August 6, 2021
Home of the Falcons!
"We Achieve and Celebrate Educational Excellence"
Falcon Focus
Photo courtesy of The Crazy Tourist
McDowell Mountain Elementary School

Hello McDowell Mountain Families,

On behalf of the MMES staff, I am delighted to welcome you to the 2021-2022 school year. I hope that you have enjoyed your summer break and have had the opportunity to relax along the way. We are all excited to connect with the learners and are eager to start building positive relationships with them. 

This year I have several leadership goals; however, the biggest one is communication. My goal is to be transparent and communicate the whys in what we are doing as a district and school. Another goal is to establish processes in our school. In order to function properly, we need a system in place for how procedures are handled. A third goal is to establish a culture which represents how we want to act and how we are seen in the community. Finally, we need to meet students where they are. It is essential to determine where students are performing on their I Can Statements and group them accordingly. We will focus our lessons and activities to answer the following four questions:   
  1. What do you want students to know?
  2. How will you know if they have learned it?
  3. What are you going to do if they have learned it? 
  4. What are you going to do if they are having difficulty learning it? 
The structure of daily activities will encourage independence, self-confidence and group cooperation through large group, small group and one-on-one participation in a variety of hands-on, interactive experiences. We have purchased Beyond Textbooks to use as a resource for teachers to incorporate a multitude of lessons (designed to meet various learning styles) that facilitate skill development of content standards at each grade level. Whether a student is above grade level or below grade level, we will provide lessons to meet them where they are, as each student will have an individualized plan for success. 
We are going to have FUN this year! MMES will joyfully celebrate staff growth AND our learners’ growth because we are ALL lifelong learners!  
What’s Happening at McDowell Mountain?  
  • Staff will return on August 5th for an all staff in-service. Please call ahead for main office hours if you need anything from Miss Lisa or Miss April.  
  • On August 6th, MMES staff will have a building level in-service meeting at McDowell Mountain. Please call ahead for main office hours if you need anything from Miss Lisa or Miss April.  
  • On August 9th, we will have our Meet the Teacher Event. Upon entry, learners and students will be greeted by me. I will give you your teacher assignment and treasure hunt form. The treasure hunt will provide locations in the building that you will want to visit. We will have many booths set up in the multi-purpose room for you to visit and enjoy. Pictures will also be taken at this event. **The times that are listed for grade levels are not set in stone but we would suggest you come around that time to avoid overcrowding. If you need to come at a different time during the day, we are flexible and will accommodate your schedule.
  • Preschool: 8:30 – 9:30
  • Kindergarten  9:30 – 11:00
  • First Grade     11:00 – 12:30
  • Second Grade 1:00 – 2:30
  • Third Grade    2:30 – 4:00
  • On August 10th, the bell will ring at 8:40 for our first day of school. PTO will host a BooHoo/Yahoo breakfast from 8:25 – 9:30 a.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room. Come join us for donuts and coffee! 
You will hear this stated many times this year. Our success depends on the team that is created between parents, teachers, and administration. Research shows that parent involvement in schools help students achieve more and schools thrive. A team approach to education is what’s BEST for our students! Please let me know if there is ANYTHING that I can do to make your child’s experience at school a positive one! Call or email me anytime!  

I will see you very soon!

Dr. Shelly Jensen
McDowell Mountain Elementary School
Fountain Hills Middle School

Hello Fountain Hills Middle School Families,

The time is upon us and we have been working hard the last few weeks to get ready for another great school year at FHMS. I hope that you all had a wonderful summer and found an opportunity to relax and recharge for the journey ahead. I know the staff is ready to see our halls filled with students who are ready to push themselves in their learning, and to rekindle connections and make new relationships with our 450+ students. As we get ready to start a new school year I think it is important to always take a look at what drives us, what we are all about and what is our true north? These are the four pillars I have built my leadership style and beliefs around and once again cannot wait to see them in action at our great school.
  • Educate the “Whole Child.” We will strive to develop well-rounded individuals who are prepared for the upcoming challenges in their lives.
  • Create a Safe and Respectful Environment where we can grow as learners together. Our first basic instinct is safety, without it, we struggle to accomplish many of our day-to-day routines. A building that is safe and inviting will allow our students to free up their minds in pursuits of knowledge.
  • Foundations. Academic and Social-Emotional foundations must be constructed and used to build a student’s educational career.
  • Family. We are all FHMS. 500+ all living under one roof. A tremendous opportunity to learn from, grow with and support each other every day. As we get ready to kick off the 2021-2022 school year, FHMS will have a confident calm feel. A place where students come first, and we value and respect each other.

Before we get going too far down the road of this year, I wanted to recap some of the information that went out to you this week regarding the start of the school year.
2021-2022 Nuts and Bolts:

August 9th: FHMS Falcon Day (specific times per grade level were released this week)
  • School Pictures and ID Cards
  • Meet the Teacher
  • Pick up important forms for technology and for the year (Students will not be issued a Chromebook until these forms are returned)
  • Freedom to walk the campus
  • Athletic information and ability to register online
  • Introduction to extra-curricular opportunities

The times that are indicated for grade levels are not set in stone but when we would suggest you come to have access to your grade level teachers and avoid overcrowding. If you need to come at a different time during the day, we are flexible.

