Back to School - WFES Newsletter

July 27th, 2022

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

Welcome to the 2022 - 2023 School Year!

Message from Mr. Schoonover

Dear Wildfire families,

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year! I hope that everyone has had a great summer and has found time to relax and make some wonderful memories with family and friends.

Our teachers and staff have been working and planning with great excitement for the start of the new school year. They are eager to welcome their students back into their classrooms and to get started with amazing lessons and awesome educational experiences. Personally, I am excited to start my 5th year here at Wildfire. I feel blessed to be a part of this school and community and I look forward to continuing to help our amazing staff guide all of our wonderful students to reach their full potential.

The newsletter below provides information on how we plan to keep our school safe as well as other important information for families to be aware of for the start of the school year. Please take some time to look over and review the information with your child prior to the start of the school year.

I hope everyone enjoys the remaining days of summer break. We look forward to seeing you for our Greet the Teacher Event on August 8th and the first day of school on August 9th.


Ryan Schoonover
Principal - WFES

Information to Start the Year

New Staff Members

We are pleased to welcome the following new staff members to our team!

  • Ms. Charlene Parker - Administrative Assistant
  • Ms. Rachelle Hayes - 3rd Grade Teacher
  • Ms. Jeanine Rometty - STEM Enrichment Teacher
  • Ms. Karisma Lopez - Sunkids Pre-School Teacher
  • Ms. Lisa Mason - Building Substitute Teacher
  • Mr. Doug Dzurilla - Special Education Assistant
  • Ms. Karsyn Disney - Campus Assistant


School Supply Lists for the 2022 - 2023 School Year

School Supply Lists for the 2022-2023 school year can be found and printed from the following link. Brands can be substituted. The list is also posted on our school Webpage.

WFES 2022 - 2023 School Supply List

If you purchased an EduKit for your student, they will be delivered to the classroom prior to the Greet the Teacher Event on August 8th.

Annual Update for All Returning Students

The Annual Update process is completed by parents or guardians online within Infinite Campus. This allows you to update information that may have changed in your household. This replaces the earlier versions of paper forms we called Emergency Cards. We request that this information is verified/updated yearly.

For additional information please click the Annual Update Smart Card or view this presentation for step-by-step instructions. There is also a short video on the process to assist you.

Attendance Information

The School Day is 8:45 AM - 3:15 PM

School attendance is a critical part of a successful school year. Students should be absent only when absolutely necessary, as much of the classroom activity cannot be made up. The benefit of discussion and participation is lost to those who are absent.

Under district attendance and excuse policy, it is the parent/guardian's responsibility to notify the school of an absence. A student whose absences (excused/unexcused) totals more than 10% or 18 days of the school year and whose absences have affected academic progress may be retained due to the negative effect on the grade and may be cited and reported to the courts (A.R.S. 15-802; A.R.S. 15-803).

What If My Child Is Home Ill?

If your child is ill, be sure to call our 24-hour attendance line at (602) 449-4301 by 10:00 a.m. the morning of the absence.

The State Department of Education tracks many health problems, so it is important to state specifically why your child is absent. Please indicate the nature of the absence. Illness reasons are listed below:

  • Head Lice

  • Pink Eye

  • Chicken Pox

  • Gastro-Intestinal (Stomach upset, flu, diarrhea)

  • Upper Respiratory (Cold, sore throat, bronchitis, congestion, strep throat, etc.)

  • Excused Absence (Symptoms that are not contagious: headache, vacation, personal, mental health)

It is mandatory that all absences are called in by a parent or guardian. The student or an older sibling may not excuse the absence. If your child is absent and we do not hear from the parent, we will try to contact you by phone. If we are not successful, the student will be marked absent. If you need to contact the school nurse, please feel free to call her directly at (602) 449-4303.

Homework, if requested, may be picked up in the school office after 3:15 p.m. Students will be given time to make up work when they return from their absence.


The first bell rings at 8:40 am - classes begin at 8:45 am. A student is tardy if he/she is not in the classroom at 8:45 am and must get a pass from the front office. It is less disruptive to the class if everyone is present when the teacher begins directions and instructions for the day.

