Norterra Canyon News

September, 2017

Curriculum Night and Ice Cream Social

It was wonderful to have a full campus on the evening of our annual PTSA-sponsored Ice Cream Social. We paired the evening with Curriculum Night so that parents could learn about teachers' goals and expectations for the year and enjoy dessert at the same time. In addition, Jason Jamison from Covering the Court Tennis was here to provide some fun in the courtyard. Enjoy the photos of staff, students, and volunteers serving ice cream and popcorn and enjoying time together.
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Mrs. Algermissen's 1st graders practice a "Tap It, Map It, Graph It" activity to build reading and writing skills with CVC words.

Mrs. Marano's 1st graders work collaboratively, reading and making a circle map about pets.

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From Our Volunteer Coordinator- Help Us Build Literacy at NC

Strong school libraries build strong students, and we want to provide our children with the best possible opportunity to access reading material that they will find engaging and will advance their literacy development. According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Education, students who read for fun have higher reading and test scores. Help build up the students at Norterra Canyon by volunteering in the library at and/or at the Scholastic Book fair October 16-19, by contacting Mary Smitten at You can also speak further with Mary about these and other opportunities to volunteer at the school.

To volunteer at Bingo Night, Friday, September 29, click here-

MASK Update

Our kindergarten through 5th grade students have been working on identifying the difference between bothering and bullying. In conjunction with this, they have discussed being accountable for their own actions as well as the importance of being kind to others. There has been a focus on standing up and speaking up and soon your students will come home reciting the catchy but reinforcing chant that encourages them to be bully free. A preview of this chant, as performed by Mrs. Bussiere’s second grade class, can be found on NCNN announcements. Around our campus you will find incredible and creative Bully Free and Speak Up posters designed by our NJHS and STUGO students. As organizations they are working cooperatively to assist in promoting a positive, bully free atmosphere on campus.

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Upcoming Events at Norterra Canyon

  • PTSA Bingo Night, Friday, September 29, Food Trucks on the basketball courts starting at 5 PM, Bingo in the MPR from 6:00-8:30 PM
  • Food Truck Night, Thursday, October 5, 6:00-7:30 PM PLUS Kindergarten Families will be "Reading Under the Stars" in the kinder playground from 5 to 6 PM AND the library will be hosting 1-8th grade families to learn more about Myon! online reading program from 6 to 7 PM.
  • End of 1st grading period, Friday, October 6
  • Early release day: Friday, October 6th with a 11:35 dismissal
  • Fall Day, Monday October 9th, No School
  • Fall Choir Concert, Thursday, October 12, 6:30-7:30 PM
  • LOVE OUR SCHOOLS, Saturday, October 14 in the morning
  • Scholastic Book Fair, October 16-19
  • Parent/teacher conferences, Week of October 16
  • Early release days: Thursday, October 19 & Friday, October 20 11:35 dismissals
  • PTSA Movie Night, Friday, October 27
  • Picture Retakes, Monday, October 30
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Good Books Build Strong Schools!

Norterra Canyon Scholastic Book Fair is October 16- 20

Monday 8-4

Tuesday 8-4

Wednesday 8-8

Thursday 8-8

Friday 8-12

Volunteers are needed to make this a success. The link to volunteer is:

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Earn & Learn at the shops at Norterra is back starting October 1

Help Norterra Canyon win $500 to $2,500! Shop, dine, or see a movie at The Shops at Norterra October 1-March 31.It’s easy to support our school when you submit receipts at or drop off receipts at school in the receipt collection box at the front office. View the latest Earn & Learn flyer for details about the program, including special bonus point offers. Visit for updates and to see how our school is doing in the competition! Questions? Call (800) 539-3273.

Ms. Lepicier and Ms. Algermissen's students experiment with making and using tops for their science unit on Balance and Motion.

Experiencing the Solar Eclipse

We enjoyed a memorable learning opportunity when the Earth's moon covered the sun on August 21st. Our teachers prepared students to safely observe the eclipse and we turned our campus into an outdoor classroom for part of the morning. Some shared solar glasses while others made their own devices to observe the event. Some classes made pinhole projectors and others made cereal box viewers. Mr. Beausoleil, Matthew and Hayden's father, set up his telescope for students to have an exciting viewing experience. The photos below show some of that morning's activities.

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Do You Ever Wonder What We Do on Those Early Release Days?

