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The Latest from Laveen - Spring 2014

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Laveen Elementary School District newsletter sent twice yearly to district residents.

Text of The Latest from Laveen - Spring 2014

  • from The Latest

    Two Laveen Schools are Named 2014 A+ Schools of Excellence

    Page 4

    SPRING 2014

    Students from M.C. Cash show off their A+ designation. Photo provided by D.L. Withers Construction.

  • Dear Community Members,

    We already know we have

    the best schools and the

    best students, but its still

    very gratifying when others

    take notice and give recog-

    nition to our Laveen neigh-

    borhood schools and students.

    Two Laveen schools, M. C. Cash and

    Trailside Point, received the prestigious A+

    School of Excellence award from the Arizo-

    na Educational Foundation. Trailside Point

    School was designated a No Place for Hate

    school by the Anti-Defamation League and

    also won a Silver Award from Positive Be-

    havior Interventions and Supports of Arizo-

    na. Vista earned the Higher Performing

    School designation from the National Cen-

    ter for Educational Achievement for the sec-

    ond year in a row.

    This has been another amazing year for

    our students as well. We have a number of

    students who received individual recogni-

    tion from a variety of organizations. You

    can read about their accomplishments on

    Page 4.

    In addition to these recognitions, many

    of our students participated in neighbor-

    hood beautification and service projects.

    They sent thousands of cards to active duty

    troops and visited a senior center. Together,

    they donated thousands of dollars through

    the Laveen Lions Club penny drive to fund

    food baskets for families in need. For the

    second year in Laveen, several of our stu-

    dents were inducted into the National Jun-

    ior Honor Society.

    Schools are at the heart of any communi-

    ty and, in a very big way, help to define the

    quality of a community. In the Laveen

    School District, we arent just building a

    school district, were building a community.

    Thank you to all our community members

    for supporting your neighborhood schools.

    Dr. Bill Johnson,


    Page 2

    All Laveen schools to offer electives in 2014-15 In addition to offering art, P.E., and music, all seven

    Laveen schools will be providing additional electives

    next school year. Here is just a snapshot of some of next

    years offerings.

    Cheatham will offer STEM with a focus on technolo-

    gy. Students in Grades 6-8 will first be introduced to

    technology and various applications. Eighth grade stu-

    dents will become Google certified. All STEM students

    will create their own websites in preparation of present-

    ing a detailed engineering project during the spring se-


    Desert Meadows will offer technology integration

    and character education. Students in Grades K-5 will be

    on an exploratory schedule while middle school stu-

    dents will take weekly blocks of the offered electives.

    At Laveen School, students in Grades 5-8 may take

    band or choir. Spanish will be offered daily in Grades 1-


    M.C. Cash will be focusing on computers in all grade

    levels. Students in Grades K-2 will take Computer Ba-

    sics. Computer Design and Digital Citizenship will be

    offered to students in Grades 3-5. Middle school stu-

    dents will take Advanced Computer Design and Coding.

    Rogers Ranch will further their engineering offerings

    offering a variety of programs from which students may

    choose. Elementary is Engineering (EIE) will be offered

    to students in Grades 2-4. Fourth and fifth graders can

    take Design Squad and students in Grades 6-8 may

    take Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement

    (MESA). Robotics will be offered to seventh and eighth


    At Trailside Point, Readers Theater will be offered

    to K-5 students. Band and Or-

    chestra will be offered to fifth and

    sixth graders. Junior high stu-

    dents have a variety of electives

    to choose from including: Band,

    Consumer Science, Broadcasting,

    Theater, Set Design and Produc-

    tion, Creative Studies, and Robot-

    ics. Living History Wax Museum

    will be available to sixth graders.

    Vista del Sur will be offering Spanish daily to all sev-

    enth and eighth grade students.

  • Page 3

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    Laveen District adopts new curriculum The Laveen Elementary School District will implement new math and reading curriculum when

    school starts in the fall. That means new textbooks, new workbooks, and new learning resources for

    Laveen students.

    Teams of teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators dedicated hundreds of hours to review

    and evaluate mathematics and English language arts programs that are aligned to the Arizona College

    and Career Ready Standards.

