January 15, 2021
Home of the Falcons!
"We Achieve and Celebrate Educational Excellence"
Falcon Focus
A Message from the Superintendent

Happy Friday Falcon Families,
FHUSD family hopes that you had a peaceful holiday break and are ready to come back to in-person learning. Our amazing staff are excited to have students back on our campuses on Tuesday, January 19th. As I’ve shared with you in previous messages, we are only going to be able to keep our schools open for all students by you closely monitoring the health of your students. Keeping them home when they have COVID symptoms or have been exposed to COVID will really help keep our staff healthy and schools open. We really appreciate all that you are doing to be an integral part of our Falcon front to keep everyone healthy.

Much has changed over the last five months from guidance from the state and federal level. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) jointly with Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) stated on the website “MCDPH and ADHS have agreed to support those jurisdictions who are able to maintain a safe learning environment with regular school-by-school monitoring, regardless of levels of community COVID-19 transmission. Further, with the recent publications emphasizing the benefits of in-person learning, particularly for elementary schools, and the emerging data indicating that in-person school attendance is not a risk factor for youth testing positive for COVID-19, MCDPH recommends preferentially keeping elementary and middle schools open for in-person learning. If a phased approach is desired, MCDPH recommends beginning with elementary and middle schools prior to opening high schools to in-person learning.” Their website has a wealth of information regarding COVID-19. 

Along with the MCDPH website, we are doing a great job of tracking our school level positivity for COVID-19. Please visit the website for information on each school. It is updated every Thursday along with the county level data. 
Happy New Year everyone. We are looking forward to finishing the school year Falcon STRONG!
Kelly Glass
Fountain Hills Unified School District

McDowell Mountain Elementary School

Dear MMES Falcon Families: 

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! On Monday, January 18, there is no school to celebrate this amazing civil rights leader. On Tuesday, January 19, we return to in-person learning. Below is information about in-person learning this quarter.

Student Arrival:
  • As before, students may be dropped off between 8:20-8:50 at the kindergarten circle for kindergarten and the internal drop-off lane near the big playground for 1st-3rd. If you arrive after 8:50, please park and check in your student at the front office.
  • Students’ backpacks must be packed and ready to go before you arrive. This includes their Chromebook laptops with chargers, school materials/supplies, and lunch boxes/bags already in their backpacks. Students can carry their water bottles and should already be wearing their masks.
  • When your car arrives at the drop off point, parents and students must remain in their cars. Please roll down the student’s window so that staff may take their temperatures with touchless thermometers.
  • Staff will ask you and your child the following questions as they visually check your child:
  1. Does he/she have any symptoms?
  2. Did he/she take any medications this morning?
  • If your child uses a car seat, please arrange the car seat on the passenger side of the car and parents will need to reach the buckles to unbuckle the car seat without parents getting out of the car.

Daily Procedures:
  • Students and staff will wear masks at all times except for structured mask breaks including recesses.
  • Students and staff will frequently use hand sanitizer and/or wash hands.
  • Students will be able to leave the classroom one at a time for restroom breaks.
  • No student will be called out of class to come pick up items at the office.
  • We will continue with our grade level lunch procedures of one set of tables for each class, facing in one direction, and sitting three feet apart.
  • We will be cohorting grade level recesses for the time-being. Classes will remain together and rotate on a daily basis through stations.

Student Dismissal:
  • As before, dismissal will begin at 3:05 p.m. for kindergarten and at 3:10 for 1st-3rd. Pick-up is at the kindergarten circle for kindergarten and the two lane near the big playground for 1st-3rd. Last names A-L will be in the internal lane and M-Z in the external lane.
  • Please keep a sign in your dashboard window with your students’ names and grades so that staff can easily identify your students.

Remote Students:
  • Please continue to follow our expectations of logging into SchoolsPLP and Zoom on time for all classes, and keeping cameras on and microphones muted unless told differently by your teachers.
  • Be prepared and ready to learn with school-appropriate attire, sitting up, remaining attentive and engaged with learning, and maintaining a distraction-free learning zone.

Other Information and News:
  • January 19 is the district deadline for gifted-talented testing applications for the test window of January 25-February 12. Please find out more information at our district website at https://www.fountainhillsschools.org/Gifted_Education.
  • We will send home kindergarten progress reports and 1st-3rd grade report cards next week. For remote-only students, we will contact you for pick-up or mail the reports.
  • Watch for an email regarding our participation in the American Heart Association's Kids Heart Challenge fundraiser. Their kick-off presentation with us is January 21 at 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.
  • We are working on rescheduling our Picture Retakes Day with Lifetouch and will keep you posted.