When you were a kid, you probably imagined- as we all did- that your teachers and principals lived at school. While that's not exactly true, we do spend a lot of time here when students are gone. On early release days, our staff engages in productive professional development to help us reach our school-wide continuous improvement goals. This year, our academic goals for K-5 focus on increasing achievement in writing. In grades 6-8, IBMYP implementation is our focus; this entails developing the processes, expectations, lesson plans, and assessments to build a high quality IBMYP program. In August, our K-5 English Language Arts (ELA) teachers participated in professional development about designing small group instruction that targets specific student needs. The 5th grade math teachers attended a district training to increase knowledge and improve instructional strategies. IBMYP teachers (including special area teachers) participated in a full day training with our consultant from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO); the focus was an overview of IB goals, philosophy, and practices. In September, the early release day for ELA teachers in grades K-5 focused on the Write From the Beginning and Beyond process. IBMYP met with Mr. Stempniewski to create our school’s Academic Honesty Policy. Science teachers went to another campus to begin a year-long professional learning community (PLC) with other science teachers, led by the DVUSD science curriculum, instruction, and assessment specialist (CIAS). 5th grade math teachers joined other DVUSD teachers to start their PLC led by the DVUSD math CIAS. Now, if I haven’t lost you with all the acronyms- thank you for reading this far! This is really just the beginning. Other staff members, including reading specialists, special area teachers, special education teachers, and other specialists frequently attend training at the District level with others who do the same jobs. Additionally, we are engaged in a yearlong book study on our campus- we are reading the book “17,000 Classroom Visits Can’t Be Wrong: Strategies That Engage Students, Promote Active Learning, and Boost Achievement”. We discuss the book at staff meetings and follow through on the learning in our classrooms.

As you can see, we have complex, multi-layered approach to improve our professional practice at Norterra Canyon and in DVUSD. Between school-based and district-level PD, we are continually learning and growing in ways that support our students. So, we might not live on campus- but we are working long, hard hours here to give you our very best!

Superhero September!

"Together , we can turn adversity into hope and inspiration."

At our Pirate PRIDE Assembly on September 8th we had superheroes join us and share with us about "Superhero September." During this month classrooms have been collecting Superhero items for the Childhelp Children's Center of Arizona. On Friday, September 29th we will gather all of the donated items and have another visit by a superhero to take our donations to the center. Thank you to all who contributed!

Oh, Say Can You See...Our Pirates on the D-Backs Field?

Mrs. Zamora and the Norterra Chorus joined other DVUSD schools to sing the National Anthem on Chase Field before the Diamondbacks/Padres game on September 8th. We are proud of our singers and grateful for the families who attended and those that helped keep our students supervised before, during, and after the performance. It was truly awesome to see so many families join the fun!

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Students in Mrs. Thelander's class learned about the Human Brain in Design class with Mr. Agrawal. After identifying the parts of the brain and their functions, they were able to construct models of the brain out of clay.

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Makey Makey Projects in 6th Grade STEM

Mrs. Sanschagrin's STEM class is using Makey Makey to create projects of their own design using simple circuits. Each group created a video to showcase their project. Click on this button to visit the class website for more videos and projects.

A Note From Our Librarian

Some of you have notice that you receive an email on Friday mornings if your child has an overdue book. Don't panic!!! We do not charge fines for overdue books. The email is a courtesy reminder so that you can give your child a little help remembering to return the book. The longer a book is overdue, the more chance of it becoming lost. This little reminder helps us all. We have discussed keeping our books in our backpacks when we are not reading them. This helps keep them safe AND they are at school when the students want to trade them for new books. Thanks for all your support!

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Box Tops for Education classroom competition is back! Be sure to be clipping and sending in your Box Tops with your favorite Pirate! Watch for a handout that will be coming home that shares the details of this years opportunities to participate and celebrate!! You will also be able to see it at the Norterra Canyon Website.

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It's that time of year again! Coach A is coordinating our Jump Rope for Heart event. Students will attend kickoff assemblies on October 11 in the multipurpose room. All homeroom teachers will have information to pass out after the assemblies. Our celebration week will be October 30th through November 3rd. Our goal is to raise $4,000. Please watch for the information to come home on October 11 so you can help us teach the importance of heart health and support the American Heart Association. All proceeds support the cause!

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Have You Ever Met a Cookie You Didn't Like?

Norterra Canyon is hosting our annual cookie dough fundraiser for Pirate PRIDE awards. Your child will be bringing home the brochure. We are excited to offer delicious, quality items that are perfect for anytime. Each item is just 13.00. This is a great opportunity to ask friends and family to support Norterra Canyon School. Throughout the fundraiser, students will be earning prizes. Please turn in your order form with payment by Monday, October 16th. Credit/debit cards are accepted. Items will be delivered on Wednesday November 8th. Thank you for your support!!

Cookie Islands...YUM!

Mrs. Kujan's second grade class culminated their study of landforms by creating their very own cookie islands. The island had to have at least three different landforms such as desert, plains, mountains, and hills. Students then created a map of their island along with a map key and compass rose. Afterwards they were able to eat their island!
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