October 21, 2022

22-23 Edition No. 7

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Look who Won!

In our first Gift Card Bonanza, the winners are:

Rose Harvey, Canyon Springs = $5 Elevate Coffee Card
Caryn Kunz, Sunset Ridge = $5 Elevate Coffee Card

Carol Hirsch, Constitution = $25 Chili's Gift Card

Sara Cullen, Sierra Verde = $25 Cracker Barrel Gift Card

There are MORE chances to win. Enter by clicking the button below. If you signed up last week you will have another chance to win in the next drawing. AND, you can enter for a SECOND CHANCE TO WIN! Just click the button below to enter the giveaway. Drawings for more #25 restaurant gift cards $5 gift cards to Elevate Coffee will happen before the next Deer Valley Voice! Enter for the first time or Enter AGAIN for a second chance by clicking the button below.

Click here to enter the Gift Card Giveaway!

It's easy to enter... just answer three questions - Enter now to win!

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Attention All Classroom Site Fund Eligible Staff

With the release of Arizona's A-F Accountability letter grades from last year's testing, the second portion of Classroom Site Fund Performance Pay can now be calculated. This means that everyone the qualified for FY22 Classroom Site Fund Performance Pay will be paid an additional $907. Even better news, in addition to this $907 we will be making a supplemental Classroom Site Fund one-time payment of $625 (for a total of $1,532). As a reminder, this is being paid only to those eligible employees that were under contract in 2021-22 and these amounts are subject to be adjusted by an employee's full-time equivalency (FTE) and any fraction of the year a person worked in 2021-22. This amount is planned to be paid on November 10, 2022 as a direct deposit.

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State Assessment results for the 2021-22 school year

Deer Valley Unified School District continues to perform well relative to the State average. Click on the graph to the right for results.

Grades 3-8 State Assessment

The new assessment for grades 3-8 is Arizona’s Academic Standards Assessment (AASA). This assessment has the same proficiency levels as previous assessments: Minimally Proficient, Partially Proficient, Proficient, and Highly Proficient. A student is considered passing the assessment if he/she scores Proficient or Highly Proficient. DVUSD’s average pass rate for the ELA assessment was 57% (compared to the State average of 40.3%). For the math assessment, DVUSD’s average pass rate was 51% (compared to 33.3% for the State. You can see school level results for AASA and the other State assessments at this link. The District had 505 students score the highest possible scale score on the ELA and math AASA assessments. Plus, DVUSD had 32 students who scored the highest possible score on BOTH math and ELA. These #Extraordinary students were recently recognized by the Superintendent and Governing Board. (See photos below). If you are interested, more detail on the AASA results can be found on the Data Analysis & Accountability Portal page.

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High school and Science State Assessment

The ACT assessment is now the required State assessment for high school juniors. DVUSD had an average Composite Scale Score of 19.1 (scale score range is 0-36). This is compared to a State average of 17.7. High school freshmen took the ACT Aspire assessment last year. Again, DVUSD performed well relative to the State and Nation. You can see the ACT Aspire results for English, Reading, Math and Science at the same link.

Finally, the new State science assessment (AzSci) was given to 5th, 8th, and 11th graders last year. Deer Valley out performed the State by nearly 20 percentage points on each of these assessments.

Why does this matter?

These State assessments are primary pieces of information used for the State Letter Grades in Arizona’s State Accountability model. Another important component of the accountability model is student learning growth. These results are just in and we will tell you about them in the next Deer Valley Voice. The State Board of Education voted last Tuesday on Letter Grade cut scores and ADE has committed to posting preliminary Letter Grades by November 1, 2022 -- Just in time to include in the next Deer Valley Voice!

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Annual Event Exposes Future High School Students to CTE Programs

All 21 CTE programs and more than 600 attendees discovered all that DVUSD's CTE program have to offer at DVUSD's annual High School to Career Expo last week.

This expo allows 7th - 11th grade students and their families to explore DVUSD’s Career and Technical Education programs offered throughout all five of DVUSD’s high school campuses.Teachers and student ambassadors representing each DVUSD CTE program met prospective students and families, talked about the highlights of the program they were representing, and answered questions. To learn more about DVUSD's CTE programs, visit www.dvusd.org/CTE.

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Avenue 27 is open for business! Savor the flavors of Fall with an artfully crafted menus from Barry Goldwater High School's student-run restaurant, Avenue 27. The resturant's first service night of the 22-23 school year is this Friday Oct. 21!

To make reservations, email Avenue27@dvusd.org with the date, time and size of party.

Future Dine-In Dates: 10/28, 11/4, 2/3, 2/24, 3/3, 3/24, 4/14, 4/21

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Collaboration and Unity of All Deer Valley High Schools

Together we achieve more! ELA Collaborative Team leads from ALL Deer Valley high schools came together with the guidance of PLC Trainers and Curriculum Specialists to unwrap essential standards and create common rubrics. This process allowed teachers from different high schools to become collective in their targeted skills for instruction and how to gauge student progress. Below are some of the takeaways from the high school teachers.

