• Academics

  • Academics - April 2024

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 4/1/2024

    Celestial Spectacle: The April 8th Solar Eclipse - A Rare Cosmic Dance
    Mark your calendars, parents! On April 8, 2024, a celestial spectacle is set to unfold in the skies above Phoenix. The sun and the moon will engage in a partial solar eclipse. At 11:20 a.m., Phoenicians will experience the maximum coverage of the eclipse, with 70% of the sun’s surface covered by the moon.

    Why Should Parents Be Excited?
    This eclipse provides an excellent chance for parents to engage their children in scientific exploration. Encourage questions, spark curiosity, and explore the science behind this natural wonder.  Additionally, April 8th’s eclipse is a once-in-a-generation event. The next eclipse with a similar percentage of coverage to pass in the skies above Arizona won’t happen for another 20 years! It’s a cosmic gift for both young and old.

    School Communication
    Keep an eye out for communication from your child’s school. Schools across Scottsdale Unified School District are preparing for this event.

    Additional Resources
    For curious minds and eager learners, we recommend exploring these resources:

    Mountain Lion Cubbies Take Mandarin Skills on the Road
    Congratulations to Desert Canyon Elementary Mandarin Dual Language Immersion program fourth graders Brynne Tadano and Victoria Boyd, who secured third-place trophies in the recent CLTA-AZ Chinese Mandarin Speech Contest at Arizona State University! Six other remarkable DCES students took part in the competition, as well: Brooke Ritchie, Toska Rizvanolli, Charlotte Flegenheimer, Naomi Raine, Beckham White and Olivia Makelele. 

    Behind these students’ excellent efforts is Mandarin teacher Huang Laoshi, who prepares them so well every day. Out of more than 200 initial entrants from 21 Arizona schools, only 69 advanced to the second round. Great job, Cubbies, great and small!

    HS Robotics Season Wraps Up

    As they say, it’s all done but the shoutin’! While most of us were enjoying spring break last month, 41 high school robotics teams hailing all the way from Taipei to Arizona descended on Chaparral High School for the penultimate FRC regional competition of the 2024 season. Thank you, Firebirds, for providing a great facility and amenities to the competitors!

    At the Arizona Valley Regional, Saguaro Robotics received the Regional FIRST Impact Award.  Formerly known as the Chairman’s Award, it recognizes the team that best represents a model for other robotics teams to emulate and that best embodies the mission of FIRST, short for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, the global nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that helps prepare young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18.  

    The following week, the ‘bots moved down to Corona del Sol High School for the Arizona East Regional, where the Saguaro and Chaparral teams were joined by their Titan friends from Arcadia High School.  At that event, the Sabercats’ Noah Shoup learned that he is the recipient of the four-year, $20,000 Steve Sanghi Scholarship! Congratulations, Noah!

    And to top it all off, the Saguaro team has qualified for the season-ending FIRST Championship event later this month in Houston. You show 'em how it's done, #4146!



    New Innovation Grant Winners Announced
    Congratulations to the newly named recipients of SUSD Innovation StartUp grant winners! Redfield Elementary School and Principal Amanda Rand have received a grant for their project called, “Bot-ify the Classroom: Enhancing Education Through Coding Bots.”

    Echo Canyon School Principal Kat Hughes and teacher Kelley Tully successfully submitted an application for a project called “TechTinkerers: Junior Engineers' Workshop.”

    With up to $10,000 awarded to each school, we look forward to Redfield and Echo Canyon bringing these innovative ideas to life and the creation of new, future-focused learning environments for their students!

    Read more at The SUSD Source

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  • Academics - March 2024

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 3/1/2024

    As we approach the upcoming state testing season, we want to remind all parents about the importance of these assessments in our students’ academic journey. We encourage you to connect with your child’s school to stay informed about the specific dates for these tests. Your child’s presence on testing days is crucial, as these assessments provide valuable insights into their academic progress and help us tailor our teaching strategies to better support student learning. Encourage your child to maintain their normal before- and after-school routines and emphasize the importance of putting forth their best effort.

    Visit Khan Academy or create a free account in Kahoot for interactive ways to reinforce skills and concepts that your students have been learning this year! The Arizona Department of Education has practice resources available, too!

    Let’s work together to make this testing season a successful one for our students. Thank you for your continued support and involvement in your child’s education.


    DCES’s Mountain Lion Cubbies Take Their ROAR to a New Level
    Desert Canyon Elementary School (DCES), the starting point for SUSD’s Mandarin Dual Language Immersion program, is now an Arizona Educational Foundation® (AEF) A+ School of Excellence® for the 2023-24 school year! The AEF made the big announcement Feb. 15.  The application process is a daunting one and involves a school’s entire community – staff, parents, students and community members – taking an introspective look into all school operations to identify successes and pinpoint areas for improvement. Regardless of the outcome, it is a valuable experience.

    We are happy to report that the outcome in DCES’s case has resulted in its being named an A+ school for the next four years!  Congratulations, Principal Kim Mills, Assistant Principal Erin Scagnelli, and DCES teachers, staff and families!