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  • PVSchools Hosts Thankful Fest - Fine Arts Celebration

    Posted by PVSchools on 10/19/2017

    theater lights PVSchools will host a Thankful Fest Fine Arts Celebration on Saturday, November 18, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Shadow Mountain High School.

    This fine arts celebration will showcase student artwork, art activities and performances from multiple PV schools, including the North Valley Arts Academies - Desert Cove Elementary, Shea Middle and Shadow Mountain High.

    The event is free, and the community is encouraged to attend.

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  • Top Tips for Taking Tests - Before, During and After

    Posted by PVSchools on 10/18/2017

    student taking an exam As students prepare to take weekly quizzes, tests, final exams and standardized tests throughout the school year, it’s important for them to be well prepared.

    We have compiled some helpful tips that students can use before, during and after the test.

    Before the test

    • Ask questions if you have trouble with a concept. Your teachers and parents are your best resource.
    • A good’s night sleep is linked to higher tests scores. Students who increased the number of hours they slept from six to seven hours received a higher test score.
    • Wake up early to ensure you have enough time to get ready. Pick out your clothes the night before and have your backpack packed and ready to go.
    • Eat a nutritious breakfast such as oatmeal with fresh fruit, scrambled eggs or low-fat dairy products, including cheese or yogurt. Try to avoid sugary cereals and fatty breakfast items like sausage and bacon.
    • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Try to avoid sugary drinks such as soda.

    During the test

    • Be prepared and make sure you have all the supplies you may need for your tests such as sharpened pencils and erasers.
    • Carefully read all the directions and questions before answering the questions.
    • Answer the easiest questions first.
      Pace yourself throughout the test.
      Stay focused on the stuff you know, and don’t get distracted by what is happening around you.
    • Review your answers and double check your work before you turn it in.

    After the test

    • Stay positive and don’t worry about the test.
    • Go do something fun, you’ve earned it!

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  • America’s Safe School Week

    Posted by PVSchools on 10/17/2017

    Safety In 1984, the National School Safety Center established America’s Safe Schools Week. This year, America’s Safe Schools Week is observed October 15-21. The goal of America Safe Schools Week is to motivate education policymakers, school administrators, educators, parents and students to advocate for school safety and make it a priority in their community.

    At PVSchools, our first priority is always to the safety and well-being of all of our students and staff.  To ensure the safety of our students while on campus during the school day, PVSchools judiciously uses the limited funds we receive to make site security improvements such as perimeter fencing, single point of access to school once the school day begins and controlled ingress and egress gates. Additionally, each school has an individual Emergency Response Plan, and our school staff routinely practices fire, lockdown and other drills with students. By reviewing our emergency response plans, practicing routine drills and having site security measures in place, PVSchools provides a safe and secure learning environment for our students. Learn more about Emergency Preparedness in PVSchools. Learn more about the National School Safety Center.

    It’s important to know that PVSchools uses SchoolMessenger as its emergency communications system. In the event of a school emergency, a SMS text message will be sent via SchoolMessenger. If you are a parent or guardian and haven’t already signed up to receive emergency text messages, just follow these quick steps to get started.


    Related Topics:

    SMS Text Messaging for School Emergency Broadcasts

    SchoolMessenger Communications Consent for Parents


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  • Shea Teacher Named 2017 Middle School Science Teacher of the Year

    Posted by PVSchools on 10/16/2017

    Angela Mitchell Angela Mitchell, a 7th and 8th grade Honors Science teacher at Shea Middle School, was selected as the 2017 Middle School Science Teacher of the Year by the Arizona Science Teachers Association (ASTA).

    The Science Teacher of the Year Awards are presented by the ASTA to recognize and honor our colleagues who exemplify quality science teaching. The award is presented to one teacher from the elementary level, middle school/junior high level, and the high school level at the annual ASTA convention. Nominees must be certified, full-time classroom teachers and current members of ASTA.

    Ms. Mitchell will receive the award at the at the annual conference on Oct. 27th-28th.

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  • Vista Verde Middle, North Canyon High Host IB Information Night

    Posted by PVSchools on 10/13/2017

    IB logo Vista Verde Middle School and North Canyon High School will host an Informational Presentation about the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. in the Media Center at Vista Verde Middle School. Interested 6th graders and their parents should attend this informational meeting.

    The IB programme focuses on each student as a whole person and addresses, not only the cognitive development but social, emotional and physical well-being. The IB programme develops inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people with adaptable skills to tackle society's complex challenges and who will help make it a better, more peaceful world. IB students develop a sense of the world around them and their responsibility to it.

    PVSchools offers a K-12 IB programme, which is available at Quail Run Elementary School, Vista Verde Middle School and North Canyon High School.


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  • PVSchools Host Open House Events

    Posted by PVSchools on 10/11/2017

    Turn your child into a brainiac. Choose smart. Open enrollment going on now. It's never too early to start researching school options that will best meet your child's learning style. Since Arizona is an Open Enrollment state, parents can choose the school their child attends.