  • Common language and expectations not only on our campus but now across the whole district! Using outcomes in Canvas will help everyone be more objective and unbiased when grading and students will know exactly what is expected of them.

  • Commonality across schools and within content areas will ensure that teachers and students have the same goals and understanding to reach mastery!

  • The availability of universal standards for easy viewing and implementation will unify grading practices among teachers.

The amount of work and collective conversation that happened on these days was impressive. Numerous essential standards were unwrapped through deep dialogue and gentle debate from representatives of all high schools. Aligning with the PLC process, the teams’ natural conversations evolved into developing performance descriptors or rubrics to match learning progressions. This collaboration will continue through the school year to move from unit to unit. Departments are working together to develop a system for easy accessibility of these resources for all teachers. What an accomplishment!

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DVUSD Principal's are #Extraordinary

Students, staff, and fellow school administrators shared their thoughts on what makes each DVUSD principal #extraordinary in celebration of National Principals month this month. Watch this video and hear special messages for all of our DVUSD Principals! Happy National Principal's Month to our 42 incredible campus leaders!

DVUSD Principal's Month 2022
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Check out @DVUSD on Instagram

Do you have something exciting and engaging happening in your classroom, school, or department? Reach out to Kayla Pologa at kayla.pologa@dvusd.org for the possibility of being featured!

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  • Oct. 21- Maricopa County Public Health Back to School Vaccine Event

  • Oct. 21 & 28 - Early Release, 90 Minute

October Recognition Days...

Oct. 22 – Make a Difference Day

Oct. 24 – United Nations Day

October is...
National Bullying Prevention Month, Celebrating the Bi-lingual Child Month, Head Start Awareness Month, National Arts and Humanities Month, National Go on a Field Trip Month, National Principal Appreciation Month

Calendar Link

Coming up in November!

  • Nov. 1-4 - Kindergarten Preview Night - held at all DVUSD K-8 schools, events vary by school view event list here
  • Nov. 4 - Early Release, 90 Minutes
  • Nov. 3 - 16 - Future Freshman Nights (Dates vary by school- view page of events here)
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FY22 Annual Financial Report

The first quarter of the 2022-2023 school year is over but the Finance Department continues to work with financial reports and audits from 2021-2022. On Tuesday, October 11, 2022, moments after being recognized for receiving the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for FY21 (See photo to the right), Finance Director Heather Mock presented the board and community with information from our FY22 Annual Financial Report.

Overall, DVUSD spent $403 million dollars across all funds during the last school year. This is an increase of $30.5 million from last school year. Staff salaries and benefits increased by $3.4 million in our M&O budget. Now the total spending on salaries and benefits equals 86% of our M&O budget. Thanks to a restoration of District Additional Assistance (DAA) funding to public school districts, we increased our capital spending to $7.1 million. This increase provides us with new curriculum adoptions, software, and an increase to the school capital budgets.

Even though there was an increase in spending from the prior year, we previously estimated a carry forward balance from FY22 into FY23 of $22 million but the actual amount will be $25.7 million giving us additional funding to allocate this school year. Allocation of these additional funds follow the same process as spending for all district funds. First employee groups will discuss needs and then develop a recommendation for the Governing Board on how to spend the funds. All spending on salaries and/or benefits must be approved by the Governing Board.

A copy of the presentation with this information is available in Board Docs or you can view the recorded presentation on our District LiveStream.

The Annual Financial Report is not the last we will report on FY22. Next steps include working with contracted auditors on the annual audit, working with the Arizona Auditor General's Office as they compile the District Spending Report, and once again applying for the ASBO International Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting. All of these steps will be completed by spring of 2023.

Please contact Heather Mock for any questions or additional information.

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Happy Digital Citizenship Week!

This week we give an added focus to the ongoing conversations about how our digital lives impact well-being.

Pause & Think Online

Moving from Microsoft Office to Google Workspace

DVUSD is transitioning teacher use of productivity software to the Google workspace and phasing out the use of Microsoft Office due to Microsoft deprecating the current product and moving to a subscription model. Microsoft Office products will no longer be available when teachers are issued a new laptop. This includes teachers who are new to the district. Pre-approved teacher groups for the continued availability of Microsoft Office include the areas of CTE, Mandarin, and SSS. Administration, office staff, and district departments will continue to be able to use Microsoft Office.

If teachers have files in Microsoft Office formats, their teacher laptop will open these files using Google Workspace. It is recommended that admin, office staff, and district departments move resources shared with teachers into the Google Workspace prior to distribution.

If the file is providing information and does not need to be edited by the recipient, save the file as a PDF.

Getting Cozy with Google Drive

Drive lets you keep all your work in one place, view different file formats without buying extra software, and access your files from any device. Google provides training and help so that you can get cozy with Google Drive. Explore these resources to get comfortable with all that Google Drive offers.

