The Premier District of Choice

February 1, 2019

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Welcome to the second edition of CUSD News, a quarterly eNewsletter highlighting the students, staff, schools and district honors and accomplishments that make Chandler Unified a special place, and the Premier District of Choice. We have a lot to celebrate, so please scroll down to check us out!

NOTE: Translate and High Contrast buttons are available at the bottom of this page.

Chandler Unified Annual Report 2019

The CUSD administration and Governing Board presented the annual “state of the district” message to community leaders on January 30. The annual report provides an overview of the district, academic performance, recognition of students and staff, budget information and an update on expenditures from bond elections. Contact Community Relations at 480-812-7650 or by email for a copy of the printed annual report, check out the video presentation below, click here for a PDF version of the Annual Report, or click here to visit the CUSD Annual Report webpage.

Open Enrollment, Kindergarten and Preschool Registration in progress

The Chandler Unified School District is a premier district of choice. Academic achievement is a high priority in the district as evidenced by test scores which exceed state and national averages. We pride ourselves on providing outstanding educational programs at all grade levels. Chandler Unified School District offers free, full-day Kindergarten, and is an open enrollment district. Click here to find out how to enroll in Chandler Unified School District.

Governing Board Elects Officers

The CUSD Governing Board on January 9 elected Barbara Mozdzen president and David Evans vice president for 2019. Additionally, Lara Bruner and Lindsay Love were sworn into office. The Governing Board is elected by the public to four-year, unpaid terms. New board members Lara Bruner and Lindsay Love (pictured below the group photo) were elected in November 2018. David Evans, Karen McGee and Barbara Mozdzen will be up for reelection in 2020.

Save the Date: Inaugural Chandler Innovation Fair

CUSD is revamping the traditional science fair, HISEF, to include more areas of interest for all students. The Chandler Innovation Fair will serve as a showcase for all 45 schools and the community partnerships the district has built. In addition to HISEF, categories within the innovation fair will include: Robotics, Invention Convention, Project Based Learning and Computer Science.

Date: February 23, 2019

Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Location: Hamilton High School

3700 S. Arizona Ave. Chandler, AZ 85248

Volunteers Needed!

Your support and involvement is key to our success. With your participation, the Chandler Innovation Fair will help our students and families see the reflection of our community's impact, as well as bring awareness to careers and pathways of the future.

Click below to sign-up to be a volunteer in one of our many events.

Volunteers will be working alongside industry partners to serve our students and families.

Volunteer opportunities:

Vendor Opportunities

Do you know a business that would like to participate? Applications are now open to vendors seeking to partner for the fair. Click to sign up to be a CIF Vendor.

Save the Date: Summer Equity Symposium

Professional Development Opportunity

Date: June 5 - 9, 2019

Time: 7:30 a.m – 4:30 p.m.

Location: Hamilton High

3700 S. Arizona Ave. Chandler, AZ 85248

In order to support the success of all CUSD students, the Office of Equity and Inclusion and Counseling will host the Inaugural Summer Equity Symposium that seeks to build the capacity of faculty and staff. Members of the CUSD community will explore culturally relevant pedagogy, suicide awareness, prevention of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), implicit and unconscious bias, collaboration between schools and communities and a host of socio-emotional-learning and instructional strategies.

CEF Releases Annual Report

The Chandler Education Foundation (CEF) has released its 2017-18 annual report. The Foundation's contribution and participation cannot be underestimated as they play a major role in the success of CUSD students and staff each and every day.

Click to:

Gilbert Resident Wins the CEF Winners Choice Raffle

Chandler Education Foundation - Congratulations to Tushar Patel of Gilbert, the Chandler Education Foundation’s Grand Prize winner in the Winner’s Choice Car or Cash Raffle! Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke pulled Tushar’s name on January 27 at the Chandler Fashion Center. Funds raised by the raffle support the foundation’s IMPACT Chandler Scholars program for graduating CUSD students.

