WFES Newsletter

December 17th, 2021

Wildfire Elementary School Firebirds

The mission of Wildfire Elementary School is to lead students to high achievement and individual excellence in a collaborative learning environment

Join Us for Kindergarten!

Join us on January 10th, 2022 from 6:00 - 7:00 PM here at Wildfire Elementary School for our Kindergarten Round-Up.

Meet our amazing kindergarten team, explore our classrooms, meet new friends during this open-house style event and learn why Wildfire Elementary School is the best school to start your child's educational journey.

Prior to the event, visit our kindergarten website to learn more about our awesome program and school!

Safety Information

In response to yesterday's lockdown and in an effort to keep parents informed, below is information to help parents and families know what to expect and what to do in the event of any future lockdowns or incidents. This information can also be found on the district website.
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PV Schools Strategic Plan Survey

PVSchools is continuing the process of updating the strategic plan and is seeking your feedback on the next phase. The Strategic Plan Design Team, comprised of district and site administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, and community members, is requesting your feedback on proposed values statements. Values statements communicate an organization's core principles and provide the foundation for the strategic goals that are developed during the following phase of this process.


To participate, follow the link below and complete the proposed values survey.


This survey will close on Monday, December 20, 2021, at 5 p.m.

Staff Spotlight!

4th Grade Team

A picture of the WFES 4th grade: Ms. Skinner, Ms. Bailey, Ms. Kelly, Miss DiBella

Wildfire is so excited to introduce our next AMAZING Teacher Team in the Spotlight…. 4th Grade! Introducing our Fantastic 4th Grade Team: Mrs. Kimberly Skinner, Ms. Nancy Bailey,


Ms. Janelle Kelly and Miss Nicole DiBella!


Mrs. Skinner

Passionate, Caring, Funny

What is your favorite thing about Wildfire? What I love about Wildfire is the students. We have some of the best students in PVUSD. Students are eager to learn and fun to get to know on a personal level.

When did you realize you wanted to be a teacher and who was your favorite teacher? I knew I wanted to be a teacher in 3rd grade. I played school all the time with my sister and the neighbor kids. I loved teaching them new things and making crafts with them. I was in Mrs. Welch's class and she made learning so fun and engaging each day and seemed to have the best time doing it. I will forever treasure my memories from that year in school and I hope that I am at least half the teacher she was, creating the memories and fun time for my students throughout the year.

What is something that might surprise us about you? You might be surprised to know that I love to craft. I love to make shirts, quilts, glassware, and more. That is really my happy place when I am creating things for others. It brings me a great deal of joy.

What is the best advice you would give to a student? Come to school with the idea that you are willing to try each day. Keep an open mind and things will work out in the end.


Ms. Bailey

Fair, Game Player, Mom

What is your favorite thing about Wildfire? All the creativity that I see around me - in the staff and the kids

When did you realize you wanted to be a teacher and who was your favorite teacher? Believe it or not, when I was doing my student teaching. I loved it! I loved my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Piper. She let us do interesting things.

What is something that might surprise us about you? I used to sing and perform in a traveling team.

What is your favorite game to play? I would play the game Five Crowns - a card game. I love card and board games.

What is the best advice you would give to a student? Study, study, study and listen to your teacher.



Miss DiBella

Bubbly, Adventurous and Loving

What is your favorite thing about Wildfire? My favorite thing about Wildfire is my students!

When did you realize you wanted to be a teacher and who was your favorite teacher? I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was in elementary school. I had incredible teachers who inspired me every day and made me want to have my own classroom of students to inspire myself one day! My favorite teacher growing up was my fifth-grade teacher. She was my favorite because she made school so fun and made me feel extremely special and loved!

What is something that might surprise us about you? A fun fact about me is I love to travel so I sailed around the world when I was in college and had the incredible opportunity to work in classrooms in different countries!

What is your favorite sport or game to watch or play? My favorite sport to play is tennis!

What is the best advice you would give to a student? The best advice I would give a student to be successful in school is don't be afraid to ask for help!

Anything else you’d like to add? I feel so grateful to have come full circle from being a student at Wildfire to now being a fourth-grade teacher! Go Firebirds!



Ms. Kelly

Passionate, Dedicated and Empathetic.

What is your favorite thing about Wildfire? My favorite thing about Wildfire is the students! Watching all our hard-working Firebirds persevere on a daily basis makes me incredibly proud to be a teacher at Wildfire. Seeing the smiles in the hallways, the sparkle in students' eyes when they discover and learn something new, the kindness they show one another, and the love that radiates from our learners make Wildfire a great place to work.