    The mathematics committee selected My Math for

    Grades K 5 and Glencoe Mathematics for Grades 6

    8. Both programs are published by McGraw-Hill. The

    English language arts committee selected Reading Won-

    ders, also by McGraw-Hill, for Grades K 3. Reading

    Street was selected for Grades 4 and 5 and Common Core

    Literature for Grades 6 8; both are published by Pear-


    Both the math and English language arts curricula are

    aligned to the new state standards and have a digital platform giving students the ability to access re-

    sources, activities, and other online tools. Teachers are participating in numerous professional develop-

    ment opportunities to prepare for the upcoming school year.

    Laveens Governing Board approved the mathematics curriculum in May 2013 and the English

    language arts curriculum in April. The new curriculum adoption was made possible by the capital

    override approved by Laveen residents in 2012.

    Laveen offers free meals during summer

    Several Laveen schools will be offering free

    breakfast and lunch over the summer as part of

    the Summer Food Service Program.

    Children 18 years and younger may receive

    breakfast and lunch, free of charge, at any of the

    designated sites. The program is sponsored by the

    U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure chil-

    dren continue to receive nutritious meals even

    when school is not in session. All meals meet the

    federal nutrition guidelines.

    M.C. Cash, Trailside Point, and Rogers Ranch

    schools will offer breakfast and lunch from May

    27 to July 24, Monday through Thursday. Desert

    Meadows will operate from May 27 to August 1

    Monday through Friday, except July 4. Children

    may eat at any of the designated sites, regardless

    of where they attend school.

    Breakfast will be served from 7:30 a.m. to

    8:00 a.m. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to

    12:30 p.m.

    Please be sure to check out our website, to verify times and locations.

    Receive biweekly Laveen news directly

    to your inbox. Visit our website,, to sign up for the

    District Dialogue!

  • Page 4

    M.C. Cash, Trailside Point win 2014 A+ School of Excellence Award*

    The Arizona Educational Foundation has named both M.C. Cash and Trailside Point A+ Schools of


    The program recognizes schools that demonstrate high achievement while identifying and meeting

    the academic and non-academic needs of their student population.

    M.C. Cash and Trailside Point schools submitted applications describing their programs and practic-

    es, parent and community involvement, and their commitment to excellence, equity, and service.

    The A+ School of Excellence selection committee; comprised of award-winning principals, teachers

    and community leaders; visited the schools in March.

    Both schools will be presented $500 and a banner designating it as an A+ School of Excellence.

    *A+ School of Excellence is a trademark or service mark of the Arizona Educational Foundation and is used by permission.

    Josiah Davis, Rogers Ranch

    I Can Do It Award

    Council for Exceptional Children

    Elisabeth Montoya, Desert Meadows

    2nd Place, Silver Award

    Grand Canyon State Games

    Essay Contest

    Jaad Waters, Vista del Sur

    3rd Place

    Regional Spelling Bee


    Lizbet Suarez, M.C. Cash

    Grand Prize

    Phoenix Suns & Southwest Airlines

    "Symbol of Freedom" Art and Essay Contest

    Jorge Jasso, Trailside Point

    1st Place, Middle School Division

    Arizona State University

    2014 MLK, Jr. Celebration Art Contest

    Kitana Olson, Trailside Point

    2nd Place, Blitz Tournament Kamila Olson, Trailside Point

    1st Place, The Bug House Tournament

    AZ Scholastic State Chess Championship

    Jeremy Jackrabbit Captures the Sun

    Student Illustrations

    Celeste Lamadrid, Vista del Sur and Sarah Lynd, Natalie Pol, Stephen Purvis,

    and Marissa Torres all from Trailside Point

  • Page 5

    Trailside Point wins Silver Award

    Trailside Point received the Silver Award for high

    fidelity Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports

    (PBIS) implementation and student outcomes at the annual Behavior Education Technology Conference

    Trailside implemented PBIS three years ago. Since their Panther P.A.C.T was launched, discipline

    incidents have significantly decreased and academic achievement has increased with Trailside going

    from a C to a B label.