News from the Nurse

Nurse/Health Office Update

Dear Wildfire Families,

Welcome back and welcome to all of our new families! I hope that you all had a wonderful summer and are ready for another school year!

A few nursing reminders:

Water Bottles: Please try to provide daily. Hydration is so important in preventing heat-related illnesses, headaches, and fatigue. Encourage your child to drink his/her water bottle and refill from the water fountain as needed.

Chronic Illnesses: If your child has a chronic illness such as asthma, a life-threatening food allergy, diabetes, experiences seizures, or has any other serious health condition, please be sure to see me to discuss care and to drop off inhalers, EpiPens, or any other emergency medications and to also complete the necessary forms. If you contact me, I will be happy to email you the forms prior to our return to school so that you may get a jump on completing the forms and obtaining doctor signatures.


  • Teachers are not permitted to give any medications (including cough drops);

  • Medications may not be sent to school in students’ lunchboxes or backpacks;

  • Medications must be brought into school by a parent/guardian and a consent form must be signed;

  • Prescription medications must be in a bottle with an Rx label and a med consent must be signed (loose pills in a baggie will not be accepted);

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications will be given provided there is a signed OTC medication consent on file in the health office. The health office will be stocked with Advil, Tylenol, Benadryl, Calamine Lotion, Orajel, and cough drops.

  • Medication will not be given any way other than what is specified on an Rx label, ordered by a doctor, or stated on an OTC bottle label;

  • Essential Oils – PVUSD school nurses are not permitted to apply as essential oils are not FDA regulated. In addition, the scents may aggravate asthmatics or migraine sufferers.

Annual Health Screening: We will be conducting our annual health screenings sometime in September. Screenings include: hearing, vision, and height & weight. As always, parents/guardians have the option to opt their child(ren) out. Please contact me in writing if you decide to do so. An email to me will be sufficient.

Online Emergency Cards: Please be sure to complete at the beginning of each school year. Remember, the more I know about your child, the better that I can care for your child. Also, be sure to inform the front office staff of any telephone number changes throughout the school year so that I can reach you in the event of illness or an injury.

  • Please go to
  • Select More and then Annual Update.
  • You may also click the Annual Update link on the Announcement Page.

Need help? View our Annual Update Smart Card.

Vaccines: Vaccines protect your child from many preventable diseases and they also protect those around your child. When children are not vaccinated, they are at risk of getting diseases that can cause lifelong disability or death. In addition, falling vaccination rates at school can lead to outbreaks of dangerous diseases that were previously eradicated in the US, such as measles and polio.

If you have previously received a notice of vaccine noncompliance from me, please be sure to have your child vaccinated prior to returning to school. AZ state law requires all students to be up-to-date with vaccines, or have a signed vaccine exemption, in order to attend school.

When your child turns 11 years old, please note that he/she will need to get two vaccines: Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) and Meningococcal. Not only will these vaccines be required in order for your child to attend Wildfire, but your child will not be permitted to register for middle school without the vaccines.

Physical Education (PE): Sneakers are required (closed-toe shoes daily if possible as we see a lot of injured toes and toenails when students wear open-toe shoes). A doctor’s note is required for a PE excuse (or for a recess excuse) for greater than 3 days; a note is also required in order to clear a student's return to PE.

Sunscreen: If you would like your child to wear sunscreen, please be sure to apply it to your child prior to his/her arrival at school; teachers and the nurse do not apply sunscreen.

Absences: You may email your child’s teacher as a courtesy but you must report the absence to the front office. You may do this by leaving a message as to the reason for absence on the Wildfire absence line (602) 449-4300. Please be sure to leave detailed information with regards to any illness/symptoms.

Students Texting Home: Every year we have many students who text parents asking to be picked up due to complaints of not feeling well. Many times your child may just be having a rough day and using illness as a way to get out of being in school. If your student texts you, please tell him/her that you will be happy to pick up but that you cannot pick up until he/she has been seen by the nurse. Schools are public health institutions and the District nurses need to track what we are seeing so we can watch for developing trends, communicable diseases, outbreaks, etc. We also need to be able to protect the immunocompromised students or any pregnant teachers. Please allow me to first see your child so that I may use my professional nursing skills and judgment to determine if your child truly needs to go home.

