The Premier District of Choice

December 2019

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Welcome to the December edition of CUSD News for 2019-20 school year. In this quarterly eNewsletter, we highlight 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!

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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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In the News

Veterans Day Around Chandler Unified

Chandler Unified celebrates and honors veterans! Click below to check out our photo album of Veterans Day 2019, celebrated around the district. Veterans Day 2019 - CUSD Facebook Photo Album

Chandler Unified School District Bond Passes

THANK YOU to our community for continuing to show support for the district! We will do everything we can to make you proud. This bond will fund a variety a much-needed items including two new schools, upgraded technology, additional classrooms, facility upkeep, buses and much more.

Official final bond election results: Yes: 28,737 (63%) No: 17,115 (37%).

Check out CUSD Cares Podcasts!

In CUSD Cares Podcasts, Brenda Vargas, Director of Counseling and Social Services, engages knowledgeable guests in a lively discussion of topics that impact parents and students related to Counseling and Social Services within the Chandler Unified School District. Click to listen and follow CUSD Cares Podcasts -- now available on Spotify and Google Podcasts!

Topics include:

  • The Impact of Video Games
  • The Impact of Technology
  • Vaping from a Medical Perspective
  • Dealing with Anxiety
  • Vaping from a Behavioral Health Perspective
  • What is a counselor? How can they help you?
  • Chandler CARE Center: How can it help you?
  • Starting Kindergarten: Helping your new kindergartner get ready for Back to School!
  • Transitioning to Junior High!
  • Starting High School: Helping your new freshman get ready for Back to School
CUSD Cares Podcasts

Share the Love Event, 2019-2020 Winner’s Choice Car or Cash Raffle Now Open

Share the Love Event

You may have heard about Subaru’s Share the Love Event, but did you know how much of an impact it makes in CUSD? Over $150,000 has been donated by Subaru Superstore in Chandler to support district students and staff. During the campaign, for every new purchase or lease, up to $500 is contributed to support the staff and students of CUSD.

CEF Winner's Choice Car or Cash Raffle

2019-2020 Winner’s Choice Car or Cash Raffle

Due to popular demand, online tickets are now available for the Winner’s Choice Car or Cash Raffle. Prefer to purchase in person? Tickets will be available at CUSD schools and sites on January 21, 2020.

Your $20 purchase supports scholarships for students across CUSD, and a portion of ticket sales is returned to each school. That’s a win-win! See the Chandler Education Foundation Winner's Choice Car or Cash Raffle webpage ( to purchase tickets and for complete rules and additional information.

Become a Vendor Now for the Second Annual Chandler Innovation Fair

Date: Saturday, February 22

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

Location: Hamilton High

Reserve your vendor spot today! The fair is an excellent opportunity to network with other community stakeholders, while providing the chance to share your expertise with students of all ages. Check out the quick video below of highlights from last year's fair. Click here to sign up to reserve your vendor spot for the Chandler Innovation Fair.

First Annual 2019 Chandler Innovation Fair

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ACP Erie Wins National Blue Ribbon

Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus - Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus has been designated an Exemplary High Performing Schools - National Blue Ribbon School for 2019! The recognition is based on a school's overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups, and affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. ACP Erie is among 362 schools in the nation and one of five schools from Arizona honored by the U.S. Department of Education at a recognition ceremony on November 14-15 in Washington, D.C. 2019 National Blue Ribbon School: Arizona College Prep Erie Campus - U.S. Department of Education website
U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School

CUSD Ranked No. 2 in Top 100 Chandler Based Companies

Chandler Unified School District - Chandler Unified School District was ranked No. 2 in the 2019 100 Top City of Chandler Based Companies. Excerpt from Chandler Chamber Board Chair Lori Gallegos: "The 2019 edition of The Chandler 100 [...] recognizes the top companies in Chandler. Within these pages you'll find the businesses that inspire, innovate and as community stakeholders, lead us to a vibrant economy while strengthening Chandler's business impact."

CUSD Ranks High on Post Secondary education/training and employment

Chandler Unified School District - The Arizona Department of Education released results of the recently completed Post School Outcome Survey of 2018 graduates, in which students who exit high school are contacted and administered a 14-question survey designed to capture student engagement in post-secondary education/training or employment. The results show that 87% of students with disabilities who graduated from CUSD high schools in 2018 were engaged in their Post Secondary Outcomes, meaning they were either attending college, trade school, military, working or combination of school and work. CUSD continues to improve outcomes for students with disabilities as our collaborations with outside agencies/schools foster independence in taking the next step once they graduate from high school. Thank you to CUSD transition specialists Sandy Craghead of Basha High, Shiela Popovich of Hamilton High, Beth Curry of Perry High and Carol Howe of Chandler High for their dedication and efforts.

Thirty-five CUSD Seniors recognized as National Merit Semifinalists

National Merit Semifinalists from CUSD
Chandler Unified School District - Thirty-five CUSD students have been named National Merit Semifinalists. They are among 16,000 semifinalists nationwide out of more than 1.6 million students in some 22,000 high schools who enter the National Merit Scholarship competition annually when they take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®). Semifinalists are the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represent the top 0.5% of the state's senior students. We wish them luck in becoming National Merit Scholars. In May, 7,500 finalists will be chosen to win a scholarship.

2019 National Merit Semifinalists:

  • Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus - Jayden Chen, Kazushi Iwamoto, Sharmila Nimbkar, Orchee Syed
  • Basha High - Vennela Ambadipudi and Maxwell Turner
  • Chandler High - Katherine Chou
  • Chandler Online Academy - Sydney Chun
  • Hamilton High - Emily Abraham, Neya Balakrishna, Julia Fletcher, Margaret Han, Devrath Iyer, Sung Won Kim, Nivea Krishnan, Jihyun Lee, Chloe Leff, Ashley Lepham, Rebecca Li, Elissa Matlock, Burke Peterson, Rohan Sathe, Dev Singhania, Vaishalini Sitaraman, Kevin Tang, Antonio Valdez, Kevin Wang, Sherry Wang, Karina Yang, Sarah Zhang and Vivian Zhao
  • Perry High - Craig Cardon, Hester Charles and Alyssa Zhang

Forty-one CUSD Seniors Named 2019 National Hispanic Scholars

Chandler Unified School District - In keeping with the College Board's mission to help students take advantage of the opportunities they have earned, each year the National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) recognizes about 7,000 academically outstanding Hispanic/Latino high school juniors who take the PSAT/NMSQT®. Congratulations to our high school seniors who have been named National Hispanic Scholars for scoring within the top 2.5% on the PSAT/NMSQT among Hispanic and Latino testers during their junior year.

2019 National Hispanic Scholars:

  • Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus - Julia Diaz, Octavio Diaz, Emma Fendrick, Nathaniel France, Mia Gomez, Nicholas Matthews and Damien Rivera
  • Basha High - Jarod Bartlett, Kiersten Dugan, Andrew Fernandez, Daniel Jimenez, Jr., Elizabeth Kaye and Nicholas Ledo
  • Chandler High - Nina Anguis, Luke Bass, Melody Colucci, Esme Crawford-Paz Soldan, Alexis Gonzalez, Miranda Gonzalez, Jacob Pisors and Jose Segovia
  • Chandler Online Academy - Jarod Bartlett (also enrolled at BHS), Nicholas Ledo (also enrolled at BHS) and Nicolas Gomez (also enrolled at Perry High)
  • Hamilton High - Ali Arce, Morgan Fowler, Sophia Holguin, Genesy King, Irbis Martinez Torres, Jacob Munguia, Grant Raske, Bianca Rivera, Trevor Schutes and Antonio Valdez
  • Perry High - Chaz Castillo-Wilson, Lexi Foster, Diana Garza, Ashlyn Gates, Nicolas Gomez, Alexander Gonzales, Hayden Jaramillo, Nathan Martinez, Nabor Rios and Aryzema Urrutia

Chandler Wolves Win 4th Straight Football Title

Chandler High - The Chandler High football team won its fourth straight state championship, defeating Saguaro of Scottsdale, 42-35, at ASU Sun Devil Stadium on December 7. It was the Wolves fifth championship in six years.

