Titan Times

Terramar Update: January 2022

Big picture

Welcome Back Terramar Titans!

I hope that you had a wonderful Winter Break. We are looking forward to seeing everyone on January 4th at 8:00am. Lots of information in this newsletter so please take some time to read it to stay up to date.

Report Cards for Quarter 2

Following our procedure from quarter 1, we will not print report cards for grades 1-8. Final grades are available for viewing on powerschools. If you need a formal copy of a report card or your parent log in information, please come into the front office with proper ID and we will print it for you.

Extracurricular Activity Tax Credit

Now is the perfect time to make an Extracurricular Activity Tax Credit to Terramar and receive a dollar for dollar reduction on your State of Arizona 2021 tax liability. Your school tax credit donations can provide Terramar students with opportunities to participate in after school programs, field trips, music and athletic programs or any other extracurricular activity. The Arizona tax credit program (A.R.S. 43-1089.01) allows a tax credit of up to $200 for individuals and up to $400 for married couples, filing jointly, in support of extracurricular activities. More information and links to donate online are available on the DVUSD website.

Donations made between January 1 and April 15 may be applied to the prior tax year. Payments made from January 1, 2022, through April 15, 2022, can be applied to an individual's 2021 Arizona Taxes.

If you have any questions and/or would like to donation in person, please stop by between 7:30am-4:00pm.

Friday Early Release PLC Success Stories

Our 3rd grade team collaborates on PLC Fridays to analyze and discuss essential standards and students growth. This past semester we focused on RL.2 (Determine the central message and explain how it is conveyed through key details in a text). Over time, we monitored data and planned small group instruction to target and assist learners in meeting the standard. PLC time has provided opportunity to narrow and target the needs of each learner. Celebrate with us, and view the results of three separate data checks show that students are progressing to meet the essential standard.

Big picture

Morning Drop Off

Please remember that the gates open at 8:00am. Please do not drop off students before 8am. Breakfast is served from 8:00-8:10am. If you are in need of morning care, please contact our before/school coordinator Teresa Lipson at teresa.lipson@dvusd.org

Late Drop Off

Every minute of learning is important. Please make every effort to have students arrive at school on time. Learning starts at 8:15am for our 180 days of school. Did you know that if your student is just 3 minutes late to school for 30 of the 180 days, they would have missed 90 minutes of learning? When a student arrives late to learning, anxiety builds for them as they hurry to be engaged in learning. This can easily take other students off task and could stop the teacher from teaching. Being late for school is difficult for students and teachers. Please make every effort to have students at school before 8:15am. Excessive tardiness can result in disciplinary action.

Crossing Guard/Dismissal Procedures

Parents/Guardians please remind your student to use the crosswalk at Happy Valley or at 67th Ave. Running across traffic on Happy Valley is very dangerous.

Happy Valley Crosswalk- Use the WEST side of the intersection with the two crossing guards available 7:50am-8:10am and 1:20pm-1:45pm and 2:50pm-3:15pm

For Desert Moon- If your student rides a bike or walks from Terramar to the crosswalk/neighborhood, they must ride/walk on the sidewalk (because it is opposite traffic and safest to be out of the street). Wait for the crossing guard to cross students from 7:30pm-8:10pm and 1:30pm-1:50pm and 3:00pm-3:20pm.

Library Corner

The Fall Book Fair and our Donor's Choose Project were a great success. A HUGE thanks to our Terramar Family who supported and enabled us to add some great new picture books, graphic novels and fiction as well as some amazing animal nonfiction.

We are working on our next "Wish List" of books to update our sports genre. Look for a new Donor's Choose project coming soon!

More fun coming your way...

1/6 Battle of the Books - Battle II for our 5th and 6th grade teams.

1/10-1/14 The Titan Store is back. Students will visit during scheduled class time, so save those Titan Tickets!

1/31 - Volunteer Training from 6-7pm in the Library

2/14-2/18 Spring Book Fair

Tuesday, 2/15 we will host Family Night from 6-8pm

Friday, 2/18 we will host Donuts with Dad from 7-8am

More details to come after the break.