CEF Cash For Classrooms

The Chandler Education Foundation’s Cash for Classrooms campaign was once again a huge success, thanks to the generosity of CUSD staff and families. More than $72,000 in grants were awarded to 35 schools. The CEF “Woo Hoo Patrol” celebration took place November 6 as 113 grants were awarded to teachers and schools. Grant recipients received balloons, big checks, certificates and ribbons.

Equity and Inclusion Website Launched

The Equity and Inclusion website launched in November contains information about Equity and Inclusion in CUSD, Resources and Training links, Calendar of events, Contact and Partnership information, the CUSD Equity Advisory Board and CUSD Equity Community Council, and more. You can access the website either through the friendly address or from the district website by clicking on Departments > Equity and Inclusion. The site will continue to grow over time, so we also encourage you sign into the district website (so you will see the Subscribe/Unsubscribe button at the bottom of the Equity and Inclusion website homepage), and then subscribe to receive news of important updates.

The CUSD Office of Equity and Inclusion is charged with assisting in promoting the democratic principles of the United States by providing all students, regardless of race, cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, or religion, with equitable and challenging learning experiences. The Office serves as a liaison between the district and its diverse community, working to promote racial, ethnic, linguistic, religious and cultural understandings which form productive partnerships resulting in an inclusive learning community for all and fulfilling the promise to all students.

Public Relations Association Honors CUSD, Chandler Chamber and Jim Bishop

Chandler Unified School District - The Arizona School Public Relations Association recognized CUSD with ASPRAtions* awards at the annual Superintendents Luncheon on November 9. The community relations department, under the direction of Terry Locke, received the highest honor, a Copper Medallion for the district's overall public relations program. They also received an award for the senior highlights social media campaign, and Earnest Robinson, CUSD video specialist, received an award for his photography.

Additionally, the Chandler Chamber of Commerce received an ASPRAtions* award in the category of "Individual, Business, Foundation or Civic/Community Organization for Contributions to Public Education," and Jim Bishop received an award in the category of "Advocacy and Political Contributions to Public Education." Jim is the chair of the Yes for Chandler Students committee that advocated for support of bond elections and overrides for CUSD schools.

Veterans Day Around Chandler Unified

Chandler Unified School District - Students and staff across the district commemorated the week of Veterans Day by writing letters to deployed soldiers, decorating schools and inviting individuals who have served in the military, performing shows and holding flag raising ceremonies to thank veterans for their service.
Hancock teacher Meghan Bovard welcomed her father, Sergeant Gregg Girard to speak to her students


We invite all families and the community to keep up to date about Chandler Unified by liking, following and subscribing below!

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Basha High – FFA Teams win at State

Basha High - Basha High School FFA (Future Farmers of America) teams are going to Nationals again. Basha High FFA Florticulture and Wildlife teams won the state competition at ASU Polytechnic on December 8 and will represent Arizona at the national competition in Indiana next October.

Chandler High State Football Champions

Chandler High - Chandler High defeated Perry, 65-28, on December 1 to capture its third straight 6A state football championship. The night was full of pageantry, including both schools' bands participating together at half time and wonderful presentation of colors for the National Anthem by the Chandler Air Force Jr. ROTC.

Perry Badminton wins State Championship

Perry High - The Perry High Girls Badminton team won its second athletic team championship when the team defeated Corona del Sol, 5-2, on December 13.

Treblemakers perform at State Capitol

Chandler High - For the second year in a row, the Chandler High Treblemakers, under the direction of Lori Lyford, performed at the State Capitol for the Governor's tree lighting ceremony. (Video below from 12 News.)

Sanborn Robotics Team: Best Research Project

Sanborn Elementary - Sanborn Elementary's robotics team won the award for “Best Research Project” at the FIRST Lego League Robotics Regional at ASU Polytechnic on December 8. They received high scores for problem identification, problem analysis, as well as reviewing and improving existing solutions. A large part of this competition is the CORE Values which focuses students on working as a team, valuing every student's input, building upon one another's thinking and gracious professionalism.