When did you realize you wanted to be a teacher and who was your favorite teacher? I knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was in elementary school. My favorite elementary teacher was my sixth-grade teacher, Mr. Wilson. He always believed in me and made each student feel special and unique.

What is something that might surprise us about you? I played on an organized football team in elementary school.

What is your favorite sport or game to watch or play? Football! Go Dolphins!!

What is the best advice you would give to a student? The best advice I could give to any student to be successful would be to learn to become an active participant in your education. Ask questions, take notes, participate in discussions, think outside the box, listen intently, set goals, and find what motivates you. Have high expectations for yourself...know you CAN achieve greatness by persevering. Learning is not a destination, but a journey.

The Day of Awesome!
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Gifted Education at Wildfire

What if I Think My Child is Gifted?

If you believe that your student may be a gifted learner, then WFES's gifted cluster or honors program may be right for your child. Please read below for a short outline of applying for gifted testing as well as what to expect before, during, and after.


Nomination

The gifted testing nomination process has gone digital! Teacher nominations are now collected by Google forms and physical paper nominations are no longer necessary. A teacher or parent may now complete a form online when nominating a student for gifted testing. A copy of their response will automatically be emailed to the teacher or parent upon completing the form.


Testing

Gifted testing takes place in accordance with the Arizona State Mandate. Paradise Valley Unified School District primarily uses the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT2) to identify gifted students.

Testing is offered three times each year as follows:

  • Fall - grades 4 - 6 students who may qualify for Honors classes

  • Winter - English Language Learners or former ELLs

  • Spring - Any K - 6 student residing in the PV Schools boundary

Make-up testing is available in June for students who were unable to complete testing during their school's regularly scheduled testing dates due to illness. Students must have had a signed permission slip and been on the original list for gifted testing. For further information on gifted testing at Wildfire, contact our Honors Specialist, Mrs. Glenda Martin, gortizmartin@pvlearners.net.


Placement

Students qualify for gifted services by scoring in the 97th percentile or above on any one, or combination, of the verbal, quantitative, or nonverbal sections of a state-approved test beginning in kindergarten.

The PVSchools Gifted Education Department will mail written notification of test results to parents and guardians within three weeks of test administration. Parent notification is provided in English and in Spanish on the NNAT. Test results are available in Spanish for the CogAT upon request. Translation services are available for families who speak other languages.

Parent notification of testing results includes:


  • Record of the gifted testing results

  • Program Placement Permission Statement


Ready to Get Started?

Please visit the Gifted Education page on the Wildfire Website for more details and to learn more about gifted education at Wildfire and to get your student tested.


Click Here to Visit the Gifted Education Page

Updates From The District

We Are Thankful!

We want to take this opportunity and thank you and all PV Schools voters for continuing to support student excellence by passing our school bonds and overrides! Bonds have been able to keep our schools in top-notch condition and help to maintain a safe and secure learning environment. These projects and annual maintenance would not be possible without the generous support of our community. Here at Wildfire, voter-approved bonds have made improvements to our school site security, upgrades to our fire suppression and HVAC units, new carpet, repaving our parking lots/bus lane, painting, and many more projects possible!


Thank you all for your continued support of WFES and all our schools!

COVID-19 Quarantine Procedures Update

In PVSchools, our goal is to maintain in-person learning in a safe environment for our students and staff. Teaching and learning in a mask isn’t easy, nor is it ideal. And, we recognize that masks pose challenges in the classroom; however, we know that Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) quarantines cause even larger disruptions, defeating our goal of keeping in-person learning as an option for all students.

During the first 10 weeks of school, we’ve continued to learn a lot about the impacts that quarantining had on our students and school system. In line with our evolving response to the pandemic, and after consulting with MCDPH, PVSchools will revise its quarantine protocol after the Thanksgiving break.


Currently, when a COVID-19 positive case and close contact are both wearing a mask, quarantine is not required. However, beginning November 29 at our middle and high schools, regardless of whether the COVID-19 positive case is wearing a mask or not, the close contact student wearing a mask no longer needs to be quarantined, provided they remain symptom-free. In short, if a middle or high school student is wearing a mask and becomes a close contact, there is no need to quarantine if that student remains symptom-free. This new practice will begin in our elementary schools following the winter break, beginning on January 3, 2022.