  • 9:00 - 10: 30 - Grade 8
  • 10:30 - 12:00 - Grade 7
  • 12:30 - 2:00 - Grade 6 and Grade 5
  • 2:00 - 3:30 - Grade 4

If you have multiple students at our campus, please come at a time that works for you. You do not have to make multiple trips.

August 10th: First day of school 8:30-3:10
Please reference the information that has been sent out on to you via email and peachjar:
  • Welcome Letter 8/2
  • Drop off and pick up times and locations 8/4
  • Chromebooks 8/5
  • Schedules 8/6
  • Bus Routes Published by the District

Please help me welcome some new all-stars to our team:
  • Nicole Moreno - 5th Grade
  • Christine Rios - 5th Grade
  • Lisa Chaikin - Art
  • Tracy Perry - Art
  • Roger Eisenberg - Band and Music

This is going to be a great year and I cannot wait to kick things off on Monday August 9th with our Falcon day, then welcome your students into our building for an exciting year of learning on August 10th.

Thank you for the opportunity to lead this great school and for sharing your students with us, we know that none of this is possible without your partnership and support. 

Have a great weekend and we will see you on Monday.

In Partnership,

Jeff Markle
Fountain Hills Middle School
Fountain Hills High School

Dear FHHS Students and Families:

We are looking forward to an exceptional year here at Fountain Hills High School (FHHS)! Our new Administration team consisting of myself, Assistant Principal Darren Hiebel, and Athletic Director/Dean of Students Evelyn Wynn, are eager to work with our new and returning teachers and staff to ensure academic, social, and emotional success for all students at FHHS.

Falcon Fest
An important date to note is our Falcon Fest on Monday, August 9th. Please come to the Auxiliary Gym to meet the teachers, find out about clubs and athletics, obtain resources from community partners, have your school picture taken, and get your Student ID issued. This day will help to give you more information and will provide you the opportunity to have any of your questions answered by staff.

Student schedules will be finalized in PowerSchool by August 9th, therefore your student will want to log into their account that day to know their schedule for the first day of school, August 10th. School will operate on the regular bell schedule that day, starting at 7:30 a.m., ending the day at 2:20 p.m. Bus routes can be found on the District website under Resources.

Please come to Falcon Fest according to this grade schedule, or at your convenience:

  • 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. Freshmen
  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Sophomores
  • 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Juniors
  • 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Seniors

Senior portraits will take place during the week of August 31st. More information will be coming out to Senior families shortly.
PTO Coin Drive
The Fountain Hills Unified School District Parent Teacher Organization (FHUSDPTO) is organizing a coin drive to raise money to support the district. We are competing against Fountain Hills Middle School and McDowell Mountain Elementary School to see who can raise the most funds. The winning school’s students will receive an age-specific reward! If you have spare change, please bring it to the office or Falcon Fest to support the high school. You can also donate online at Thank you for your support!
We will have the Athletic Director and coaches from Swim, Cross Country/Track, Wrestling, Girls’ Basketball, Football, Boys’ Soccer, and Beach Volleyball represented at Falcon Fest. We are also excited to announce a new Instagram page for our Athletics that you can follow: @falcon_athletics.

We look forward to partnering with all of you to make this a phenomenal year! Please reach out if we can be of assistance, and Go Falcons!
Chris Hartmann
Fountain Hills High School
A Message From The FHUSD Governing Board
Dear FHUSD families,

Welcome to the 2021-22 school year. Governing Board members will be stopping by Meet the Teacher, Falcon Day, and Falcon Fest on August 9th. We hope to see many of you there! These back-to-school events are important opportunities, even for long-term Falcons, to kick off the school year, get acquainted with the learning environment, meet teachers, and see classmates.

For some students, the excitement of back-to-school can generate anxiety, nervousness, and/or stress. The links below offer a variety of helpful resources to get the school year off to a great start:

Speaking of great starts, the faculty and staff across our district have been working hard to prepare for this school year. There are new faces, new class offerings, and even some familiar faces teaching new classes.

In addition to that, our board has reviewed and discussed responses from students, families, and teachers/staff to our district-wide survey from last spring. We have been using your feedback to shape our decisions around district priorities and goals for this school year and beyond. If you were not able to participate in the survey in the spring, look for upcoming surveys on a variety of topics. Your input, insights, and experiences are invaluable to help us ensure that we, your governing board, are making decisions with the needs of our entire school community in mind.

This school year our district will continue its commitment to healthy, safe, and enriching learning opportunities for all our students. We look forward to seeing you at events throughout the school year, and we hope everyone has a safe and exciting first day of school on August 10th. 


FHUSD Governing Board
Nadya Jenkins, President
Judith Rutkowski, Vice President
Jill Reed, Member
Dr. Wendy Barnard, Member
Dana Saar, Member
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