January 29, 2021
Home of the Falcons!
"We Achieve and Celebrate Educational Excellence"
Falcon Focus
McDowell Mountain Elementary School

Dear MMES Falcon Families: 
January is already almost over! Here some great things that have been happening lately at MMES:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day & Respect Virtual Assembly
 On January 19, MMES celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the Character Counts trait of Respect at school with a virtual assembly video. Students learned about the amazing civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. from Kid President and how Dr. King believed in the importance of respect. Then we announced 18 students who are always trying to demonstrate respect and received the top Respect award for each class:
  • 3rd Grade: Sara Forsdal, Gabriel McDonald, Elijah Norris, and Syssio Paya
  • 2nd Grade: Isabella Cruz Lopez, Royal Hall, Olivia Murchison, and Elisa Velasco Ruiz
  • 1st Grade: Xavi Arellano Casillas, Finley Hermie, Giovanni Sarocka, and Emma Tobias
  • Kindergarten: Nico Fletes, Alexander McDonald, Milez Ramirez, and Olivia Schweikert
  • Preschool: Alex Di Raffaele and Aiden Wood
During the following week’s announcements, we presented a video from Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Captain Larry Kratzer. They always present a Character Counts trait award to only one student for our entire school. This student is known as the Champion of Character. Captain Larry announced that the Champion of Character for Respect was 3rd grader, Syssio Paya!
Kiwanis Terrific Kids Awards
 We’re catching up on reporting on our Kiwanis Terrific Kids for December and January. 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; 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
  • Week of January 4-8: Dallas Bead, Kindergarten; Robert Chappell, 1st Grade; Macy Bush, 2nd Grade; Kamryn Morgan, 3rd Grade
  • Week of January 11-15: Levi Hoffman, Kindergarten; Kellen Bryant, 1st Grade; Crosby Magers, 2nd Grade; Eian Wathogoma-Nunez, 3rd Grade
  • Week of January 18-22: Iam “Duce” Simon, Kindergarten; Vivi Pameditis, 1st Grade; Joaquin Duckworth, 2nd Grade; Ashe McGinley, 3rd Grade
  • Week of January 25-29: Penelope Espinoza, Kindergarten; Riley Jacobi, 1st Grade; Cazzlton Jackson, 2nd Grade; Sydnie Pugh, 3rd Grade
Four Peaks Rotary Club Teacher of the Month
Congratulations to Ms. Samantha “Sam” Elder who has been selected as the Four Peaks Rotary Club Teacher of the Month for January 2021! Not only has Ms. Elder positively impacted her third grade students, but her technology skills, creativity, and leadership abilities have greatly helped her fellow teachers and all MMES students and families. Thank you, Ms. Elder!
American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge
Kids Heart Challenge from the American Heart Association is underway at MMES! Students are learning how to take care of their hearts while helping others. They are taking pledges to Move More, Be Kind, or Choose Water through February 12. Our goal was to raise at least $2,500 for the American Heart Association and we already met that goal in only four days after launching the Kids Heart Challenge last week! I’m going to be slimed! (Mrs. D) Find out more at http://www2.heart.org/goto/mcdowellmountain and stay tuned for our next challenge! 
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 are teaming together once again for another community service project, collecting dry and/or canned cat food for Fearless Kitty Rescue in Fountain Hills. Please bring in cat food up to February 26! Find out more about this local charity at https://fearlesskittyrescue.org/
Picture Retakes Day
Picture Retakes Day will be Friday, February 5. We have a list of students who were not photographed in November for our first Picture Day. These students’ photos will be taken as well as those who would like retakes. Parents, please return your original package from November’s Picture Day if you would like to do retakes. You can still order on mylifetouch.com with the Picture Day ID: EVT3TCPHR. Please know that the safety-trained Lifetouch photography team will be following new safety protocols including new posing and social distancing requirements; electronic check-ins for students (no name cards); enhanced cleaning; and photographers wearing face masks during the entire photography session. Staff and students will wear face coverings until they are being photographed for their individual sessions when they will be advised to remove their face covering to capture their image. It went really well in November so it’s sure to be smooth again on February 5!
We love our MMES A+ Falcon Family and Community!