Wolves Win 4th Straight Football Title

Basha High Girls Volleyball State Champs

Basha High - Basha High won the 6A girls volleyball state championship in dramatic fashion on Wednesday, November 13. The Bears came from behind to defeat Perry High 14-25, 21-25, 32-30, 25-23, 15-10 to win their first-ever title. Congratulations to both teams on an incredible season!
Basha High Girls Volleyball 6A State Champs

Hamilton Athlete Captures State Badminton Singles Championship

Hamilton High - Hamilton badminton''s Rujuta Sane captured the 2019 singles championship at an all-CUSD State Division I championship game at Mesquite High School. Huskies badminton, under the direction of Lauren Regester, had a terrific season and advanced to their first title game on October 31. Rujuta is a 4.7 student who is also the top girls runner on cross country.
Hamilton Athlete Captures State Badminton Singles Championship

Perry badminton wins State Division I Championship

Perry High - Perry High badminton prevailed over Hamilton High, 5-0, on Thursday, October 31 in an all-CUSD State Division I championship game at Mesquite High School. The Pumas, coached by Lerina Johnson, won the state title for the third straight year.

Perry's doubles team of Nikhita Jayaraj and Ashley Rodarte also won the doubles state championship against their teammates Sophie Jex and Megan Dye.

Perry badminton wins State Division I Championship

Hamilton High boys golf caps perfect season as 2019 Division 1 State Champs

Hamilton High - The Hamilton High School boys golf team capped off a perfect season (five tournament wins) with a victory at the 2019 Arizona Division 1 State Championship played at Omni Tucson National Golf Course! It was the team's seventh state championship in school history. The Huskies battled a talented Brophy team each day to win by three shots overall. Both teams shot 11 under par the second day.
Hamilton High School boys golf team
Junior Johnny Walker played a spectacular final round with 8 birdies and no bogeys to claim the individual state title at the 2019 Arizona Division 1 State Championship played at Omni Tucson National Golf Course, with a two-day total of 136 (-10) (pictured). Sophomore Mahanth Chirravuri came in fourth place to earn All-State honors. Freshman Anawin Pickulthong came in 12th place and senior Ethan Adam came in 16th place. Freshman Ryo Ito and sophomore Nick Lippe were part of the team effort. Other teams members are senior Tyler Biberdorf, junior Alex Paul and sophomores Rohan Singh and Aiden Palermo. Additionally, senior Joy Callinan (pictured) won the girls individual state title.

CUSD Lacrosse Athletes Represent Arizona

Chandler Unified School District - Congratulations to these four outstanding CUSD high school lacrosse players Kateri Hernandez (Hamilton High senior), Reese Mastellon (Hamilton High junior), Rylee Dockery (Casteel High junior), and Gabriella Valadez (Perry High junior). Chosen by the Women's National Lacrosse Team, they represented Team Arizona at the President's Cup in West Palm Beach, Florida in November. The CUSD girls were selected based on skill, athleticism, and leadership and will join other lacrosse players from the state to compete on the national stage. This is the highest division in Arizona for girl's lacrosse, and we are thrilled to cheer them on! Pictured above: Gabriella Valadez. Pictured below, from left to right: Reese Mastellon, Kateri Hernandez, Rylee Dockery.
Reese Mastellon, Kateri Hernandez and Rylee Dockery

Hamilton Chess Team Takes AIA State Championship

Hamilton High - Congratulations to the Hamilton Chess Team for winning the AIA State Team Championship in November! They went with a perfect 5-0 to the tournament, completing their perfect 19-0 season -- the first in school history! As the top-seeded varsity team, Rick Sun, Kenneth Su, Joseph Wang, Michael Chen, and Vincent Sin defeated the second, third, and fourth seeds in three straight matches en route to their title. Their compilation of 54 wins, 2 losses, and 1 tie over the last three seasons has given them their second title in three years, only missing the title last year on tiebreaks. With the chess team only in their fourth season, they have truly accomplished a great feat. In addition, Aryan Eksambe took first in the JV section, and Harry Winsberg also took a top-10 finish. Anvi Joshi, Miro Vanek, and Andrew Quan rounded out yet another strong showing of Hamilton's depth in the JV section, scoring well above expectations.

Perry and Hamilton Teams Take Gold and Silver in Stock Market Challenge

Chandler Unified School District - Congratulations to Perry High and Hamilton High DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) teams for taking home both the gold AND silver awards in the Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge, winning first and second places, respectively. Junior Achievement's Student Stock Market Challenge website

Chandler Educational Television awarded three Rocky Mountain Emmys

Chandler Unified School District - Chandler Educational Television staff were awarded three Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the Omni Montelucia in Scottsdale for their work related to a 2018 marketing video titled Choose Your Dream. Gabriel Contreras won in the category of "Editor: Short Form (Promos, Public Service Announcements, Commercials, Opens)", Nicole Richardson for "Commercial: Single Spot" and Michael Holland, Earnest Robinson, Gabriel and Nicole in the category of "Graphic Arts: Graphics/Animation." The Chandler Educational Television staff, housed at Chandler High, have won Emmy's in eight categories over the four years.

Santan, Hartford Elementary Schools Awarded for going the "Extra Yard"

Santan Elementary, Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary - Santan and Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary schools each won a $2,500 grant from the Sun Devil Athletics and the Sun Devil Club Extra Yard for Teachers program in recognition for the hard work the schools and their communities do to go that "Extra Yard" for students.

Ten CUSD Students Named 2020 National Coca-Cola Scholarship Semifinalists

Chandler Unified School District - Congratulations to the ten CUSD students who have been selected as semifinalists for the prestigious 2020 Coca-Cola Scholarship, a $20,000 achievement-based award to high school seniors who are "recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities." The Coca-Cola Scholars Program's stated goal is to cultivate "a network of leaders who create and inspire positive change in their communities and beyond." Almost 2,000 students were selected as semifinalists from over 93,000 applicants from across the U.S. From this number, 250 will advance as Regional Finalists, and 150 will become Coca-Cola Scholars. Best of luck to you all! Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation 2020 Semifinalists website

Coca-Cola Scholarship Semifinalists from CUSD:

Chandler Unified Voted Best of the Best

The votes for the East Valley Tribune (Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa) 2019 Best of the Best - East Valley are in, and Chandler Unified School District placed No. 1!

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Hamilton Student Wins State Playwright Honors

Hamilton High - Congratulations to Adelina Cetaj who won the state playwriting competition in November. After scoring a "Top 3 in the State" slot for for the second year in a row, Adelina had her play directed by a professional director and performed for the 90 other schools present at the State Playworks Competition, and took the top prize.

