December 4, 2020
Home of the Falcons!
"We Achieve and Celebrate Educational Excellence"
Falcon Focus
A Message from the Superintendent

Happy December everyone!  

Spring Semester Enrollment
We have the survey available for the spring semester for enrollment selections - in-person learning, remote, and the virtual academy. If your student was enrolled in the virtual academy and you would like them to attend in-person learning, now is the time to make the change. The link for the spring registration selections is https://forms.gle/kS9yHkLBwAqVVstt8. Copy and paste the link into your web browser to complete one survey per student. The survey closes next Friday, December 11th.   

COVID-19 Updates
We are continually monitoring the school metrics data as well as the metrics for the town of Fountain Hills. You can check the COVID-19 webpage at https://www.fountainhillsschools.org/COVID-19-Dashboard to check our school level data. You can also check the Maricopa County Department of Public Health to see the school and town data at https://www.maricopa.gov/5594/School-Metrics. Over the holiday break, we will not update the district site, but please check the MCDPH site for updates.  

While we are doing our best to keep our schools open for learning, the metrics indicate a rising number of positive COVID cases. While our numbers of positive COVID cases are very low at the schools, we are seeing an increase in COVID-like illnesses. This also affects our ability to remain open, so we are closely monitoring this category.

We are considering opening school on January 4th in remote instruction for one week. With everyone traveling and enjoying the holiday season, we want to make sure that we remain safe for everyone in our community. I'll be sending an email update next Friday to provide the guidance for returning to school in January. Again, it is important that everyone knows that we want our children in school, but the safety of everyone is also our concern. We are making the changes suggested by the CDC. These guidelines were recently released and focus on quarantine for exposed students and adults.

Please watch for the email next Friday providing the district's plan for reopening school after winter break. Please contact my office if you have additional questions or needs. We are happy to help.

Dr. Kelly Glass
Superintendent


McDowell Mountain Elementary School

Dear MMES Falcon Families: 

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Here some great things that have been happening lately at MMES:

Falcon Leaders’ & Student Council’s Sock Drive
MMES Falcon Leaders and Student Council are teaming together this year for one of our annual community service projects, the Sock Drive for Shoebox Ministry. Facilitated by the Falcon Leader sponsor, Ms. Smart and Student Council sponsor, Ms. Elder, we’re collecting new men’s and women’s socks that Shoebox Ministry donates to the valley homeless. Please bring in socks up to December 16!

Special Area Turkey Project
On the two days before Thanksgiving, the special area teachers of Art, Music, and STEM worked with different classes on the same turkey project where students used engineering design skills and learned about habitats, lines, shapes, warm and cool colors, and abstract art while listening to background music of the early 1900s (Picasso’s time). Be watching on our Facebook page for photos of their projects.
 
DIBELS Testing
December 7-18, MMES will be administering the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) mid-year benchmark assessment to students in kindergarten through 3rd grade. DIBELS helps teachers determine how students are performing on the “big idea” reading skills of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The results assist teachers with making decisions about their whole class and small group reading instruction as well as enrichment and interventions. The assessment is administered one-on-one and takes about 7-10 minutes per student.

Computer Science Education Week
December 7-11 is officially Computer Science Education Week when schools all over the world celebrate and learn about computer science and engineering skills and careers. Usually each class completes a dedicated Hour of Code with our STEM teacher, Mrs. Cooper during the official week, but due to this year’s schedules impacted by the pandemic, we have spread out the focus on coding for all three weeks of December. Each week when Mrs. Cooper has a class, students work on coding each day. There are also webinars designed for kids that classes will be able to access during the week of December 7-11. Thank you, Mrs. Cooper for your guidance for our future computer science engineers!

Kiwanis Terrific Kids Awards
Just before Thanksgiving, we awarded two more sets of Kiwanis Terrific Kids. 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 16-20: Charlie Brewer, Kindergarten; Jaxon Broetsky-Scales, 1st Grade; Elliana Hunter, 2nd Grade; Allison Cruz-Lopez, 3rd Grade
  • Week of November 23-27: Dexter Rogers, Kindergarten; Julianna Grimland, 1st Grade; Natalie Percic, 2nd Grade; Blaine Pattea, 3rd Grade

SRP Touchdowns for Teachers
This is the second year of the teacher grant system, SRP Touchdowns for Teachers where for every Arizona Cardinals touchdown in a season, two Arizona teachers receive a $500 classroom grant from SRP. MMES preschool teacher, Sharon Monar signs up nearly every week and this week she was selected to receive a $500 grant! She is currently completing her paperwork with SRP and will need to confirm the parameters for spending the grant money for her classroom, but so far she is interested in purchasing a series of children’s books by Cheri J. Meiners, M.Ed. from the Learning to Get Along series. Mrs. Monar has a few of these books and she loves how they teach children to problem solve, play together, and be respectful of others. Congratulations and thank you, Mrs. Monar! You can find out more about SRP Touchdowns for Teachers at srpnet.com/teachers.