    Whether you're considering enrolling your child(ren) into a school that is not your assigned or neighborhood school for the 2018-2019 school year, or if you reside outside of the Paradise Valley Unified School District boundaries, and are interested in making a change, there's never been a better time to consider PVSchools in your school selection process. From preschool through 12th grade, PVSchools recognizes the value of early education and provides a model of learning to meet the needs of all children. We offer a full-range of engaging hands-on learning opportunities to cultivate world-class thinkers.

    To coincide with the Open Enrollment period, which is currently underway through Jan.21, 2018, PVSchools elementary schools will host Open House events.

    We invite you to learn more about our elementary schools by attending one of our Open House events.

    If you're considering making a change, please visit www.pvschools.net/open to learn more about our options.


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  • Global Math Week

    Posted by Betsy Mays on 10/10/2017

    Global Math Project Uplifiting Mathematics for All Kellie Merril, a 6th grade teacher at Indian Bend Elementary School, along with many other PVSchools teachers will be participating in the very first Global Math Week taking place this fall. Beginning October 10, 2017, one million students around the globe will experience Exploding Dots, a popular topic developed by Global Math Project founding team member James Tanton.

    The Global Math Projects ultimate goal is bold and audacious. They want to generate a fundamental paradigm shift as to how the world perceives and enjoys mathematics. They want every person on this planet to see mathematics as human, relevant, meaningful, creative, uplifting, joyful, and accessible as well as show how the play and wonder of mathematics transcend borders and unites communities.

    During Global Math Week itself, teachers and other math leaders are asked to commit to spending the equivalent of one class period on Exploding Dots and to share their students’ experience with the Global Math Project community through social media (#gmw2017 and #explodingdots). Teachers can choose a low-technology presentation format by using downloadable pdf lesson plans as a guide. Alternatively, they can opt for a technology-intensive experience, developed by the Canadian education technology company Scolab, which will consist of a collection of visually appealing “islands” representing Exploding Dots topics.

    For those who wish to delve deeper, additional materials will be freely available on the Global Math Project website to support further exploration of place value, arithmetic algorithms, negative numbers, alternative bases, polynomials, formal infinite series, and more.

    More details and free lesson plans can be found at theglobalmathproject.org.


    About the author:

    Betsy Mays is the Curriculum Math Specialist at PVSchools.


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  • ADE Releases Preliminary 2017 A-F School Letter Grades

    Posted by PVSchools on 10/9/2017

    Apple, report card and desk The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) released preliminary school A-F Letter grades based on data from the 2016-17 school year.

    This year, in accordance to A.R.S. 15-241, a new A-F accountability system has been implemented. The new A-F letter grade system uses a variety of measures to rank schools such as AzMERIT growth and proficiency, high school graduation rates, and student readiness for college and career. The ADE hasn’t released school letter grades since 2014.

    How grades are calculated

    The K-8 plan provides for multiple indicators weighted as follows:

    • Student proficiency in English Language Arts, Math and Science at 30 percent.
    • Student growth in English Language Arts and Math at 50 percent.
    • English Language Learners’ growth and proficiency at 10 percent.
    • Acceleration/readiness at 10 percent.

    The 9-12 plan provides for multiple indicators weighted as follows:

    • Student proficiency in English Language Arts, Math and Science at 30 percent.
    • Student growth in English Language Arts and Math at 20 percent.
    • English Language Learners’ growth and proficiency at 10 percent.
    • Graduation rate at 20 percent.
    • College and career readiness at 20 percent.

    It’s important to know that the A-F letter grade system does not measure a school’s culture or climate, show the impact of a caring and dedicated staff, or take into account our schools’ many other accomplishments. In PVSchools, we value the whole story of each of our schools, and letter grades from the state are only one measurement of a school’s success. We encourage our parents and community to take the time to invest in these stories and learn what their home school has to offer.

    What each letter grade means

    A - Excellent
    *“A” schools may not meet each of these descriptors

    • Distinguished performance on the statewide assessment.
    • Significant student growth.
    • High 4 year graduation rates.
    • Students are on track to proficiency.
    • Overall performance is significantly higher than state average.

    B - Highly Performing

    • High performance on statewide assessment; and/or
    • Significant student growth; and/or
    • Higher 4 year graduation rates; and/or
    • Moving students to proficiency at a higher rate than state average.

    C - Performing

    • Adequate performance but needs improvement on some indicators including proficiency, growth or graduation rate.

    D - Minimally Performing

    • Inadequate performance in proficiency, growth and/or 4 year graduation rate relative to the state average

    F - Failing

    • Systematic failures in proficiency, growth and graduation rates (below 67%).
    • Performance is in bottom 5% of the state

    Preliminary A-rated schools:

    Preliminary B-rated schools:

    Preliminary C-rated schools:

    Preliminary D-rated schools

    Letter Grades Under Review:

    More specific information regarding the new system on the Arizona State Board Education web site.

