October 1, 2021
Home of the Falcons!
"We Achieve and Celebrate Educational Excellence"
Falcon Focus
Photo courtesy of azcentral.com "The Phoenix Area's 5 Most Beautiful Schools" April 2015
McDowell Mountain Elementary School

Hello McDowell Mountain Families!
McDowell Mountain has been busy this week hosting the Scholastic Book Fair. PTO has outdone themselves again! We have had many parents and students shopping for their favorite books and trinkets at the fair. Last Friday, McDowell Mountain and our PTO hosted a shopping opportunity and provided breakfast muffins for our families. Pictured below are the wonderful decorations that the PTO put up. Thank you PTO! Your hard work and dedication are so appreciated!  
Welcome to the Circus!  
Thank you PTO, Parents and Community Members!  
APEX Fundraiser
One of our big fundraisers ended on September 10th with our APEX fun run. PTO, McDowell Mountain families and staff members raised money and we received just under $17,000.00 for our school library and technology. It was a great event! Next year, we are looking at moving it to Parent Teacher Conferences week. Our fun run will occur on our half day of conferences. I hope that it is much cooler for our runners during that week next year!   
PBIS is in full swing at the Elementary School this year. We are concentrating on Tier 1. Tier 1 is the tier that most students in our school will be in. In this tier, staff members teach rules and expectations that the majority of students are able to follow without many extra interventions put into place. At McDowell Mountain, I want staff members to treat expected behaviors like a new learned skill. We are shifting our mindset with regard to behavior and consequences of behavior. It would not be appropriate for staff to use a form of punishment with a student who is struggling with a math skill. When there is a struggle, we teach and sometimes need to reteach the skill until the skill is mastered. That is how PBIS works. I hope that I am not communicating that there will not be consequences for certain actions; however, even when there is a consequence, there will be an educational component with the consequence. 
I am seeing many positives! Last week McDowell Mountain gave out 1878 Falcon Feathers. We have a goal for staff to give at least 10 feathers out per day. 
New Website
Say Cheese! McDowell Mountain had a photographer taking action photos of our students on September 29th for our new and improved website. I am looking forward to seeing those pictures and being able to identify the students on our website! Great things are happening all over! 
Upcoming Important Dates:     
  • October 7th and 8th – Parent Teacher Conferences
  • October 11-15, 2021 – Fall break 


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

Good Afternoon Falcon Families,

As we get ready to put Quarter 1 to bed, I hope this Falcon Focus finds you well and your student feeling good about where they stand in their work and effort in Quarter 1. This has been a large part of our focus at FHMS, making sure every day we are putting ourselves in the best place to succeed. Students have access to their teachers during the class periods and once again during academic strategies, it is my hope our students take full advantage of this time and are sitting in a good place heading into the last week of the Quarter. If Quarter 1 did not go as planned, then Fall Break is a great time to reflect and reset and make the necessary changes for a better Quarter 2.

FHMS important information
On Wednesday of this week, you received an email with conference details, if you missed it or need them again here is the information. Additional several teams of teachers have sent out information to their grade levels.
Conference Dates and times for Grades 6/7/8
  • Thursday October 7th 1:30pm – 6:30pm - These will be arena-style conferences where you will have the opportunity to meet with each of your student’s teachers for a short 5-7 minute conversation. You do not need to have a scheduled time, you can come in anytime that works for you between 1:30 and 6:30. Teams will be set up in the team rooms with plenty of space for parents to spread out and wait for a teacher to become available. 
  • Friday October 8th 1:00pm – 3:00pm - These are by appointment or initiation only. If you require time with the whole team or more time with a particular teacher, please schedule during the Friday conference time. Teams of teachers will also be reaching out to families that they feel the need to schedule some individual time with.
  • Conference Dates and time for 4th and 5th Grade - Our 4th and 5th-grade teams have reached out to their families to let them know about conferences and signing up through their preferred method, which could be Sign Up Genius or Google Forms. I know that these conferences have the potential of being spread out over the entire week as we work to have as many slots as possible for our families. Please reach out to your student’s homeroom teacher for further information if you have not received anything to date from the teams.

We look forward to having you in our building and meeting with our teachers. See you Thursday, October 7th.

Winter Sports on the Horizon
As we return from fall break we will begin to wrap up our fall sports and turn our attention to our winter sports. As we get closer to the actual season, we will have more information on tryout dates and times. I did want to get on your radar what we offer so you can begin to plan ahead.
  • Cross Country
  • Baseball
  • Softball

Clubs at FHMS
If you are interested in joining a club at our school, the following clubs are currently up and running:
  • Fashion Club
  • Running Club
  • Robotics Club
  • Chess Club

Please have your student stop by the main office for paperwork on any of these clubs.
Although we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and feel a break coming on, we still have one more week of good learning to get through. I know many of your students will have benchmark testing in their core subjects next week. This weekend would be a great time to ask them about their benchmark testing and are they ready for the tests. These Benchmarks will do a great job of showing us where our students stack up against the standards. Thank you for a great start to the 21-22 school year and I look forward to one more week before a well-deserved break.

In Partnership,

Jeff Markle
Fountain Hills Middle School
Fountain Hills High School

Hello Falcons!

Time flies when you’re having fun at FHHS! After an excitement-filled Spirit Week and Homecoming game/dance, we are focused on finishing the quarter strong. First quarter will officially end on October 8th, just before we take some much-deserved time off for Fall Break. Here is a glimpse of some upcoming events and exciting announcements:
AVID Signing Night
We are cordially inviting our AVID students to a Signing Day Event on Thursday, September 30th at 5:30 p.m. in our Library. This event symbolizes entrance into our AVID program for our scholars. The evening will allow family and friends to meet our program leaders, gain insight into our AVID program, and hear from graduates of our AVID program. We will commence the evening at 7:00 p.m. with light refreshments. We look forward to seeing you there!

The PSAT has been rescheduled so it does not conflict with Fall Break. The new testing date is Tuesday, October 26th from 8 a.m. – noon. If you have any questions about the PSAT, please contact counselor Jimmy Brady.

We delightedly welcome our new band director, Michael Fox! Mr. Fox began his first week at our school this Monday, and he is eager to continue the proud tradition of music at FHHS.
Dress Code
Please remind your student that they have agreed to the Student/Parent Handbook which states, in part, that:

“Clothing must not be see-through and must cover a student’s undergarments, chest and torso, when standing or sitting.
Obscene language or symbols, or symbols of drugs, sex, or alcohol on clothing are prohibited.” 

Thank you for your cooperation in making our campus a safe and respectful environment that is conducive to student learning.

Coffee with the Principal
We had a great turn-out at our first Coffee with the Principal, and we look forward to continuing open discussion and conversation throughout the school year. Mark your calendar for the next one: Friday, October 8th, from 9-10 a.m. in the Administration Building Conference Room.

Commended Student
We congratulate Ruby Xia on being named a Commended Student in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2022 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 students who entered the 2022 competition by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Congratulations, Ruby, on this fantastic achievement!

Employment Opportunities
We are currently hiring for the following positions: District Nurse and Administrative Assistant. If you know of anyone who would be a great addition to our team, please direct them to apply at https://fountainhills.tedk12.com/hire/index.aspx.


Chris Hartmann
Fountain Hills High School
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