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  • NVAA Fine Arts Students, Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Team Up for Community Art Project

    Posted by PVSchools at 7/20/2017

    Thunderbird Art Center mural PVSchools North Valley Arts Academies (NVAA) students at Shadow Mountain High School had a unique opportunity to collaborate with teens from Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock to create a one-of-a-kind art mural that will be incorporated into a permanent art installation at the Thunderbird Art Center.

    The mural, which measures 10 feet by 15 feet, is a takeoff of the Beatles Abbey Road album cover. The background of the mural will incorporate Arizona landmarks, as well as community type buildings such as an art museum, theater, etc. The mural took four to five sessions to plan and design with approximately eight NVVA students and art teacher Jennifer Jardine working on the project.

    “PVSchools is extremely fortunate to have valuable community partnerships with Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock and Thunderbird Art Center. Through this partnership, our NVVA students at Shadow Mountain High School collaborated with other amazing artists to create a unique art piece for Valley residents to enjoy for many years. We plan on having more opportunities in future to showcase our talented students,” said Norm Pratt, director of Fine Arts.

    The installation of the mural will take approximately four-five weekends and work started on Saturday, July 15th. The PV Schools Education Foundation generously donated a $200 Home Depot gift card that was used to purchase the materials needed to cover installation expenses.

    “One of my primary goals is for our Fine Arts students to become active participants in the local art community, whether that is through creating public art, performances outside of school settings, showing of artwork outside of school settings, collaborating with local artist organizations. It’s important that students have real world experiences as artists and the see connection and the role that the arts play in positively impacting our community,” said Mr. Pratt.

     

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  • Put Your Evenings to Good Use - Night Classes Start Soon!

    Posted by PVSchools at 7/19/2017

    Swetwater Community School teacher and student At PVSchools, we realize that learning isn't a "one size fits all" model. For some students, taking high school classes in a traditional classroom setting may not be an option due to athletic schedules, work schedules or family commitments. By thinking outside of the box, PVSchools has developed a Night Class program for students who may need credit recovery, want to get ahead or may not be able to attend school during the day.

    Sweetwater Community School currently offers Night Classes to in-district and out-of-district students. Since the class sizes are smaller, teachers can provide students with more individualized attention.

    Sweetwater Community School is now enrolling students for 1st Quarter classes, which start on Wednesday, August 9th. The deadline to enroll is Wednesday, August 2nd.

    During the first session, which runs from 5-6:17 p.m., students can enroll in the following classes:

    • English 2
    • World History 2
    • Algebra 3
    • Earth Science 1
    • Men’s & Women’s Individual Sports
    • Spanish 3
    • Ceramics 1-4

    During the second session, which runs from 6:30-7:47 p.m., students can enroll in the following classes:

    • English 4
    • Economics
    • Geometry 1
    • Environmental Science1
    • Men’s & Women’s Individual Sports

    Learn more about the program at www.pvschools.net/night.

     

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  • Learning Starts on the First Day of School

    Posted by PVSchools at 7/18/2017

    teacher and student on the first day of school 2016 At PVSchools, learning starts on the first day of school - Wednesday, Aug. 9th. Our teachers spend the few days before the start of school developing lesson plans and organizing their classrooms in order to be ready to teach students on the first day of school. Since each lesson builds upon the next for continued learning, it is important to be in school each day.

    To ensure your child is all set for the first day of school, here are a few tips to help you get ready.

    • Before the first day of school
      • Check your school’s website for the start and release times.
      • If your child is taking the bus to and from school, check bus routes, so you know where the bus stop is located.
      • If your child is walking or riding a bike to and from school, review safety tips with your child.

    • Night before the first day of school
      • Ensure that your child's backpack is packed and ready to go.
      • Have your child layout his or her outfit.

    • First day of school
      • Wake up a little early to ensure you have enough time to get ready.
      • Make sure your child starts the day off right with a healthy breakfast.

    • Scheduling Appointments
      • The best time to schedule dental and doctor appointments, if possible, are before school, after school or on school holidays.

