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  • Special Education Seminar: The ABCs of Special Needs Planning

    Posted by PVSchools at 9/26/2017

    woman with an pen The PVSchools Special Education Department and the United Parent Council will host The ABCs of Special Needs Planning Made Easy on Wednesday, Oct. 4th from 6-7:30 p.m. at the District Administrative Center.

    During this seminar, a representative from Silver Tree Special Needs Planning will explain why these special needs planning documents are important to have and how they complement each other in an estate plan designed to protect the quality of life and care of a special needs child. Topics covered in this workshop include:

    • Guardianship
    • Special Needs Trust
    • Wills
    • Government Benefits
    • ABLE Account
    • Budget planning
    • Letter of intent

    There is no cost to attend the seminar; however, RSVP is required. To RSVP, please email info@silvertreesnp.com or call 1-866-949-6202.


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  • Choosing the Right School for Your Child

    Posted by PVSchools at 9/19/2017

    children working on a class assignment Whether you are new to Arizona, have a child who will be entering kindergarten for the 2018-19 school year, or you simply want to change your child’s school, there are many school options for you to choose from.

    Since Arizona is an open enrollment state, you have the option to select the school and the district that you would like your child to attend, depending on the district’s policy and space at the school. What this means is that you are not limited to having your child attend your neighborhood school.

    Parents choose to open enroll their child in another school or school district for a variety of different reasons such as program offerings, the teaching philosophy or extracurricular activities. Deciding to have your child not attend your neighborhood school depends on which school will best fit your child’s learning needs.

    Before you decide to select a new school for your child, make sure you get answers to the following questions:

    1. What are the most important qualities you want in your child’s school?
      Decide on the top three to five things you want for your child’s education.

    2. What distinguishes this school from others you are looking at?
      Find out if the school has a special focus such as arts, STEM, foreign language immersion program or technology.

    3. How does the school look and feel?
      The school should feel inviting with helpful and friendly staff members that exhibit school pride.

    4. What is the learning environment like?
      Find out if students work in groups or independently, as well as student to teacher ratios.

    5. How does the library/media center look and feel?
      Computers and technology should be up-to-date. A bright and colorful library with a large selection of books and access to various technology tools is always inviting. Find out about library usage and borrowing limits.

    6. What is the homework policy?
      Find out how often homework is assigned. Is there a policy for turning in late assignments?

    7. What is the dress code policy?
      Find out what the expectations are for school attire. Do students wear a uniform?

    8. Is there an onsite registered nurse?
      If your child has medical needs or gets hurt on the playground, having an onsite registered nurse is always reassuring.

    9. What before and after school activities are offered?
      If you work during the day, you’ll need to make arrangements for childcare either before or after school. Inquire to see what services are offered and the cost. 

    10. What is the school’s commitment to technology?
      We live in a digital world. Find out how often students use computers and or tablets in the classroom. Do teachers weave technology skills into their curriculum, such as learning to code?

    Before you make your final decision, you should always schedule an appointment to tour the school(s) you are interested in and speak with the principal and teachers to make sure the new school is the best choice for your entire family.

    With a challenging and engaging curriculum, an array of signature programs, electives, athletics and open enrollment options, PVSchools offers quality education choices for all students educational journey. Learn more at pvschools.net/open.


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  • 10 PV Schools Participates in Love Our Schools Day Event

    Posted by PVSchools at 9/19/2017

    Man painting an eagle at Campo Bello for Love Our School Day event 2016 Ten PV schools will participate in School Connect’s Love Our Schools Day on Saturday, Sept. 30th from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. School communities and local businesses and organizations will volunteer time and services to make a difference for children who attend the schools.

    School Connect helps build partnerships by engaging the faith community and collaborating with community partners to adopt local schools.

    The community is welcome to volunteer at the schools.

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  • PVSchools Outperforms State Average for ACT® Scores

    Posted by PVSchools at 9/18/2017

    ACT graph Is PVSchools preparing students for college? According to the ACT® scores that were recently released by the College Board, PVSchools students continue to outperform state averages.