We love our MMES A+ Falcon Family and Community!

Valerie Dehombreux
Principal
McDowell Mountain Elementary School


Fountain Hills Middle School

Hello Fountain Hills Middle School Families,

It is amazing that by the time this comes out we will be down to a series of 2’s. Two weeks left until the end of the semester. It has been a wild ride, but one that will make us stronger and more sturdy as we continue through this thing called life. My messaging to the students has revolved around the end of the semester and what are we doing to make sure they are right where they want to be in their classes. With only 2 Mondays left for example, there is not much time left to chase down assignments. My hope is that all of our students feel great about the position they are in for this quarter and if not, they search out the adults they need to talk to and make things happen.

As we near the end of the semester this can be a very busy and hectic time. We talk about trusted adults here at FHMS and try to live by our PBIS pillars on a daily basis. If your student is feeling upset, overwhelmed or just needing a friendly face to talk to, please have them fill out a pass to talk to one of our awesome members of our counseling department and or their trusted adult in the building.

Angie Buczek Counselor: abuczek@fhacademics.org

Cassie Rodgers Social Worker: crodgers@fhacademics.org
Here are a couple of things to have on your radar for FHMS:
The FHMS Falcon Band will be performing outdoors at the Fountain Hills Stroll and Glow on Saturday Dec 5th at 5pm. The town will be lighting up the avenue of the fountains that night and have holiday activities, light displays, and live music. 

Our band classes have also been playing live music in the outdoor courtyard this month during lunch hour for the younger students.

FHMS Dance Classes will be holding two celebrations for immediate family members on December 9th and 10th at 7:00 pm. Please contact Gianna Wilson for more information.

We have three sports up and running here at FHMS. Baseball, Cross Country and Softball have been practicing hard and have been working to get a few games and meets in prior to the break. It does look like much of the action for these three sports will take place after January 5th.

PTO Opportunities:
Please check out their page to see opportunities to support our great PTO.


Thank you for the opportunity and the trust to educate your students at our great school. We have loved every moment of having them back on campus and learning from our teachers. We are circling in for our final approach to nail the landing on the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year.  

Jeff Markle
Principal
Fountain Hills Middle School


Fountain Hills High School

Hello Falcon Families!

Final Exam Schedule:
Over the course of the past couple of weeks, we’ve been working on developing a modified version of our final exam schedule. Taking into consideration that we will be in our hybrid learning model for the remainder of the fall semester, we have made adjustments to our final exam schedule in order to properly administer exams. Additional information specific to the final exam schedule has been sent out via email to all parents and students as well as being posted on our school website and Facebook page. You may find a copy of the final exam schedule by clicking here. If you have any questions or need clarification, please contact us.

Senior Meeting Held Successfully
On Wednesday, December 2nd administration and members of the counseling department met with our seniors and their parents to discuss any and all items related to senior year. Numerous topics were discussed including graduation requirements, the graduation ceremony, senior ads in the yearbook, and expectations for the end of the year. The details of what was discussed can be found in the slide show for the meeting. This information is also located on the school website and on the school’s Facebook page.

FHHS Art Students Participate in Stroll in the Glow
Our fantastic art students, led by Ms. Primosch and Ms. Johnson, will be participating in the Stroll in the Glow event taking place this weekend. Our art students will be painting a window at Morningstar located on Avenue of the Fountains. Please stop by this weekend to see the wonderful artwork our students have created!

Key Club Toy Drive Information
The Fountain Hills High School's KEY Club in conjunction with Toys for Tots is hosting a holiday Toy Drive. If any student or family would like to donate a Toy please drop your donation off to Mr. Brady's office in the counseling department. For any student who is currently enrolled in all remote or online learning and wishes to participate, you can donate or drop your toy off at the front desk and Mr. Brady will collect it from Jodi. This way we can accomodate for social distancing. Toys will be accepted for donation from 11/30/2020- 12/13/2020.

Senior Recognition Ads
The deadline to create senior recognition ads for the yearbook is on Sunday, January 31, 2021. It is easy to create your ad online. Visit the Yearbook Ads page, choose your ad size and layout, enter your text, and upload your photos. We retain the right to remove any explicit text, graphic photos, or copyright-protected imagery or photos. You must purchase your ad prior to the deadline in order for it to appear in the yearbook. You can create your ad online from both desktop and mobile devices. Senior recognition ad prices are $150 for half page, $100 for quarter page, and $75 for eighth page.


Winter Athletics
Our winter athletic teams are currently practicing and preparing for their upcoming seasons. The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) recently decided to push the official start date back for the beginning of the season to January 5, 2021. However, two weeks ago, the AIA approved FHHS to begin practices due to our COVID metrics being suitable to do so. 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 school 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 February 15, 2021

Kris Alexander
Principal
Fountain Hills High School

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