Whether you are a new or experienced user, here are resources to help you continue learning how to effectively navigate the core resources in Google Workspace.

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10 Fun Fall Activities That Instantly Boost Your Health

New research shows that healthy fall activities are really just our favorite cool-weather pastimes set against a backdrop of softly falling autumn leaves. Who knew getting healthy could be this fun?

1. Leaf-peeping deepens sleep. Now that comfortably cooler weather is here and the changing leaves are bursting with color, there are plenty of reasons to head outside for a stroll. And here’s yet another: You’ll get better sleep! A study out of Taiwan found that a 30-minute daytime walk nixes pent-up stress so effectively, it helps you fall asleep twice as fast at night and spurs deeper rest.

2. Lift your spirits with a smiling pumpkin. One fun way to spur a happy mood within minutes: Create a Halloween jack-o’-lantern by drawing a silly gap-toothed smile or scary face on your holiday pumpkin. No matter what your artistic skill level, the simple act of drawing sends 10 times more blood flow to the medial prefrontal cortex area of the brain. This activates unique reward pathways that fill you with joy, according to investigators at Philadelphia’s Drexel University.

3. Watch a football game. Inviting friends over to watch your favorite team or cheering on your grandkids’ peewee football match is a surefire joy booster, according to research published in the Journal of Aging and Health. Surrounding yourself with other fans gives you a satisfying in sense of belonging, instantly increasing positivity.

4. Protect your heart with a hayride. Many local farms offer hayrides and corn mazes this time of year. And that’s great news when it comes to keeping your blood pressure in check. Research out of Japan found that breathing in the “green” scent of hay and cornstalks lowers your systolic blood pressure (the top number) by up to 67 percent in one minute. Credit goes to aromatic compounds that tamp down an over active sympathetic nervous system (responsible for your “fight or flight” response), helping blood flow more freely. Tip: Taking a whiff of freshly mowed grass or trimmed bushes works too!

5. Savor s’mores. When you make this classic treat with dark chocolate, you’ll lower your systolic BP by as much as 64 percent for two hours, even if you’re feeling a little tense, shows new research out of Slovakia. When stressed, muscles put the squeeze on blood vessels. But antioxidants in dark chocolate loosen them back up by releasing the vessel-relaxing compound nitric oxide.

6. Knit a scarf. Just five minutes a day of small, repetitive motions keeps you healthy. Stanford scientists say the fine motor control and nerve stimulation curbs the release of immunity-weakening stress hormone.

7. Sharpen memory with the fall TV lineup. Remembering something new you’ve learned is as easy as turning on the TV! Scientists at Milwaukee’s Marquette University found that folks who watched an action-packed, dramatic or suspenseful TV show shortly after learning new information recalled 21 percent more a week later. Arousing your emotions with an engaging TV show releases hormones that help your brain process and store new details more effectively.

8. Sniff cinnamon. Smelling cinnamon as you learn helps you retain more, Ohio Northern University scientists say. It stimulates the brain to better absorb information.

9. Tame tiredness by planting bulbs. Planting daffodils or irises ensures a colorful display in spring, and it ups your energy now. Texas A&M University scientists found that 32 percent of folks who garden feel youthful and energetic compared to those who skip it, regardless of age. The gentle movement boosts energizing blood flow and releases fatigue-fighting brain chemicals.

10. Open the windows! A Harvard study found letting in an autumn breeze flushes out brain-fogging carbon dioxide and air pollutants from your home, improving alertness by 61 percent.

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Amanda Kenmore, Secretary, Barry Goldwater High School

"It has been welcoming and friendly from the beginning! Everyone is trying to help and support each other. From staff, to students, to teachers, and admin; I have seen so many people go out of their way to support success for another. It is great to see leadership and kindness everyday!"


Entries submitted after the latest edition of the Deer Valley Voice!

  • Lisset Lozoya, Accounting Clerk & Parent Liaison, Village Meadows Elementary School

Tell us why YOU love DVUSD at the I Love DVUSD link to receive an I Love DVUSD lanyard and pin through District mail.

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See below for a story highlighting the Core Values of Integrity: We are honest and ethical


Patti is an extraordinary teacher. She gives her 110% to each and every kid. She also helps each staff member and is a source of knowledge on so many topics. Whenever translation help is needed Patti is quick to respond and is so beyond helpful. She does amazing work with kids and with other staff members!

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Congratulations, October DV Stars Regional Winners!

Nicole Lloyd - Special Education Teacher, Stetson Hills School, Sandra Day O'Connor Region

Brandyn Leverage - Music Teacher, Hillcrest Middle School, Mountain Ridge High School Region

Callie McCandless -Physical Education Teacher, Mountain Shadows Elementary School, Deer Valley High School Region

Ame Milosevich - Behavior Analyst, Student Support Services, District Office

Kimberly Fate - 4th Grade Teacher, Gavilan Peak School, Boulder Creek High School Region

Dawn Pace - Assistant Principal, Barry Goldwater High School, Barry Goldwater High School Region

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