Big picture

OPEN POSITIONS, inquire in the office

Crossing Guards at Happy Valley (2)

Crossing Guard at Desert Moon (1)

Lunch Monitor (1)

4 hour Lunch Custodian

Full time Night Custodian

Technology Challenges 4th-8th grade students:

Parents, please partner with us in reminding your students to charge their chromebook daily at home. Think about proving a location in your home that is centrally located to help remind students of their responsibility to come to school with a fully charged chromebook ready for learning.

Upcoming Important Dates

January 3rd-No School-Winter Break

January 4th-Students return to school

January 14th-Early Release 1:20/1:30 dismissal

January 17th-No School

January 21st-Early Release 1:20/1:30 dismissal

January 25th-7th/8th Band Feeder Night at MRHS

January 26th-5th Grade Band Concert

January 28th-Early Release 1:20/1:30 dismissal

NEW Covid Information

Please read the following regarding the District's UPDATED Remain In School Safety Plan

Safety Plan

We all must work together to make Terramar as safe as possible for students, teachers, and staff. While the Deer Valley Unified School District is taking measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, we need our families to do the same.

If your student is not feeling well, please keep them home and call our attendance line at 623-445-7690.

If your student has taken a Covid-19 test and you are waiting on results, please keep them home until you have negative results.

COVID testing available at the district office: Tuesdays and Fridays 11-2. Pre registration required. https://www.easytesting.com/deervalley

Other Covid testing locations https://www.dvusd.org/Page/76385

If your student has tested Positive for Covid-19. Fill out the parent reporting tool and call Terramar at 623-445-7600.

Parent Reporting Tool for Covid Positive Students

Birthday Treats

Birthday celebrations occur the last 10 minutes of the school day and must be pre-arranged with the teacher. Take home goodie bags for students are not allowed. There are two options for treats.

Option 1- Purchase the "Birthday Bucket" (TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE) from the cafe using the following link https://www.dvusd.org/Page/65635

Option 2- Bring in store bought peanut free items.

Cell Phone Policy reminder K-8

Parents, as a reminder.

Cell phones for all students are to remain off and in backpacks.

7th and 8th grade students may take them out at lunch ONLY.

No earbuds/headphones are to be worn during the school day.

If you need to reach your student, please call the office at 623-445-7600

If a student uses their cell phone during the school day they will receive discipline according to the SRR handbook for defiance/insubordination.

Students who are not feeling well must report to the Nurse's office for treatment and/or phone call home for parent pick up.

PTSA Information

Although the Terramar PTSA may seem quiet we are on FIRE this year!

During our fall fundraiser we raised $25,245 for our school, had tons of prizes and a day of awesomeness to celebrate it! We would like to gift the school a portable gaga ball pit, a mascot, and continue to grant teacher requests.

We participated in the 12 days of getting ready for winter break to celebrate our teachers and staff!

Please consider becoming a member and volunteering by going to our website www.terramarptsa.org

Also please add terramar PTSA as your supported charity with Amazon Smile! Instructions are on our website.

We need a new board for 2022-2023 so please consider running for a position!


Bullying or Peer Conflict?

WHAT IS NOT BULLYING? Adults must realize that not every unkind thing a child does constitutes bullying. For example:

  • Being left out is not always bullying. It’s natural for kids to have a select group of friends. Although they should be kind towards everyone, it’s unrealistic to expect them to be close friends with every child they know, and be invited to every function or event.
  • Experiencing conflict is not bullying. Learning to deal with conflict is a normal part of growing up. The key is for children to learn how to solve their problems peacefully and respectfully.
  • Not playing fair is not bullying. Wanting a game to be played a certain way is not bullying. Children understand the concept of sharing, and should take turns being in charge of the game.

When observing the unkind behaviors your child experiences, be sure to label them correctly. This will help you know how to handle the situation appropriately so that your child can learn and grow from it.

