Superintendent's Letter October 2017

With this week’s parent forum at Desert Mountain High School, we have completed the first set of quarterly “Conversations with the Superintendent” in...

Superintendent's Letter October 2017

Posted by SUSD Web Admin - 2017-10-06 13:13:27

Dear Scottsdale Unified School District Family,


With this week’s parent forum at Desert Mountain High School, we have completed the first set of quarterly “Conversations with the Superintendent” in each of SUSD’s learning communities. We enjoyed sharing information with you regarding your school’s AzMERIT scores and providing the latest on the bond and capital override work that is underway in the district. Thank you for attending!  Receiving your input and feedback about your students and schools is a key piece in our commitment to being forthright and transparent in all that we do in SUSD. It also gives us the opportunity to correct misinformation you may hear from time to time about district activities and provide you with facts.


When we return from fall break, we will kick off the fall semester’s series of evening forums in each of our five learning communities. We invite parents, teachers, students and community members to attend these events. They are designed to bring you the most current information about SUSD activities in your home learning community.


All of the evening meetings begin at 5:30 p.m. and run until 7:30 p.m. As with all of our forums, they conclude with a Q & A session. The schedule for the fall semester Learning Community Updates is as follows:


Monday, Oct. 23

Arcadia Learning Community

Arcadia High School

4703 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix

Mount Olympus


Tuesday, Oct. 24

Saguaro Learning Community

Saguaro High School

6250 N. 82nd St., Scottsdale

Room 500


Wednesday, Oct. 25

Chaparral Learning Community

Chaparral High School

6935 E. Gold Dust Ave., Scottsdale

Room J600


Thursday, Oct. 26

Desert Mountain Learning Community

Desert Mountain High School

12575 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale

Room TBD


Monday, Oct. 30

Coronado Learning Community

Coronado High School

7501 E. Virginia Ave., Scottsdale

Governing Board Room


The Fall edition of SUSD’s Scottsdale Advantage magazine will appear in your mailboxes soon with a brand-new look! In it, you’ll find a comprehensive update on the district, from the way we measure student success to new learning opportunities being offered this school year.


Coming up at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1, current SUSD 8th graders and their parents are invited to attend an informational meeting to learn about the district’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years and Diploma programs. The Diploma program makes its home at Desert Mountain High School (DMHS). This rigorous academic program challenges students to think critically and creatively, and prepares them well for the challenges of university study … and life. The IB program is open to students district-wide and, by open enrollment, to students beyond SUSD boundaries. And exciting things are ahead for IB as we prepare to bring its Middle Years program to all grade levels at Mountainside Middle School and Desert Mountain’s pre-diploma program. Find out more on page 14 of the new Scottsdale Advantage magazine! 


Last, but not least, this month we’ll host our biggest celebration of the year, outside of graduation night. On Saturday, October 21, it’s the annual celebration of the Scottsdale Unified School District’s 23,000 students, 30 schools and 5 learning communities. The SUSD Showcase takes over the campus of Cocopah Middle School, 6615 E. Cholla St., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day. The entire community is invited to enjoy performances by:


  • Anasazi Elementary School’s Eighth Notes
  • Arcadia High School’s Creative Musical Arts and Sciences (CMAS) and Theater Department
  • Cherokee Elementary School’s Voices
  • Cochise Elementary School’s Chorus
  • Cocopah Middle School’s Jazz Choir
  • Desert Canyon Elementary School’s Noteheads
  • Ingleside Middle School’s Band and Choral Ensembles
  • Mohave Middle School’s 8th Grade Band
  • Pueblo Elementary School’s Dust Devil Singers
  • Redfield Elementary School’s Voices
  • Tavan Elementary School’s Singers


The Cocopah cafeteria will transform that day into a student Art House, where you’ll be able to stroll among the art boards and take in the talent of SUSD’s many budding artists. They are amazing! 


Outside, you can visit with representatives from our schools, grouped by learning community, to find out more about the exceptional academic, fine and performing arts, extracurricular and athletic programs in store for your students as they progress through SUSD. There is much to celebrate, and we want you to be a part of it. See you at Cocopah Middle School on Saturday, October 21!


Have a safe fall break,



Dr. Denise Birdwell