In addition, Hamilton Theatre seniors Raven Harris, Reily Neimyer, and Xavier Valdez auditioned and received offers from colleges and universities across the nation.

Basha High Senior takes State diving championship

Basha High - Congratulations to Basha High School senior Zachory Lundgren who won the Division I boys state diving championship on November 8 at the Kino Aquatic Center in Mesa.

Perry Sophomore wins girls state diving championship

Perry High - Congratulations to Perry High School sophomore Alexia Jackson who won the Division I girls state diving championship on November 8 at the Kino Aquatic Center in Mesa.

Casteel Senior Named National Finalist

Casteel High - Casteel High School senior Sadie DeShon was named a Samsung American Legion Scholar national finalist from Girls State. She will receive a $10,000 award. Samsung American Legion Scholarship website

CTE Presidential Scholar Nominee from Chandler

Chandler High - Congratulations to Juliette Covitz who was selected as one of the five Arizona nominees for the 2019-2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education (CTE). Juliette was selected by a review team consisting of CTE Stakeholders based on evidence of academic rigor, technical competence, professional employability skills, and ingenuity and creativity.

ACP Erie students awarded Arizona Recycling Coalition $5,000 grant

Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus - WASTECON 2019 showcased different types of sustainability methods being implementing all over the U.S. at the Phoenix Convention Center on October 23. As part of the event, the Arizona Recycling Coalition announced their six $5,000 grant awardees... and we are proud to announce that three ACP Knights were granted a $5,000 award to start sytrofoam recycling in our own school cafeteria using Tenebrio beetles! The grant will fund an effort to manage styrofoam within the schools cafeteria, reduce ACP Erie's ecological footprint, and aim for a sustainable school. The president of the organization also mentioned that though there was a record number of applications this year, ACP Erie was on top of the list. Arizona Department of Environment Quality is looking forward to ACP Erie's project as a pilot program for other organizations, too. Way to go, Aahana Dugar, Blake Entwiller and Nevan Hanford. Arizona Recycling Coalition Grants website

Chandler High senior named Player's Choice Academy Scholarship Finalist

Chandler High - Luke Bass, Chandler High senior and baseball player, has been named a Player's Choice Academy (PCA) Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarship Finalist. A Triple-Impact Competitor is an athlete who works to improve oneself, teammates, and the game as a whole. Luke has a 4.8 cumulative GPA, is part of the International Baccalaureate program, and is a leader on campus and on the baseball field.
Luke Bass

ACP Erie Journalism Student Recognized

Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus - Publishers of "The American Srbobran," the longest-running, continually published Serbian newspaper worldwide, selected an article by ACP's Katarina Marceta to publish. Her article highlighted another ACP Erie student, Adriana Kangrga, who spent the summer performing traditional Serbian dances across southeastern Europe. Katarina is the Editor-in-Chief of ACP Erie's "Knight Times" student-led newspaper and loves bringing words to life through journalism. Knight Times article: Katarina Marceta's National Newspaper Publication

Two Hamilton Film Students Win Emmy

Hamilton High - Hamilton students Zana Ryan, editor; and Nolen Coley, cinematographer; earned a student production Rocky Mountain Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences from their work in the category of "High School Student Craft Editor" for their Hamilton High track promotional video.

Casteel sophomore selected for State Advisory Council

Casteel High - Congratulations to Casteel High School sophomore Trey (Henry) Telfer III (pictured far left) who was selected by Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffman, for her African American Advisory Council.

Perry Volleyball Shines at Tournament of Champions

Perry High - Congratulations to Tatum Stall who was named the MVP of the Westwood Tournament of Champions Volleyball Tournament. Perry High won the tournament which featured 36 of the top teams in the state.

ACP Oakland, Bogle and Casteel Science Fair Students Among Top 300 in Nation

Chandler Unified School District - Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public announced the Top 300 competitors in the 9th annual Broadcom MASTERS® -- the nation's premier Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition for middle school students. Of the top 300 students from science fairs across the U.S., only five students are from Arizona -- and THREE of those hail from Chandler Unified School District! Congratulations to J.T. Mulvihill of Arizona College Prep - Oakland Campus, Leela T. Raj-Sankar of Bogle Junior High and Ashlyn Grace Drew of Casteel High.
J.T. was selected for his science fair project, The Impact of Football Helmet Lining or Coating on Impact Force Reduction to the Head, Leela for her science fair project, Shining a Light on Osmosis, and Ashlyn for her science fair project, Heightened Hydroponics. J.T., Leela and Ashlyn went on to compete for the 30 finalist spots in the national Broadcom competition.

State IB Student of Year Hails from Chandler High

Chandler High - Congratulations to Holly Hoogstra, Chandler High senior, who was recognized with the IB Student of the Year Award at the quarterly meeting of the Arizona International Baccalaureate Schools.

Chandler High Junior named "Top Flyer"

Chandler High - Chandler High junior Andre Richardson was selected to attend the Southwest Airlines 2019 Continuing the Legacy in Aviation (academy/program) at the Southwest HQ Campus in Dallas, Texas in October. In June, Andre was selected to attend a weeklong Aviation Career Education Academy and learned about the aviation field through tours and professional instructions. Andre received an award for outstanding graduate as well as the Top Flyer Award. Andre was recommended by his academy instructor to apply for the Southwest Airlines Continuing the Legacy in Aviation event that hosts students from all over the country. Andre's application was selected and he was awarded the all expense paid trip for him and a parent to attend.
Andre Richardson

Perry Senior Elected Arizona DECA President

Perry High - Congratulations to Perry senior Amber Adams who was elected as the Arizona DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) State President -- the first in Perry school history!

Riggs Student Selected as Sun Lakes Lions Club Peace Poster Contest Winner

Riggs Elementary - Congratulations to Eliza Schwitzer of Riggs Elementary whose Peace Poster Contest entry was selected as the club level winner by the Sun Lakes Lions Club. Her poster now proceeds to the state level. For over 30 years, Lions clubs around the globe have sponsored this international art contest to give children everywhere the chance to express their visions of peace and inspire the world through art and creativity. Congratulations to all of the students who submitted an poster and won at the school level. All school winners were awarded a certificate and cash prize from the Sun Lakes Lion's Club, sponsored by Intel.
Peace Poster Contest Winning Poster

Lions Club Peace Poster Contest School Winners:

Sun Lake Lions Club Peace Poster Contest

Elite Performance Academy Student Receives Honors

Elite Performance Academy - Congratulations to Ashley Nevison who was named Royal International Miss Arizona Preteen 2020 in October.

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Hamilton Science Teacher Receives Presidential Award for Excellence

Hamilton High - After being named a finalist in 2017, Hamilton High science teacher Debbie Nipar was named a recipient of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science. She traveled to Washington D.C. in October to be recognized. Established in 1983, this is the highest award given by the U.S. Government to kindergarten through 12th grade teachers of mathematics and science, including computer science. Awardees come from schools in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, and schools in the United States territories of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. Nominations and awards are facilitated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science Foundation. website: President Donald J. Trump Announces Presidential Excellence Awards in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering

Casteel Teacher Honored at National Conference

Casteel High - Congratulations to Casteel Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher Alicia Cox who was honored as the 2019 CareerSafe Safety Educator of the Year. She was recognized during the Association for Career and Technical Education® (ACTE®) National Visions Award Gala in Anaheim, California on December 4. Alicia received an all expense paid trip to the conference and $5,000 cash prize. During the gala they featured a wonderful video showcasing Alicia and her students.