    Related content:


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  • National School Lunch Week: A Look into PVSchools Lunch Program

    Posted by Kathy Glindmeier on 10/9/2017

    child eating a Paradise Valley Unified School District has participated in the National School Lunch Program since 1985.  The program covers breakfast, lunch, and afterschool snacks.  Approximately 36 percent of the students enrolled in PVSchools qualify for the subsidized meal program.  Applications for Free & Reduced meals are available at www.EZMealApp.com or at the school’s front office.

    School lunch menus are written by the school nutrition specialist with input from students grades K-12.  Every year food tastings (grades K-6) and food focus groups (grades 7-12) provide valuable student feedback.  Our goal is to meet with students at each school every year; we are always looking for new menu ideas that meet the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines, but also have the taste approval of PVSchools’ students.  If your child would like to participate in the tastings or focus groups, please contact Camille Soule, SNS, at 602-449-2276.

    Serving 15,000 meals per day requires a staff of 130 people in 44 locations. Annual food costs exceed $4,000,000.  Milk and dairy products account for 25 percent of food expenses; the five high schools alone go through 7,800 cartons of low-fat and fat-free milk per week!  We have five central kitchens, which serve as commissaries to grades K-8 schools.  District refrigerated tricks are used to transport food from the central kitchens to the feeder schools.  Per the annual food tastings and focus groups, pizza and the Asian chicken rice bowl are two of our most popular entrées served. 

    The USDA requires all schools participating in the National School Lunch Program to have a Food Service Disaster Plan. During the recent hurricane season, we saw school districts in Texas and Florida serve as relocation shelters.  At any given time, PVSchools Nutrition & Wellness Department is prepared to meet the emergency needs of students and community members.

    The Nutrition & Wellness Department is dedicated to serving students.  A hungry child will have difficulty concentrating and miss important learning opportunities.  The National School Lunch Program provides the framework and resources to make sure students are fed and ready to learn!

    About the author:

    Kathy Glindmeier Kathy Glindmeier is a registered dietitian and has been the Director of Nutrition and Wellness for 30 years. Prior to working for PVSchools, she was a hospital food service director. She graduated from Arizona State University, interned at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and has a master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.  

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  • 3 PV High School Students are Finalists for the Smart City Hack Competition

    Posted by PVSchools on 10/6/2017

    Hayden Araza, Susan Addison, Giselle Coll  and Karen Mensing A team of three PVSchools’ students will face competition from entrepreneurs, innovators and businesses as the finalists vie for the winning title of the Smart City Hack 2017 competition.

    The Smart City Hack competition empowers citizens around the world to create their smart cities. Their aim is to help local residents build and showcase technology solutions that answer the most pressing urban challenges facing us all.

    The PVSchools team is the only school in the competition. PVSchools was asked to consider a student team applying to the competition through LoLa, Internet 2, and Arizona Sun Corridor Network relationships. The IT Department worked with high school staff to find students who were an appropriate fit. They needed to be tech savvy, have musical talents and of course be interested and available to put in the time required. The students selected for the team included Susan Addison, a student at Pinnacle High School; Giselle Coll, a student at Shadow Mountain High School; and Hayden Araza, a student at Paradise Valley High School. The team worked together under the direction of teacher chaperones, Karen Mensing, IT integration specialist; and Norm Pratt, director of Fine Arts; to develop and create the World Symphony app.

    The World Symphony app connects musicians and artists from around the world the opportunity to interact with one another. The app utilizes low latency audio and video transmissions (LoLa node) with the goal of connecting artists and performers so they can share ideas, practice together, teach each other or simply play music. Users are encouraged to go to a location such as a public community center, arts center or school where there is a LoLa node accessibility and use it to communicate and connect with others who are available and online.

    The World Symphony app addresses the challenge of empowering the City of Phoenix to become a smarter, better, more sustainable city by helping to connect and educate the community through the use of music and technology. It encourages Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM), which is ideal for fostering young minds to become more creative.

    “By combining the arts with technology, we are opening doors for users of various skill levels. The World Symphony app will allow for guest speakers in schools across the globe to work collaboratively with teachers, as well as allowing users to learn and create music together. By learning about a variety of music, students will gain new perspectives about different cultures, thus immersing them in new ideas and concepts that will spark creativity and higher level thinking. Not only will our project unite artistic and tech-minded individuals, but it will also help with the challenge of transportation,” said Ms. Mensing.

    This app will allow users to practice their art together even if they live on opposite sides of the world. While there are other apps such as Facetime or Skype that allow for video conferencing, none of these platforms allow for the low-latency, high-quality audio and video conferencing that the LoLa makes possible. LoLa nodes will be placed in venues like schools, public community centers, libraries and performing art centers. This will eliminate travel time and costs.The World Symphony app will help make Phoenix a smarter, better city by helping to unify the community, by bringing unique experiences into classrooms and eliminating transportation and location as an obstacle.

    The winning app will be announced on Oct. 13th at Galvanize in downtown Phoenix. Anyone is welcome to attend; however, you must register for the free tickets. The City Finale Grand Champion of the Smart City Hack will get $3,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Barcelona, Spain in November for the international competition. The first place winner will receive $1,000 and the second runner-up will receive $500.

    For more information about Smart City Hack, please visit https://smartcityhack.com/phoenix/.

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