Casteel, Payne Creative Writing Contest Winners

Casteel High, Payne Junior High - Tricia DeSpain of Payne Junior High won third place in the grades 7-8 competition, and Riley Escher of Casteel High took third place in the grades 9-10 competition in the Arizona Educational Foundation 2019 Polly Rosenbaum Writing contest as announced January 24. The creative writing contest is named for former Arizona House Representative and teacher, Polly Rosenbaum, who passed away in 2003 at the age of 104. She believed Arizona’s young people are the state’s greatest resource.

This year's writing prompt was, "If you could create a new political party, what would it be called and what would it stand for?"

District Spelling Bee Results

Basha Accelerated Middle School, Knox Gifted Academy - Joshua Anderton, a sixth grader at Basha Accelerated Middle School, won the CUSD spelling bee on January 24 in the 24th round with the word "Torotoro." Adam Teets, fifth grader, from Knox Gifted Academy was the runner-up.

The top 10 spellers from the district will advance to the regional bee. Joining Joshua and Adam at the regional bee at 10 a.m. February 22 at Williams Field High School will be these great spellers:

  • Nealin Banerjee, ACP Erie
  • Sofia Westblom, ACP Oakland
  • Bryce Pasero, Auxier Elementary
  • Nikasha Kapadia, Bogle Junior High
  • Mia Smith, CTA Freedom
  • Emma Xi, CTA Goodman
  • Zakk Bolton, CTA Humphrey
  • Kassia Crouse, Willis Junior High

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Ryan Elementary Student Wins State Competition

Ryan Elementary Alexandra Adams of Ryan Elementary is the statewide winner in the Lions Club International Peace Poster contest. Alexandra was chosen as the first place winner in the Sun Lakes Lions Club district competition on December 6. The contest encourages young people ages 11-13 to create a poster on a different theme selected annually by Lions International. The theme for this year was "Kindness Matters."

Alexandra's poster has been sent to Lions International for further review. The International winner will receive a $5,000 award and a trip to New York.

Perry High Student Wins Arizona State Swim Titles

Perry High - Perry High School junior Kalli Fama won the Division I state championship in the 100 freestyle and was runner-up in the 200 freestyle in November.

CUSD Cadets Receive Air Force Junior ROTC Flight Academy Scholarships

Basha High, Hamilton High - Basha High School Senior Cadet Tera Smeltzer and Hamilton High School Senior Cadet Jacob Posniack recently received Air Force Junior ROTC (AFJROTC) scholarships to attend a private pilot license training program over the summer of 2019. They are among 150 AFJROTC cadets from around the world, and two of only five in Arizona, to receive the scholarships from Headquarters AFJROTC. More than 1,500 cadets from over 880 high schools in the U.S and overseas applied for the program. These scholarships are valued at approximately $20,000 each and cover transportation, room and board, and flight instruction required to potentially earn an FAA private pilot license.

The Flight Academy Scholarship Program is a recent Air Force-level initiative in collaboration with the commercial aviation industry to address a critical national shortage of civilian and military pilots. AFJROTC has been charged by the Air Force Aircrew Crisis Task Force to bring back the “luster of aviation” to high school students and increase diversity in aviation fields. Those who participate in the program do not incur a military commitment to the Air Force or other branch of service. This is the second year the Air Force has offered this exciting, extremely rewarding program and the second year Hamilton/Basha cadets have been selected to attend.

Knox Student wins First LEGO League Championship

Knox Gifted Academy - Congratulations to Advaitha Vemuri who won the championship and Highest Points Award in the First LEGO League competition at the ASU Fulton College of Engineering in December.

Sanborn Student selected to represent team at AYF National Championship

Sanborn Elementary - Congratulations to J'Cory Horne for being selected to represent his football team at the American Youth Football (AYF) and Cheer National Championship Week in Florida! The AYF champions education and rewards academic achievement in student athletes.