2019 CareerSafe Safety Educator of the Year Award

CUSD National Board Certified Teachers

Chandler Unified School District - Debbie Fast of Basha Elementary and Kristine McGettigan of Hamilton High earned their National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) status for the second time. Thirty-eight teachers in CUSD have the NBCT status, and only three percent of certified K-12 teachers teaching in the United States have voluntarily worked towards and ultimately earned the rank of the NBCT title.

Casteel Project Lead the Way Outstanding Teacher

Casteel High - Sylvia Grace, Career and Technical Education teacher from Casteel High School, received the highest honor given to Project Lead the Way teachers, "PLTW Outstanding Teacher," at the Project Lead The Way national conference in San Antonio. Project Lead the Way recognized Sylvia in front of hundreds of attendees, including teachers from across the United States.

Esperanza Award and 2019 Teacher of the Year winner from Santan Junior High

Santan Junior High - Congratulations to Ana Abbott, Chicanos Por La Causa Esperanza Award Recipient and Teacher of the Year for 2019. The Esperanza award recognizes outstanding Latino teachers who have distinquished themselves through their extraordinary achievements. Chicanos Por La Causa website
Ana Abbott

Basha High Teacher Shares Teacher Tips in Podcast

Basha High - Basha High social studies teacher Elizabeth Schley is a part of a podcast for teacher tips. She is also an an author for Stories From Schools AZ where she shares daily life in an Arizona classroom for the Northern Arizona University AZ K12 Center where she is on the Teacher Advisory Board.

Ryan and Hancock Teachers Honored by VFW as Teachers of the Year

Ryan Elementary - Congratulations to Ryan Elementary 5th grade teacher Nicole Witte who was honored by Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Posts 7401 and 8053 as the VFW K-5 Teacher of the Year!

Nicole was recognized for her work over more than a decade organizing her team to create an annual Wall of Gratitude and Remembrance to honor American veterans -- a project designed to align with Social Studies (American History), Writing (Expository), and Speaking & Listening curriculum standards. All students create a poster for the Wall containing a narrative, photos, decorations and honors about a veteran -- often a family member or friend. The students work with their teacher to prepare appropriate interview questions, set up a time to speak with the veteran, and interview the honoree in order to prepare a speech presented by each student during a Wall of Gratitude and Remembrance pie party -- a culminating celebration attended by parents, veterans, and friends where many laughs, tears, and hugs are shared. Through Nicole Witte's efforts, these children gain a stronger appreciation for the sacrifices made by their parents, family members, friends and past US heroes.

Nicole Witte
Hancock Elementary - Hancock teacher Kathryn MacNabb was honored December 5 as the grade 6-9 Teacher of the Year by the Chandler chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Post 7401. This award is given to teachers who promote civic responsibility, flag etiquette and patriotism.

Kathryn coordinates the school's flag detail program with Hancock 5th and 6th graders each year, and works to bring in members of the National Guard, local veterans, Boy Scouts and nearby ROTC groups to teach the team about flag history, etiquette and civic responsibility. She is a dedicated teacher who instills respect and love for the American flag. Thank you, Kathryn, for all you do for Hancock students!

Kathryn MacNabb

Casteel Social Studies Teacher Presents at National Conference

Casteel High - Casteel social studies teacher Suzanne Buffington was honored to present ELL (English Language Learner) strategies at the National Council for the Social Studies Conference in Austin, Texas in November. Her presentation was titled "Secret Cities of the Manhattan Project" - GeoHistory Strategies Supporting ELs.

Conley Teacher Surprised by KTAR with Honor, Award

Conley Elementary - Conley Elementary teacher Christina Bergstrom won the KTAR News 92.3 FM's "Pay Tribute to a Teacher" award for September. KTAR News host Larry Gaydos surprised Bergstrom in her classroom with a $2,500 check, courtesy of Valley Toyota Dealers. Her kindergarten buddy class came to join her students and her team in the celebration!

Weinberg Music Teacher Selected Presenter

Weinberg Elementary - Weinberg music teacher Matt Pitts was selected to present at the 2020 Arizona Music Educators Association Annual In-Service Conference to be held in January 2020. He will present on "Popular Media With Orff Schulwerk." Orff Schulwerk music and movement pedagogy contributes to development of the individual far beyond specific skills and understandings in the arts. These skills and procedures have a wider application and value in several areas: Intellectual, Social, Emotional, and Aesthetic. Pictured: Mr. Pitts serenades the students at dismissal as they walk to the buses.

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School Program Highlights

Chandler High Theatre Honored at Arizona State Thespian Conference

Chandler High - Chandler High's Theatre Troupe attended the two-day Arizona State Thespian Conference in downtown Phoenix featuring a main stage production, dozens of one-act performances, and attend workshops geared toward honing their craft. Students were able to meet and collaborate with students from all over the state. CHS's APAC (Advanced Pantomime and Characterization) students took home a Superior Rating for their One Act titled, "Hammered: A Thor and Loki Play," one of our tech teams came home with 2nd place in one of the Tech Challenges, and two of our seniors took home two of six available scholarships. Nainoa Aguano won a $1,500 scholarship for his monologue/song audition, and Theo McEntire won a $1,500 scholarship for an essay he wrote about why he wants to be a theatre teacher. Additionally, EJ Newton, along with Nainoa Aguano and Theo McEntire, auditioned for college scholarships and were called back by several colleges who are interested in having them attend their schools.

Willis Jazz Band Chosen for State Honor

Willis Junior High - Willis Jazz Band was selected to perform at this year's Arizona Music Educators Conference in Mesa, Arizona during the weekend of January 31, 2020. In addition to performing, the Willis Band has been selected to present a clinic to state educators on: "What it Takes to Build a Successful Jazz Program." They will then perform for the music educators as an Honorary Ensemble representing the best of the state.
Willis Jazz Band

Perry Student Newspaper Ranked Top in Arizona

Perry High - For the second time in Perry High's history, The Precedent student newspaper, under the direction of Damien Tippett, won first place in Arizona for General Excellence. The award is journalism's version of a state championship, and was presented at the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association fall convention. The newspaper won 29 awards for writing, design, cartoons and photography; congratulations goes out to Vivian Duong, Anna Myers, Kenna Cassey, River Bradshaw, Nadine Loureiro, Isabel Behrendt, Grant Sands, Holly Olaszak, Aeneas Zobel, Rhaelyn Mehan and Mea Griffen! The Precedent - the online voice of Perry High

Perry's Yearbook staff Takes First Place at State

Perry High - Perry's Concolor Yearbook staff won First Place in General Excellence at the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association's Fall Convention for their 2019 book But Who's Counting? Individual staffers also won awards for their photography and writing. Sydney Carlson & Layla Mushtaq, Sydnee Milkovic & Lauryn Terry, and Sophia Vojacek & Amanda Romano won Honorable Mention for Clubs, Academics and Sports, respectively. Abby Kozel & Alexa Guy won Excellent in Sidebar Writing for their Student Life Stats. Ashley Johnston & Layla Mushtaq won Superior for Student Life. And Sydnee Milkovic won Superior in Featured Photo for Combustion Experiment.