    The ACT® consists of curriculum-based tests of development in English, mathematics, reading and science designed to measure the skills students need to be successful during the first year of college.

    Additionally, through collaborative research with postsecondary institutions nationwide, ACT® has established college readiness benchmark scores for designated college courses. Once again, PVSchools’ students are outperforming state averages on the benchmark scores.

    ACT® research has shown that the rigorous coursework has the greatest impact on ACT® performance and college readiness. Students who take Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry typically achieve higher ACT® Mathematics scores than students who have taken less than three years of math.

    Students taking Biology and Chemistry in combination with Physics typically achieve higher ACT® Science scores than students taking less than three years of science courses.


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  • Online Learning in Paradise

    Posted by Cindy Daly at 9/15/2017

    PVOnline student  PVSchools provides a variety of online learning experiences for students that prepare them for the computer and digital literacy skills they will encounter outside of the classroom. One opportunity for students is PVOnline, PVSchools’ State-approved K-12 online school.

    About PVOnline

    • PVOnline has been fully operational for seven years.
    • PVOnline is a school site situated between the district office and Greenway Middle School.
    • PVOnline offers more than 150 high school semester courses and the core subject areas in elementary and middle school.
    • High school students can
      • blend their schedule with online courses.
      • take online courses in a lab at their home high school or off-campus.
      • attend full-time, graduate, and earn a diploma from PVOnline.
    • Last year, 18 percent of high school students took at least one PVOnline course.
    • PVOnline offers high school summer school.
    • PVOnline courses are created and taught by PVSchools’ teachers.
    • PVOnline courses are aligned to district curriculum.

    Benefits of online learning

    • Flexibility
      • Students can access courses 24/7
    • Make up credits
      • Students can recover credits or improve grades.
    • Accelerate credits
      • Students can get ahead with credits.
    • Prepare for future online educational options
      • Most post-high school education and training involves online learning.
    • A different learning environment
      • Students practice their learning skills in a different delivery system.

    Challenges of online learning

    • Requires self-discipline to stay engaged
      • Students need to create and stick to a schedule to keep up with studying and completing assignments.
    • Requires students to be active learners - asking for what they need.
      • The teacher is not in front of student.  If students need extra support or feedback, they need to reach out to the teacher.
    • Feeling isolated
      • Many students miss the interaction and energy that is in the classroom.  Online learning is highly individualized.
    • A different learning environment
      • The structures students are familiar with in the classroom are different in an online course. Learning how to be an online student is part of the curriculum.

    Online courses are relatively new to public schools, so parents, students, and teachers may feel confused or uncertain about them. The roles of parents, students, and teachers in the online learning environment are different.

    • Parents
      • PVOnline is in a different system than Infinite Campus, and in order to see student progress, parents need to log in as the student or have the student to log in to see the course and gradebook.  It does help that the entire course is there, and parents and students are able to see what is required of the student for the semester.
      • Parents need to nudge and monitor students a little more because they aren’t in a classroom for a defined period of time each day.
    • Students
      • Online courses require students to assume more responsibility for learning. They need to take the initiative be actively engaged in their courses.  They need to:
        • read/watch/listen to the resources.
        • complete assignments each week.
        • seek guidance and support as needed.
        • communicate frequently with teachers.
    • Teachers
      • The role of an online teacher is the same as a face to face teacher except the learning environment is different. Teachers:
        • Create meaningful and relevant curriculum appropriate to an online environment.
        • Motivate students without physical presence.
        • Be aware of student signals of struggle (Lack of engagement means something.)
        • Create a positive and supportive environment.
          Show students how to be an online learner.

    PVSchools supports its community by offering many pathways to learning.  Because online is a very different learning environment than the face to face classroom, it is important to learn as much as possible before choosing an online course.  If you have questions about PVOnline, please call 602-449-2450. Find out if online learning is right for you.


