December 18, 2020
Home of the Falcons!
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Falcon Focus
A Message from the Superintendent

Happy Friday Falcon Families,

Below is some useful information that you may need over the Winter break.
Hours of Operation during the Holiday Break
The school sites will be closed for the two weeks of the Holiday Break to include all office and administration. The district office will be closed to the public while a small staff work throughout the break at various times. If you need assistance, please call the main line 480-664-5000 to speak with someone at the district office or email or
Food Service
While we are providing remote instruction during the week of January 4th, we will be offering sack breakfast/lunch pick up Monday through Friday from 10:45-12:30 at two locations – McDowell Mountain Elementary School and delivery to Fort McDowell at the H’Man ‘Shawa location.
We just received notification from AIA that the start of the winter season will be delayed until January 18th with spring sports starting the week of March 1st. I’ve included the AIA press releases from this morning regarding athletics.

COVID Update
Remember that you may always check the district website for COVID data specific to your child’s school at or the Maricopa County Health Department Data Dashboard at We did see an increase in COVID-like illness this past week which led to us closing a couple of classrooms as they exceeded the guidelines.
We hope you have a restful, healthy holiday, and a blessed start to your 2021 year.

Dr. Kelly Glass

McDowell Mountain Elementary School

Dear MMES Falcon Families: 

Winter break is here and we wish you all a safe and happy holiday! We look forward to seeing you again when school resumes on Monday, January 4, 2021. As you are already aware, FHUSD is implementing remote instruction during January 4-8, 2021 so that the district can consider COVID-19 data and determine how to reopen our district schools after this first week. 

December Events
It was a busy December with DIBELS testing; Computer Science Education Month in our STEM classes; and Falcon Leaders’ and Student Council’s Sock Drive for the Shoebox Ministry. MMES students, families, and staff have been doing great things and now have a well-deserved winter break!

January Events
Below are events happening when school resumes in January:
  • January 4-8: Remote instruction for all students; models afterward TBD
  • January 11-15: Kindergarten progress reports and 1st-3rd grade report cards sent home with students if we're in-person; mailed if not
  • January 15: Picture Retakes Day with Lifetouch if we're in-person
  • January 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: no school
  • January 19: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day / Respect virtual assembly
  • January 21: 9:00 a.m. American Heart Association's Kids Heart Challenge fundraiser kick-off presentation via Zoom

Kiwanis Terrific Kids Awards
We awarded three more sets of Terrific Kids after Thanksgiving. 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 November 30-December 4: Ana Conchas Michel, Kindergarten; Ezra Fotia, 1st Grade; Nicolas Mora, 2nd Grade; Mila Valdez, 3rd Grade
  • Week of December 7-11: Aubree Edwards, Kindergarten; Pablo Michel, 1st Grade; Izabella Wagner, 2nd Grade; Trenton Pameditis, 3rd Grade
  • Week of December 14-18: Akazee Doka-Williams, Kindergarten; Asher Blekestad, 1st Grade; Christovaughn Coffman 2nd Grade; Rylee Pena, 3rd Grade

Happy Holidays to our MMES A+ Falcon Family and Community!

Valerie Dehombreux
McDowell Mountain Elementary School

Fountain Hills Middle School

Happy Winter Break FHMS Families,

It feels like only yesterday we were getting geared up for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, wondering how this semester would go. What would it feel like? How would the students respond to all of the challenges they faced at the end of last year? What new challenges would we have to overcome as schools began to open up for in-person learning? Now, here we are rolling into the last few weeks of December with semester 1 behind us, and we are about to close out the year 2020. I do not believe we have the final answer to any of these questions, but I have a good idea about our staff and students and feel very confident in saying everyone worked to the best of their abilities during the first semester here at Fountain Hills Middle School. I am so proud to call myself the principal of this great school and look forward to coming in every day to see the great things going on here at FHMS. I long for the day when we are able to take our game to the next level when we have all of our family together under one roof in full in-person learning. I know this will happen, but until then we will continue to do what we do best, care for kids, build relationships and continue to build strong foundational skills in whatever form of education we need to use.