Hamilton Student Awarded Best Student-Written Play

Hamilton High - Ellen Napolitano was awarded the Jerome McDonough Award from Arizona Thespians for the best student-written play in the state.

Jacobson Runner Qualifies for National Championship

Jacobson Elementary - Despite being his first year in cross country, Jacobson student Tristan Solomon placed among the top 30 runners in the Junior Olympic Regional Cross Country Championships on November 17, qualifying him to compete for the national championship in Reno, Nevada. Tristan's 5th place finish out of 89 other 8U boys from 4 different states solidified his spot and earned him a full travel scholarship to compete in Reno to race the fastest kids in the country for a chance to become a Junior Olympic All American.

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Carlson Principal Earns 2019 Leadership Award

Carlson Elementary - The Arizona Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE), gave Carlson Elementary Principal Leo Schlueter the 2019 AZCASE Outstanding Leadership Award. This award is given to a person who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in supporting special education and/or inclusive programming. It is intended for an individual who has demonstrated leadership qualities and who has accomplished something of significance making a difference for students with disabilities.

Chandler High Teacher Earns National Title

Chandler High - The National Association for Music Education surprised Lori Lyford of Chandler High on December 20 to inform her she is the 2019 Educator of the Year. Lori Lyford is a sought-after coach, clinician, and chorus director, well known in barbershop circles for her passion and enthusiasm for singers of all ages. Her leadership with Chandler High choral groups is legendary. The school's Trebelmakers were critical in pulling off the surprise!

Willis Teacher Named the VFW Teacher of the Year

Willis Junior High - Shandel Roberts, social studies teacher at Willis Junior High School, was recognized as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 8053 AND VFW District 10 Teacher of the Year.

CUSD Counselors Trained in Suicide Intervention Skills

Chandler Unified School District - Thirteen counselors benefited from Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, a two-day interactive workshop provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Chandler German Teacher receives National Honors

Chandler High - The American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) recognized Chandler High School's German teacher, Melanie Mello, with the Goethe Institut / AATG Certificate of Merit for her outstanding contributions to the teaching and learning of German in the United States.

Retired CUSD Administrator Named National Administrator of the Year

Chandler Unified School District - Meg Gianesello, retired CUSD Executive Director of Educational Programs, was honored as the 2019 Association for Career and Technical Education National Administrator of the Year on December 5 in San Antonio, Texas. This award recognizes administrators who have made significant contribution toward innovative, unique and effective CTE (Career and Technical Education) programs.

Perry Soccer Coach Lauded

Perry High - Perry High girls soccer coach, John Roberts, was awarded the U.S. Coaches Arizona Large Schools Coach of the Year.

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School Program Highlights

Hamilton High Launches "We Dine Together" Club

Hamilton High - Esther Bateson, Chris Chew, Dee Ladd, and Julianne Haddad at Hamilton High sponsor a club called We Dine Together. The club aims to make sure no Hamilton High student eats alone. So far this year, more than 60 freshman were approached eating alone, and the vast majority now have friends, are involved in school clubs and activities, and feel welcomed.

Shumway Preschool Hosts Community Helpers Week

Shumway Leadership Academy - The Chandler Fire Department visited Shumway Leadership Academy preschool classes during community helper's week. The students learned about fire safety and the role of emergency services in our city.

Navarrete Fourth Graders Learn Animal Classification

Navarrete Elementary - Navarrete fourth graders worked on animal classification and dissected squids working to locate and name different parts.

Hancock 6th Graders Build Thermal Energy Models

Hancock Elementary - Hancock Elementary sixth graders tested the movement of thermal energy in models they built of residential homes by taking thermal images with an iPad and digital temperature readings of their homes when placed over a heat source. Now, they will be challenged to reduce the loss of energy by improving their models with insulation.

Jacobson English Language Development Potluck Held

Jacobson Elementary - The second annual Jacobson English Language Development potluck/picnic was held on November 2. More than 150 people and 48 feet of foods were served from countries all over the world.