Best Ways to Prevent Illness: Handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs and to prevent illnesses. Teach your child how to properly wash hands and to sneeze/cough into the elbow or shoulder and not onto hands. You can also prevent illness by staying up-to-date on vaccinations and by getting an annual flu vaccine in September or October.

Lastly, please share with me any new medical conditions that your child may develop during the school year. Please share with me, or your child’s teacher, if there is something stressful going on at home (for ex.: family member suffering from a severe illness, death of a pet, etc.). These types of things may affect physical health and your child may complain of stomachaches or headaches while at school or ask to go home. Having knowledge of what may be going on at home will help us when caring for your child.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. Here’s to a healthy and happy school year!

Nurse Royce

Royce Hirsh, BSN, RN

(602) 449-4303


Lunch Information & Schedule

The PVSchools Nutrition and Wellness Department's mission is to provide nutritious meals and to support and enhance the learning process. By fostering nutritious eating habits, our district's children will be prepared for a healthier lifestyle.

  • Student Breakfast $1.00
  • Student Lunch $2.50
  • Extra Milk/Juice $0.25

Payment Options and Charge Policy

  • Cash or check payments can be taken directly to your school's cafeteria.
  • Pre-pay online: Visit EZSchoolPay to create an account. (EZSchoolPay also allows parents to set up email notifications for low balance reminders.)

National School Lunch Program Free and Reduced-Price Meals

  • The National School Lunch Program provides students who meet certain criteria free or reduced-price meals at their school. For students who qualify, breakfast and lunch are offered at no charge. This program operates in all schools in the district; applications need to be completed ANNUALLY at the start of each school year.
  • The Nutrition & Wellness Department will be charging students based on their free, reduced, or paid meal application status during the 2022-2023 School Year. Therefore, all families are encouraged to complete the new meal application come July.
  • The online 2022-2023 Meal Applications can be completed at
Big picture

Arrival and Dismissal

Drop-Off/Pick-Up Procedures

Morning Drop-Off

Walkers/Bike Riders:

  • All walkers/bike riders will enter through the side gates and walk back through the bus lane to field/playgound.

  • Parents/guardians that walk to school will not be permitted on the field or past the gates and are asked to drop students off at the sidewalk along Lockwood.

Bus Riders:

  • Click Here to Access bus route/stop information

  • The bus will drop students off in the bus lane.

  • Students report to and remain in their classroom lines on the field upon arrival (no playground) and wait for their teacher to pick them up.

Kindergarten “Kiss & Go” Car Drop-Off:

Drop off is available from 8:15-8:40 a.m.

  • Enter via the south Lockwood entrance and immediately turn right (south) to loop around into the kiss & go lane. Please pull as far forward as possible to keep the line moving, and do not let your children get out of the car until you have pulled all the way forward.

  • Students should exit the car curbside only. - All students in the vehicle should exit at this time.

  • Parents should NOT get out of their cars in the Kiss & Go lane. It will slow down the traffic flow.

  • Kindergarten students are escorted to the kindergarten playground.

  • Exit via the north exit onto Lockwood.

1st Grade - 6th grade Car Drop Off:

Drop off is available from 8:15-8:40 a.m.

  • Enter the parking lot/drive-through lane via the south Lockwood entrance and pull forward along the blue lane.

  • Please pull as far forward as possible to keep the line moving, and do not let students get out of the car until you have pulled all the way forward.

  • Students may be dropped off anywhere along the blue curb - please do not wait till you are at the front of the line to unload students.

  • Please have students unload on the passenger side of the vehicle - CAUTION: cars may be passing on the driver's side.

  • Parents should NOT get out of their cars to assist children. It will slow down the traffic flow.

  • Do not sit in line once you have unloaded, use the left lane to pass and exit - SLOWLY

  • Be mindful of traffic and look before merging.

  • Gates to the lanes will close at 8:40 AM

  • Exit via the north drives onto Lockwood.

  • Students walk through the side gates and to their class line on the field.

