Borton Magnet Messenger

First Quarter 2022-2023

What a wonderful first semester we have had at Borton! This messenger will highlight some of the successes at Borton and is built around the 5 Pillars of effective magnet schools as established by the Magnet Schools of America: Diversity, Innovative Curriculum and Professional Development, Academic Excellence, Leadership, and Family and Community Partnerships.

Borton Community Time Starts the Day Right....Starts the Year Right....Together! (MSA Pillar 1: Diversity)

Morning community time sets the foundation for an educational environment that models empathy, respect, collaboration, and inclusion. Students unite to sing songs that have long been a tradition at Borton while Principal Eric has introduced students to a Mayan inspired poem translated from Lak' ech: "You are my other me. If I do harm to you. I do harm to myself. If I love and respect you, I love and respect myself." The community time ends with three kind words presented and selected by different classes each week. As always, we invite families to participate in community time!

August 15th - September 14th was Education, Diversity, and Inclusion Month. Some of the ways that teachers participated were by co-creating classroom norms, sharing family trees, developing students’ interpersonal skills, and reading literature based on diversity and inclusion.

September 15 - October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month. Borton's new music teacher, Ms. Yvette has been sharing her cultural heritage and love of mariachi and folklorico (The Machete Dance and La Raspa) with the students.

Everyone's a Learner at Borton (MSA Pillar 2: Innovative Curriculum and Professional Development)

Kristin Meza (Master Teacher), Amanda Reed (Curriculum Service Provider) and Sara Stewart (Magnet Coordinator) are the most recent faculty to receive Project Based Learning Professional Development with the The Buck Institute. This last week they attended PBLWorks 101 training. They are also in the process of earning their Advanced Facilitators Certificate in Systems Thinking from the Waters Center and have been leading Borton teachers in professional development on the Habits of a Systems Thinker and Thinking Tools.

System Thinking Helps Students Take Ownership (MSA Pillar 2: Innovative Curriculum and Professional Development)

Systems Thinking uses a variety of "tools," graphic organizers that help us understand how systems work and make our thinking visible. A stock-flow map shows the nature of change in a system and the interdependencies that influence the change. Many of our classrooms used the stock-flow map to help students visualize how their actions contribute to a fun, safe, and productive classroom. For example, when a student is focused that adds to (inflow) a fun, safe, and productive classroom (the stock), while a student behaving off task takes away from (outflow) the accumulation that is the stock. Using the stock-flow map helped students to see the system more clearly, which students then transferred to into classroom behavior.

Outdoor Learning Gets Students Trying New Vegetables (MSA Pillar 2: Innovative Curriculum and Professional Development)

In outdoor learning with Ms. Mikaela, students have enjoyed the warm weather outside and preparing the community garden and the raised planters for classroom garden use. Students have also been preparing watermelon beet salad with Tracy Dempsey from the YouTube #27 episode "Chef in the Garden." For some students, trying this salad was a challenge for their taste buds, while for others it was a nice surprise. If you want to make the salad at home the recipe can be found on

Borton Uses Systems Thinking to Promote Success Skills (MSA Pillar 3: Academic Excellence)

Behavior-Over-Time Graph (BOTG) show trends and patterns of behavior in a system, rather than discrete events. They measure change over time and show what has happened in the system.

BOTG highlight: In the Puffin Room, students collaborated in small groups to create their own BOTG for the book, Maggie's Fridge by Lois Brandt; a book about hunger and friendship. The x-axis of the graph shows a time scale of the events in the story, while each group selected their own variable for the y-axis such as the character’s thoughts and feelings. Measuring the change over time, helped students better understand the system and the morale of the story.

