend a day visiting an art museum, natural history museum or a science center. After your visit, discuss as a family what you saw and liked.

    4. Take Fido to a Dog Park
      Don’t forget to include your furry family members when planning events. Be careful about the time of day you take your dog for a walk or to the park because the sidewalk and grass areas will be hot. Always take extra water for every family member, including Fido.

    5. Movie Night
      Rent a movie or see a movie that the entire family can enjoy together. Don’t forget the popcorn.

    6. Weekend Hiking Trip
      Take the family on a road trip to a much cooler climate for a hiking trip. You can plan the trip together as a family from the route to the supplies you’ll need to take with you.

    7. Share Family Stories/Memories
      Take out old photo albums to share memorable stories with your children. Share stories of family members who inspired and influenced you as a child. 

    8. Build a Fort Indoors
      Gather up your sheets, blankets and pillows to build an indoor fort or tent. Need inspiration? Pinterest will have ideas and step-by-step directions for any indoor fort or tent.

    9. Put on a Talent Show
      Showcase your talents by putting on a talent show. Whether it’s singing, dancing, playing an instrument or acting, each family member can showcase his or her talents.

    10. View the Total Solar Eclipse
      On Aug. 21st, all of North America will be able to view the total solar eclipse. View this amazing experience as a family. Be sure to view the total solar eclipse safely by using  “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. More safety tips are available at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.

    Whatever you decide to do as a family, remember to have fun and enjoy your time together during Family Fun Month.


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  • VIP Program Seeks Volunteers for the 2017-18 School Year

    Posted by PVSchools at 7/31/2017

    {VSchools VIP volunteers PVSchools' award-winning Volunteer In Paradise (VIP) program is seeking volunteer tutors for the 2017-18 school year.

    The VIP program matches dedicated qualified volunteer tutors with students at one of six participating schools. Volunteer tutors work with students in either a one-on-one setting or in small groups with the goal of increasing student achievement.

    Volunteer tutors are needed in all subject areas in kindergarten through 6th grades at Arrowhead Elementary School, Cactus View Elementary School, Campo Bello Elementary School, Desert Shadows Elementary School, Echo Mountain Primary School, Mercury Mine Elementary School, North Ranch Elementary School and Sunset Canyon Elementary School.

    Volunteer orientations will be held Wednesday, Aug. 9th, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 18th, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at PVSchools Community Resource Center, 15032 N. 32nd St., Phoenix.

    Learn more about the VIP program.


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