Jacobson First Graders Celebrate Diwali Holiday

Jacobson Elementary - Happy Diwali! Jann Johnson's first graders at Jacobson Elementary celebrated the Indian holiday of Diwali during the week of November 12. They learned about the victory of good over evil and how light triumphs over darkness. The students created paper diyas (oil lamps), used sidewalk chalk to design their own rangolis (artwork usually made with colored rice/sawdust), and tasted traditional Diwali sweets.

Erie Alchemists Present Solution for Cleaner Air

Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus - The Erie Alchemists is a new, innovative group at ACP Erie. These freshman students are working to create awareness about the problem of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the environment and creating reusable organic air fresheners as a potential solution. They completed their first test by making pumpkin-scented air fresheners for Halloween and distributing them to all the ACP Erie teachers and staff. They presented their idea to Vice Mayor Rene Lopez and City of Chandler Public Works and Utilities Director John Knudson to spread their cause.

Galveston First Graders Practice Engineering Skills

Galveston Elementary - First graders at Galveston Elementary wrapped up a three-week study of sun and light that included learning about shadows, temperature, and shade. The students practiced the engineering process by trying to solve the problem of cooling off on the playground. The students were challenged to create a model of a shade structure. They worked in teams of two and planned, built, and tested the structures.

ASU Hosts Tour for CUSD Native American Students

Basha High, Chandler High, Hamilton High, Perry High, - Gila River Native American students from Basha, Chandler, Hamilton and Perry high schools attended a campus tour and a cultural speaker series hosted by the American Indian Student Support Services at Arizona State University for Native American Heritage month. Students were also able to tour the School of Earth and Space Exploration which included a private tour of the meteorite vault in the Center of Meteorite Studies.

Weinberg Students Learn about Holiday Traditions

Weinberg Elementary - Jennifer Ryskamp's class worked on a unit regarding different holiday traditions. They talked about piñatas, and the students made their own piñata using tissue paper. They also watched a video of children breaking piñatas and singing traditional holiday songs.

Basha Students Visit Intel IMR Lab, Able Aerospace

Basha High - Under the direction of Sharon LaVoy, a group of Basha High juniors and seniors visited the IMR Lab at Intel, one of only three in the world, to learn more about careers in Engineering and Information Technology. The students met with engineers and technicians in areas including testing, quality control, manufacturing, shipping and receiving and 3D printing. Those interested in information technology were able to see the computer programming side of the lab where code is analyzed to determine the cause of part failures, presenting a new perspective of programming and problem solving. The group went on to tour Able Aerospace in Mesa where they met with program managers, engineers and technicians as they toured the plant, helicopter hangar and tarmac. Students were impressed with the advanced robotic cold spray area, the soundproof testing room and especially with the government and military aspect of the business.

Ryan Launches Tower Garden STEM Project

Ryan Elementary - Four classrooms at Ryan Elementary are participating in a Tower Garden STEM project. Erica Marsh's class was the first to start planting, and has already harvested lettuce and spinach twice.

Perry Special Olympics Basketball Tournament

Perry High - Perry High competitive Special Olympics basketball team recently went 2-1 in a tournament. The team, coached by Rose Escalante and Lani Redmond, is the only competitive Special Olympics team in CUSD.

Science is Fun for Haley, Basha High Students

Haley Elementary - Haley Elementary fourth graders in Randi Bell's class had an amazing time with the Basha High "Science is Fun" students in Michael McKelvy's class. They learned and reviewed scientific concepts.

Hull STEM Preschool Studies Bubble-ology

Hull Elementary - Liana Arellano-Edwards' STEM preschool at Hull Elementary had a visit from the Arizona Science Center to learn about Bubble-ology. They made their own bubble solution and bubble wands and learned how to use air to make bubbles. They also were able to stand in a huge bubble.