(Ref. Policy JICK, JICK-R, JICK-EA, JICK-EB) SRR handbook page 3-4

Bullying may occur when a student or group of students engages in any form of behavior that includes such acts as intimidation and/or harassment that:

  • has the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm or damage to property,
  • is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that the action, behavior, or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive environment,
  • occurs when there is a real or perceived imbalance of power or strength, or
  • may constitute a violation of law

SRR Handbook 4/29/21

Grading and Reporting Video

As we near the end of Quarter 1 and approach parent teacher conferences, it might be a good idea to view our very own Terramar video on the Phase 1 Pilot of Standards Based Grading Mindset.

Terramar Video Link

Powerschools Grades... We are a Phase 1 Standards Based Mindset for Grading School

We are nearing the end of Quarter 1 with our new grading procedures. Have you checked your students grades recently? There are two categories you will notice in Powerschools.

1) Learning Progressions- .1% of the grade

2) Assessments- 100% of the grade

Learning progression are: classwork, bell work, formative assessments, and homework to name a few. It is anything that students do to practice to gain mastery of the standard.

Assessments: This is the category with all the weight in the grade book. It is the the final of the essential standard that was taught.

Students can redo/reassess almost any learning progression/assessment (some district assessments can't be reassessed). The reassessment is arranged between the teacher/student/parent and must be done within the timeline stated/agreed upon by the teacher.

**if you don't see a grade for your student, click on the "i" to see an update**

Big picture

Parking Do's and Don'ts

Big picture

Communication- Who should you call when....

Please follow the communication tool found below
Big picture

Grading- Phase 1 Pilot School - What is this?

Terramar is one of the ten schools in the district piloting the new grading system in DVUSD. Additional information regarding Standards Based Mindset for grading can be found on our website here.

See Grading Scale Picture Below



  • Progress reports are less mysterious and have more meaning

  • Parents are aware of exactly what their child knows, is able to do, and next steps for progress

  • Parents know in what areas their child needs more support

  • Parents are empowered to increase their child's confidence and help their student set goals


  • Learning targets are clearly defined and aligned with state standards.

  • Students are offered multiple opportunities and ways through which to demonstrate proficiency

  • Students monitor their own progress toward the achievement of specified targets

  • Specific feedback on progress helps build self-esteem, pride, and motivation

  • Teachers:

  • Teachers know exactly where students stand in their progress toward learning targets and what support needs to be provided

  • Teachers of the same courses have aligned expectations and standards

  • Assessment results help teachers determine when students need extra help and when they need more challenging work

Research provides strong evidence that, when used appropriately, homework is essential for increasing and reinforcing student learning and achievement for course standards. Homework may be differentiated to meet the needs of our varied learners. The intent of homework is to practice, extend learning, and provide opportunities for students to develop critical, independent study skills and self-discipline for their life-long educational journeys.

The DVUSD grading definition for Phase 1 schools is based on the following ideas:

  • Grades will be equitable, accurate, specific, consistent.

  • A student’s grade should reflect academic learning and should never be used as a punitive tool.

  • Grades are for reporting the status of academic learning, not behavioral conduct

  • Grades are a reporting tool utilized to reflect what a student knows and is able to do in a content area. We measure achievement, not effort or behavior, in our grading system.

  • The primary purpose of assessment and grading is to provide detailed feedback to inform and support student learning.

  • Learning is a process that takes place over time and at different speeds for different students.

  • A coordinated assessment and grading system, both among common grade level teachers and throughout the school, clarifies the expectations for all students and maximizes academic opportunities.

“Grades are broken when they mix achievement and non-achievement elements. The fix is to report variables such as behaviors separately from achievement, thereby ensuring that the grades reflect student achievement as accurately as possible.” (O’Connor, 2011)

PowerSchool is an essential resource for parents and students. It is not only a tool for communication regarding grades, it is a resource for our students and parents to check progress, missing work, and what is being taught/learned regularly. Please ensure that you and your child have access (separate accounts) and even sign up for the app and push notifications or weekly email updates as an option in PowerSchool.