    In the first two years, the school focused on interventions for all students and defined what the Pan-

    ther P.A.C.T. would look like.

    This year, Trailside focused on beginning interventions for higher at-risk students. Staff members

    conduct check in/check out mentoring with students. Small group interventions have resulted in new

    groups such as a Bully Patrol trained to report and monitor bullying, an Ambassadors and Classy Ladies

    groups for middle-school students, and the Panthers-Cubs mentoring program.

    Rogers Ranch Instructional Coach

    named Rodel Aspiring Principal

    Cory Woodard, Instructional Coach at Rogers

    Ranch, has been selected as a Rodel Aspiring Prin-


    The Rodel Aspiring Principal

    program provides participants

    with practical strategies they can

    apply at their own schools when

    they become principals. Partici-

    pants attend professional develop-

    ment seminars on the four Rodel traits: Collabora-

    tive School Environment, Family and Community

    Involvement, Professional Learning, and High Ex-


    Woodard was selected for this honor by Rodel

    for, among other things, his commitment to effec-

    tive leadership in a high-needs school.

    He will now go through a two-year course of

    training, shadowing, and mentorship with a Rodel

    Exemplary Principal.

    Woodard will be joining Laveen Elementary

    School next year as their Assistant Principal.

    Rogers Ranch custodian named AZ National

    Guards Instructor of the Year

    Rogers Ranch Schools Lead Cus-

    todian, Joshua Snow, has been

    named Instructor of the Year by the

    Arizona Army National Guard.

    In addition to his custodial du-

    ties, Snow serves as a Sergeant

    First Class in the Guard and is one

    of 20 instructors at the Guards Re-

    gional Training Institute located in

    east Phoenix.

    Each year, the Regional Training Institute con-

    ducts a selection process for the Instructor of the

    Year award. Each instructor teaches a class to a

    panel of senior leaders. Instructors are judged

    based on their ability to deliver a block of instruc-

    tion. Points are deducted for using crutch words

    like um, lacking smooth transitions, or not relat-

    ing the material to students in a way they under-

    stand. The judges look for the instructor to be en-

    gaging and make what could be a dry and boring

    class interesting.

    Snow will now be evaluated for the Instructor

    of the Year award for the entire U.S. Army. He

    will find out in a few months how he placed at the

    national level.



  • Page 6


    Child Find is a comprehensive developmental screening assessment process which identifies children, 3 to 21 years of

    age who have disabilities that may hinder their learning. If you live in the Laveen Elementary School District bounda-

    ries and are parents or guardians of a student enrolled in private school within the district, home-schooled, or if you

    know of a child who might be in need of services for a disabling condition such as speech, learning disability, etc.,

    please call the Special Education Department at 602-237-9100 ext. 3058. Free special education services are available

    to eligible students. For more information, visit the Child Find website at or call

    Child Find at (602) 364-4015.

    In our Community

    Gila River Tribal Education donates preschool equipment

    Members of the Gila River Tribal Education and Early Childhood Special Services departments donat-

    ed numerous pieces of equipment to Laveen Elementary Schools developmental preschool.

    The preschool currently serves several children that are members of the Gila River Indian Communi-

    ty. Because Tribal Education does not offer programs to meet these students needs, they wanted to

    make a contribution that would help support the program and its students.

    When asked what was needed for the program, Preschool Coordinator Kandy Clauss, provided a wish

    list of 50 items. The list included equipment such as pint-sized chairs and learn your numbers carpet

    as well as activities such as tricycles, a book center, and mobile dress-up cart.

    Imagine Clausss surprise when representatives from the Gila River Indian Community, including

    Tribal Educations Director Mario Molina, arrived

    with trucks full of equipment. Every item on the

    wish list had been fulfilled. This donation will

    have a tremendous impact on our preschool stu-

    dents, Clauss said. Each item will help further

    develop their skills and better prepare them for

    kindergarten and beyond.

    Preschool students show off their new tricycles alongside Tribal Education and Early Childhood leaders.

    Lions recognize student artwork Each year, the Laveen Lions Foundation sponsors

    a Peace Poster Art Contest within the Laveen Dis-


    The group selects one winner from each school.

