• Community Partners

  • PALS: Police Activities League

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/3/2024

    The Scottsdale Police Department’s Police Activities League, known as PALS, is making strides by empowering future leaders and fostering positive interactions among students.

    Currently implemented in Hohokam, Yavapai and Redfield Elementary schools, selected fourth and fifth graders are trained to become leaders in their school's recess yard. The core foundation behaviors are respect, integrity, strength and empowerment, also known as RISE. Equipped with skills in conflict resolution and game facilitation, these student leaders serve as role models for their peers. They organize games for younger students, fostering a culture of inclusivity and leadership.

    “I personally had the honor of seeing a lot of our (Yavapai) fifth graders graduate, and now I get to see them as sixth graders at Tonalea and they’re like, 'I wish we had PALS here,'” said Alex Sachs, Scottsdale Police Department Police Aide for Community Engagement. As such, the PALS program hopes to expand to a middle school for the first time.

    Redfield Social Worker Holly Leffhalm says PALS succeeds in changing behaviors by empowering students to lead and mentor their peers. “They aren't seen as, like, an authoritative figure the same way an adult is. Instead, it's a kiddo talking to a kid. And even though they're a little bit older, they just have a different demeanor talking to one another, still getting the same result, correcting behavior or helping to resolve an issue between two students. It just comes from a different place when it's coming from a student to a student."

    To learn more, watch our exciting partnership highlight video about PALS!

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  • Texas Roadhouse – Treating Students and Staff

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/3/2024

    Spring brings with it a renewed sense of appreciation and recognition for the hard work and dedication of our Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) staff and students. This season, we are delighted to highlight the ongoing support and generosity of our partner, Texas Roadhouse, in honoring and incentivizing our school community.

    Each month, they help us honor 3 SUSD staff members (one classified, one certified and one administrator) with a bucket that includes a coupon for a dinner for two, steak sauce and spices, as well as peanuts. It’s a special treat that celebrates our dedicated employees and their support of all students.

    Texas Roadhouse

    But the generosity doesn't stop there: Texas Roadhouse is also extending its support to our youngest learners and future leaders. They are helping incentivize reading and positive behaviors with bookmarks and certificates for free kids meals.


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  • SUSD Foundation's Quest for Excellence Golf Tournament Raises $50,000 for Education Initiatives

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/3/2024

    Last month, the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) Foundation hosted the highly anticipated 2024 Quest for Excellence Golf Tournament at the picturesque Mountain Shadows golf course. The annual event has solidified its place as a must-attend occasion, drawing in 88 enthusiastic golfers from across the Valley. Their participation not only fostered friendships but also supported the Foundation's noble cause, SUSD.

    This year's tournament was a resounding success, raising upwards of $50,000 to benefit the Foundation's various initiatives that support SUSD students and staff. These initiatives include the Crisis Canine Program, Camp Invention, student scholarships, and National Board Certification for teachers, and more.

    Thank you to the SUSD Foundation for its dedication and generosity that are instrumental in making a positive impact on the lives of countless students and educators within our district.

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  • Labor of Love - Birthday Box Project for Pima

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/3/2024

    Happy Birthday to every Pima Elementary School student, courtesy Labor of Love and the generous support of Cave Creek Limo.

    Sharon Saeger works with Labor of Love in Denver, CO., empowering communities through hands-on projects. She said it was her experience as a teacher and volunteering in food banks that helped her identify the Birthday Box idea. “I was at a food bank, helping out, and they said the number one requested item was birthday cake mix so that families could honor traditions and celebrate their children.”

    So, Sharon started putting together birthday boxes for Title I students in schools around Denver.

    Cave Creek Limousine

    It wasn’t until Maxx Anderson, the Managing Director of Cave Creek Limo, overheard his passenger, Sharon, talking about the birthday box project that he decided to get involved and make this happen for every student at a local Title I School.

    “After I dropped her off, I went to the Walmarts in Scottsdale, Anthem and Cave Creek and bought as much cake mix and frosting as I could get my hands on,” said Maxx. He and his wife and their twin daughters then spent the next few weeks assembling 408 boxes - one for each Pima student.

    “The twins were having so much fun, and they were so excited to give out gifts to other kids. I want my girls to get excited to help others when possible and grow up to be just good people, overall. We hope the boxes bring joy to all the kids.”

    Be sure to check out Arizona’s Family report. You won’t want to miss all those smiling faces.

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  • Coronado Promise

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/3/2024

    Coronado Promise


    This year, 39 students are the proud recipients of the Coronado Promise Scholarship. The Promise is a collaboration of the Coronado Foundation for the Future, Scottsdale Charros, Scottsdale Community College, Coronado High School, Scottsdale Unified School District, the City of Scottsdale and the Flick Family Foundation.