Dual Language Immersion Students Study Holidays

Chandler Traditional Academy - Liberty Campus - CTA Liberty students and parents in Cecilia Loera’s and Kristin Smestad’s dual language immersion classes made tamales prior to winter break to wrap up their unit on Hispanic holidays around the world.

Robotics Club Started at Hartford Sylvia Encinas

Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary - Fifth grade teacher Jess Morales Ruan and Principal Heather Anguiano recently organized a robotics club at Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary and joined the Intel 50 wonder project. The event held prior to winter break was a huge hit with students.

Hull Elementary launches "Mindful Morning Club"

Hull Elementary - Hull Elementary has launched a Mindful Morning Club where students learn strategies to help regulate emotions they experience throughout the day.

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Thanksgiving Family Assistance Day 2018

Chandler CARE Center - Thanks to the work of more than 217 volunteers, the Chandler CARE Center provided the makings for a Thanksgiving dinner to hundreds of families who turned out November 17 for Thanksgiving Family Assistance Day. Frozen turkeys, potatoes, stuffing, fruit, vegetables, soup, cereal, and other items donated by our community were provided to Chandler families. Pictured below: Chandler High wrestlers volunteered to pass out turkeys. Thank you to the many schools, sites, and clubs from within the district that provided support to the CARE Center.

Chandler CARE Center: Christmas Toy Giveaway

Chandler CARE Center - Thanks to the work of more than 200 volunteers, the Chandler CARE Center in collaboration with the Chandler Fire Department provided toys for 1,192 kids ages birth through 18 on December 15. Santa was there and Toyota Financial services was on hand to help kids decorate cookies. Thank you to the many schools, sites, and clubs from within the district that provided support to the CARE Center. Without that support and assistance, this day would not have been possible.

Hamilton social work team organizes Holiday Event, Thanksgiving Assistance

Hamilton High - Hamilton High’s social work team worked countless hours to assist students and families in need over the holiday season. The team distributed 110 Thanksgiving meals to families at Hamilton and other CUSD Title I schools. They also hosted an amazing holiday event before winter break that included dinner, a visit from Santa, a raffle, family portraits and over 100 gifts for underprivileged families. Since the beginning of this school year, the team at Hamilton has had more than 1,800 student visits to the supply room for food and other basic needs, and have assisted CUSD families on a regular basis with food, clothing, toiletries, gift cards and help toward rent or utilities.

CTA Independence Honor Society Raises over $3,000

Chandler Traditional Academy - Independence Campus - CTA Independence National Elementary Honor Society raised more than $3,000 in gift cards toward school supplies, clothing, gas, and grocery for the Hamilton High School homeless.

Carlson 5th Grade Pajama and Toy Drive

Carlson Elementary - Carlson Elementary fifth graders in Nicole Bruder's class and first graders in Michelle Lester's class collected pajamas for Scholastic's pajama drive. Additionally, the Carlson student council collected toys for the Hartford Sylvia Encinas Toy Drive.

Basha Air Force JROTC raise funds for Honor Flights

Basha High - Basha High Air Force Junior ROTC raised $900 for Honor Flight Arizona. In just 30 days, they raised money utilizing a "mining for silver" campaign where cadets donated nickels, dimes and quarters to accumulate the amount needed to send an Arizona World War II or Korean War veteran to Washington, D.C. as part of the Honor Flight program. This program enables these individuals to see their memorials in Washington, D.C. at NO cost to the veteran.

CUSD Students, Staff write to California Fire victims

Chandler Traditional Academy - Humphrey Campus/Elite Performance Academy, Sanborn Elementary - Students and staff at CTA Humphrey/Elite Performance Academy and Sanborn Elementary wrote letters to their peers at Ponderosa and Paradise Elementary Schools in Paradise, California. They wrote words of encouragement to the students and staff following the devastating Camp Fire which heavily damaged Ponderosa Elementary and completely destroyed Paradise Elementary. Thank you to staff member Aimee Hendrickson for coordinating.