Basha Elementary experiences zSpace

Basha Elementary - Basha Elementary's Technology Department is proud to implement zSpace, an AR/VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality) learning experience to increase engagement and meet educational standards in science, math, reading, technology and MORE! Begun in October 2019, students in kindergarten through 6th grade learn the basics of using the zSpace hardware. SanTan Sun News article: VR takes Chandler students to another dimension

ACP Erie Knight Innovators Pitch Hydrothermal Hat

Arizona College Prep - Erie Campus - The Knights Innovators presented their idea of a Hydrothermal Hat to Maricopa Superintendent of Schools Steve Watson and Deputy Superintendent Matt Morales. The team's Hydrothermal Hat idea was highly appreciated, and Mr. Morales is connecting the team with companies like Medtronics, SAP, Intel and First Solar. The team has also been invited by the Chandler Innovation Incubator program to start the Track 1 program and an entrepreneurship soon. YouTube video presentation: Hydro-Thermal Hat
Knights Innovators

Basha High Earns Lead4Change Certified School Recognition

Basha High - Once again, the Basha High School FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) Early Childhood chapter was one of 33 schools from across the country that earned the Lead4Change Certified School honor in recognition for its inspiring community service work and demonstration of leadership. Lead4Change is a student leadership program which provides leadership lessons that align with 21st century skills and integrate literacy, social-emotional learning, and project-based learning standards. Additionally, Lead4Change provides financial support to help students with their community service projects as they apply leadership lessons and address specific needs in our community. Pictured: Teacher/Chapter Adviser, Melanie Alexander; Student/FCCLA Chapter President, Sebastian Dees; and Principal, David Loutzenheiser.

Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association Honors Basha Band

Basha High - Basha High symphonic orchestra, under the direction of Jonathan Gott, won "Superior with Distinction" at the ABODA (Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association) Fall Festival at Corona del Sol High School prior to fall break.
Basha High symphonic orchestra

Hamilton Pilots AP Course

Hamilton High - Hamilton High School is currently piloting an AP course developed through a partnership between the CollegeBoard and the African Diaspora Consortium: AP Seminar with African Diaspora content. This is the first ever AP course with an African topic, and Hamilton is proud to be the first school in the western US to offer this course. The Senior Executive Director of the African Diaspora Consortium, Rhonesha Blaché, visited with the class and facilitated a lesson about changing perceptions of Africa. Hamilton students have also had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Adama Sallu as a guest speaker and attending a 1619 commemoration event during which Dr. Sallu was a panelist. A university partnership is also a part of this pilot program, so students will have opportunities for field trips to ASU and graduate student mentorship as they conduct research.
AP Course Pilot

Hamilton Architectural Drafting Students Get Hands-on Experience

Hamilton High - James Flannery's architectural drafting students took a tour of new construction in downtown Chandler and asked many questions. Thanks to Layton Construction, Whitneybell Perry Inc., and especially project manager Lisa Shea, Hamilton architecture students were able to tour a four-story office building, one-story commercial space, outdoor recreation plaza and hotel, and the new parking garage site. Architecture Field Trip Downtown Chandler Photo Album
Hamilton Architectural Drafting Students

Riggs Readers Break Readathon Record

Riggs Elementary - In the recent Riggs PTO Readathon, students read a total of 196,585 minutes -- surpassing last year's total by 33,690 minutes! In addition, the total amount raised was $18,646. Pictured: Riggs Readathon winners having Lunch and Limo time with Principal Jan Weyenberg.

Red Ribbon Week Celebrated at Bologna

Bologna Elementary - The inaugural Red Ribbon Week Character Picnic at Bologna Elementary was a success. Pictured: Principal Thuy Padilla with a student on "The Day the Crayons Quit."

ASU Basketball Presents Character Code Game

Andersen Elementary - Andersen 3rd grade teacher Barbara Richardson organized and brought the ASU women's basketball team to present The Character Code Game assembly to the 3rd-5th grade students. The Character Code Game, a major initiative of the ASU women's basketball team, is a role-playing game that teaches students how to demonstrate great character in sports and in life. The game challenges students to understand what it means to have character, and how character is demonstrated at home, school and with friends. Sparky joined in on the fun, too!
The Character Code Game Assembly

Galveston Launches "Movin' Up on Data Night"

Galveston Elementary - The Family Engagement Team at Galveston Elementary School, held a Movin' On Up Data Night for all families of second graders. Twenty-three enthusiastic families learned and practiced a reading fluency strategy. This reading fluency skill equips families with a research-based strategy with which to assist their child to become a better reader. Childcare was provided, the families became eager, engaged learners, and several left with fun raffle prizes! Families committed to help their child reach a goal set by their family. They left Data Night equipped with support, materials and a better understanding of how to help their child be successful.

Haley's "Be Kind Crew" Makes a Positive Difference

Haley Elementary - Haley students had a great time learning how to make a positive difference in their classroom, school and their community from the Be Kind Crew. They learned to accept others for their differences and be supportive of others when they may be feeling sad.

CTA Freedom Launches "Acts of Kindness Chain"

Chandler Traditional Academy - Freedom Campus - Over 100 students have signed up for CTA Freedom's newly-launched Kindness Club! The students created an act of kindness chain and displayed it for National Kindness Day, November 13. Each link in the chain tells of a personal act of kindness that the students have experienced.

"Only One You" Rock Garden Established at Patterson

Patterson Elementary - All 1,080 Patterson Elementary students and staff have read the book "Only One You" to inspire them to love and celebrate who they are and what they represent. A local landscape company donated 3,000 pounds of rocks so all students could paint a "Be Kind" rock to represent something important about who they are. These rocks have been placed outside as the Patterson "Only One You" rock garden. Students and staff painted anything from their native country flag, to a hobby that represented them, to a symbol that brought important meaning.

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Basha High Cadets Honor War Veterans

Basha High - For the sixth year in a row, Basha High School cadets, under the direction of Colonel Clifford Stansell, raised money for Honor Flight Arizona, a program that sends WWII/Korean and Vietnam War veterans to Washington, D.C. free of charge. Cadets simply brought in loose change (pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters) and did this internally without asking for donations from any of the other classes in the school. This year they raised $1,725, by far largest donation ever! Honor Flight Arizona website
Basha High School cadets with Honor Flight Donation Check

Chandler High Modazz and Dance donate $750 in turkeys to Chandler CARE Center

Chandler High - Modazz and the Chandler High Dance Department donated $750 in turkeys to the Chandler CARE Center for the holidays. The students and their dance teacher, Kathie Buren, have been donating to the CARE center for nearly 30 years and have donated close to $13,000 in turkeys since 1991!

Chandler High students help distribute food and items to 350 Chandler families

Chandler High - Several Chandler High students helped distribute food and other items to 350 Chandler families for the Chandler CARE Center. Chandler CARE Center Donations Photo Album
Chandler High students help distribute food

CUSD Employees Volunteer at ICAN

Chandler Unified School District - Chandler Unified employees from several schools and departments volunteered for the ICAN (Improving Chandler Area Neighborhoods) Thanksgiving dinner to serve more than 450 people.
Chandler Unified employee volunteers

CTA Goodman Student Raises funds for Amputees

Chandler Traditional Academy - Goodman Campus - CTA Goodman student Jax Burton celebrated his birthday by asking people to give donations to the San Antonio Amputee Foundation. Raising more than $1,400, Jax will make at least two people regain their mobility and walk again. His first recipient received her leg in October, and both she and Jax were featured on the local San Antonio TV news.

Knox Gifted Academy Cares!

Knox Gifted Academy - The Knox Gifted Academy community came together to collect and donate 1,550 items to Chandler CARE Center to help families celebrate Thanksgiving and beyond. Since the goal was reached, every student received a lollipop! Thanks to all who donated.