We love our MMES A+ Falcon Family and Community!

Valerie Dehombreux
McDowell Mountain Elementary School

Fountain Hills Middle School

Hello FHMS Families,

I hope this Falcon Focus finds you safe and well. We have begun the countdown clock for our return on Tuesday January 19th and could not be more excited to have students back in our building. I have been able to drop into several of the virtual classes and it warmed my heart to see student’s faces and to see them engaged in their learning. I know this learning situation is not perfect, but it is where we are at and the students have done a nice job to start the second semester.

I do want to take a moment and thank our amazing staff here at FHMS, I am surrounded by true professionals who have answered the bell every day. Their dedication to the students of Fountain Hills Middle School is unmatched by any group of professionals I have worked with. I know the same pain and frustrations you have felt, they have felt 10x more. I see it on their faces and the countless hours they have put in to make sure education is happening regardless of the platform we are in. From the time I was a Sophomore in high school I knew education was my calling and every day I get to come to work with this staff reaffirms I am right where I am supposed to be. Thank you FHMS for all of your efforts and your passion to the profession.

As we prepare to come back on Tuesday I want to remind all of our stakeholders of a few items:
  • School Hours are 8:30 – 3:10
  • Drop off will begin at 8:10
  • Drop off for 6-8 grade is in the front of the school
  • Drop off for 4-5 is on the south side of the school
  • Temperature Screens will still take place at both location
  • Masks, Masks, Masks
  • Please reference our website: https://msfp.fountainhillsschools.org/ for bell schedules, calendars and other important information

Please see the attached PDF for our FHMS Checklist for Success

In an ideal world we would open up on Tuesday and roll for the next 16 weeks dispensing education without interruption. You and I know the odds of that happening are very slim. We did a great job navigating the rough waters of first semester, we learned much and we are ready for everything semester two will throw at us. I believe in the work we are doing here, I believe in our staff and I believe the support and partnership of the parents and community will help us get to May feeling great about what we accomplished this school year.

Welcome Back Falcons,

Jeff Markle
Fountain Hills Middle School

Fountain Hills High School

Hello Falcon Families!

In-Person Learning Begins Tuesday, January 19th!!
All schools within FHUSD will welcome students back to campus on Tuesday, January 19th for in-person learning. Schools will be closed in observance of MLK Day on Monday, January 18th. We are excited to be returning to in-person instruction as we feel strongly that this is what’s best for our students. Please review the following information pertaining to this return:
  • Daily Learning/5-days A Week: In-Person instruction will take place each day of the week for all students who selected this modality. Students are expected to report to school each day.
  • Option B (Remote Learning) Students: Students who selected this modality are expected to follow the bell schedule just as in the past. Please be sure that you are logged in to each one of your classes on time each day with your cameras on.
  • Pick Up & Drop Off Locations: Our locations for pick up and drop off will remain the same as they have been all school year.
  • Golden Eagle Gate: Parent Drop Off Area
  • Student Gate: Entry by students who transport themselves
  • Bus Gate: All bus riders will enter here.
  • COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies: The following strategies will continue to be in place until further notice.
  • Students and staff will wear masks at all times except during lunch.
  • All students entering campus will have their temperatures checked each morning with a touchless thermometer.
  • Staff will ask each student the following questions prior to entering campus:
  1. Do you have any symptoms today?
  2. Did you take any fever reducing medications this morning?
  • Students and staff will frequently use hand sanitizer and/or wash hands.
  • Students will be able to leave the classroom one at a time for restroom breaks.

Winter Athletics
Our winter athletic teams will begin competitions on Tuesday, January 19th. The AIA Executive Board voted on Tuesday, January 12th to reinstate all winter sports seasons while also adding additional mitigation strategies. The winter sports modifications and mitigations strategies set forth by the AIA can be found here.

Falcon Fiesta Assistance Needed
Planning is underway for Falcon Fiesta which serves as the grad party for our seniors. The parents organizing the event are looking for additional help planning the event. If interested, please contact the front office at the high school.

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: https://meet.google.com/kqe-gukq-enm

Yearbook Information
Yearbooks are available for purchase at www.jostens.com
Senior recognition ads are available at www.jostens.com and need to be purchased by January 31st. Please contact Karla Primosch if you have any questions


Kris Alexander
Fountain Hills High School

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