March 1, 2021
Home of the Falcons!
"We Achieve and Celebrate Educational Excellence"
Falcon Focus
McDowell Mountain Elementary School

Dear MMES Falcon Families: 
March has arrived! We have just two more weeks until the end of the third quarter and spring break. Here’s what’s been happening and what’s coming up at MMES:
ATI Galileo Mid-Year Benchmark Assessments
Kindergarten through third grade are administering mid-year benchmark assessments using our standards-based assessment system, ATI Galileo before the end of third quarter. Kindergarten assessments will be administered one-on-one verbally and with students performing tasks. First grade assessments will be on paper with teachers reading aloud all stories and questions. All of second and third grade assessments will be online through the students’ ATI logins and they will have the universal accommodation of text-to-speech (questions read aloud) for Math. Third grade’s assessments will not only measure students’ progress on priority standards learned so far, but also provide teachers with relevant data in preparation for the state AzM2 assessment that third graders will take in April.
Parent/Teacher Conferences
MMES will have half-days with student dismissal at 12:30 on both Thursday, March 11 and Friday, March 12 for 3rd quarter virtual parent/teacher conferences. Note that Wednesday, March 10 will NOT be an early release due to these two half-days. Conferences will be mainly from 1:00-8:00 p.m. on March 11 and from 1:00-3:30 p.m. on March 12. Teachers may also have other open slots during the week if possible. All MMES teachers are using the online program, for you to schedule Zoom conferences with them. Next week, you will receive all of the teachers’ individual links. Please contact your children’s teachers should you have any questions. Thank you and we are looking forward!
Spring Break
Spring break will be March 15-19 with school resuming and the fourth quarter beginning on Monday, March 22. Have a safe and happy break!
American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge
MMES raised $6,446.46 for the American Heart Association with the Kids Heart Challenge! Students have been learning how to take care of their hearts while helping others, pledging to Move More, Be Kind, or Choose Water. We met our $2,500 very quickly, so we made a new goal of $5,000 that we also exceeded! Since we met both of these goals, principal, Mrs. D and TOSA, Mrs. Latona both got slimed! And the top two fundraising classes were the ones to slime them: Mrs. DeBoard's K2 and Ms. Fisher's 301! Well done, Falcons! You can watch the sliming video on our Facebook page and we will be posting some photos soon as well.
Falcon Leaders’ & Student Council’s Fearless Kitty Rescue Cat Food Drive
MMES Falcon Leaders and Student Council and their sponsors, Ms. Smart and Ms. Elder have been teaming together once again for another community service project, collecting dry and/or canned cat food for Fearless Kitty Rescue in Fountain Hills. Thank you all for your donations through today, February 26. We will share the final results very soon.
Kiwanis Terrific Kids Awards
We have awarded three sets of Kiwanis Terrific Kids awards so far in February. Terrific Kids is a weekly award with one student from each grade K-3 earning a certificate and prizes sponsored by the Fountain Hills Noon Kiwanis Club. TERRIFIC stands for Thoughtful, Enthusiastic, Respectful, Responsible, Inclusive, Friendly, Inquisitive, and Capable. Congratulations to the following Terrific Kids:
  • Week of February 1-5: Szebasztian Labbancz, Kindergarten; Eric Torres Rosete, 1st Grade; Harlow Carponelli, 2nd Grade; Jade DuFour, 3rd Grade
  • Week of February 8-12: Madison Van Orden, Kindergarten; Claire Robinson, 1st Grade; Elisa Velasco Ruiz, 2nd Grade; Adison Shroyer, 3rd Grade
  • Week of February 15-19: Mila Boden, Kindergarten; Azaliyah Nephi-Bear, 1st Grade; Marthabelle Francisco, 2nd Grade; Adeline Hanford, 3rd Grade
We love our MMES A+ Falcon Family and Community!

Valerie Dehombreux
McDowell Mountain Elementary School

Fountain Hills Middle School

Happy Monday Falcon Families,

For this Colorado boy, I must say, Arizona is delivering on all things great about the weather this time of year. I don’t know who is responsible for the weather right now, but keep it up. I have what I would call, “spring fever” and that must mean that we are nearing the end of another quarter and gearing up for a Spring Break. That being said we are just nearing, not at and we need to keep our focus for the next couple weeks and nail the landing.

Here are a couple of things to have on your radar:

FHMS Spring Conferences
I wanted to reach out with some information about our Spring Conferences here at Fountain Hills Middle School. Since this has been a different year, we are going to keep rolling with the theme, and yes conferences are going to look and feel different as well. This year, our conferences will be virtual and we will be sending invites to families of students who the team of teachers would like to talk to about student progress through our first 3 quarters. I know in the past we have run more of an arena-style conference, but that is not possible at this time. Students where the team has determined a conference is not necessary will still receive communication from their teachers about their progress as well, but will not need to meet virtually during the conference time. 
Teachers will send out their invites along with a link to sign up for a time that will allow parents to select a slot for a 10 minute conference with the requesting teachers. 
I know as a building leader I would love to have the halls filled with parents and students attending conferences with their teachers, but that is just not possible with our current state. If you are requesting a different time to work for your family you will need to schedule that with your student’s teacher after we return from spring break.

