DU December Newsletter

December 2018 * Explore Excellence*

Big picture

Important Dates

11/26-12/7 NWEA Winter Benchmark Assessment

12/3 Motivational Monday: Courageous

12/10 PTO Meeting 5pm-6pm

12/13 Winter Musical 5:30-6:30pm

12/17-12/21 Spirit Week

12/24-1/8 Winter Break

1/9 Back to School

Team Emery Bear Drive

Mrs. Matie’s class is proud to be hosting our 1st annual Bear Drive at DIscover U to benefit Team Emery Bear Drive for Phoenix Children’s Hospital during the holiday season. Our students would like your help to make their dream of starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion a reality.

We are collecting NEW teddy bears and other stuffed animals so that each child at Phoenix Children’s Hospital (and 20 other children’s hospitals across the country) can have a cuddly buddy for the holiday season. Please make sure that all donations are brand new from the store. We are unable to accept used animals because of health concerns.

With your help, we know we can reach our goals of collecting 200 NEW bears and stuffed animals by the 13th of Dec. Emery set a goal of collecting 10,000 bears in total here in Arizona. Let’s help him reach this goal and put 10,000 smiles on 10,000 little faces.

Thank you in advance for helping us with our goal. There will be a drop off for the bears in the office and in each classroom!!

Check out Emery’s story at www.teamemery.org

Mrs. Matie’s 1st/2nd/3rd Grade class

Ms. Makowski is now Mrs. Wegner!

Over Thanksgiving Break Ms. Makowski married her husband, Stephen Wegner. She is officially Mrs. Wegner.

Her new email address is wegner@discoverulearning.com. However, if you email makowski@discoverulearning.com it will still be forwarded to her.

Our students are having fun as they try to remember her new name.

Mr. Catullo, Dean of Students

We are excited to welcome Coach C. our PE Coach to a new position. He is now the Dean of Students!

What is a Dean of Students? The Dean of Students helps lead the efforts to build and maintain a strong, positive achievement oriented school culture that nurtures, inspires and empowers our students as they 'Explore Excellence'. He will support our positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) around campus. Our PBIS program focuses on "Exploring Excellence' by being respectful, kind, proactive and courageous. Mr. Catullo will have a visible presence in all areas of our school and will be supporting the well-being of our students.

Winter Wonderland Musical Production-December 13th

We are very excited for our annual Winter musical production. Every class has been working to learn a song and dance to perform.

Our students will need to arrive in their classroom by 5:00pm to prepare for the big event. Each classroom has different outfits. If you haven't heard how your child's class will be dressing, please ask their teacher or call the front office.

We will also have other exciting events at our Winter Wonderland Musical.

  • Our 6th Graders and club for Youth Entrepreneurs will be holding a market event after the musical from 6:30pm-7:00pm. This culminating market event will help students use business principles like scarcity, sunk cost, subjective value and opportunity cost. Students have identified their customer segment and revenue streams. The "Youth Entrepreneur Market Day" gives our Discover U student entrepreneurs a small chance to sell their inventions to our Discover U community. Students are excited to provide affordable fun fixings for the DU community immediately after attending the Winter Musical. We have worked hard to come up with ideas that are creative and priced right to ensure that everyone benefits. Items will be sold for as low as one quarter all the way up to two dollars. We sure hope you will consider taking part.
  • Our 'Artists at Work' club will be creating a display of their work for all to enjoy.
  • Our 'Dance and Music' club will be performing the song "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran at the end of the night as their culminating project.
Big picture

Improving Attendance

After analyzing our attendance data from last year we have realized the importance of enhancing our attendance procedures. We have realized that communication of attendance and number of absences is crucial as we work together to provide every child with the best possible education. Therefore, there are a few updates that we want all of our families to be aware of:

  • Cristina Orozco in the front office will be working full time as our attendance clerk.
  • She will be sending letters home informing families when their child has been absent over 5 days of school.
  • When a child reaches 10 or more absences, she will be scheduling meetings with families to meet with her and Ms. Wegner to create a plan.
  • If a child reaches 18 or more absences, she will be scheduling a meeting with families and contacting our Truancy Officer.

