WFES Newsletter

March 12th, 2021

AZMERIT Testing Information

It is that time of year again! The state is requiring all school districts to administer state testing in-person this spring. Every student in grades 3-6, will be required to take the AzMERIT assessments in person. This testing is intended to evaluate whether a child has mastered standards for their specific grade level. With the challenges the pandemic has presented for learning and teaching, the information collected will be even more important as it will help us better understand the impact this last year has had on academic performance and what supports may be needed. Below is the testing schedule for Wildfire Elementary School.

WFES AZMERIT Testing Schedule

3rd Grade

  • Thursday, April 8th: Writing
  • Friday, April 9th: Writing Make-Up Day
  • Tuesday, April 20th: Reading 1 & 2
  • Thursday, April 22nd: Math 1 & 2

4th Grade

  • Tuesday, April 13th: Writing
  • Tuesday, April 20th: Reading 1 & 2
  • Thursday, April 22nd: Math 1 & 2

5th Grade

  • Thursday, April 15th: Writing
  • Tuesday, April 20th: Reading 1 & 2
  • Thursday, April 22nd: Math 1 & 2
  • Tuesday, April 27th: Science 1 & 2

6th Grade

  • Friday, April 16th: Writing
  • Tuesday, April 20th: Reading 1
  • Wednesday, April 21st: Reading 2
  • Thursday, April 22nd: Math 1
  • Friday, April 23rd: Math 2

Make-Up Day for All Grade Levels and Tests
  • Thursday, April 29th
  • Friday, April 30th

Testing Supplies/Needed Materials

  • Wired headphones/earbuds
  • snack/water bottle
  • school-issued Chromebook/computer

Remember, that once a student starts a test they must finish the test in the same testing session. We know that some things are unavoidable but we ask that parents/guardians make all efforts to not have students be absent or have appointments scheduled on testing days.

Please make sure that your student(s) get a good night's rest and healthy breakfast so they are ready for their testing days.


The following Information is For PV Connect Students Only

The State of Arizona requires all students in grades in grades 3 - 6 at Wildfire Elementary School to take the AZMERIT Assessment in-person, regardless of the learning modality they are utilizing to attend school.

With this in mind, WFES is asking for feedback from the parents/guardians to help us prepare and accommodate our PV Connect students. If your student(s) is in grades 3 - 6, please complete the following questionnaire (once for each student you have in grades 3-6 in the PV Connect model).

This will help us plan and prepare to accommodate our PV Connect students for AZMERIT Testing


If your student(s) are in grades 3 - 6 and attend school via the PV Connect, please complete this questionnaire to help us prepare for State testing

Social Emotional Learning? Parents, This Is for You!

Parents, are you wondering what all the talk is about SEL and social-emotional skills? Now that we have an SEL Specialist at our school, you might be wondering what does she do!

You are already doing a lot to support your child with these skills, so keep reading to make additional connections about what it is, why it’s important, and what resources you can turn to if you’re interested in doing more.

Why do children need social-emotional skills?

Social-emotional skills are essential for connecting with others! They help us manage our emotions, build healthy relationships, and feel empathy. Some examples of social-emotional skills in action are: recognizing when a friend is sad and asking if they’re ok, asking for assistance when he/she needs help, listening and paying attention, having an argument with a friend, and knowing how to navigate that situation, having big feelings and knowing how to self-regulate.

With social-emotional skills, children can make lasting friendships with others, maintain meaningful relationships, and handle difficult social situations. They can manage times of high stress, and during times of anger and keep from having unhelpful behaviors they may regret later.

Social-emotional skills help children have positive life experiences. When these skills are taught and supported, children are more likely to have academic successes and have a good attitude toward school as well as his/her self. They are less likely to experience emotional distress and use drugs or alcohol.

Where and when are SEL skills used?

Social-emotional skills are needed and used from early childhood through adulthood. There is never a time they aren’t needed. We use these skills many times a day with sibling and parent-child relationships, friendships, social and academic situations at school, our jobs, and anything we do in our communities. We need them for interaction with others and even when communicating by phone or email.

Confidence, the ability to identify his/her feelings, as well as having assertiveness skills, such as refusing peer pressure and reporting if someone is bullying him/her is another outcome of having good SEL skills.

Additionally, I am here to help children manage their stress and feelings. But I am also here to help you, as a parent. Please feel free to reach out to me at or fill out this form if you want to refer yourself or your child.

