|Superintendent - Dr. David J. Peterson|
Dear Scottsdale Unified School District Family,
As we approach the Winter Break, we have plenty of great news to celebrate this month! SUSD was recently recognized as one of two districts in Arizona and one of 477 school districts nationwide being honored by the College Board with placement on the 4th Annual Advanced Placement® (AP®) District Honor Roll. This distinction is for increasing access to AP® course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of three or higher on AP® exams. We do a great job of preparing our students for post-secondary education. This recognition could not have been achieved without the dedication and hard work of our AP® teachers, principals, administrators and students. Our AP® students are engaged and challenged with this rigorous coursework and it really shows. I am very proud that our District has received this honor from the College Board.
We are proud to announce that the following schools are included on the 2013 The National Center for Educational Achievement (NCEA) Higher Performing School list. They are Pima Elementary, Hopi Elementary, Hohokam Traditional, Cherokee Elementary, Laguna Elementary, Sequoya Elementary and Anasazi Elementary. NCEA identifies Higher Performing Schools based on one or both of two measures: 1) Consistent improvement in student achievement from previous years (growth) and/or 2) An above-predicted percentage of continuously enrolled students scoring at the Exceeds level on the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards.
I know that many of you are concerned about what lies ahead for Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD). Because our 15% Override lost by 237 votes, we will need to find innovative solutions to absorb this funding loss and continue as the educational leader in Arizona. The great unknown is what our budget will be based on the state legislature. We could have some relief if appropriate funding levels are approved. I know we will work together as a family to find the best possible solutions for the students of our District.
Because the budget is on everyone’s minds, our Budget Committee has already started the process of evaluating the 2014-15 fiscal year budget. The committee is comprised of teachers, staff, administrators, parents, community members, students and Governing Board members. I have asked for a preliminary recommendation by January 16, 2014. The Budget Committee’s meeting minutes can be found at http://susd-budget-committee.susd.schoolfusion.us.
You can make a difference and support students by making a Tax Credit contribution. One hundred percent of your Tax Credit contribution goes directly for students. Your donation supports education and will be used for before and after school programs, music competitions, tutoring, field trips, overnight trips and athletic programs. Your contribution can be claimed when filing your 2013 State Income Taxes. The funds must be postmarked by December 31, 2013. The District Office, 3811 N. 44th St., Phoenix 85018, will also be open on December 31st from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., if you would like to stop by and make a contribution. It’s a win-win situation for you and SUSD students! To make a donation, please visit http://taxcredit.susd.org.
I would like to send congratulations to the Coronado and Desert Mountain High School Marching Bands! The Coronado Marching Band, under the direction of Dr. Schultz Bennett, placed 3rd in the Division III State Marching Championships which was held on November 16th at Glendale Community College. Additionally, the Desert Mountain High School Marching Band, under the direction of Mrs. Michelle Irvin, placed 4th in Division II at the State Marching Championships. Both marching bands performed at a very high level of excellence and represented their schools and Scottsdale Unified School District in an outstanding manner.
Congratulations to the Saguaro High School football team, Coach Jason Mohns and the coaching staff for winning the Division III State championship with a 47-25 victory against Queen Creek on November 29. We are truly proud of this accomplishment. Saguaro has won their third championship in four seasons. In addition, Jason proposed to his fiancé on T.V. after the game and she accepted! It truly was a great Sabercat Day!
We are pleased to announce that SUSD has been selected as one the school districts to participate in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Teaching and Learning Continuums. The Arizona Science Center has been awarded a planning grant of more than $260,000 by Helios Education Foundation in an effort to help improve classroom instruction in the STEM areas. The STEM Teaching and Learning Continuums will provide professional development and learning opportunities for teachers in the STEM areas. The initiative will also be implemented in Flagstaff Unified School District and J.O. Combs Unified School District with the collaboration of the Pinal County Educational Services Agency. The districts were selected after an exhaustive screening process substantiated their commitment to enhancing STEM education.
We will have Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies to mark the completion of construction for Ingleside Middle School at 9 a.m. on Friday, December 6th and Supai Middle School at 10 a.m. on Friday, December 13th. I invite you to attend one of these events. I am truly proud to say that we completed these projects on time and on budget. Strong and vibrant schools anchor Scottsdale as a best place to live. Our community’s investment is paying incredible dividends for our students and staff with these improved educational spaces.
It all starts in elementary school – students learn the fundamental lessons that begin in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten and continue to develop through each grade level. Kindergarten Roundups are now underway. Click here for a complete schedule of dates, times and locations. If you are unable to make the scheduled Roundup, please call the school you are interested in enrolling your child for a tour.
On behalf of the Governing Board, I thank you for all of the ways you help SUSD. Whether through committee participation, a tax credit donation or the encouragement you give a child, no school district can do its best without the support of the community.
Dr. David J. Peterson
3811 N. 44th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Superintendent and Governing Board
Superintendent's Leadership Team
Dr. Peterson Office Hours 2012-2013
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