As we get ready for a well-deserved break I want to thank everyone for their partnership to make this semester a success. None of what we do here at FHMS is possible without the support of the parents and the community. I assure you that all of your hard work is felt every day and never lost in the day to day grind of school. I wish you all a wonderful break and hope you have time to rest, recharge, heal and find little bits of happiness and joy during this two week break.

As we say goodbye to 2020 and look ahead to 2021, here are a few things to be ready for:

Return to School: January 4, 2021
This will be in a virtual setting for all students, more specific information will come from Mr. Markle on schedules and expectations.

It is hard to think about, but soon after we return we will begin to build requests and schedules for the 2021 -2022 school year. This will happen here at FHMS for both students who will be continuing with us and those headed off to the high school.

Fresh Start
All students will start fresh for the second semester, a chance to make any changes to work habits and study skills to help take your education where you want it to go.

Goodbye 2020, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.  Hello 2021, we are ready for you and everything you have to throw at us. The Falcons of Fountain Hills Middle School will choose our own altitude and soar to great heights.

In Partnership,

Jeff Markle
Fountain Hills Middle School

Fountain Hills High School

Hello Falcon Families!

Virtual Learning - January 4-8
All schools within FHUSD will be following a virtual learning model when we return from winter break the week of January 4th. All students will be learning via remote instruction during this week. The following are expectations for students while we are in our virtual/remote learning model:
  • Daily Learning/5-days A Week: Students will follow the daily bell schedule. Students will log into their classes virtually via Google Meet or Zoom for direct instruction from their teachers. This is true for all 6 classes.
  • Students will have their camera on and microphone on mute unless told differently by their teachers. Students who turn their camera off during class or disrupt the learning process on their microphone or the chat can be removed by the teacher. Students may be marked absent for the period if cameras are not on with the student’s face visible. Additionally, disciplinary action may be taken for disruptions to the learning process. Leaving cameras on will help our teachers read facial expressions and better help us judge student engagement.
  • Attendance: Attendance will be taken by the teacher during the first 10-minutes of every class and entered into PowerSchool just as it is when we are in-person. If your child is going to miss a class for an appointment or is absent for an entire day, we are asking parents to call our attendance line with that information so we can track attendance properly.
  • Students need to make sure they have their Schools PLP logins handy as well as their classroom links. It would be best practice to print or write down the bell schedule, Schools PLP login, and links to their classes. Additionally, students need to be sure that their computers are charged or plugged in and ready to go each day. Chromebooks are still available to be checked out for any student who may need one.
  • Grading: During remote-learning teachers will be giving assignments and assessments and grading them as usual. Grades are determined by the work a student completes. If a student does not complete the assigned work, they will receive a missing grade until they complete the work even if they are in attendance. Teachers provide many opportunities for students to make-up work and are willing to have one-on-one meetings to answer questions and give additional support if a student is struggling.

Spring Semester Modality Selection
Two weeks ago, Dr. Glass sent out a questionnaire asking families to select which learning modality they would like their child to be in for the spring semester (in-person, remote w/ teachers, or self-paced virtual). We’ve received responses back from about 65% of our families so thank you for submitting your selection. For those who did not complete the questionnaire, your child will remain in the current learning modality they have for the fall semester. This will carry over for the spring term. Please be aware that the modality you’ve selected for your child will be the modality they remain in for the entirety of the second semester.

Winter Athletics
Just a reminder, our winter athletic teams begin competitions January 18, 2021. We have added certain protocols and procedures in order to protect our student-athletes and coaches to the best of our ability. Below is information that was sent out to schools by the AIA related to the upcoming winter season:
  • All sport modifications are required.
  • No scrimmages, invitational tournaments or Region tournaments.
  • No out-of-state competitions.
  • Must have a minimum of 14 days of practice before any competition.
  • If a student/coach participates with an outside group, in any sport, they are excluded from practice/competition with the school team for 14 days since their last contact with that group.
  • No fans permitted until metrics are appropriate.
  • Testing is recommended if possible in your county.
  • Conference Leadership will determine the minimum number of contests required to qualify for the state tournament.
  • Spring sports season begins March 1, 2021

Happy Holidays & New Year!
We hope that all of our families have a wonderful winter break! Please take time to relax, refresh, and recharge for the upcoming semester. Please enjoy your time with family and friends over the holidays! We here at FHHS wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!

Kris Alexander
Fountain Hills High School

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