We are coming up on the end of the quarter which means our third grading period will be coming to an end on March 12th. Teachers should be communicating out when makeup work and late assignments final due dates will be. I would strongly encourage your student to be having conversations with their teachers over the final 2 weeks about assignments that are missing or that are coming up. We have a built-in Academic Strategies time every day where these conversations can take place. If your student is missing work from Quarter 3, they have about 2 weeks to make those assignments up for their teachers. As a staff, we are on the same page with this and will update the grades as assignments come in. Once we hit the end of the Quarter, we will not accept missing work for Quarter 3.

Habits so Scholar (Work Habits)
Talking with teachers, this remains a major struggle for our school right now, things like work completion, being attentive in class both in-person and virtually. This comes down to attitude and effort. I love this quote, “If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, when do you have time to do it over?” Please embrace the gift of struggle and encourage your student to complete all of their assignments to the best of their ability. 
Our program is up and running and we have been pleased with our first 3 quarters as we roll out PBIS to become a staple at Fountain Hills Middle School. Our front atrium is littered with certificates of students who have been chosen as our Falcon Flyers and we continue to run out of Falcon Feathers each week as our staff recognizes positive behaviors we see going on in our building. Please continue the conversation at home about what it means to be responsible, respectful, safe and kind.

Happenings here at FHMS:

Check out the PTO Silent Auction

Middle School Basketball: We will get our Middle school season up and running after we return from Spring Break. Announcements for informational meetings for students will begin to roll out. You can go to our website and register your student if you are ready to do so.

Registration: Our 8th-grade students took a trip to the High School to kick off their registration process. Keep an eye out for High School registration coming home with your student. Returning students to FHMS will begin to look at registering for electives for the 2021-2022 school year near the end of March.

Thank you to all stakeholders for your support for FHMS and for allowing us the opportunity to teach your child and partnering with us during this school year.

In Partnership,

Jeff Markle
Fountain Hills Middle School

Fountain Hills High School

Hello Falcon Families!
We can’t believe that spring break is only 2 short weeks away! It’s important to remember to close out the 3rd quarter strong and on a high note. Spring break will be a great time for students and staff to recharge and re-energize for the 4th quarter ahead!
8th Grade Visitation Day at FHHS
On Friday, February 19th, we welcomed the FHMS 8th graders to the high school campus for lunch and a tour of the campus and classrooms. We had nearly 75% of the 8th grade class visit us that day. It was a great day had by all. There was tremendous support from our current student body as they attended to serve as Falcon Ambassadors and guides for the day. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome next year’s 9th grade class!
Course Registration Going On Now!
Our counseling team began the course registration process with students last week. They’ve been in and out of the English classrooms visiting with students in the various grade levels discussing the course offerings for next year. Students will be asked to have their course selections entered and finalized prior to spring break. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your child’s respective counselor, Mr. Love (9th & 11th) or Mr. Brady (10th & 12th)
Super Saturday - Saturday, March 6th
Our counseling department will be hosting our 2nd Super Saturday of the quarter on Saturday, March 6th from 10:00-1:00. Students who need to get caught up with their academics are strongly encouraged to attend. Ms. Murray and Dr. McElligott will also be in attendance to assist any and all students needing help with Math and/or Science.
Attention National Honor Society Hopefuls:
Letters were mailed on Friday, January 29th to students in 10th and 11th grade with a Cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. If you receive a letter, you may fill out an application to join NHS for the next school year. If you did not receive a letter and feel this is an error please contact Cristine Barsema at 480-664-5551 or You may pick up the application in the high school front office or print it out online. There is a link on the FHHS website in the Latest News feed. Applications are due Friday March 12, 2021.
Spring Sports Begin March 1st!
All spring sports begin officially on Monday, March 1st. Beach Volleyball, Track & Field, Tennis, Golf, Baseball, Softball, and Boys Volleyball all begin their seasons on the 1st. Please remember to pay your athletic fee by accessing the payment portal. Additionally, make sure that you register with Register My Athlete.
NHS Virtual Homework Hub
Our wonderful NHS students will continue to host a virtual homework hub for any students needing academic tutoring.
  • Tutors are available Mondays and Thursdays from 2:30-3:15 and Wednesdays from 11:00-11:40.
This is the link to access the homework hub virtually:


Kris Alexander
Fountain Hills High School

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