DCES Panther News

August 2, 2021

Dear Panther Families,

Welcome to an exciting new school year! A very special welcome to our new families at Dennis Chavez Elementary! We are excited to welcome you to our Panther Family. I am excited to welcome back all our returning families! We have missed you over the summer!

Dennis Chavez ES is a wonderful school and it is my pleasure to serve as your principal. This is the start of my 5th year at Dennis Chavez.

This newsletter is jam-packed with back-to-school information! Please read it all!

Office Hours: Our front office is open from 8-2:30 pm daily to support registration information or other questions you may have. Call us: (505) 821-1810. Beginning August 10th, our office hours are 7:30-2:30pm.

Meet the Teacher- Tuesday, August 9th at 1 pm:

Please join us for our annual Meet the Teacher on Tuesday, August 9th. Your child's teacher will email you on Monday, August 8th in the morning to let you know your child will be in their class. This is a great time to drop off school supplies.

First Days of School:

  • 1st-5th graders begin school on Wednesday, August 10th.
  • Preschool, PreK, and Kindergarten begin school on Friday, August 12th. Preschool, PreK, and Kindergarten will conduct visits on August 10-11. Your child's teacher will reach out to share more details soon.

Bell Schedule:

7:30- Students may arrive on campus. The car drop off lane opens. The cafe is open for breakfast for students only.

7:46- 1st Bell

7:53- 2nd Bell- students are considered late and a parent MUST accompany their child(ren) to the office to check in.

1:45- Car pick up lane opens

2:00- Dismissal Bell- all students will be dismissed at 2:00 (this is a change from the previous 2 years)

Want to join the Panther Team?
We are currently hiring for special education educational assistants! Email our Special Education Assistant Principal, Katie Sievert (katie.sievert@aps.edu), for more information.


Jessica Chavez



Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: dcespanthers.

Important Dates


8/9- Meet the Teacher, 1pm

8/10- First Day of School for 1st-5th Grades

8/12- First Day of School for Preschool, PreK, and Kindergarten

8/12- Boo Hoo Breakfast for Kinder Parents- after bell rings, Cafeteria

8/18- PTA Meeting, 6:30 in the Cafeteria

8/23- Curriculum Night

5:30- 2nd Grade

6:00- Kindergarten

6:30- 1st Grade

8/24- Curriculum Night

5:30- 5th Grade

6:00- 3rd Grade

6:30- 4th Grade


9/5- Labor Day- No School

9/9- Fall Picture Day

9/16- End of 1st Midterm

9/23- Midterm Progress Reports Sent Home

Important Back To School Info

School Lunch:

Unfortunately, school breakfast and lunch are not free this year. It is greatly encouraged that ALL families fill out the free/reduced lunch application to see if your family qualifies for a reduced price or free meals. That link is also where you can pay or pre-pay for meals.

**Allergies/Medical Needs: please connect with our school nurse, Mrs. Liz Meek (elizabeth.meek@aps.edu), to update the health office with medical needs. This must happen yearly. Please see the nurse web page for all medical documentation.

Student Chromebooks/iPads:

Teachers will pass out student Chromebooks/iPads within the first few days of school. The devices have been stored all summer. They will need a good charge and a check for updates. Here are some APS resources for your student's device:

APS Educational Technology Website

Basic Chromebook Info

iPad Info

Student Log In Info

Student Safety Info

COVID Procedures:

As per the Public Education Department and the Department of Health, we will continue with contact tracing with COVID positive cases on campus. When your child is a close contact, regardless of their vaccination status, they will be provided with an at home COVID test. If your child is not vaccinated, they will be required to take the at home test and fill out an test form before returning to school.

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures



  • Car drop off begins at 7:30am. The gates are closed until 7:30am.
  • Before the gates open, please wait on Barstow right at the entrance to the car lane. There is usually a line and it is not respectful to cut in front of the line of cars waiting. Please do not pull into the car drop-off lane prior to 7:25 am, which blocks the staff parking lot.
  • No left turns into the drop off lane.
  • Students may only be let out of their cars when a duty teacher is present at the drop off area.
  • Please do not block entrances and exit to our staff parking, pick up lanes, or residential driveways.

Bus riders will be escorted to the playground from the bus zone. The bus zone is located on San Francisco.

BEFORE SCHOOL PROGRAM: RGEC provides before-school care- please contact RGEC (click here).


  • Students can come on campus to the playground beginning at 7:30 for their first recess by entering through the gate at the Barstow crosswalk (near the playground) or by the front entrance of the school.
  • Please use the 2 designated crosswalks.
  • Sidewalk use is expected
  • Do not send your child to walk through a parking lot. This is extremely dangerous.


  • Please be mindful of student bike riders around our school. When entering or leaving a parking lot or drop off lane, please look both ways and keep an eye out for bike riders and pedestrians.
  • No parking in the bike lane.