  • Vehicles exit via the north exit onto Lockwood.

Big picture

Afternoon Pick-Up Procedures

Afternoon Pick-Up Procedures

Car Riders:

  • Enter the parking lot/drive-through lane via the south Lockwood entrance and pull forward along the blue lane.

  • If picking up a kindergarten/pre-k student, after entering via the south Lockwood entrance, immediately turn right (south) to loop around into the kiss & go lane.

    • If needing to pick up students in other grade levels, carefully merge into the 1st-6th pick-up lane.

  • Please pull as far forward as possible to keep the line moving, and do not let students get out of the car until you have pulled all the way forward.

  • Students may be picked up anywhere along the blue curb - please do not wait till you are at the front of the line to pick up your student(s).

  • Please have students load on the passenger side of the vehicle - CAUTION: cars may be passing on the driver side.

  • Students will be lined up in the front of the school along the front sidewalk and staff members will help students find their parents/guardians vehicle.

  • Please use the left lane to pass and exit the pick-up lane and parking lot.

  • Vehicles will exit via the north parking lot exit onto Lockwood.

  • Parking is available along Lockwood Drive - Please follow all parking signs and traffic laws.

Walkers/Bike Riders:

  • Students will exit out of designated exits, use sidewalks, and cross the street in designated crossing zones.

  • Students will be escorted across the parking lot via the crosswalk to the parent waiting zone.

  • Parents meeting students need to wait in the parent waiting zone on the sidewalk along Lockwood.

  • Parents/guardians are asked to designate a meeting spot with their student(s).

Bus Riders:


  • BE CAREFUL when pulling in and out of the lot. Many students and parents are walking, or riding bikes and scooters on the sidewalk. Pedestrians have the right of way, so PLEASE go slowly and be alert!

  • Please be courteous to all drivers. If there are lines of cars trying to enter the lot from both directions, please take turns so the traffic continues to flow in both directions.



  • The speed limit is 15 mph in a school zone. PLEASE DO NOT SPEED!

  • Students should stay on sidewalks and cross at designated points only.

Big picture
Big picture

Bus Rider/Stop Information

Notice: Bus stops and times may change from year to year. We are currently working on the upcoming school year's bus stops.

Bus stop information will be available on or after Monday, August 1, 2022, for the 2022-23 school year. In the meantime, please disregard any school-specific bus stop listings that are listed on this website (as they only applied to the 2021-22 school year).

To better ensure that drivers are able to maintain the bus route schedule, student riders are asked to arrive at their bus stop at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up time. Afternoon drop-off times are estimated and may vary. Additional delays may occur.

Bus routes are identified by route number, not the bus number. Route numbers are found on placards that are mounted to the side of each bus. By using these placards, staff can quickly make changes to buses in the event of a breakdown or need to substitute a driver.

Before and Aftercare

Mascot Club

Mascot Club students enjoy a rich variety of activities that aim to cultivate students' talents and interests.

Lesson plans are aligned with Arizona Quality Standards for Out of School Time programs. Mascot Club sites are active places with many choices and opportunities for growth, such as large group games, art projects, active games and sports, and STEM-based projects.

Non-School Day Only Mascot Camp is available on most recess days for children enrolled in preschool (4 years old only) through Grade 6.

Boys & Girls Club

The Vestar Branch of the Boys & Girls Club is located next to Wildfire Elementary School and offers before/aftercare for students.
Big picture

We Are Hiring!

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 classroom assistants and campus office assistant 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.

Click here to learn more and to apply!

We look forward to having you join our team!

Volunteer Information

School Site Volunteer Opportunities!

Volunteer Only - Someone who helps out in and around the school, but is not the only adult in charge of a group of students. Volunteer must complete a volunteer form available for pick-up in the front office.

Volunteer+Chaperone - Someone who accompanies teachers and students on field trips or works with one or more students without being accompanied by a staff member. This level of Volunteer+Chaperone. Individuals must complet BOTH a volunteer form from our front office as well as the application process available at this LINK

  • PTO - There are all types of commitement levels from supporting a small, one-time endeavor all the way up to participating on the executive board or chairing a committee or event.
  • Classroom Volunteer - These volunteers might help from home by organizing materials, or maybe the come into the classroom to help with different activities/events. You will receive more information about these opportunities from your child's teacher.
  • Before School, After School, Lunchroom, Playground - Do you have 20 minutes to spare before or after school? How about an hour or so in the middle of the day? Maybe only available one day a week. It's all good! We'd love to have your support!