Hamilton and Partners Assist Needy CUSD Families

Hamilton High - The Hamilton social work team and students assembled 120 Thanksgiving meals at the Sun Lakes Methodist Church on November 25 and distributed to Hamilton underprivileged families and other CUSD families through the FIT program. Additionally, Safeway donated 40 Thanksgiving meals for Hamilton High School families in need -- as it has for the past four years.

A big shout out and THANK YOU to Sun Lakes Methodist Church and the Safeway on Chandler Heights and Alma School Road for their compassion and generosity!

Assembling Thanksgiving Meals

Ryan Elementary Embraces Spirit of Holiday Giving

Ryan Elementary - Ryan Elementary students and staff donated over 800 books to the Chandler CARE Center in November. Additionally, Ryan 6th grade classes raised funds to purchase 66 turkeys to donate to St. Vincent de Paul for Thanksgiving.
Ryan Elementary Turkey Donations

Casteel High Treats Valley Veterans

Casteel High - Casteel High students made 3,660 "sweet rolls" and delivered them to various veterans organizations around the valley.

Casteel and Hamilton Students Volunteer with Sun Lakes Rotary

Fifteen Casteel High student volunteers assisted the Sun Lakes Rotary Club with their Walk with a Doc initiative. While members of the Sun Lakes Community walk at their own pace, they have the opportunity to choose from one of three walks with varying lengths on flat ground and to have questions answered by local physicians. Students assisted with registrations and participated in walking with Sun Lakes Residents and engaging in conversation along with encouragement. In addition, the Casteel and Hamilton High Interact clubs assisted with the annual Sun Lakes Rotary Breakfast, which helps raise funds for the Sun Lakes Rotary club and all of their initiatives.
Casteel and Hamilton Students Volunteer with Sun Lakes Rotary

Chandler High National Honor Society collects clothes for Clothes Cabin

Chandler High - Chandler High School National Honor Society collected clothes for the Clothes Cabin, a Gilbert nonprofit that provides clothing and household linens to people in need.
Chandler High National Honor Society collects clothes for Clothes Cabin

Payne Students Brighten Day for Hospital Patients

Payne Junior High - Payne Junior High seventh graders Hannah Johnson, Alyssa Kuraoka, Sahasra Malepati, and Sabra Sanders made 425 friendship bracelets and took them to Phoenix Children's Hospital over Veterans Day weekend to let the patients there know they had friends thinking of them, even if they've never met.

Hartford Students Cheer the Troops with Letters

Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary - Hartford students worked with the American Legion to write letters to the troops. The letters will be mailed to bring cheer to the troops during the holidays.

San Marcos 1st Graders Share Love of Reading

San Marcos Elementary - San Marcos first graders in Joan Scharich's class took a field trip to visit the Soltera Senior Living Community. Students enjoyed reading books and sharing stories with their new friends at Soltera.

Santan Elementary Crush in Kids Heart Challenge

Santan Elementary - Santan Elementary students raised $7,846 for the American Heart Association during their Kids Heart Challenge this year! Way to go, Stormers! Because they met their goal (in fact, they almost tripled it), Santan Elementary students got to watch Principal Amy O'Neal, Dean Bryon Houy, Counselor Vanessa Pepoon and PE teacher Kelly Saadi crack eggs on their heads... some of which were hard boiled, and some which were not!

Payne Students Prepare Care Packages for Troops

Payne Junior High - Payne Junior High students in Kennedy Plumb's class are truly getting into the holiday spirit by preparing care packages for troops overseas.

Snowmen Bring Winter Cheer to Preschool

San Marcos Elementary - Governing Board member Karen McGee has a talent for crafting. She recently made 14 snowmen and donated them to preschoolers at San Marcos Elementary. The children LOVE them -- and the snowmen are enjoying their new home, too!

Andersen Junior High Shares Love of Reading

Andersen Junior High - Andersen Junior High students in Amy Whiteley's class visited the "Future Jags" at Andersen Elementary to share their love of reading.

Jacobson Turns Candy into Lesson and Donation

Jacobson Elementary - Sixth grade leaders work with kindergarten buddies for a sweet cause! Stacy Thompson's kindergarten and Kelly Murrieta's 6th grade buddy classes found a way to make leftover Halloween candy something to learn from. Teams of two worked together to sort, count and label the candy before it was all donated to the Chandler CARE Center. (OK, maybe not ALL the candy...)

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Partnerships Spotlight

Community Partner: Sun Lakes Lions Club

Sun Lakes Lions Club

Chandler Unified School District values our relationship with the Sun Lakes Lions Club, an organization dedicated to service. The Lions Club's work in our community affects our students and their families through donations to local organizations that assist handicapped children and the blind, among others -- and represents a dedication best summarized by their mission and vision statements:


To empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.


To be the global leader in community and humanitarian service.

In Chandler Unified, the Lions are best known for supporting our students through their annual Peace Poster contest, giving children the chance to express their visions of peace and inspire the world through art and creativity. By the Lions' example, our students learn the lesson of the power of art to create a peaceable space, the value of seeking understanding and living harmoniously with all, and a desire to volunteer to make the world a better place. Thank you, Sun Lakes Lions!

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Upcoming Events

Multiple Dates and Locations:

  • FREE Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainings
    Course designed for parents, family members, teachers or other adults who regularly interact with young people to learn how to help an adolescent who is experiencing an addiction/mental health challenge or is in crisis.
    Click here for more information and to register.

  • 6th Grade Parent Orientation Meetings
    Sixth grade parents/guardians and students invited to attend. Junior high school staff will describe our programs, explain the registration process and answer your questions to make the transition from elementary to junior high school a positive experience. Click here for more information.
    (See details and dates by school below.)

  • 8th Grade Parent Orientation Meetings
    Eighth grade parents/guardians and students invited to attend. High school staff will describe our programs, explain the registration process and answer your questions to make the transition from junior high to high school a positive experience. Click here for more information.
    (See details and dates by school below.)

December 9

Polly Rosenbaum Writing Contest for Grades 7-12 deadline. (See details below.)

December 12

Presentation: "Opioids and Fentanyl: How it Impacts Our Community

Presented by DEA and the US Attorney’s Office

Place: Chandler Center for the Arts

Click here for more information.

Time: 6 - 7 p.m.

December 16

Equity Lecture and Film Series: A Conversation about faith traditions

Join us for our December lecture as we create space to hear about some of the faith traditions. In this lecture, we seek to build understanding through learning of the tenets of each faith, holiday traditions and misconceptions.

Place: CUSD District Office Board Room

Click here for more info and to register.

Time: 6 - 7:30 p.m.

December 17

Parent Workshop: "How to raise healthy children in today's culture"

(Offered in English and Spanish)

Join us for a conversation about the power of today toxic culture and our role as parents to protect our children. Parents will receive handouts that will assist them in managing the Internet, smart phones, social media and video games. Movie night provided for the kids.
Facilitated by: ICAN

Place: Andersen Elementary

Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Pre-registration required (to ensure minimum of participants to open a class). Call 480-874-7593 or email

December 18-19

Junior High/High School Early Dismissal - Finals

December 19

2nd quarter ends

December 20

Teacher Inservice/Workday - No School

State of Arizona Arts Proficiency Seal Contest for High School Students deadline. (See details below.)