    These students were recognized at the April board

    meeting. The 1st Place winners from each school are:

    Jacqueline Ruiz, Cheatham; Francisco Herrera, Desert

    Meadows; Guadalupe Barraza, Laveen; Lizbet Suarez,

    M.C.Cash; Carlos Grijalva, Rogers Ranch; Sarah Lynd,

    Trailside Point; and Vicky Ross, Vista del Sur.

  • Page 7

    Laveen receives grant to provide

    back-to-school clothing for students in need

    The Laveen Elementary School District is the

    recipient of a $15,000 grant by the Virginia G. Pip-

    er Charitable Trust to provide back-to-school cloth-

    ing for students at all seven Laveen schools.

    The grant provides school uniforms, underwear,

    and shoes to students with the

    greatest need.

    Laveen shares in The Vir-

    ginia G. Piper Charitable

    Trusts belief that essential

    clothing helps prepare chil-

    dren for a successful school

    year, said Laveens superin-

    tendent, Dr. Bill Johnson.

    This grant will provide some of our neediest stu-

    dents with clean, properly-fitted clothes and shoes

    and help them get their school year off on the right


    Laveen was selected because of our significant

    population of students in need.

    Cheatham students clean up neighborhood Over 20 students from Cheathams NJHS joined

    residents from the Cheatham Ranch HOA to clean

    up the neighborhood sidewalks, streets, and parks.

    The City of Phoenix supported this effort with

    equipment and staff from the Neighborhood Ser-

    vices office and the support of District 8 Council-

    woman Kate Gallegos.

    Vistas NJHS conducts service project

    Vista del Sur

    Traditional School's

    National Junior

    Honor Soc ie ty

    cleaned up their

    neighborhood using

    donated safety


    Vests and gloves

    were provided to the students by D.L. Withers

    Cash to provide more fruits and vegetables

    through grant M.C. Cash School is the recipient of a $42,500

    grant by the United States Department of Agricul-

    tures (USDA) Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Pro-


    This funding will provide fresh fruits and vege-

    tables to Cash students throughout next school


    The program was established to expand the va-

    riety of fruits and vege-

    tables children experi-

    ence, increase chil-

    drens fruit and vegeta-

    ble consumption, and

    create healthier eating


    Trailside receives literacy grant Trailside Point is the recipi-

    ent of $400 from the Barbara

    Park Memorial Literacy Grant


    The grant supports reading

    in memory of the late Barbara

    Park who authored the popular

    Junie B. Jones series of chil-

    dren's books.

  • Around our Schools


    Preschool students studied dinosaurs this


    Together, students created PowerPoint books

    about the dinosaurs by sharing facts they learned.

    The books were assembled for students to bring


    They also created large dinosaur eggs using pa-

    per, stickers, glitter, and a variety of other materi-


    Rogers Ranch

    The Arizona Cardinals brought 60 minutes of

    physical activity to Rogers Ranch School through

    the teams Play 60 program.

    Students participated in a variety of stations to

    practice their running, catching, and jumping tech-

    niques. Cardinals player Justin Bethel was also on

    hand to help motivate the students.

    At the end of the event, Bethel handed out

    signed Gatorade water

    bottles to all partici-


    Page 8

    Desert Meadows Home Depot donated materials to build a garden

    at Desert Meadows. Employees from the store also

    donated their time to help set up the garden this


    Kindergartners immediately started planting

    vegetables and learned about growing food

    throughout the year.


    Cheathams student council members, teachers,

    and staff walked together at the American Cancer

    Societys Relay for Life held at Betty Fairfax High

    School on March 29.

    Relay participants took turns either walking, or

    running, around the track from noon until mid-

    night representing the fact that cancer never


    Cheatham was not only the largest team in at-

    tendance, but was also named the most spirited

    team at the relay.

    The team raised over $600 for Relay for Life to

    help aide cancer research and join the fight against


    Ms. Amanda

    Bailey is the stu-

    dent councils


    Home Depot volunteers assist students planting vegetables.

    Cheathams Relay

    for Life Team gets

    ready for the event.