United Parent Council

Looking to get more involved in your child’s education? Want to be among the first to know what is happening in the district? If so, I encourage you to attend United Parent Council meetings. Paradise Valley United Parent Council is a district-wide parent group that has been active in Paradise Valley Unified School District for more than 30 years and is a 501(c)(3) organization. Looking out for the interest of students is their primary goal. They do this by offering parents support, information, and opportunities to be influential voices in the decisions that affect their children's education. UPC meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month in the District Administration Center East/West Conference Rooms on the grounds of the PVUSD complex at 15002 North 32nd Street. Visitors are always welcome. Click here to visit their website for information on this month’s meeting.

PV School Family/Student Handbook

This handbook contains important information about the district academic and behavioral expectations. Please take a few moments to review it with your child.

The PVSchools Family/Student Handbook contains the rights, roles, and responsibilities of parents, guardians, and students within PVSchools.

Dress Code

PVUSD schools are places of learning where students can express themselves while also promoting each school’s behavior motto. We value that student dress can highlight the cultural and religious diversity and the individuality of our students. Appropriate student dress contributes to a safe workplace and educational atmosphere and the success of the entire school community. Clothing students might wear in social settings or outside of school may not be appropriate to wear to school. We want all students to be dressed appropriately for a successful and safe learning environment.

Please wear the following:

  • Clothing that is not see-through and covers a student’s undergarments, chest and torso when standing or sitting. Clothing should have a back and straps and should fit closely under the arms.
  • Clothing that is of adequate length to cover the student’s bottom at all times.
  • Clothing that has appropriate language. Clothing should be free from references to violent images, tobacco/vaping, drugs, alcohol, sexual references, profanity, or language that demeans others.
  • Appropriate footwear for a safe learning environment. When selecting footwear, students should be responsive to the specific safety needs of each school and/or classroom, as determined by the teachers and administration.

Headwear may be worn on campus, but should be removed in the building or classroom if asked by a staff member. Students will not be asked to remove headwear that is worn for cultural and/or religious reasons.

If there is a concern regarding student dress, a staff member will ask the student to go to the front office to address the issue. The student and a front office staff member will discuss the concern, and if deemed necessary, the student will be provided appropriate clothing to change into or may wait in the office for appropriate clothing to be brought to them. Administration will have a discussion with the student regarding how to create an environment for success as well as potential consequences if there are further dress code concerns. Requests for exceptions to the dress code should be brought to the school administration

Upcoming Important Events

Big picture

Greet the Teacher! Monday, August 8th

Please save the date for our welcome back to school Greet the Teacher event on Monday, August 8th, 2022 from 9:00 - 10:00 AM. You and your child are invited to come to say hello to their teacher(s) for the upcoming school year and to drop off school supplies in the classroom so your child is ready to go for the first day of school!

Important Information

  • If you ordered an Edukit, it will be delivered directly to your child’s classroom.
  • The PTO will be selling Wildfire merchandise so be sure to stock up on your Firebird gear.
  • If you are unable to attend our Greet the Teacher event and would still like to drop off school supplies, the MPR will be open from 10 AM - 3:30 PM and those supplies will be brought to your student(s) classroom by a Wildfire staff member.
    • Please have supplies in a bag/box labeled with your student’s full name and teacher.
  • WFES is hosting a school supply drive to help our PVUSD sister school Indian Bend Elementary. Boxes will be in the lobby to collect any new school supplies that you would like to donate.
Big picture
Big picture

Kindergarten Orientation

Welcome to kindergarten at Wildfire Elementary School! We are so excited and honored to have your little learners join us at WFES as they start their educational journey. To help you and your kindergarten student have a great start to the school year, please join us for our Kindergarten Orientation on August 9th, 2022 at 9:15 AM in the Wildfire multipurpose room (lunchroom). This event is for both parents/guardians and kindergarten students.