In order to accurately reflect a student’s academic performance level, teachers will accept late work and missing work for full credit if the work is submitted within the timeframe/procedures developed by the school and before the end of the grading period. Based on the grade scale a “1” or “0”will be entered in the gradebook until the work is submitted. A notation of “M” for missing or “L” for late work will also be denoted in the gradebook. Students will still be responsible for turning in late work in addition to their current coursework, which results in the natural consequence of a heavier workload. The primary consequence for students not completing the work is to complete the work.

  • Students needing extra help will receive it from their teacher during Multi-Tiered Systems of Support in class.

  • Students choosing not to complete work, but who are able to do so, will complete work with support during Titan Time.

  • Missing work will be accepted up to 3 weeks after the assignment date.

  • Once assignment is turned in the “M” will Change to “L” to indicate it was completed late.

  • Teachers may adjust the time based on the individual needs of the student and/or assignment.


Learning is a journey that is often not linear. Some students learn content and skills quickly while others may require more time or feedback in order to learn. The primary objective of grades is to report where a student is in the learning process, regardless of how much time or effort the student needs to get there.

Students will be allowed to retake assessments during the same grading period to show the student’s current level of attainment of the standards.

  • Students will be afforded extra time for learning; however, there is an ending point for each course in which final reports on a student’s learning must be conveyed.

  • Final assessments or end of term capstone projects and performance assessments will not be eligible for retakes.

  • Assessments may be in an alternate format for reassessment.

  • Students are required to show evidence of learning and applying the teacher’s feedback in order to earn a reassessment opportunity.

  • Certain assessments are NOT available for retakes as mandated by the district. Check with your teacher to ensure an assessment qualifies for a retake.

  • Retakes must be scheduled with the teacher.

  • Student Work Form must be completed at least 24 hours prior to a retake opportunity to ensure content mastery.

  • The teacher reserves the right to decide if an assessment qualifies for a retake or not; an explanation will be given if reassessment is denied.

  • Retake requests must be submitted within 2 weeks of the original test date. All retakes must be completed prior to a week before grades close for the quarter.

  • Student Work Form must be completed prior to any reassessment.

“Making students redo their learning until it meets high expectations demands far more of both students and teachers than letting them take a failing grade— but it also results in far more learning.” (Wormeli, 2011)


Academic integrity is a cornerstone of learning. Students must present their own work in order for teachers to accurately assess learning and provide appropriate feedback.

Any type of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in DVUSD and any student who engages in cheating or plagiarism will be disciplined for those behaviors. It is important that the penalty imposed is not reflected in the student’s academic grade. Incorporating a behavior penalty into a student’s academic grade, such as issuing a loss of credit, causes the overall grade to no longer represent what the student knows or has learned and, in essence, has become meaningless.

If a student engages in academic dishonesty, they will initially receive a “1” or “0” depending on their grade scale. The teacher will provide an opportunity for the student to demonstrate his/her level of proficiency of the same standards. If they choose not to reassess, the 0 or 1 will remain.

The student will be assigned a discipline consequence for the cheating and/or plagiarism behavior they engaged in. Parents will be contacted and the student will be held accountable through the district’s SR&R handbook. Depending upon the developmental needs, the stage of the student and the severity of the offense, discipline consequences could take the form of a letter of apology or other restorative measure, loss of privileges, after school detention, and/or suspension.

Why does school end early on most Friday's? What is a PLC?

School ends early on most Friday's so that Terramar teachers can collaborate with other teachers at other schools who teach the same subject/grade on best teaching practices to meet the needs of all learners. Our teachers will compare student data with teachers at other schools to discuss best teaching practices.

A Professional Learning Community AKA PLC is the formal name for teachers meeting to share/compare data to make sure that all students receive the best teaching practices to master the standards.

There are four guiding questions that are answered in each PLC as standards are taught. They are:

1. What do you we want students to know?

2. How will we know that they have learned it?

3. What do we do if they didn't learn it?

4. What do we do if they already know it?

Watch this video for more information:

PLC Video

Big picture