Santan Elementary Holds Cuddle-Up Blanket Drive

Santan Elementary - Every December, Santan Elementary fifth grade gives back to the community through Project Cuddle-Up. Fifth grade students donate supplies to create tied fleece blankets to be donated to Paz de Cristo, an interfaith community outreach program. Approximately 100 students, 20 parents, and 4 teachers participated in this year's Project Cuddle-Up on November 30. The 71 blankets that this year's fifth-grade students created were distributed by Paz de Cristo to individuals in need this winter season.

Casteel Donates Sweet Treats for Veterans

Casteel High - Students from Casteel High School donated 2,560 Sweet Treats for Veterans in November. Deliveries were made to more than 11 organizations.

Casteel Students Write to Deployed Military Members

Casteel High - Casteel students wrote 1,825 letters to deployed U.S. military members who are unable to make it home for the holidays, to encourage them and thank them for their service.

Hill Learning Academy Volunteers at Food Bank

Chief Hill Academy - The Hill Learning Academy student council volunteered at the St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix.

Weinberg Girl Scouts Volunteer at Thanksgiving CARE Center Event

Weinberg Elementary - Weinberg's Girl Scout Troop 1248 volunteered at the Chandler CARE center where 400 families were served Thanksgiving meals.

Ryan 6th Grade Holds Drives for Needy, Care Packages for Deployed Troops

Ryan Elementary - Sixth grade students at Ryan Elementary raised enough money to buy 42 turkeys to donate to St. Vincent de Paul and also hosted a hygiene drive to further support St. Vincent de Paul. Additionally, Ryan students, families, and staff donated enough items to fill 16 care packages to send to troops stationed in Afghanistan.

Conley Creates Thanksgiving Baskets

Conley Elementary - Conley students joined with the Chandler-Gilbert YMCA to create 50 Thanksgiving baskets for families in need.
Conley creating Thanksgiving Baskets

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Partnerships Spotlight

Community Partnerships - Spotlight on Chandler Service Club, Sun Lakes Rotary

Part of what makes Chandler Unified School District great is our partnerships with so many outstanding community organizations that inspire, involve and impact our students, staff and district. In this issue of CUSD News, we begin a new regular feature to recognize and celebrate these valuable partnerships with a spotlight on two of them:
  • Chandler Service Club, and
  • Sun Lakes Rotary Club
Chandler Unified School District celebrates and values its partnership with the Chandler Service Club. Many CUSD staff are active Service Club members, and the club puts its mission into action in ways that genuinely benefit the lives of CUSD students and their families, including:

  • Providing community service opportunities for CUSD students, supporting the district's vision to "prepare students to thrive as responsible and ethical citizens"
  • New shoes and warm jackets for hundreds of needy children each year through the Warm Feet Warm Hearts program
  • Scholarship and Grants, such as the Lily M. Handley grant that provides musical instruments for CUSD elementary students who would not otherwise afford the ability to learn a love of music
  • Weekenders Project, feeding needy CUSD students on weekends with 650 Weekender food bags delivered to Chandler schools each week, totaling 22,750 food bags for the 2017-18 school year
  • Flower Girl Program, a rigorous, yet fulfilling, year-long program mentoring CUSD high school young women in social etiquette and building a lifelong dedication to serving others
  • Providing recognition to CUSD students for their service, such as the Hands of Service Award
The mission of the Chandler Service Club (from their website):

Feeding the Hungry

Children need a steady diet of healthy food so they can thrive, remain alert and be successful in school. Weekenders helps us feed those children who would otherwise go hungry on the weekends.

Clothing the Needy

Living in poverty, children often go to school without adequate clothing. Warm Feet Warm Hearts helps us build self esteem by providing new shoes and jackets for children in need.

Educating the Willing

Education is the key to building healthy families. Our Community Scholarships help those who have experienced hardship achieve their goals and obtain a better life for themselves and their families.

Mentoring the Next Generation

Help us pass on a tradition of service to young people in our community. The Flower Girl Program is a comprehensive mentorship program for high school girls.