During this orientation, you will:

  • Commemorate the first day of school with fun activities with your child
  • Meet our kindergarten and school leadership teams
  • Learn about drop-off/pick-up and transportation information
  • Learn about lunch and snack information
  • Meet our school nurse and learn about health information
  • Find out how to get involved at school
  • Hear from our PTO President
  • Q & A and more!

We know it is going to be a fantastic school year and can’t wait to get started! See you August 9th at 9:15 a.m. in our Multi-purpose Room/Cafeteria!

Important Information for Incoming Kindergarten Students

The first two days of school are shortened for our kindergarten students to assist with their new school experience and help them (and parents) learn the kindergarten routines.

Here is what you need to know for the first two days of school:

  • Please make arrangements to have at least one parent present for the first day of school from 9:15 - 10:30 AM. Parents will start with their student in the MPR and the students will be taken to the classroom while parents attend an orientation for with our Principal, Nurse, and other school/organization representatives.
  • All kindergarten students will be dismissed at 12:15 PM on Tuesday, August 9th, and Wednesday, August 10th. The remainder of the week and year students will follow the regular school schedule and calendar.
  • Please note there is no after-school childcare (Mascot Club) on either Tuesday, August 9th or Wednesday, August 10th.

Other Important Information

  • Busing for kindergarten students who qualify will begin on the first day of school.
  • A kindergarten teacher or other staff member will ride the bus with the students at dismissal on the first day of school to help assist the driver and students.
Big picture

Curriculum Night is August 15th

Please be sure to join us on Monday, August 15th, 2022 for our curriculum night. Parents will have the opportunity to hear from their child's classroom teacher and to learn about the curriculum students will be learning this year as well as general information about the class and grade level. Please know this is intended as an adults-only informational event.

Curriculum Night Schedule

Kindergarten & 1st Grade: 5:00 - 5:25 PM

2nd & 3rd Grade: 5:30 - 5:55 PM

4th & 5th Grade: 6:00 - 6:25 PM

6th Grade: 6:30 - 6:55 PM

4th - 6th Grade Honors: 5:30 - 5:55 PM

PTO Information

About the PTO

Our PTO is made up of hard-working parents & teachers who pool their talents to provide practical support for our school. We are happy you are here! Thank you for joining our Firebird Family!

With your generous donations Wildfire PTO can continue to provide enhanced and enriching items to benefit the Wildfire School Community. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Teacher Classroom Supplies for your child
  • Technology & Classroom Improvements
  • Enrichment & Assemblies
  • Teacher & Staff Appreciation
  • Online Classroom Software and App Subscriptions
  • Professional Development & Teacher Continuing Education
  • Principal Funds
  • Kindness Program
  • Field Day
  • Nurse Supplies
  • Accelerated Reader Program
  • Art Masterpiece
  • Library Supplies
  • Community Development
  • School Events
  • and more.

Please reach out with any questions or suggestions to any of the board members!


Nate Herd


Stephanie Reid

Director of Special Events

Anne Giles


Sabrina Frieberg


Joy Racine

Past President

Melinda Turner

Easy Ways to Support WFES


AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support Wildfire Elementary every time you shop, at no cost to you. AmazonSmile is available at Smile.Amazon.Com on your web browser and can be activated in the Amazon Shopping app for iOS and Android phones.

How to turn on AmazonSmile in the mobile app:

  1. Join AmazonSmile. If you are not already an AmazonSmile member, sign up on your web browser. Simply select Wildfire Elementary PTO to start generating donations, at no cost to you.
  2. Get the app. Download or update to the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app on your phone. You can find it in the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android.
  3. Turn on AmazonSmile. Open the app and find ’Settings’ in the main menu (☰). Tap on ‘AmazonSmile’ and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile on your phone.

On your first visit to, you will be prompted to select a charitable organization. Select Wildfire Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization. Every time you shop on Amazon simply start at and the school earns 0.5% of every purchase. It's that easy to make a difference! Ask your friends, family and co-workers to participate too! As always, Thank you for your support!