  • Laveen Students in Laveen Schools Art Club showcased

    their work in a recent art exhibit. The event was

    held in conjunction with the Laveen Art Leagues

    Art Walk.

    Members from the Art League have been visiting

    with the Art Club students to teach them a variety

    of techniques. The artists helped Art Club students

    create pieces such as gourd drums, ceramics, pa-

    permaking, jewelry, and copper pins.

    The art exhibit was held April 11 in Building A.

    Special thanks to Laveen Art League member

    Michael Dicken for organizing the event. Visiting

    artists include: Susan Sanborn, ceramics; Andrea

    Berusqui, cardboard bracelets; Michael Dicken, pa-

    permaking; Laura Zelins, copper pins; and Shelley

    Fletcher, gourd drums. Ms. Jamie Polich is Laveen

    Schools art teacher.

    Page 9

    Trailside Point

    Trailside Points middle school gifted team took

    Third Place and won a bronze medal in the recent

    Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement

    (MESA) Day State On-Site Competition.

    Competition participants work on engineering

    challenges and problem solving. Trailsides chal-

    lenge was to build a tall tower out of spaghetti,

    marshmallows, and a limited amount of tape.

    M.C. Cash

    M.C. Cash launched a new character program

    for middle school boys. The Cash Crew serves mid-

    dle school boys in Grades 6-8, as nominated by


    The club is designed to help members exemplify

    positive character traits, learn how to be a role

    model, and teach the value of wellness through

    fitness and team games. Activities include team

    building games, fitness routines, character counts

    discussions, decision making talks, and a variety

    of sport build-up games.

    The Cash Crew meets three times each week

    and is sponsored by

    Mr. Andrew Drenth

    and Mr. Matt


    Vista del Sur Members of Vistas yearbook club participated in

    a special photo assignment recently. They had the

    opportunity to work an Arizona Diamondbacks

    game and practice their photography skills.

    Vista parent, Ross Frank-

    lin, has been helping the stu-

    dents with their yearbook. He

    is also an Associated Press

    photographer and was able to

    secure a handful of profession-

    al cameras the students could use for practice.

    The yearbook club members first toured the field

    where the photographers shoot. They were then as-

    signed secondary shooting positions from the main

    concourse level where they were able to practice

    their sports photography.

    Trailside Points team, from left: Sadie Check, Faith Stockton, Michael Lynd, and Victor Martinez with Mrs. Sarah Zembruski, principal and Mrs. Betty Ehret, Gifted Coach.

    District Security

    Coordinator Sgt. Ron

    Jakola talks to members

    of the Cash Crew. Artwork displayed included

    drums made out of gourds.

  • Page 10

    Design revealed for Cheatham additions

    The design for Cheathams upcoming building additions were recently unveiled.

    A gymnasium will be added to the southeast corner

    of the campus. When Cheatham was originally built as

    a K-6 school it did not need both a cafeteria and gym.

    Having since been reconfigured to K-8, a gym is needed

    to support the larger campus including Grades 7 and 8.

    Also, planned in the project, are the addition of art

    and science roomsfacilities that werent necessary in

    the K-6 setting. The library and computer lab will also

    be enlarged. Playfields and basketball courts will be

    rearranged to fit nicely on the remodeled campus.

    These additions will bring Cheatham up to the dis-

    trict standards that other Laveen campuses current-

    ly meet. The additions were designed by EMC2 Archi-


    The projects are funded primarily through proceeds from bond sales approved by voters in 2008.

    Future Site of Additions

    Now Enrolling for 2014-2015 All Laveen Schools are accepting registrations for the 2014-2015 school year.

    Governing Board welcomes new member

    The Laveen Governing Board welcomed Jill

    Barragan as its newest board member in De-


    Barragan was selected by the Maricopa

    County Education Service Agency following a

    lengthy application process. She fills a vacancy

    on the board that was created in 2013.

    Barragan is the Executive Director of Busi-

    ness Services for the Avondale Elementary

    School District, a position she has held since

    2010. Prior to joining Avondale in 2008, she

    worked for the Arizona Department of Educa-

    tion in the school finance division. Barragan be-

    gan her career as an accountant for the Salva-

    tion Army.