    About the Author
    Cindy Daly Cindy Daly is the Coordinator of PVOnline for the Paradise Valley Unified School District.  Ms. Daly joined PVSchools in 1998 as an English teacher at North Canyon High School.  She worked 12 years in the Curriculum Department, serving as Director of Curriculum for six years.  Prior to joining the district, she worked as a teacher and/or administrator in Michigan, Illinois and Sierra Vista and Tucson, Arizona.   She holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University.  


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  • What is Open Enrollment and How Does It Work?

    Posted by PVSchools at 9/14/2017

    Kids are sponges. Give them more to absorb. Choose smart. Open enrollment going on now. Understanding Arizona’s open enrollment process and how it works can be cumbersome.

    Since Arizona is an open enrollment state, this allows parents to apply for admission to any public school, as long as there is classroom space available. Each school district develops its own open enrollment policies, which is then approved by their Governing Board.

    So why would parents choose to enroll their child into a school other than their home school? Parents choose to open enroll their child in another school or school district for a variety of different reasons such as the program offerings, the teaching philosophy, extracurricular activities or a closer proximity to work.

    At PVSchools, our open enrollment period for the next school year (2018-2019) runs from September 1st through January 21st.

    • The early bird round, which is for families residing within, as well as outside district boundaries, begins on September 1st and concludes on December 1st. Applicants will be notified via email about the status of their application prior to winter break.

    • The final round, which is for families residing outside of district boundaries, begins on  December 2nd and concludes on January 21st. Applicants will be notified about the status of their application via email in February of the current school year.

    • After January 21st, you may go directly to the school of your choice to enroll your child. Students are accepted based upon availability.

    • Open enrollment is not first-come-first-served. Everyone applying during the early bird round has the same opportunity for acceptance.

    • Applications may be dropped off at either your current school, or mailed to the District office: 15002 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85032 Attn: OE; or you may scan the applications. If scanning and emailing the applications, please email Elementary applications to: tsorenson@pvschools.net. For Middle and High School, please email the scanned application to: smachas@pvschools.net.

    Once accepted to a PV school under the open enrollment process, parents are responsible for providing transportation for their child to and from school.

    PVSchools offers quality education choices for every journey from preschool to 12th grade. With a robust curriculum at every grade level to free full day Kindergarten and music and visual arts at the elementary level. The middle and high school levels help define a student’s path to college and career readiness with a wide variety of core curriculum courses, electives, Career and Technical Education (CTE) program and athletics. Learn more at pvschools.net/open.


    • Students currently enrolled in one of our PV schools under Open Enrollment Do Not need to reapply if they are remaining at the same school. 

    • Per Governing Board policy, students currently on open enrollment and wishing to continue through their elementary school/middle school/high school feeder system DO NOT need to reapply when entering 7th grade or 9th grade providing they choose to attend the middle school or high school in their current feeder system.

    • The following schools/grade levels are CLOSED to Open Enrollment for the 2018-19 school year:
      • Elementary School: Fireside Elementary is closed for 1st-6th grades. Applications for siblings of currently attending students will be  considered.
      • Middle School: Desert Shadows Middle and Explorer Middle are closed for 8th grade.
      • High School: Pinnacle High is closed for 10th, 11th and 12th grades.


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  • Pinnacle High School Participates in AEF's Take Your Legislator to School Initiative

    Posted by PVSchools at 9/13/2017

    Pinnacle High School teacher Michael Vargas and State Rep. Heather Carter State Representative Heather Carter visited Pinnacle High School as part of the Arizona Educational Foundation's Take Your Legislator to School initiative.

    Take Your Legislator to School gives state legislators an intimate look at the day-to-day realities of public schools in Arizona. During her time at the school, State Rep. Carter shadowed Michael Vargas, a physics teacher. She toured the school, attended two of Mr. Vargas' freshman physics classes and had lunch with teachers.