     

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  • Paradise Valley Unified School District Launches Newly Redesigned Mobile App

    Posted by PVSchools at 7/13/2017 8:25:00 AM

    School Announcement: We have an app. (And it's awesome.) Just in time for the 2017-2018 school year, PVSchools is excited to announce our newly designed mobile app to keep our families and employees better informed and connected to what’s going on in our district. The newly designed  PVSchools mobile app is available for both iPhone and Android smartphones.

    The new mobile app will deliver a constantly updated feed of real time district news and events, including photos and links direct to your smartphone for fast, up-to-date access.

    What's new?

    With the newly designed mobile app you can:

    • Get the latest district, school news and calendar events.
    • Get push notifications from the District about breaking news, closures, events, and more.
    • See the latest photos from school and district events.
    • Tap the directory to see school locations, phone numbers, and principal bios.
    • Use the convenient school finder icon to plug in an address and find out which district school(s) the address resides in.
    • View the handy resources icon to easily access commonly needed information broken down by stakeholder group (Parents, Students, Staff and Community).
    • Connect with us on social media direct from the mobile app.

    The app is FREE and available for download today:

    1. On your smartphone, go to the iTunes App Store® (iPhone) or Google Play® (Android)
    2. Search PVSchools OR Paradise Valley Unified School District
    3. Then select the app for free download

    School news and information delivered right to your smartphone. The newly designed PVSchools mobile app is just a few taps away. Download it today!

     

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  • How to Keep Your Child Organized Throughout the School Year

    Posted by PVSchools at 7/12/2017

    computer with pencils Every parent wants their child to be successful in school. Being organized is the key to being and staying successful. As your child advances to the next grade level, the coursework and daily assignments increases, which becomes more challenging.

    Here’re the top 10 tips to help your child prepare for the school year.

    1. Establish a study/homework area - set your child up for success throughout the school year by establishing a positive homework routine. Make sure your child has a quiet and well-lit area where he or she can complete assignments or read. When your child arrives home for the day, ask if he or she may need help with any assignments. Offer to review homework before it is due.

    2. Establish consistent homework/study times - set aside a consistent time each day to study and complete homework. If your child attends an after-school program, have him or her complete homework there and check it at home.

    3. Avoid clutter - keep your child’s desk free of loose papers and other clutter. Once a week, go through the clutter on the desk and recycle what you don’t need anymore and reorganize supplies. Store pencils, pens and other supplies in decorative boxes or cans.

    4. Use a student planner/organizer - keep your child organized with a personal planner or organizer, especially if your child has multiple classes. It will be much easier for him or her to keep track of daily assignments, research assignments and upcoming tests. You can also use the planner to create a daily “To Do” lists and keep track of other important reminders.

    5. Color-code your calendar - consider color-coding similar activities in the personal planner or organizer. For example, highlight study time in blue, upcoming tests in green and afterschool activities in yellow.

    6. Use one calendar - use a wall calendar or whiteboard track the family’s activities, including extracurricular activities, doctor and dentist appointments, play dates, events and school holidays. Assign a colored marker for each member of the family. With a master family calendar, it will be easier see all of the activities for the month.

    7. Break up study time and tasks - if your child is preparing for a test or is working on a big assignment, have your child break up the study time into 30 minutes or one-hour increments. Time can be blocked out in your child’s personal planner or organizer. Try breaking larger tasks into smaller ones. If your child has to read three chapters,  just have him or her read one chapter at a time. Also, break up larger projects into three or four smaller tasks as it will make accomplishing these tasks much easier.

    8. Keep track of smaller supplies - use a zippered pouch or pencil case to keep track of smaller items, including calculators, pencils, pens, highlighters and paper clips.

    9. Prepare the night before - have your child organize his or her folders and backpack each night to ensure he or she may have everything that is needed for the next school day. This is a good time to remind your child to layout his or her clothes for the next school day.

    10. Get enough sleep - to ensure that your child is well-rested for the next day of school, have your child go to bed early. Don’t skip breakfast; studies have shown that children who eat breakfast earn better grades.