- Meryl Warda

COVID-19 Updates from PVUSD

COVID-19 Testing

The Paradise Valley Unified School District has signed an agreement with In Office Diagnostics (DX) to provide all students, their families, and all district staff the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 without any out-of-pocket costs to families or the district.

Below are a few important specifics:

  • Testing is voluntary and no cost to families or the district.
  • Results are available within 24 hours.
  • In Office DX K-12 Pandemic Response Program has three main ways to receive testing:
    • At schools: Students and staff can be tested by school nurses at each school campus. Please note: families are not able to be tested at schools.
    • District drive-thru site: Students, staff, and families can be tested at the PVSchools District Administration Center drive-thru site.
    • Mesa facility: Students, staff, and families can be tested at In Office DX’s Mesa facility.
  • Testing is done by using a shallow nasal swab (video of nasal swab testing in English or Spanish). This low invasive approach is fast and comfortable for children. For those students and families who are not able to receive a nasal swab test, a cheek/under tongue swab test can be conducted.

With a lot of important information to share, the district has developed a dedicated webpage with more specifics, including student consent forms, links to register, and hours of operation for testing sites. More details can be found on the district’s website,, under “No-Cost COVID-19 Testing” in the right sidebar.

In conjunction with mitigation efforts, testing to diagnose COVID-19 is part of PVUSD's comprehensive strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Testing helps to identify and isolate infected individuals. We are thrilled to be partnering with In Office DX to be able to offer testing for our PVSchools community.

Daily Wellness Checks

Thank you to all our families who continue to perform daily wellness checks of their student(s) prior to them coming to school. Your diligence and efforts help keep all our students and staff healthy and safe.

Remember to keep your student(s) home if they have any of the following COVID-19 symptoms unrelated to a previously diagnosed health condition.

  • Fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you have any questions, please reach out to the school for clarification.

Field Day's and Fun Days

The 5th and 6th-grade Field Day that was scheduled for today (March 12th) was postponed due to the weather and has been rescheduled for Monday, March 22nd.

Field Day/Fun Day Schedule

March 22nd: 5th & 6th-Grade Field Day

March 24th: 2nd & 3rd- Grade Fun Day

March 26th: Kindergarten & 1st-Grade Fun Day

March 31st: 4th-Grade Field Day

(all dates are weather depending)

Due to mitigation guidelines and the need to limit visitors to campus, parents/guardians are unable to attend/watch our field day/fun day activities this year. We will be taking pictures/videos to share with our families and students.

Join Our Team!

If you or anyone you know wants to become a member of the best staff at the best school in the Paradise Valley School District we are in need of multiple para-educators positions. It is the opportunity to make a positive impact in students' lives while working in a supportive and exciting environment!

Multiple positions are available.

To learn more and to apply, please visit the following links:

We look forward to having you join our team!

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Important Reminders/Notes About In-Person Learning

  • Every Wednesday will be an early release at 12:30pm. The afternoon time on Wednesday is allotted for teacher preparation time.

  • School hot lunch will continue to be provided free of charge to all students. No lunch is provided on early release days.

  • The school is continuing to apply mitigation strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the school. This includes cloth face mask requirements, limiting visitors, and modified drop-off and pick-up routines. The school will make efforts to maintain appropriate social distancing but please understand distancing of 6 feet for greater is not always possible, particularly in the classroom setting.

  • In-person students who are absent may be able to access the online classroom when the absence is scheduled in advance with the teacher. At-home materials will not be readily available for absences, as teachers need advance notice to make take-home materials available. We are asking parents/guardians to allow the teacher 2 days to provide all the needed learning materials.

  • Prior to any permanent change in learning modality (switching from PV Connec to in-person and vise versa) parents/guardians, parents need to notify the school and teacher a minimum of one week in advance and also have that week include a Wednesday (teacher prep/planning time). This will allow the teacher time to have materials, groupings, etc. prepared. It also cuts down on disruption and disengagement of students.

  • Please understand that the PV Connect model is not in place to allow students to still be attending school while on vacations, long weekends, at doctor's appointments, sports tournaments, etc. If a student who normally attends in-person learning needs to be absent from school for any reason, the teachers can help them get caught up as they would during any normal school year. This will help minimize the disruption of learning to all students in the class.