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  • Gifted Seminar: Understanding the Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Children

    Posted by PVSchools at 9/13/2017

    Save the Date PVSchools Gifted Education Department and the United Parent Council will host several parent seminars throughout the 2017-18 school year.

    The first seminar, Understanding the Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Children, will be held on Thursday, Sept. 28th from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Governing Board Room at the District Administrative Center.

    A widespread myth about gifted children is that, because they are bright, they can simply "make it on their own." However, the characteristics of gifted children—combined with current educational practices—often put them "at risk." The social, emotional, and interpersonal needs of gifted/talented children can result in significant problems if these children are not understood and nurtured. This session, presented by James T. Webb, Ph.D., describes how characteristics of gifted children relate to their social/emotional needs, interpersonal and emotional styles, and frequent difficulties. This information will help parents and teachers understand why gifted/talented children experience peer difficulties, underachieve, challenge or rebel against traditions, or show patterns of perfectionism or depression.

    About the Speaker

    James T. Webb, Ph.D., has been recognized as one of the most influential psychologists nationally on gifted education. Dr. Webb has written 16 books, more than 80 professional publications, three DVDs, and many research papers for psychology conventions or conferences regarding gifted and talented children. A frequent keynote and workshop speaker at state, national and international conferences, Dr. Webb, a licensed and board certified psychologist, has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS Sunday Morning, The Phil Donahue Show, CNN, Public Radio International, and National Public Radio.


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  • Learning with Robots - PVHS CREST Students Have Opportunity to Use daVinci Surgical Robot

    Posted by PVSchools at 9/12/2017

    Paradise Valley High School CREST students get a demonstration of the daVinci Surgical Robot Paradise Valley High School students in the Center for Research, Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) program had an extraordinary opportunity to use Abrazo’s daVinci Surgical Robot, under the guidance of three doctors and several daVinci engineers.

    Dr. Nick Harrel The ​daVinci Surgical Robot is a remote controlled surgical robot that allows surgeon​s​ to perform ​minimally invasive, ​delicate and precise surgeries​ while speeding up the actual surgery time and reducing complications. Dr. Nicholas Harrel, robotic surgery director at Abrazo Scottsdale Campus, arranged for the robotic surgical demonstration sessions as a way to encourage students to go into medicine and medical technology fields.

    Students were given the opportunity to use the daVinci Surgical Robot to complete a two-minute task, only after attending a 90-minute training session. During the two-minute task, students earned points based on their accuracy. ​Each 2.5-hour session is broken up into three sub sessions in which students rotated through the following training sessions Engineering, Medical Practice and ​Robot Demo and Student Use.

    Abrazo sent a team of three doctors to discuss how they use the robot in their practice. In addition, daVinci sent an engineering team to discuss the development of the robot and a demonstration team to show the students how to use the robot, as well as to supervise students who were performing a virtual operation. ​


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  • Let’s Celebrate Arts in Education!

    Posted by PVSchools at 9/11/2017

    NVAA dance students Did you know that September 10th-16th is National Arts in Education Week? On July 26, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives designated the second week of September as National Arts in Education Week.

    At PVSchools, we are passionate about the arts and want to provide an outlet in which students can express his or her individualized artistic creativity. This is why music and visual arts are incorporated into the curriculum at all our elementary schools. At the middle and high school levels, students have the option to take an array of performing and visual arts electives.

    Desert Shadows Elementary School is the only school in the Valley to offer Suzuki Strings as part of the curriculum. Starting in pre-kindergarten, students can learn how to play the violin.

    For those wanting to expand or specialize in the performing and visual arts, PVSchools has created the North Valley Arts Academies at PVSchools (NVAA). With multiple entry points, NVAA offers rigorous academics, plus a concentrated emphasis on performing arts, visual arts and creative musicianship for students from 5th to 12th grade. The NVAA offers a truly integrated program with studies offered at Desert Cove Elementary School, Shea Middle School and Shadow Mountain High School.

    Let your child’s Journey of Excellence begin at PVSchools.


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