Chandler Unified School District also appreciates and celebrates a long-time partnership with the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes. Rotary Club's many collaborations with CUSD include:

  • Rotary 4-Way Test Speech Contests, where students prepare and deliver a speech on the four pillars of Rotary:
  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

  • World Affairs Seminar with an annual topic that students debate to create community-improvement programs. Selecting, sponsoring and paying expenses for several CUSD students to attend the week-long, summer event out of state.

  • Service Above Self Scholarships for CUSD students.

  • Teacher of the Month where a CUSD teacher is selected and recognized at a monthly breakfast.

  • Collaboration with our schools on community service fundraisers, such as Dollars for the Dig, to support the Gilbert and Sun Lakes Rotary Clubs' effort to bring running water to families on the Navajo Nation.

  • Presentation opportunities to and for CUSD students and clubs.

  • Dictionaries for Third Graders Project, with free dictionaries given to all CUSD third graders

  • Funding school special projects, such as a recent project they took on to refurbish over 50 laptops, collaborating with Classy Closets to install cabinetry for storage of laptops, food and snacks for the homeless and other students/families in need at Hamilton.
Sun Lakes Rotary Breakfast
The Sun Lakes Rotary Club's 90 plus members embrace Rotary International's Vision (from their website):

“Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe, in our own communities and in ourselves”. Their members are working and retired men and women of action from the Sun Lakes and Chandler communities who are committed to service in our own communities, communities around the world, and especially projects and programs that support our youth and education."

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Upcoming Events

Happy School Counseling Week

February 5

Parent Presentation at Hamilton High 6:30 - 8 p.m. (Choir Room)

Topic: Benefits and Side Effects of Antidepressant Use

Speaker: Dr. Brad Zehring, DO, Psychiatrist at AZ Restorative Psychiatry

February 6

Speak Up, Stand Up and Save a Life Resource Night for Educators, Parents, and Community Members. All parents and community member are welcome.

Location: Perry High School

Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Topic: When students are in crisis, it's often the courage to take action or speak up that saves their lives. Learn how to speak up and stand up in the face of bullying, depression and suicide.

February 8

Hamilton One in Four Fundraiser (gala featuring a live and silent auction) to support Hamilton and CUSD students and families facing financial hardship. Click to purchase a ticket.

Time: 6 - 9 p.m.

Place: Private residence

Emcee: Joseph Curbelo

February 9

Science is Fun Saturday (an Arizona SciTECH Festival signature event) at Basha High.

9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Bring the whole family for hands-on and minds-on science fun for all ages!

February 11

CUSD Equity Lecture and Film Series - Reel Injun: On the trail of the Hollywood Indian

6 - 8 p.m. in the District Office Board Room.

February 23

Chandler Innovation Fair at Hamilton High 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

February 25

Parent Presentation at Chandler Center for the Arts 6 p.m.

Topic: Suicide Prevention (This presentation will be available in Spanish.)

Presented by community outreach coordinators from the Attorney General's Office.

February 26

Parent Presentation at Hamilton High 6:30 - 8 p.m. (Choir Room)

Topic: Rise in Teens struggling with Eating Disorders

Speaker: Dr. Brad Zehring, DO, Psychiatrist at AZ Restorative Psychiatry

March 5

Parent Presentation at Hamilton High 6:30 - 8 p.m. (Choir Room)

Topic: Communication and the Teen Brain

Speaker: Garron Griffitts, LCSW - psychotherapist, specializing in working with adolescents and families at “Reach Greater Heights” agency

March 26

PUMA University - Parent Presentation at Perry High 6:30 p.m. (Auditorium)

Topic: Life After 9th Grade

Presented by: Perry High School Counselors

March 28

Parent Presentation at Chandler Center for the Arts 6 p.m.

Topic: Opioid Awareness and Prevention

Presented by community outreach coordinators from the Attorney General's Office.

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Your Many Choices in Chandler Unified