  • While necessary absences will occur, our students will learn best when attending in a consistent learning model. If a student continues to be absent from in-person instruction for reasons other than COVID-19 or other illness, we will work with the parent/guardian about a PV Connect plan for the remainder of the year.

Health Office Information

Student Chromebook Replacement Costs for K-8 Students

Beginning in March of 2020, students were issued district Chromebooks and agreed to return the equipment to PVUSD in the condition that it was given. Parents/Guardians accepted responsibility for this equipment during the checkout period and agreed that they will be held personally liable if it is lost, stolen or damaged. Students will be charged the actual cost of replacement if the Chromebook and charger aren’t returned with only normal wear and tear.

Replacement Cost for Chromebook $150

Replacement Cost for Charger (Adapter) $20

News from the Nurse

It has been very exciting to see students back in school and I love seeing how much your children have grown and how much older some of them look! Thank you for continuing to informally screen for signs of illness before sending your children to school. When all of this started, I could not imagine how the students would be able to keep their masks on all day but they continue to do a great job and I am very proud of them!

Just a few parent reminders:


Please be sure to call absences into the absence line (602) 449-4301. Notifying your child’s teacher is not enough - all absences must be reported to the front office. When leaving a message on the absence line, please be sure to state the reason for the absence and if your child is ill, please share details. Simply stating “my child is not feeling well” is not enough. Knowing the details may save us from having to call you back and it also helps us to track and identify any illness trends.


Any positive results must be reported to the nurse; once again, notifying your child’s teacher is not enough. You can certainly share the results with the teacher but I must be notified as well. This allows me to determine when your child may return to school and it also allows us to determine if we need to send any students home who may have had close contact with your child.

If I send your child home due to illness and you bring your child for testing, negative results must be reported to me as well. Again, feel free to share with your teacher but you must inform me.

You may call or you may email me, whichever is more convenient for you.


Two school-required vaccines are due once your child turns 11 years old. These vaccines are the Tdap and meningococcal vaccines. Please keep this on your “radar” and plan to have your child vaccinated. Also please be sure to provide me evidence of your child has received the vaccines.

If your 6th-grade child has already turned 11 years olds and if he/she has not yet received these vaccines, please note that your child will not be able to start middle school or receive a class schedule until evidence of having the vaccines is received.

As always, please don’t ever hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or health concerns.

What's Going on At WFES

Food Drive

The STUGO hosted a food drive to benefit the Paradise Valley Food Bank and was able to collect over 700 pounds. Thank you to our wonderful students and families for all their support and generosity.
PVEFB Food Drive: 2021 The Domino Effect

Kindergarten Round-Up and Website

Thank you to all our future Firebirds that joined us for our Kindergarten Round-Up on February 9th. If you were unable to attend our live session and/or know of any family who is interested in attending WFES, please share our dedicated Kindergarten Round-Up website to view a recording of our live session and to find other important and fun information

Staff Member of the Month!

Congratulations to the one and only Ms. Korie Clark for being selected as our WFES Staff Member of the Month! We are so proud of her and thankful for all she does for her students and all students at WFES!
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Buy Your 2020 - 2021 Yearbook

Yearbooks on sale now. Yearbook ID Code #10682821
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Food Truck Friday

Save the Date for Food Truck Friday!

Friday, March 26th from 5-7pm

A variety of Food Trucks will be stationed throughout the Aviano Community to enjoy. What a delicious way to celebrate the beginning of 4th quarter! More details to come. A portion of all sales will benefit Wildfire Elementary. Please wear a mask and respect physical distancing standards.

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Important Upcoming Dates

  • Spring Break: March 15th - 19th
  • March 22nd: 5th/6th Grade Field Day
  • March 23rd: STUGO Meeting
  • March 24th: Early Release Day
  • March 24th: 2nd/3rd Grade Fun Day
  • March 25th: K/1st Grade Fun Day
  • March 25th: Governing Board Meeting
  • March 26th: Firebird Friday
  • March 26th: Food Truck Friday - Aviano from 5:00 - 7:00
  • March 31st: Early Release Day
  • March 31st: 4th Grade Field Day
  • April 2nd: No School - April Break
  • April 6th: Early Release
  • April 7th: Early Release Day
  • April 7th: UPC Meeting
  • April 8th: AzMERIT Testing - 3rd Grade Writing
  • April 8th: Governing Board Meeting
  • April 9th: Firebird Friday

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