Summit School Newsletter


February 17, 2023

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From the Head of School...

Hello Summit Community,

We continue to reflect and build on your suggestions for school improvement. So far, we have addressed the need for more social emotional support with the addition of a Dean of Students beginning in 2023-24. We have also added to our music offerings, K-2 Suzuki Guitar and year-round middle school band, to help balance our high academics with offerings in the arts. The next improvement is math rigor.

Our Summit School math data is exceptional. Our students in all grades (PK-8) are well above the national average in mathematics. As a whole, we average nearly three years ahead and in some grade levels we are even higher. It is important that we raise our content rigor at each grade level to meet the needs of the majority of our students. We will also continue offering math support and math enrichment to students who score closer to grade level or significantly higher than their peers.

Below, you can see the typical percentages for students whose needs can be met through core (regular classroom) instruction, through some extra assistance (moderate/targeted) in the classroom, and through outside of the classroom (significant/intensive) support. Please keep in mind that this "support" can mean intervention or enrichment.

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At Summit, because our students excel, we have roughly 40% of our students in significant enrichment. Note that the norm is 1-5%. This is a good problem to have, and we will be addressing it beginning with 2023-24. In using our data to drive instruction, we will be raising the rigor of our math content school-wide.

Beginning at the preK level, we will continue to teach foundational skills and kindergarten readiness. We will also be expanding on those preK lessons as students are ready.

In kindergarten through grade 5, we will advance the content being sure to fill in any gaps and support any struggling learners as part of our intervention program with Mrs. Danforth. As we do now, we will continue to meet students where they are at. If a student is struggling with the advanced rigor, they will receive support. If a student is more advanced than the content being offered, they will receive enrichment.

Below, is a diagram of the middle school planned math sequence. You can see that we have added the opportunity for sixth graders to test into pre-algebra. We have also added the opportunity for all 6-8 students to get advanced math instruction. Whether this instruction becomes the students primary math class or a supplemental math enrichment will be determined by the student's individual needs.

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While these math changes may seem like big steps, they are driven by the data. Our students are ready to move at a more advanced pace. Once again, we will meet each student where they are at. Support will continue when needed. For students currently in grade 6, your middle school math track will include pre-algebra as an option in grade 7.

We look forward to serving your child's needs in all areas of academics, arts, extracurriculars, and social emotional growth and having you as a part of our Summit Community into the future.

Thank you for all you do.


Dr. Stephanie Nardi

Head of School

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The fun continues online! Visit our Book Fair page through midnight on February 23, and 25% of your purchase will benefit our school. (Shipping is free on book orders of over $25!)

From the Head of School for the Day...

Today I got to give teachers treats, walk by classrooms, say hello to everyone, and stole candy from the cart. In the afternoon I'm going to help Mrs France pass out ice cream and play kickball with the 8th graders. Happy Valentine's Day Summit School.

It's Black History Month!

We have had some great events this month to celebrate, reflect, and learn about black history and modern black figures in our community and country.

Members of the Summit Diversity & Inclusivity Committee have read a variety of books to our classes sparking wonderful discussions about fairness and equity.

Our classrooms worked on projects and activities related to Black History Month. Examples include: learning about Black Cowboys in America, doing activities connected to Charlie Parker Played Be Bop, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, My Brother Martin, and Not Evalyn, and a variety of research projects and presentations.

Coming soon, Michael Mwenso, bandleader, co-founder of Electric Root, and EMMY Award winning artist, will share his personal journey of how black music served as a source of strength and inspiration during his childhood struggles. He will then lead the 3-8 grade students on a musical journey dubbed an "Ancestral Listening Session", where they will discover the rich history and profound healing power of black roots music. This presentation will take place on February 24.

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Summit Eats

To celebrate the diversity of the Summit School community we are launching ‘Summit Eats’ cookbook - a collection of family recipes and the stories that go with them.

We are seeking recipes that tell the story of your family’s origins, culture and history. This might be a recipe from the four corners of the globe, a Southwest favorite or quintessential soul food.

Your recipe alongside those of our community will become part of the 2023 ‘Summit Eats’ Cookbook, which we will be releasing this May! Proceeds from the sale of this book will go directly to Summit School D&I Fund (learn more about Summit’s D&I Committee below).

Keep an eye out for Pre-Sales at Global Awareness Day on April 14.


We invite you to submit a recipe that is of significance to your family here and include a short story along with it (optional). Your family will receive full credit for your recipe contribution.


  • We ask you to ensure you carefully check the information is correct as we will be unable to alter or modify once submitted.