     

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  • Top 5 Back to School Tips

    Posted by PVSchools at 7/11/2017

    kids jumping As summer vacation begins to wind down, the first day of school - Wednesday,  August 9th - will be here before you know it. How will you prepare your child for this change? PVSchools has provided some tips to ensure the 2017-18 school year begins with a successful start.

    1. Prepare your child ahead of time
      Remind your child that school will begin on Wednesday, August 9th. You can mark it on your family’s calendar or create a fun countdown calendar - check Pinterest for ideas. Start to prepare your child for any changes that will be different this year, including starting a new school, having a new teacher and establishing new routines. Remind your child that there is a lot to be excited about such as reconnecting with friends and teachers, building new relationships and participating in extracurricular activities.

    2. Re-establish bedtime routines
      A few weeks before the first day of school, start re-establishing bedtime routines, including bedtime and wake-up schedules. This will ensure that your child is well rested for the first day of school. Have your child lay out his or her outfit the night before and have the backpack all packed and ready to go.

    3. Start a new back to school tradition
      Before the first day of school, plan something special for your child. Whether it’s going out for ice cream, writing an encouraging note to include in your child’s lunch box or buying your child a small gift to commemorate the first day such as a book about easing back to school worries or a journal.

    4. Establish a homework routine
      Set your child up for success throughout the school year by establishing a positive homework routine. Make sure your child has a quiet and well-lit area where he or she can complete assignments or read a book. When your child arrives home for the day, ask if he or she may need help with any assignments. Offer to review homework before it is due. Using a wall calendar or whiteboard will keep your child organized if your child attends middle or high school and has multiple classes.

    5. Ask your child about his or her day
      Asking insightful questions will help get the conversation going and ignite your child’s passion for learning and school. Some questions to ask may include - What was the best thing that happened during your day? Tell me one thing that made you laugh today? What was the weirdest thing you heard today? Tell me one thing that you learned today?

    PVSchools hopes that you and your family are enjoying your summer vacation, and we look forward to seeing you on the first day of school - Wednesday, August 9th!

     

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  • How to Successfully Transition Your Child to a New School

    Posted by PVSchools at 7/10/2017

    children hugging Starting the new school year can be stressful, especially if your child is changing schools whether your family has moved, your child is transitioning from elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school, or you’re looking for better educational opportunities for your child. PVSchools has put together a few helpful tips to make the transition to a new school much easier for your family.

    1. Mixed feelings
      Encourage your child that change and new experiences are good and a part of life. Your child will experience a range of emotions from nervousness to excitement. Make time to discuss these feelings with your child.

    2. Saying goodbye
      While your child may be leaving friends behind, it’s easy to stay connected friends and family by using Facetime, Facebook, Skype, email or old-fashioned letter writing.

    3. Arrange a tour of the school
      Schedule a tour of the school for the entire family. If your new school is closed for summer, drive to the school so that your can see it. Plan to attend your school’s meet the teacher day or back to school event before the first day school.

    4. First day impressions
      Since your child will most likely be making new friends on the first day, dress to impress. Have your child wake up a little bit early, so your morning routine isn’t rushed.

    5. Not the only new student
      Remind your child that he or she will not be the only new student on the campus. Many families choose to move over summer or during mid-year vacations to minimize the disruption. You never know, your teacher or principal may be new to the school as well!

    6. Build new friendships
      Encourage your child to make a new friend on the first day of school. If you are moving near other family members who have children, have one of them introduce your child to another child who may have similar interests.

     

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  • Back to School Safety Tips

    Posted by PVSchools at 7/5/2017

    students waiting for a bus As the first day of school approaches for PVSchools students - Wednesday, August 9th, we wanted to provide you with some important safety tips for you and your child. Additional safety tips are available from the National Safety Council.

    Afterschool Plans

    • Don’t forget to discuss after school plans in advance with your child - whether he or she will be going home with a friend or going to another family member’s house. This way there will be no confusion if your child doesn't arrive home on time.