If you have any questions or concerns about attendance, do not hesitate to call Cristina and discuss it with her. She is extremely knowledgeable and is happy to help discuss attendance and help in anyway.

December: Bully Prevention Month

Mrs. Sepulveda, our school Social Worker, has been working in all of our classrooms teaching lessons about bully prevention. While working with our students they explore the difference between a bully and being mean. They have also talked about the different roles that may happen in a bullying scenario such as a victim, a bystander and a bully. Together they have talked about being courageous and standing up if you see others being mean or if you think that someone is being bullied.

How is bullying defined?

  • Bullying = Intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power.
  • Experts agree that bullying entails three key elements: an intent to harm, a power imbalance and repeated acts or threats of aggressive behavior. Kids who bully say or do something intentionally hurtful to others and they keep doing it, with no sense of regret or remorse — even when targets of bullying show or express their hurt or tell the aggressors to stop.
  • Bullying may be physical, verbal, relational or carried out via technology

To support the work we are doing, we are tying our Spirit Week into being kind and preventing bullying.

Big picture

NWEA & Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment

Your child learns better-and faster- when teachers and students have a clear picture of what they know and what they are ready to learn next. The NWEA assessment is an "adaptive" assessment which reacts to each child's answers and gets more challenging when they are getting answers correct and becomes easier when they are getting answers incorrect. The Founas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment determines student’s independent and instructional reading levels by measuring their fluency and comprehension.

At Discover U kindergarten through sixth grade students have started their benchmark assessments. The goal of our assessments is to measure each child's growth, find their strengths and their focus area. This information allows our teachers to personalize instruction for your child when working in small groups.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to your child's classroom teacher.

Discover U Proudly Supports a Uniform Policy

We know that it is starting to get chilly out. Even with the chilly temperatures Discover U still proudly supports a uniform policy.

The Discover U uniform shirt or sweater with khaki or navy colored uniform bottoms completes our dress code Monday through Thursday. Your child may also wear long sleeves under their uniform shirt. On Fridays, students are allowed to wear denim bottoms with their uniform shirt or spirit shirt.

Since it is getting chilly outside, students may bring a warm jacket or sweater to wear while on the playground. While in the classroom, students must be wearing either their DU polo or DU sweater.

Shirts and sweaters are for sale in the front office. Please call if you have any questions 623-974-4827.

Please Join Our Parent Teacher Organization

Our PTO works extremely hard to raise money that directly benefits our students and families. This year our PTO will be fundraising for our Friday Explorer Clubs and will take an active role in our school as we nurture, inspire and empower our students.

Our PTO President, Shawntel House and team of parents are brainstorming ways to increase parent involvement on campus and working to plan and organize school fundraisers.

Everyone is welcome! If you have any questions please feel free to email Shawntel at dupto@discoverulearning.com or Ms. Makowski at makowski@discoverulearning.com

Big picture

Tax Credit Donations

  • Make a tax credit donation to our school. The Arizona State Tax Credit program allows you to make a donation to an eligible organization and receive a dollar-for-dollar credit against Arizona state taxes owed. These donations count as charitable contributions and may be deducted on your federal return if you itemize your deductions. To do so, go to http://bit.ly/DUtaxcredit.

Thank you for partnering with us to create a school that nurtures, inspires and empowers all of our students through hands on learning.


To provide a school that works for all students: socially*emotionally*academically


To be the most student-centered school working to nurture, inspire, and empower our learners so that they become strong, successful individuals with 21st century skills

As Explorers We Are

Respectful, Kind, Proactive, Courageous

21st Century Skills: Critical Thinkers, Collaborative/, Curious, Creative, Empowered, Resilient

Angela Wegner, Principal

Angela Wegner is honored to lead Discover U. She earned her master’s degree in Educational Leadership and her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the Arizona State University. Her work has been devoted to creating a positive, safe, caring environment where students are nurtured, inspired, and empowered as learners.

See what's going on at Discover U by following our hashtag #DUexplorers #ExploreExcellence