Valerie Dehombreux
McDowell Mountain Elementary School

Fountain Hills Middle School

Happy Friday Falcon Families,

I hope this Focus finds you doing well and ready for a great weekend. We have now completed four weeks of Quarter 3, and I feel we are firing on all cylinders here at Fountain Hills Middle School. It has been great to have the students back in the building and seeing the energy they bring with them each day. Our staff has done a great job meeting them where they are at and pushing them in their classes. I am excited for where we sit currently and to see where we go over the next 5 weeks.

In my previous Falcon Focus I attached a checklist that we had put together of some helpful hints to keep us heading in the right direction. I think it is important to revisit as we have now been back in-person for two weeks. Please once again reference the attached checklist for both students and parents. FHMS Return to School Checklist

We have wrapped up another great sports season and are looking forward to many more great things happening here at FHMS in the coming months. Please keep an eye out for announcements about opportunities for your student to join as the school year continues.
8th Grade students - it is time to start thinking about High School, we will be welcoming the counselors from the High School to our campus soon to begin the registration process for your classes for next year. Now is a great time to begin to have those conversations at home about courses you might be interested in.

This is busy time of year for our students as we keep working hard in our classes and turn an eye to what is coming up next year. Please make sure students are working with their teachers and trusted adults when they need academic help and answers to any questions about what future schooling opportunities might look like. Thank you for partnering with us and we look forward to continuing a great spring semester.

Jeff Markle
Fountain Hills Middle School

Fountain Hills High School

Hello Falcon Families!
We hope that you were able to navigate the winter storm that blew through town this week. It certainly made for an exciting end to the school day on Tuesday afternoon! The bright side is that the snow on top of Four Peaks has enhanced the beauty of our campus!
Drop Off and Pick Up Locations
As a reminder, please be sure to adhere to the following drop off and pick up procedures that are in place. It’s very important for many reasons, namely the safety of students and staff each morning but also to ensure that the traffic at the beginning and ending of each day runs smoothly. We appreciate your cooperation.
  • Golden Eagle Gate (west end of campus off Golden Eagle Blvd): ALL parent drop off and pick up
  • Bus Gate: All students transported by bus each day
  • Student Gate (east end of campus): Students who drive themselves to/from school
The Global Health Leaders Conference at Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University is inviting students in grades 9-12 who are interested in global health and medicine to apply to their 2021 virtual Global Health Leaders Conference. The international conference is a Johns Hopkins University student and faculty-led program within the JHU Undergraduate Program in Public Health Studies. At the conference, students learn about issues in global health, public health, and medicine directly from world leaders in these fields, forge friendships and connections with like-minded exceptional students, and share their own work and ideas on global health-related topics by presenting in our student speaker series. Additionally, the conference is a unique opportunity for students to include in their future interviews, essays, applications, and resumes. The purpose of the program is to develop the next generation of leaders in global health, public health, and medicine.
The fee for this year’s conference is still to be determined, but it will be no greater than $39. Applications to the conference are available on their website and will be accepted until February 28th, 2021. Admission into the program is competitive, so they highly encourage students to apply as early as possible. Please visit their website at https://glohea.org if you need any clarification or have any questions.
Winter Athletics
Our winter athletic teams are off and running. 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.
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
Senior Shirts
Any senior interested in ordering a senior class shirt this year? If so, please visit the following website to place your orders: https://fountainhillsusd.revtrak.net/. Click on the FHHS Senior Shirt section of the Fountain Hills High School Fee Payment page to make your order. Ordering closes on February 1st so please hurry to get your orders in. Shirts are $25 and come in sizes small through extra-large.


Kris Alexander
Fountain Hills High School

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