    Driving Safety Tips

    • Buckle up - it’s the law! Children should always ride in the backseat of the car and wear seat belts.
    • Remember to slow down when you are driving in residential areas and school zones.
    • Be cautious of first-time drivers as many teens will get their driver's license this summer.
    • Follow all driving rules.

    Bike Safety Tips

    • Always wear a helmet.
    • Ride on the right, in the same direction as traffic.
    • Use appropriate hand signals when turning or stopping.
    • Respect traffic lights and stop signs.
    • Wear bright-colored clothing to increase visibility.
    • Know the "rules of the road."
    • Ride with a friend; never alone.

    Walking Safety Tips

    • Make sure the route your child takes to and from school is safe.
    • Identify other children in the neighborhood with whom your child can walk to school with; never walk alone. In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, have an adult walk a group of children to and from school.
    • Carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision. Again, have your child walk with a group; never alone.
    • Bright-colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.

    Stranger Danger Tips

    • Always travel in pairs; never alone.
    • If approached by a stranger, don’t speak to him or her - keep walking.
    • Never approach a stranger who is in a car; never accept candy or any other items that a stranger may offer.
    • Always report these types of incidents to a trusted adult - a crossing guard, teacher, principal or police officer.

     

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  • What Parents Need to Know About Kindergarten - Top 10 Tips

    Posted by PVSchools at 7/4/2017

    girl writing It’s one the most important milestones your child will have - starting kindergarten. For some children, this will be their first experience in a school setting, while others may have attended a pre-kindergarten program prior to kindergarten. When the day finally arrives for your little one to start kindergarten, it may be one hardest day in a parent’s life.

    What should parents know about kindergarten?

    1. How old does my child need to be to enter kindergarten?
      Kindergarten is offered to children who turn five years old before September 1st of the enrolling year.

    2. What type of kindergarten program is offered?
      While some school districts offer free, full-day kindergarten, other school districts may only offer a half day program. Since kindergarten prepares students for 1st grade, students will benefit more from a full day program, rather than a half day.

    3. What will my child need to know before starting kindergarten?
      Children entering kindergarten should know the alphabet, counting numbers up to 20, how to spell their first and last name, colors and shapes.

    4. Will my child learn how to read in kindergarten?
      If your child isn’t already reading before starting kindergarten, he or she should be reading by the end of the second quarter. It’s important for you to encourage your child to read books out loud while at home each day.

    5. How is the day structured?
      Since kindergarten is all about routine, a typical day may include greetings, calendar, writing, discussion and planning, mathematics, music, literature, social studies, special projects, outdoor/movement time, science, dance, creative drama, health, eye, hand, and body coordination, construction, reading, manipulatives, oral language development, center time, art, physical education and media center. While not all activities are taught every day, please know that each teacher will have a slightly different daily schedule.

    6. Can I volunteer in the classroom?
      Yes, the majority of teachers welcome the opportunity to have parent volunteers in the classroom. Before you show up to help out in your child’s classroom, make sure you have completed all the necessary paperwork that your school needs to have on file. If you don’t have time to volunteer in the classroom, offer to chaperone a class field trip.

    7. Will the transition will be hard?
      The transition to kindergarten may be harder for you as the parent, than your child. Kindergarten is about establishing routines, making friends and learning.

    8. What if my child needs medical attention while at school?
      Every school in PVSchools has an onsite registered nurse to provide first aid, maintain records, assist in special education programs and screen for diseases of the eyes, ears and teeth. If your child should become ill while at school, know that he or she is in good hands with one of our registered nurses.

    9. What should I pack in my child’s lunch?
      Since students have a limited amount of time to eat lunch, you should pack items that can be eaten quickly and are in containers that can be easily opened. Since some children have food allergies, it’s a good idea to check with your child’s teacher to find out which items should not be included in the lunch box.

    10. How can I help my child at home?
      Encourage your child to read each night. After reading a story, have your child retell it to you in his or her own words. If homework is assigned, you can also check it before it’s turned in.

    At the end of the day, your child will be fine and will be able to build new relationships along the way.