  • Car pick up begins at 1:40pm.
  • All students are dismissed at 2:00 when the bell rings. (This is a change from the previous 2 years).
  • Before the gates open, please wait on Barstow right at the entrance to the car lane. There is usually a line and it is not respectful to cut in front of the line of cars waiting. Please do not pull into the car drop-off lane prior to 7:25 am, which blocks the staff parking lot.
  • No left turns into the drop off lane.
  • Please do not block entrances and exit to our staff parking, pick up lanes, or residential driveways.

Bus riders will walk through the school, exit from our southern doors and will be escorted to the bus zone. The bus zone is located on San Francisco.

AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM: RGEC provides after-school care- please contact RGEC (click here).

A Note from our PTA

Hello from your '22-'23 PTA!

We’re excited for a new school year and hope it’s better than ever! We look forward to meeting all of our families and welcoming the new families in. We will be at Meet the Teacher and Curriculum nights! We have a lot of great things planned for this year and truly look forward to coming together as a community to support our fantastic staff and amazing Panther students!

Our first PTA meeting is Thursday 8/18 @ 6:30pm at Dennis Chavez ES in the cafe. We highly encourage all families, relatives, and neighbors to come- see what we're all about and maybe be a part of the super amazing PTA! A small membership fee supports our school and provides support to our school in multiple facets.

We love parent/ family involvement- no matter how much or how little everyone’s busy schedules allow! Kids are welcome at all meetings. More details to come! If you have any questions feel free to reach out! dennischavezpta@gmail.com

SIGN UP HERE ---> dennischavezpta.memberhub.com click on STORE

Don’t forget to follow us on social media to stay up to date!


Instagram @dces_pta


Your ’22-’23 PTA President

Nichol Horton

Panther Patrol

The Panther Patrol is seeking males in our community to join the Panther Patrol!

Do you wish you could be more involved with your child's education, but find traditional volunteering in classrooms not your thing?

Invest in your child's education and join the Panther Patrol.

We are looking for volunteers who can spend a day out of the month or school year to help keep our campus safe. During the day you would monitor the perimeter of the school, and connect with students in the cafe, at recess, or in your children's classrooms. Connect with other males in our school community

What do I need to do to sign up?

  1. Request an Unsupervised Background Check (Principal Chavez will send your information on to APS and they will be in touch with next steps.)
  2. Sign up for a day at school!
  3. Attend a school training to learn more about your role on campus. (Details sent to volunteers)

Volunteers who sign up in August will get 2 free tickets to a UNM Lobo Football game this fall!

For more information, please contact Mr. Jason Lenzmeier at jlenz75@hotmail.com or Principal Chavez at chavez_jess@aps.edu.

Volunteer at Dennis Chavez!

We LOVE volunteers and there are many opportunities to get involved!

Before helping at our school, every volunteer must receive a background check with APS.

Unsupervised Volunteers (preferred):
Description: Volunteers with unsupervised access to students and/or who may conduct functions that lead them to have unsupervised access to students at any time for any length of time. This would include anyone volunteering for an Out of School (before or after school) club or program (including APS Employees).
What is required to obtain this clearance? A full FBI Fingerprint background clearance required costing $44, issued a district badge by APS Police, must have Principal approval from ALL schools your children attend.

What do I do now? To request an Unsupervised Volunteer clearance, please fill out this google form, and the principal will submit your information to APS. APS will follow up with next steps.

Supervised Volunteers:
Description: Volunteers must ALWAYS be within line of sight of a paid APS employee (not including APS Food Services Staff) while volunteering (including during field trips), Supervised Volunteers must sign in and out at the front desk and receive a volunteer/visitor sticker, and Supervised Volunteers are never issued, or able to use volunteer or non-APS badges
What is required to obtain this clearance? Online background clearance costing $12. Each time, volunteer must sign in and receive a volunteer/visitor sticker at the front office.

What do I do now? Start the process here: https://www.aps.edu/community/volunteer-with-aps/volunteer-with-aps

Welcome New Panther Staff!

Please join me in welcoming our new Panther Staff:

2nd Grade Teacher- Emma Shultz

Special Education Teacher- Sierra Fisher-Dykman

Special Education Teacher- Belinda Grimm-Lucero

Special Education Teacher- Emma Holland

Special Education Teacher- Katie Hutton

Special Education Teacher- Nerissa Lim

Special Education Teacher- Julie Montoya

Special Education Teacher- Belyse Tibi

Art Teacher: Erica Lynch

PreK Substitute- Chris Tinney

Occupational Therapist- Jessica Dumm

Occupational Therapist- Bonnie Nuttall

Educational Assistant- Nina Canales

Educational Assistant- Christopher Brandeberry

Educational Assistant- Paul Torrez

Secretary- Abby Cummings

A special "Welcome Back" to:

4th Grade Teacher- Serena Banh (moving from special education)

School Supply Lists