Home of the Falcons! 
Principal's Message                                       February 8, 2019
A+ School of Excellence Award™ Visit to 
on February 28 & March 1!

MMES Principal, Valerie Dehombreux (Mrs. D) recently learned that MMES was selected for an Arizona Education Foundation A+ School of Excellence ™ site visit based on the application she wrote and submitted early last month!  MMES started this process in October 2017 and Mrs. D appreciates all the work that staff, parent, and community committees did with her since then to make it possible.  The end result was a 40-page document totaling 15,608 words plus demographic and assessment data that tells the story of our amazing school, staff, students, parents, and community!  The purpose of their visit will be to confirm that our school is truly as amazing as we say it is and our hope would be that we are awarded an A+ School of Excellence™ award that we would be notified of in April. 
What is the Arizona Education Foundation?
AEF is a private, non-profit corporation that provides recognition to outstanding students, teachers, and schools through its programs such as the Arizona Spelling Bee, Arizona Teacher of the Year awards, and A+ School of Excellence™ awards. You can find out more at azedfoundation.org .
Is A+ School of Excellence™ part of the state's A-F letter grade system?
No. Per state statute, Arizona public schools are assigned letter grades (A-F) according to criteria set by the Arizona Board of Education. Criteria are mainly based on AZMERIT scores and particularly cohort growth from one year to the next. MMES has not had a letter grade since 2014 because with only third grade testing, there is no cohort to show growth. Our last letter grade was a B under the previous formula that used the former test, AIMS and this formula did not involve calculating growth. Currently there is no state plan to evaluate K-2 or K-3 schools. Although MMES has not had a new letter grade, our 2018 AZMERIT proficiency was in the top 20% of all Arizona public elementary schools.
How does a school become an A+ School of Excellence™?
An AZ public or public charter school with some combination of PreK-12 can choose to apply if it has operated for at least six full years and if its principal has been in place for at least three full years. The school must have a most recent AZ letter grade of A or B and demonstrate high student achievement or improvement over time. The extensive application includes 31 site/demographic information items, 21 narrative items with word limits from 600-1500, and a one-page student assessment data sheet. The school submits it online by an early January deadline and the AEF selection panel reviews and evaluates all applications submitted. By late January, they select and notify schools for site visits if the application portrays a school that significantly meets students' academic and non-academic needs. Site visits take place between February-April and schools are notified of receiving the award in late April. There is no set number of schools that receive a site visit or the final award. Last year there were 41 A+ schools. A+ status is retained for 3 ½ years and schools may reapply in their fourth year.
We are looking forward to our site visit on February 28 and March 1!


Bobby's Thoughts

Be Kind.   I hear my mom say that a lot.

My mom is the counselor at school and she tries really hard each day to encourage all my friends to be kind to each other. 

What does a counselor do?  How can I go see the counselor?  She let me see her counselor passes that each teacher has in their classroom.  She tells the students that she is there to listen to them.  When they are having a great day and want to share "something that is so exciting that you are going to burst if you don't tell someone".  That's what she is there to do... listen to those exciting things!
She is also there to listen when you're having one of those "not so good" days.  She tells me that when you're having one of those days sometimes it helps just to tell someone about it. 

I asked her, "You mean when you feel really sad because you accidentally ate your brother's food?"  She said, "Yes, when you do things you know are wrong and you feel sad that you did them."  She is there to listen.  She is there to listen when your best friend doesn't want to play with you too.  She's a good listener.  I feel better when I tell her things that make me sad.  Sometimes just giving me a hug makes it all better.  Then there are other times when we talk about what we could do differently next time.

She has made a "Kindness Tree" and put it on the wall outside her room.  She was telling me about it and showing me how it can "bloom".  Our Kindness Tree will bloom by all the kind things my friends do at school.  The first "bloom" on our tree was for a 3rd grader whom my mom told me always says, "Hi! How's your day going Ms. Smart"?  He asks her every day.  That makes her smile!

I can't wait to see how our tree will bloom!
I like that my mom listens to me and gives me hugs and warm belly rubs.  I'm sure my friends at school love her hugs too!

Special Announcements
See what is happening at our schools

Congratulations to our Kiwanis Terrific Kids 
for January 28-February 1!

Kindergarten: Jackson London (not pictured)
First Grade: Jonah Munoz
Second Grade: Lillia Hewes   (not pictured)
Third Grade: Shayl Smith

Congratulations to our Kiwanis Terrific Kids 
for February 4-8!

Kindergarten: Rori Wester
First Grade: Violet Adkins
Second Grade: Lazerus McDougle
Third Grade: Mya McAllister

Thank you for joining us, 
Noon Kiwanis Club member, Paul Appeldorn!




Looking Ahead
View upcoming events of the week ahead

Kids Heart Challenge charity fundraising

6:30 p.m.: 1st grade music program: "Schoolhouse Rock"

9:00 & 9:30: Dental health presentations for 1st grade
2:20: Student early release for staff professional development


Valentine's Day class/grade level parties


1:40-2:10: Presidents' Day & Responsibility assembly...wear patriotic colors!


Presidents' Day: no school

2:20: Student early release for staff professional development


Banking Day
5:30-7:30 p.m.: 2019-2020 Kindergarten/Preschool Round-Up


Falcon Friday: wear blue!
Senor Taco Day
9:00-11:30 a.m. & 12:30-2:30 p.m.: 2019-2020 Kindergarten/Preschool Round-Up

Quick Links
Find what you need

The McDowell Mountain students, staff, parents, and community will provide a safe, child centered environment that builds self-esteem, self-discipline, and the essential skills for life long learning. While adapting to the differences of others and by using responsible decision making, students will exhibit citizenship with the motivation to invent, dream, explore, and communicate in our changing world. At McDowell Mountain School everyone is a learner and will encourage and help others to be successful learners.
Stay Connected
14825 N. Fayette Dr., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268  480.664.5200