    The award of up to $5,000 over a two-year period gives students the ability to attend one of the 10 Maricopa Community Colleges or an Arizona certificate to attend a regionally accredited technical training/trade school for two years, at $2,500. You can learn more about the application process here.


    Congratulations to this year's recipients.


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  • Charros Education Initiatives

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 5/3/2024

    Thank you to the Scottsdale Charros for their continued support of SUSD that grows remarkably each year. This year, they have contributed more than $400,000 to education initiatives and scholarships that support our schools, teachers and students.

    The Charros' Education Initiatives include:

    • The Safe Haven Scholarship
    • Future Teacher Scholarships
    • Scottsdale Community College Scholarship
    • Scottsdale Champion Scholarships
    • Grand Canyon University Scholarship
    • Public Safety Cadet Scholarship
    • Education Liaison Grants
    • Project Graduation
    • Scottsdale Charros Education Awards
    • National Board Certification Scholarships
    • Coronado Promise

    Last month, the Charros also hosted the annual Charros Youth Luncheon and invited 10 student leaders from each of the 30 SUSD schools to spend the day at Scottsdale Stadium and play ball with retired Major League Baseball greats.

    Also, this year was the 37th Annual Charros Education Awards that celebrate outstanding students and teachers.

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  • Scottsdale Public Library Family Read Events

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 4/1/2024

    The power of literacy was palpable at Tavan Elementary School. Embracing the importance of fostering a love of reading within our community, Tavan Elementary School partnered with the Scottsdale Public Library for a special Family Read Night last month!

    We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Scottsdale Public Library for its invaluable partnership and unwavering support of our schools. Together, we organized an evening filled with laughter, joy, and, of course, plenty of reading.

    Families from our school community gathered to enjoy the simple pleasure of reading together, but the fun didn't stop there! There were smiles, laughter, and even some impromptu dancing as families bonded over the stories.

    There's truly nothing quite like the magic of bringing a good book to life and sharing that experience with loved ones. We are grateful to the Scottsdale Public Library for helping us create such a memorable and meaningful event for our families and visiting so many schools over the course of the year.

    We look forward to more joyful reading adventures at Navajo Elementary School on April 11 and at Echo Canyon School on April 23!






    Read more at The SUSD Source

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  • Exciting New Partnership Between Chaparral High School’s Criminal Justice Students and Teen Court

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 4/1/2024

    Scottsdale Unified School District, along with most other school districts and government agencies, utilize an incident-management system implemented and run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. Called the Incident Command System (ICS), the system is designed to allow organizations to manage an incident, no matter how big or small, to integrate seamlessly, regardless of what agency they work for. This system is used, for example, to manage wildfires and major events, such as the attacks on the World Trade Center, as well as pre-planned events, such as the Super Bowl and Waste Management Phoenix Open.

    SUSD has always required district and campus leadership to be trained on the ICS basics that are offered online.  Over the last two years, the district has also hosted several in-person classes to conduct advanced training for SUSD’s incident command team. This team represents the district-level leadership that manages any incidents that occur on or that impact an SUSD campus.

    Over the course of these classes, we have come to recognize that for a K-12 school district, the ICS system is not ideal as it is geared more toward public safety, first-responder agencies, such as fire and police departments than an education entity.

    SUSD is working with the City of Scottsdale Emergency Management and the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to revamp these ICS classes to make them more suitable for the education professionals who must manage an emergency situation. This new class will provide a certificate of completion from ADE and a greater understanding of how to utilize the staff on a campus to provide the leadership and tools necessary to mitigate an incident.

    This new program, in conjunction with ADE, will become the model for all school districts in the state so that educators will be able to continue to learn about and fit within the ICS system, but also understand how classroom and campus staff fit into that role as first responders. This groundbreaking discussion allows SUSD to pave the way for other school districts once again and will ensure that student safety is not just a priority, but that we are able to integrate seamlessly into the public safety, first-responder world when needed.

    Read more at The SUSD Source

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  • Partnerships - March 2024

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 3/1/2024

    Kick Off the New Soccer Season with Phoenix Rising and Support SUSD - Flyer Link
    It’s time to lace up your cleats or at the very least get excited to head out to the pitch to cheer on our very own Phoenix Rising FC!

    Phoenix Rising is excited to offer any and all SUSD fans tickets to the Home Opener on Saturday, March 9th at 7:30 p.m., with $3 of each ticket being donated back to your district!

    Let's show our support for our defending USL champions and Scottsdale Unified School District in an epic kickoff event. Mark your calendars, spread the word, and let's make this home opener one for the record books!

    Tickets start at just $18. Click here to purchase yours. 