  • If credit for the recipe belongs to another copyrighted cookbook, it is not eligible for publication. By submitting your recipe for publication, you are declaring that you own the intellectual property rights to the recipe.

  • We are unable to include pictures at this time, so please do not include photos with your recipe.

  • You may submit up to 3 recipes for consideration. At least 1 recipe from every participating family will be included.

  • Each recipe will be allocated one page in the book. Please keep the total word count including ingredients list, directions, and any family story you want to include, under 250 words.

  • We intend to continue publishing Summit Eats in future years so if you have more recipes, there will be more opportunities to be included!


Summit School acknowledges and celebrates the unique differences within our community. In doing so we recognize the diversity of our community and larger world while preparing our students to become global citizens.

The Summit D&I Committee, led by the Head of School, is composed of parents and representatives from the Board of Trustees, the PTO, and the wider Summit parent community.

The funds raised through this initiative will support D&I led experiences. Past examples of this include the HOPI-R2 built by electrical engineer Joe Mastroianni and painted by Hopi-Tewa artist Duane Koyawena that visited Summit during Arts Night 2022, the presentation from Navajo artist Jonessa Reid and Loteria Night.

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Save the Date! STEAM Night 2023

Wednesday, March 8th, 5-7pm

4515 East Muirwood Drive

Phoenix, AZ

Join the Summit Community for STEAM Night 2023! Participate in STEAM activities, enjoy Rube Goldberg Machines competing in the STEAM Team Competition, Check out our NASA HUNCH projects, art displays, and more! Pita Jungle will be on-campus for dinner.

Get your STEAM Team together!

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New IBE 2023-24 Application to complete and submit to IBE!

Summit parents who utilize the Arizona Private School Tax Credits for tuition need to complete their preferred School Tuition Organization (STO) new application each spring. Please find the Institute For Better Education, IBE 2023-24 application here. Upon completion, please submit it and any required documents directly to IBE at before June 1, 2023. IBE will only release tax credits towards tuition in July if they have a completed 2023-24 IBE application by that date. For questions regarding the application please visit or call 520-512-5438. If you use a different STO, please visit their website to find their 2023-24 application form.

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A Request from Our Yearbook Supervisor...


Do you have any photos you could share for the school yearbook? We need as many pictures as we can get, and contributing photos is the best way to make sure your child is well-represented in the yearbook. Please email pictures to Mrs. Harris (

Wednesday Enrichment Offerings for February 22

Students in grades 1-8 will be assigned to one of the following offerings this week.

  1. NASA HUNCH grades 6-8
  2. American Sign Language grades 4-5
  3. Escape Room Logic Puzzles grades 6-8
  4. Marble Runs grades 1-3
  5. Critical Thinking Games grades 3-5
  6. STEM Projects grades 1-3
  7. Valley Youth Theater grades 3-5
  8. Coding grades 5-8
  9. Spanish Support/Review grades 6-8
  10. Culinary grades 1-2
  11. Music Enrichment grades 4-8
  12. Math Contest Practice
  13. Art Madness grades 1-3
  14. Preschool Buddies grades 5-8
  15. Yearbook grades 6-8
  16. Lego Challenge grades 1-3
  17. Poetry grades 5-8
  18. Chess grades 1-8
  19. Reading Support grades 6-8
  20. Math grades 6-8
  21. Dance grades 3-5
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Summit School Community Partnerships

Do you own or have a connection to a local business? Please share.

Dear Community Member,

Summit School is pleased to announce that we are starting a community partner program with businesses in our local community. We know that connections in the community are invaluable to the success of our school and our local businesses.

We would like to invite you to become a Summit Community Partner. This partnership requires no donations or financial support. Instead, we ask for mutual participation. Here is how it works.

  • You agree to be a Summit Community Partner by posting our Summit School Community Partner flyer, poster, or our Summit School brochures in your business.

  • We add your logo to our Summit Community Partners website page and our weekly school digital newsletter.

  • We will reach out to you when we have campus events that you may be interested in for the purpose of sponsorship, table displays, or other connections.

  • We offer you the opportunity to add items or information to our new family welcome bags.

To get started, please complete this form or reach out to Kyle Allen, Director of Admissions and Marketing at In addition, please send your business logo as a .png or .jpg file to the email address above.

Want to know more about Summit School? We would be happy to give you a tour of our campus. If you would like a tour or have any questions, please email Kyle Allen or call 480-403-9506. Thank you for your consideration.

In Partnership,

Dr. Stephanie Nardi

Head of School

Support Our Summit School Community Partners

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