     

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  • PVSchools New Principal, Assistant Principal Assignments for the 2017-18 School Year

    Posted by PVSchools at 7/3/2017

    an apple placed upon books The PVSchools Governing Board has named seven new principal and four assistant principal assignments for the 2017-18 school year. Out of the six principals, five were either principals, assistant principals or teachers on assignment/administrative interns in PVSchools during the 2016-17 school year.

    PVSchools would like to introduce our new principals and assistant principals.

    New Principals

    Boulder Creek Elementary School
    Amy Moore is the new principal Boulder Creek Elementary School. Ms. Moore comes to PVSchools from Scottsdale Unified School District where she served as a principal since 2012. She also was a principal from 2007-2011 in the Des Moines Public Schools. Before being a principal, she taught at the Waukee Community School District in Iowa and the Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District in Iowa. Ms. Moore earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master of Arts degree in Education Leadership from Drake University.

    Desert Trails Elementary School
    Sarah Torrilhon is the interim principal at Desert Trails Elementary School. She joined the district in 2000 as a teacher and also briefly taught in the Scottsdale Unified School District before returning to PVSchools. Ms. Torrilhon most recently served as an administrative intern. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University, a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University.

    Hidden Hills Elementary School
    Gianna Colonna is the principal at Hidden Hills Elementary School. She joined the PVSchools family in 2005 as a teacher and has also worked in the following positions student study team leader, behavior interventionist, administrative intern and interim principal. Ms. Colonna earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the Northern Arizona University, a Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling from Argosy University and a Master of Arts degree in Education Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

    Mountain Trail Middle School
    Katy Clark is the new principal at Mountain Trail Middle School. Most recently, she was the assistant principal at the school. Ms. Clark joined the PVSchools family in 2002. During her tenure with the district, she has held the following positions administrative intern/teacher on assignment, International Baccalaureate coordinator and teacher. Ms. Clark earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Science Biology from St. Norbert College in Wisconsin and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Arizona State University.

    North Canyon High School
    Melissa Molzhon is the new principal at North Canyon High School. She had previously been the principal at Boulder Creek Elementary School since 2012. Ms. Molzhon joined the PVSchools family in 2003 as a teacher and also worked as an instructional coach and assistant principal. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

    Shea Middle School
    Scott Lawrence is the new principal at Shea Middle School. He comes to the district from the Alhambra Elementary School District where he served as an assistant principal since 2015. Mr. Lawrence also worked for the Deer Valley Unified School District. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arizona in Arts/Music and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from Arizona State University.

    Vista Verde Middle School
    Marian Ouellette is the interim principal at Vista Verde Middle School. Mrs. Ouellette joined the PVSchools family in 1988 as a teacher. She briefly left the district to be an assistant principal in the Peoria Unified School District. Mrs. Ouellette has held the following positions in PVSchools assistant principal, principal and interim director of Curriculum & Instruction. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Master in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

    New Assistant Principals

    Desert Shadows Middle School
    Katherine O’Boyle is the new assistant principal at Desert Shadows Middle School. She joins PVSchools from Scottsdale Unified School District where she served as an assistant principal since 2012. Before being an assistant principal, Ms. O’Boyle was a teacher. She also served as the Unitown Camp co-director and co-coordinator from 2008-2017. Ms. O’Boyle earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education Mathematics from Arizona State University and a Master of Arts degree in Education Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

    North Canyon High School
    Jorge Ontiveros is the new assistant principal at North Canyon High School. He has been employed with PVSchools since 2009 and held the following positions dean of students, administrative intern and teacher. Mr. Ontiveros earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Science of Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix and a Master of Arts degree in Education Administration from Grand Canyon University.

    Paradise Valley High School
    Maureen Minnick is the new assistant principal at Paradise Valley High School. She began her career at PVSchools in 2010 and has worked as a teacher and an administrative intern. Ms. Minnick earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music/Vocal Performance from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education from Arizona State University.

    Pinnacle High School
    Dr. Kathryn Strevell is the assistant principal at Pinnacle High School. She has been employed at PVSchools since 2005 and has worked in the following positions dean of students and teacher. Dr. Strevell earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts from Arizona State University, a Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.

     

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