Additionally, we will introduce a test to stay option at our middle and high schools beginning November 29. A close contact student not wearing a mask may test and return with a negative result provided they wear a mask for an eight-day period following exposure. Students who test to stay must remain symptom-free. This strategy will be available regardless of whether the COVID-19 positive case is wearing a mask or not. Simply put, middle and high school students not wearing a mask who become a close contact can avoid quarantine, provided they first obtain a COVID-19 test, present negative results, and wear a mask for an eight-day period following exposure. This new practice will begin in our elementary schools following the winter break, beginning on January 3, 2022.


We are implementing these strategies as part of our multi-layered approach to mitigation protocols. This approach begins with everyone making a personal commitment to complete a self-assessment every day and refrain from coming to work or school if COVID-like symptoms are present or awaiting COVID-19 test results. We continue to promote healthy hand hygiene, social distancing when possible, cohorting, increased air filter and ventilation measures, cleaning upgrades, contact tracing, and more. Our mitigation efforts continue to evolve as public health officials provide new guidance.


For a complete review of our updated mitigation plan, visit the PVSchools Prepared webpage.

PVSchools in partnership with In Office Diagnostics (DX), will continue to offer a free, robust drive-through testing program. See more information on drive-through testing.

Finally, it’s always important to remind ourselves of the need to work together and treat one another with mutual respect. We may not always agree, but we do not have to be disagreeable. We can listen, understand, and compromise as we navigate these challenging times together. Our focus must remain on what’s best for students.

Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation and continued support of student success on the journey of excellence in PVSchools.


Sincerely,


Troy J. Bales, Ed.D.
Superintendent

PTO Information

Volunteers Needed

The PTO has a full line-up of fun events planned for the remainder of the school year.

In order to make each of them happen successfully, we need some help with planning and coordination.


Although a few events already have a volunteer or two who have stepped up to assist, others are in danger of being cancelled due to not enough assistance to make the event successful and enjoyable. Some of the volunteer opportunities can be done from the comfort of your homes, at your convenience; others will have you in the midst of the fray. There is something for everyone if you are willing to pitch in. Please sign up at the link below to help us make sure we can continue to provide great activities for our Firebird Families. Not only will I personally be very grateful for the help, but the rest of the PTO Board and all of the event attendees will also as well. Plus, we can ensure that you will have fun putting your personal touch on an event and will receive a lot of satisfaction when you see the benefits of your work and the excitement of your kid(s) when they discover you are helping plan an event!


  • Family Night Out at Cafe Zupas: Jan 4th
  • Trivia Night: Jan 14th
  • Mother/Son Event: Jan 28th
  • Father/Daughter Dance: Feb 5th
  • Pizza in the Park: Feb 15th
  • Parent Night Out - Wine Tasting Event: Feb 18th
  • Family 5k/Fun Run: March 5th
  • Movie in the Park: April 1st
  • Adult-only/Silent Auction Event: April 23rd
  • Splash into Summer: May 13th
  • Family Bingo Night: TBD
  • Family Diamondbacks Game: TBD

Smile.Amazon.Com

AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support Wildfire Elementary every time you shop, at no cost to you. AmazonSmile is available at Smile.Amazon.Com on your web browser and can be activated in the Amazon Shopping app for iOS and Android phones.

How to turn on AmazonSmile in the mobile app:


  1. Join AmazonSmile. If you are not already an AmazonSmile member, sign up on your web browser. Simply select Wildfire Elementary PTO to start generating donations, at no cost to you.
  2. Get the app. Download or update to the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app on your phone. You can find it in the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android.
  3. Turn on AmazonSmile. Open the app and find ’Settings’ in the main menu (☰). Tap on ‘AmazonSmile’ and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile on your phone.

On your first visit to smile.amazon.com, you will be prompted to select a charitable organization. Select Wildfire Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization. Every time you shop on Amazon simply start at smile.amazon.com and the school earns 0.5% of every purchase. It's that easy to make a difference! Ask your friends, family and co-workers to participate too! As always, Thank you for your support!

Important Upcoming Dates


  • December 17th: Last Day of the 2nd Quarter/Semester
  • December 20th - December 31st: Winter Break - No School
  • January 3rd, 2022: Classes Resume - 3rd Quarter begins
  • January 10th: Kindergarten Open-House 6:00 - 7:00 PM
  • January 11th: Early Release Day
  • January 14th: District Spelling Bee
  • January 14th: PTO Family Trivia Night
  • January 17th: NO SCHOOL - MLK Day
  • January 20th: Group Picture Day
  • January 20th: Governing Board Meeting - 7:00 PM
  • January 24th - 28th: Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • January 27th & 28th: Early Release Day