    She is a graduate of Arizo-

    na State University.

    Jill Barragan with Superintendent Johnson and Maricopa County Su-perintendent of Schools Don Cov-ey.

    Mark your calendars!

    Meet Your Teacher


    July 31, 2014

    5:00 p.m.

    at all

    Laveen Schools

  • Complete and return this form, along with your payment, to your childs school or mail to Laveen Tax Credit Program, 5001 W. Dobbins, Laveen, AZ 85339

    You may also donate online at

    Donor Information: Name Address City, State Zip

    Donation Amount: $ The maximum donation for a married couple is $400 and $200 for a single person. Cred-its may carry over for up to five years.

    I would like my donation to go to: (check one) the school most in need or specific school I would like my donation to support: (check one)

    Program where there is the greatest need Activity Bus Art Band Choir Equestrian

    Field Trips Intramural Sports Gifted Enrichment Preschool Tutoring

    Signature Phone Number

    This non-refundable donation is eligible for the Arizona State Income Tax Credit as allowed by ARS 43-1089.01. Please consult with your personal tax preparer to determine the application of this credit.

    Hand delivered donations must be received by December 19 or postmarked by December 31 to be eligible for a 2014 tax


    Arizona allows taxpayers to dedicate dollars to

    education while reducing the amount you owe on

    your 2014 taxes through the tax credit program.

    For every dollar you donate, the amount you owe

    on your Arizona taxes will be that much less. If

    you do not owe taxes, the amount you donate may

    be carried forward for up to five years to

    offset future tax liabilities.

    For example, if a single person owes $300 on their

    state taxes for 2014 and donates the

    maximum amount of $200, they will then only

    owe the state $100.

    Couples filing jointly may donate any amount up

    to $400. Individuals may contribute up to $200.

    Tax credit contributions may only be used to

    support character education and fee-based ex-

    tracurricular activities such as after-school tu-

    toring and clubs, academic enrichment, field

    trips, fine art programs, and athletics.

    Anyone can participate, married or single, with or without children.

    Reduce your taxes by

    supporting Laveen schools

  • P.O. Box 29

    Laveen, AZ 85339

    Non-Profit Org

    U.S. Postage


    Laveen, AZ

    Permit #6

    The Latest from Laveen is published by the Laveen Communications Department.

    Kristen Landry 602-237-9100 [email protected]

    Laveen Education Center 5001 W. Dobbins Laveen, AZ 85339


    M.C. Cash School 3851 W. Roeser

    Phoenix, AZ 85041 602-237-9120

    Cheatham Elementary 4725 W. South Mountain

    LAveen, AZ 85339 602-237-7040

    Desert Meadows School 6855 W. Meadows Loop East

    Laveen, AZ 85339 602-304-2020

    Laveen Elementary 4141 W. McNeil

    Laveen, AZ 85339 602-237-9110

    Rogers Ranch School 6735 S. 47th Avenue Laveen, AZ 85339


    Trailside Point School 7275 W. Vineyard Laveen, AZ 85339


    Vista del Sur Traditional 3908 W. South Mountain

    Laveen, AZ 85339 602-237-3046

    Enroll your child in a Laveen school

    You may enroll your child in your neighborhood* school at any time

    throughout the year.

    Registration packets are available online at or in our

    schools front offices. You will need to bring the following documents to

    complete your childs registration:

    Childs original birth certificate

    Childs immunization record

    Proof of Residence, such as utility receipt or lease agreement (refer to

    Arizona Residency Guidelines)

    Legal papers, if applicable, for custody

    Withdrawal form and report card from previous school

    Photo identification for parent/


    *Please note, Vista del Sur Traditional

    is a school of choice and, therefore, does

    not have attendance boundaries. Be-

    cause this is an accelerated school, your

    child must take an assessment prior to

    enrolling. Enrollment opportunities are

    based on available space.

    Open Enrollment

    Open enrollment laws allow parents to enroll their child in any Laveen

    school outside of their neighborhood. Applications are accepted annually.

    Approval is based on space.

    Parents/ guardians are responsible for transportation if your child does

    not attend your neighborhood school.

    Residential Customer

    Visit us online at