Borton makes school-wide improvements based on data. (MSA Pillar 4: Leadership)

This quarter Borton Leadership Team has been working with TUSD's Magnet Program in the Education, Diversity and Inclusion Department to revise the school's Magnet Improvement Plan, a requirement of the Unitary Status Plan. Leadership has been using achievement data broken down by subgroups to assess and strengthen our teaching instruction, interventions and how we best leverage our resources to support all students towards academic success. Reading Recovery Resource Teacher and RTI Teacher (Response To Intervention) provide small group coaching to students. One new support that we will be offering in quarter two is the Imagine Learning Lab where students can receive support for their individualized reading needs.

Borton loves our families! (MSA Pillar 5: Family and Community Partnerships)

This quarter held many opportunities for families to engage with Borton: Community Time, Cafecitos with Mr. Eric, Parent Teacher Association Meetings, Open House, Parent Teacher Conferences, Movie Night, Wellness classes with Ms. Devin (Borton’s School Community Liaison), Beautifying Borton Day and Adopt-An-Area with Ms. Mikaela (Borton’s Outdoor Learning Teacher), Middle School Night for 5th grade families, as well as volunteering in the classroom. We appreciate all the ways that our families participated and look forward to more family engagements next quarter! Mark your calendars for Borton’s next Movie and Silent Auction Night on November 18 and Borton’s Math and Science Curriculum Night on December 15!

Want to be a Resource?

As our classrooms develop projects, we like to be able to draw experts from our own community. Often, parents and other family members work in professions and trades, or have hobbies, that can provide background knowledge and insights to students. If you are willing to contribute your knowledge, talents, and skills please contact Borton Magnet Coordinator,

Borton Is Recruiting!

It's time to begin recruitment next year's kindergarten class. The application period for the TUSD Magnet Lottery opens November 7, 2022. The first lottery drawing is in January.

Word of mouth is our most effective recruitment tool, so please share about our wonderful Borton community whenever you get the chance. If you know someone interested in our school, please ask them to contact or (520) 225-1000 to schedule a school tour. We may also have a few spaces for new students at other grade levels as well. A Virtual Open House for prospective families to learn about Borton and get questions answered will be held over zoom on the following Thursdays at 6:30pm: October 27, November 17 and December 8.

Borton’s K-1 Club Is Back!

Kinder and First grade families are invited to meet at Borton’s playground to get to know each other and engage in open play. Music, jump ropes, balls, and light snacks will be provided in addition to the playground equipment. Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 22 from 8:30-10:30 and Saturday, December 3 from 8:30-10:30. If you have questions or are interested in contributing refreshments, please contact

It Takes A Village (MSA Pillar 5: Family and Community Partnerships)

Borton is fortunate to have community partnerships that support our students and our teachers, and we are very grateful to them!

Second and third grade Borton students are excited for their opportunity to work with Therapy Dogs of Southern AZ this year. They are reading self-selected books to a judge-free audience. Reading Seed volunteers from Literacy Connects have been providing one-on-one coaching for select kinder-second grade Borton students. Friends of Saguaro National Park sponsors the Borton Hiking Club. Fifth grade experienced a STEM workshop with the Magnet Coordinator from Mansfeld. Outdoor learning teacher, Ms. Mikaela partners with TUSD’s Transition To Work program, UofA School Garden Program, and the Watermelon Project. Friends of Oro Valley Public Library awarded teachers mini grants for books and listening stations for Borton to use our library of audio books. Kathy Lohse (former PBL Resource Teacher) and Caryl Crowell (former Magnet Coordinator) have been continuing to support Borton classroom teachers, especially in the areas of Project Based Learning and Systems Thinking.

Finally, Ms. Madison was selected as a scholarship recipient by the Minority Small Business of Southern Arizona. Congratulations Ms. Madison, Borton is lucky to have you!

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Give Your AZ TAX Credit To Borton

Did you know that you can give your Arizona tax credit to Borton? The amount you donate is subtracted from the amount of Arizona State taxes that you owe. You get a 100% refund on your money! These funds are used to support after school programs, extended library hours, field trips, sports, and so much more. The front office can help you make your contributions, or you can make it online at

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