    Arizona Coyotes and SUSD - Flyer Link
    Attention, Hockey Fans and fellow supporters of SUSD! This deal is sure to score big points with you. The Arizona Coyotes are hosting an SUSD Night at Mullett Arena in Tempe for the matchup vs. the Nashville Predators on Thursday, March 28th at 7 p.m. A portion of the proceeds from each ticket purchased will directly benefit Scottsdale Unified School District!

    That's right, by simply enjoying a night out at the rink, you'll be making a meaningful contribution to our district's continued success and growth.  It's a win-win situation - you get to enjoy a fantastic sporting event while also supporting a cause near and dear to our hearts.

    Tickets are selling fast, so don't delay - secure your seats today and let's show our support for both the Arizona Coyotes and the Scottsdale Unified School District! Together, we can make a difference, on and off the ice. Visit FEVOGM.COM/SUSD2 to purchase your tickets today.

    Navajo Reads to the Final Four
    This year, Phoenix is the host city for the NCAA Final Four men’s basketball championship! The competition’s Final Four Host Committee is challenging third graders to “Read to the Final Four.”

    Navajo Elementary School’s third grade classes are taking their reading to the next level with this tournament-style reading program and have already secured their spot in the contest’s “Elite Eight” and remain “in the reading” to be named this year’s Championship school!

    Along the way, Navajo has racked up prizes, earning all kinds of swag and Scholastic Books gift cards. The Final Four will be announced next week. 

    Final Four Prizes:

    • Champion School: $5,000, Championship Trophy and Final Four Championship Event
    • 2nd, 3rd, 4th Place Schools: $2,500 and Final Four Championship Event

    Good luck, Buffalos!!

    Read more at The SUSD Source



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  • Partnerships - February 2024

    Posted by SUSD Communications on 2/1/2024

    Updated Safeway Store Supports SUSD Schools

    In an exciting development for the Scottsdale community, the Safeway store located at 7920 E. Chaparral Rd. recently underwent a significant remodel. To mark the completion of this transformation, the store hosted a ribbon-cutting event on January 17th and invited the community to join in the celebration.

    Safeway, a longstanding supporter of Scottsdale schools, took this occasion to demonstrate its commitment to education by donating $28,0000 from the Albertsons/Safeway Companies Foundation to the 10 schools that comprise the Saguaro and Coronado Learning Communities.  Each school, as well as  the Coronado and Saguaro marching bands and cheer squads, received checks for $2,000, displaying Safeway's dedication to enhancing experiences for local students.

    The Saguaro Marching Band and Sabercat Cheer team kicked off the event. Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega joined store leaders, SUSD Associate Superintendent Dr. Karen Benson, and the principals of the recipient schools:  

    Hohokam Elementary School, Chuck Rantala

    Yavapai Elementary School, Kelley Perry

    Pima Elementary School, Chris Hodo

    Tonalea Middle School, Dr. Tamara Jagodzinski 

    Coronado High School, Amy Palatucci

    Kiva Elementary School, Matt Gromek 

    Navajo Elementary School, Matt Patzlaff

    Pueblo Elementary School, Shelley Hummon

    Mohave Middle School, Paul Ferraro  

    Saguaro High School, Ann Achtziger

    In the spirit of collaboration between local businesses and schools, Safeway's support exemplifies the community’s coming together to support educational excellence. We look forward to our continued partnership with Safeway and are grateful for its ongoing commitment to SUSD.

    Barrett-Jackson Welcomes SUSD Schools at STEM Fest
    Barrett-Jackson hosted a new event at its 2024 auto auction last month at WestWorld of Scottsdale.

    The one-day STEM Fest, which took place as part of Family Day, was a stunning showcase of creativity and STEM prowess. Laguna Elementary School and Sisters in STEM (SiS) students from Saguaro's Math & Science Academy made their mark on the event which brought together more than 500 families for an immersive experience in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM).

    At the Laguna booth, children learned how to program robots to navigate paths and could experiment with student-created vehicles on ramps, discovering how angles and design impact speed and velocity. The Laguna student volunteers also demonstrated the inner workings of an engine that they assembled themselves. Families were treated to an engaging experience, witnessing firsthand how STEAM concepts are an integral part of our everyday lives. 

    The Saguaro Math & Science Academy's Sisters in STEM (SiS) students led children in four, captivating mini-experiments. Sophomore Fiona Riley instructed kids who stopped by about the different boiling points of liquids, using the time it takes to make pasta at home as a real-world example.  Most found it very cool that they could make anything boil using only the heat from their hands.  The chilly weather that Saturday morning also provided an unexpected science lesson: only the ethyl alcohol cooperated by boiling.  SIS members were happy to visit with Saguaro’s head of security, Ben Pierson, too, who was helping provide security services at the auto show that day.

    The fusion of fun and learning at the Laguna and SIS booths underscores the importance of STEAM education and the cooperation of community partners in providing opportunities for our young minds, even on a frosty weekend!

    Read more at The SUSD Source

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