December 23 - January 3

2nd Intersession - No School

January 6

Teacher Inservice/Workday - No School

January 7

Students return

January 8

On-Site Kindergarten Registration for 2020-2021

See Kindergarten website for more information.


January 13

Preschool Registration for 2020-2021

See Preschool website for more information.

Open Enrollment for 2020-2021 school year begins

Opens online at 7:30 a.m.

See Open Enrollment website for more information.

January 14

Kindergarten Open House for CTA & Dual Sites

Time: 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Chandler Traditional Academy school locations: CTA Freedom, CTA Goodman, CTA Humphrey, CTA Independence, and CTA Liberty. Dual (Classic and CTA) Campus school locations: Auxier Elementary, Carlson Elementary, Patterson Elementary.

January 20

Martin Luther King Day Holiday - No School

January 28

Kindergarten Open House for non-CTA & non-Dual Sites

Time: 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Elementary school locations: Andersen, Basha, Bologna, Conley, Frye, Fulton, Galveston, Haley, Hancock, Hartford Sylvia Encinas, Hull, Jacobson, Navarrete, Riggs, Ryan, San Marcos, Sanborn, Santan, Shumway Leadership Academy, and Tarwater.

January 30

2020-2021 Certified Teacher Recruitment Fair

Appointments will be set. Click here to apply today.

Place: Hamilton High School

Time: 4 - 5:30 p.m.

February 3

Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show Kids Art Contest deadline. (See details below.)

February 4

Junior High Parent/Teacher Conferences at Andersen, Bogle, Santan and Casteel (7-8 only)

February 6

Junior High Parent/Teacher Conferences at ACP Oakland, Payne, Willis, and Hill

February 12-13

Elementary Parent/Teacher Conferences

February 17

Presidents Day Holiday - No School

February 18

Presentation: "Depression and Anxiety Management for Teens

Speaker: Clara Davis, LCSW (Aurora Behavioral Health System)

Facilitator: Lindsay Taylor, MSW (PHS Social Worker)

Place: Perry High School Room C115

Time: 6 - 7:30 p.m.

February 22

Chandler Innovation Fair

Place: Hamilton High

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

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Lil' Explorers Winter Intersession Camp

Theme: “Gingerbread Tales.”

Come join the fun this winter with the Lil' Explorers Winter Break Intersession Camp! At Lil' Explorers, we utilize a whole child approach to learning in which physical, social, emotional and cognitive development is emphasized through individual and group activities throughout the day. We offer many opportunities to explore the areas of early literacy, math, science, social studies and dramatic play.

Camp Dates: Dec. 20 to Jan. 3, 6:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Closed: Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1)

Location: Perry High School - 480-224-2937

Daily Rates:

$48/day – Infants

$41/day – 1-2 year olds

$38/day – 3-4 year olds

(5% family discount on tuition balance)

$75 Registration fee applicable for new enrollees

Lunch and snacks are included. Click here to register for Lil' Explorers Winter Intesession Camp online or contact community education at 224-3900 for assistance. Call the site at 480-224-2937 to check space availability for camp.

Kids Express Winter Intersession Camp

Theme: "Chilln' with my Snowmies"

Come join the excitement during Kids Express Winter Break Intersession Camp! Campers will enjoy fun filled days with include art projects, cooking, active play, sports, games, computers and more!

Special Attractions & Field Trips:
Frozen Phenomenon, It's a Snow WONDER, Phoenix Zoo, and Urban Air

Grades: Kindergarten through 6th Grade

Camp Dates, Times:

Camp runs daily Monday – Friday from 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (December 20th to January 6th)
CLOSED December 25th (Christmas Day) and January 1st (New Year's Day)
Please Note: December 24th Conley will be the only location open and will close at 2:00 pm

December 31st all locations will be closed at 3:00 pm.

Locations: Conley, Fulton and Ryan

Teacher In-service Day (January 6th) additional locations: Santan and Frye Elementary

Rates: $32/day

Students must bring a non-perishable lunch everyday unless otherwise indicated. Snacks provided daily. Click here to register today. Call (480) 224-3900 with any questions.

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6th Grade Parent Orientation Meetings

The ACP Oakland, Andersen, Basha Accelerated Middle School, Bogle, Payne, Santan, Willis Junior High School and Casteel High School staff members invite you and your student to attend a sixth grade Parent Orientation Meeting scheduled at the date, time and location listed below for each school. At these meetings our junior high school staff will describe our programs, explain the registration process and answer your questions. We look forward to having your student in one of our junior high schools and are anxious to make the transition from elementary to junior high school a positive experience.


ACP Oakland (6-8)

6th grade Parent Orientation Meeting

Wednesday, January 8, 5:30 p.m.

ACP Oakland Gymnasium

Join us to learn more about the Arizona College Prep academic curriculum, extracurricular opportunities, sports opportunities and campus culture. Learn why ACP is a top rated school in the state and the nation, and why our students have the highest AzMERIT scores in the East Valley.

Andersen Junior High

6th grade Parent Orientation Meeting

Tuesday, January 28, 6:00 p.m.

Andersen Junior High Gymnasium

A general information meeting will start at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium, followed by an open house in the cafeteria until 7 p.m. Families and students will have the opportunity to visit teachers and learn about our academic departments, elective programs, Honors/AVID courses, athletics/clubs offerings, and meet our counselors.

Basha AMS (6-8 - Accelerated Middle School)

6th grade Parent Orientation Meeting

Thursday, December 5, 6:00 p.m.

Basha High Auditorium

The Accelerated Middle School @ Basha is a comprehensive, academic school located on the Basha High School campus where students are challenged through a Pre-AP curriculum in preparation for high school. Students must take placement exams to determine where they would start in Mathematics. Visit or call 480-224-2100 for more information.

Bogle Junior High

6th grade Parent Orientation Meeting

Thursday, January 16, 6:00/7:00 p.m.

Bogle Junior High Gymnasium

Bogle Administrators and counselors will host two overview presentations of Bogle academic and extra-curricular programs and answer registration questions, beginning at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the gymnasium. Find out why Bogle was named the Best Middle School in Chandler by the East Valley Tribune! Student Council members will be offering campus tours throughout the evening. Campus tours will run from 5:30 - 6 p.m. and 6:30 - 7 p.m. prior to both sessions.

Casteel High (7-12)

6th grade Parent Orientation Meeting

Wednesday. January 22, 6:00/7:00 p.m.

Casteel High Performing Arts Center

Casteel administration will have two general information meetings. The first one will start at 6 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) followed by an open house in the gymnasium until 8 p.m. If you are unable to make the 6 p.m. meeting, you may come to gymnasium first and then go to the second general information meeting at 7 p.m. You will be able to visit our academic departments, elective programs, and coaches while in the gymnasium. Information about Honors, Athletic academies, STEM programming, and elective courses will be available to help with your registration choices. We will also have all of our clubs in the café.

Payne Junior High

6th grade Parent Orientation Meeting

Thursday, January 16, 6:00/7:00 p.m.

Payne Junior High Gymnasium

Payne Jr. High will host two general information presentations beginning at 6 p.m. and at 7 p.m. in the gymnasium. Immediately following, please explore our campus. You will have the opportunity to visit with our academic departments, electives and teachers. The Athletic department will be available with information for the 2020-21 season and our PTO will be on campus selling Payne gear and recruiting volunteers. Administrators and Counselors will be available to answer questions.

Santan Junior High

6th grade Parent Orientation Meeting

Tuesday, January 21, 6:00 p.m.

Santan Junior High - Storm Gymnasium

Santan Junior High administration, counselors and staff will present an overview of the programs of study for junior high students in the Eye of the Storm gymnasium at 6 p.m. School tours will be given by our WEB Club beginning at 5:15 p.m. Be prepared for an entertaining evening of information, highlights from our elective team, and meeting the 7th grade teams of teachers.

Willis Junior High

6th grade Parent Orientation Meeting

Thursday, January 30, 6:00 p.m.

Willis Junior High Gym/Cafeteria

A general information meeting will start at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium followed by an open house until 7 p.m. The general information meeting will consist of academic pathways to success for all of our students including core, elective, and academic perseverance classes offered at Willis. Prospective parents, and students, will have the opportunity to hear about the Willis Core Values, STEAM Academy and the registration process. Upon the completion of the general meeting, families are invited into our cafeteria to visit teachers from our academic departments, elective programs, coaches, and counselors.

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8th Grade Parent Orientation Meetings

The ACP Erie, Basha, Casteel, Chandler, Hamilton and Perry High School staff members invite you and your student to attend an eighth grade Parent Orientation Meeting scheduled at the date, time and location listed below for each school. At these meetings our high school staff will describe our programs, explain the registration process and answer your questions. We look forward to having your student in one of our high schools and are anxious to make the transition from junior high to high school a positive experience.


ACP Erie

8th grade Parent Orientation Meeting

Wednesday, January 15, 6:00 p.m.

ACP Erie Gymnasium

Arizona College Preparatory-Erie administration and counseling will present an overview of the program of study available for high school students in the gymnasium at 6 p.m. Information on Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment and the upcoming placement assessment will be discussed. Opportunities to schedule a guided tour of the campus or to make arrangements for students to shadow a current student can also be made in the cafeteria at the conclusion of the evening’s presentation.

Basha High

8th grade Parent Orientation Meeting

Wednesday, January 22, 6:00 p.m.

Basha High Gymnasium

A general information meeting will start at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium followed by an open house until 8 p.m. Visit our academic departments, elective programs, coaches, and counselors while you tour the campus. Information about our AP, Dual Credit, Career and Technical Education (CTE), and elective courses will be available to help with your registration choices.

Casteel High (7-12)

8th grade Parent Orientation Meeting

Wednesday January 22, 2020, 6:00/7:00 p.m.

Casteel High Performing Arts Center

Casteel administration will have two general information meetings. The first one will start at 6 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) followed by an open house in the gymnasium until 8 p.m. If you are unable to make the 6 p.m. meeting, you may come to gymnasium first and then go to the second general information meeting at 7 p.m. You will be able to visit our academic departments, elective programs, and coaches while in the gymnasium. Information about Honors, Athletic academies, STEM programming, and elective courses will be available to help with your registration choices. We will also have all of our clubs in the café.

Chandler High

8th grade Parent Orientation Meeting

Thursday, January 16, 5:45 p.m.

Chandler Center for the Arts

Chandler High School departments will be available in the foyer at 5:45 p.m. prior to the 6:30 p.m. presentation. Also on January 23, 2020 at 6:00 p.m., Chandler High School will be hosting a forum to discuss our International Baccalaureate Program, and Advanced Placement in the Chandler Center for the Arts.

Hamilton High

8th grade Parent Orientation Meeting

Wednesday, January 22, 6:00 p.m.

Hamilton High Main Gym

Following the 6 p.m. general meeting, there will be informational sessions regarding the AVID program, Sports Academies, Academics, Advanced Placement/Honors and dual credit opportunities. Hamilton High School counselors will also be available to answer general questions from 6:30 to 8 p.m. All incoming 9th grade students and parents are encouraged to attend.

Perry High

8th grade Parent Orientation Meeting

Thursday January 23, 5:00 p.m.

Perry High Main Gym

Campus tours begin in the courtyard at 4:30 p.m.; 5-5:45 p.m. Honors, AP (Advanced Placement) and Dual Enrollment presentation in the auditorium; 5:45 p.m. - 6 p.m. STEM presentation and informational meeting in the auditorium; 6 p.m. Main Program in the big gymnasium; Honors placement, guidance counseling, athletics and other information will be available throughout the evening to assist students in the gymnasiums; 6:45 p.m. Open Enrollment and Registration informational meeting in the auditorium.

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Student Contests

Polly Rosenbaum Writing Contest (7-12)

Polly Rosenbaum Writing Contest for Grades 7-12

Deadline: December 9


Each year the Arizona Educational Foundation establishes a theme for the writing contest. ​The creative writing contest is open to students in grades 7 - 12 who currently attend a public school in Arizona. Teachers submit student essays and can submit up to ten entries per grade category. A teacher can only submit one essay per student and only ten entries per grade category (i.e. a high school English teacher could submit 10 individual essays from a 9th grade class and 10 individual essays from an 11th grade class).


​Entries are judged in three categories, 7th/8th Grade; 9th/10th Grade; and 11th/12th Grade.


"What ideas do you have for citizens to actively engage in their communities?”

State of Arizona Arts Proficieny Seal Contest for High School Students

State of Arizona Arts Proficieny Seal Contest for High School Students

Deadline: December 20, 5 p.m.


The Arizona State Board Of Education has officially adopted a "Seal Of Arts Proficiency" for graduates who complete minimum arts pathway requirements throughout their high school career. Students are encouraged to submit original designs for the seal. The Arizona Department of Education is seeking designers to create the State Seal of Arts Proficiency. The selected design will be affixed to the diplomas of all graduates who meet the minimum arts education requirements. Each school may submit the online application for up to two students per grade level 9-12. Each student entry will require a separate application. Designs must be created and uploaded using the attached Arts Proficiency Seal Design Form.

Who is eligible to participate?

Arizona district or charter high school students in grades 9-12


The winning design will be unveiled in March during Youth Arts Month and the designer will be recognized at a reception at the Arizona Department of Education.

To Apply:

Each school may submit the online application and upload the Arts Proficiency Seal Design Form for up to 2 students per grade level 9-12.


  • Keep it simple! Lots of detail will NOT show up on the seal. Utilize positive and negative space, line drawings, and/or silhouettes.
  • Represent Arizona’s 5 artistic disciplines: Dance, Music, Media Arts, Theatre, and Visual Arts.
  • Two Colors: Submit black and white designs or designs utilizing two colors only.

65th Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show - Kids Art Contest 2020

Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show Art Contest Official Rules and Entry Form

Deadline: February 3


The Arabian Horse Association of Arizona is hosting the 65th Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, February 13-23, 2020. The 16th Annual Art contest will be open to Kindergarten through Grade 6. Students are invited to submit their interpretations of "Arabian Horses".

Each entry received will receive a t-shirt, two free one day passes for the entrants' parents to attend and two for one tickets to invite family and friends to the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. Please circle the size of the t-shirt on the entry form. Please see the Rules and Regulations for more information.

Please pay particular attention to the following rules:

  1. Entries submitted will be judged in four age groups: Kindergarten & Grade 1; Grades 2 & 3; Grade 4; and Grades 5 & 6
  2. An Arabian horse must be depicted in each entry.
  3. Only ONE entry per child.
  4. Submitted entries MUST be matted with white mat board.

Questions: If you have questions or would like more information, please contact the Arabian Horse Association of Arizona at (480) 515-1500.

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