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Canyon Ridge School 10th Anniversary Veterans Program
The students at Canyon Ridge School presented their annual program to honor Veterans on November 8, 2019. This Veterans Commemoration featured patriotic songs, band performances, student presentations of original art work and cards of gratitude, and guest speakers from the community at large. 

Over 1,100 people were in attendance, including staff and student body. The outdoor assembly also featured comments from our keynote speaker Dennis Grau; former Commander of VFW Post 10695 in Sun City West and 2014 inductee to the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame. “We live in a free country and enjoy your rights because of the service of the Veterans around you,” Grau mentioned as he motioned to the Veterans in the audience. “We are the home of the free because of the brave.”

Mr. Grau’s comments were echoed by Veteran Winnie Fritz; a U.S. Army combat nurse and winner of the Bronze Star for her service in Vietnam. “I am deeply moved to be here today and to experience this outpouring of love and respect for our Veterans. It is so important that a new generation understand the service of those who came before them.” Ms. Fritz was presented drawings and cards created by second and third grade learners. She will also be one of the Veterans that will be featured in writing by the Canyon Ridge chapter of the Veteran Heritage Project (VHP). 

The VHP builds bridges of understanding between students and Veterans by allowing those who served to tell their stories. Learners interview Veterans and create articles for publication in the acclaimed book, “Since You Asked.” Young authors will join their Veteran for a statewide book signing in April and a copy of the publication is displayed annually in the Library of Congress. The middle level learners of Canyon Ridge School are the only elementary grade representatives from the Northwest valley that will achieve publication in the volume. Their written works will highlight the accomplishments of Army Nurse Winnie Fritz, World War Two Army sniper, David Boyer and Navy Seabee Charles Hales. Mr. Hales is also a former president of the Saguaro Chapter of the Arizona SAR.

Among our honored guests were representatives from ten local patriotic community organizations. These groups all have long standing working relationships with Canyon Ridge School and included: Arizona Sons of the American Revolution, the Marine Corp League and the Arizona Daughters of the American Revolution. The Colors were presented and retrieved by the Arizona SAR Color Guard; under the command of Steve Monez. This organization has been instrumental to the success of multiple patriotic events on our campus; including United States Constitution and Patriot’s Day. Their contributions of time, resources and expertise continue to bring history alive for students.

The Veterans Commemoration assembly also featured a presentation of a $250 grant from the Veterans Commemorative Plaza Committee. Canyon Ridge was selected for this honor based on their two year partnership with the Cambridge program at Marley Park School, from 2013-2015. In that time both sites raised over $5,000 for the construction of the Surprise Veterans Commemorative Plaza. This monument honors all Veterans and contains brick pavers with the names and branch of service of hundreds of local Veterans.  Combined, our two Dysart schools remain the largest contributor to the memorial plaza. 

As a culmination to the Veterans Commemoration this year, VFW Post 10695 in Sun City West, performed a flag folding ceremony and presented this symbol to seventh grade Social Studies teacher Christopher Raso. He was cited for his many years of supporting Veterans and bringing patriotic learning opportunities the Canyon Ridge School. “I am deeply moved to receive our flag in this fashion,” Raso states. “The opportunity to bring real world experiences and expressions of patriotism to our students, have been the highlight of my career.”
Following the assembly guests were escorted through the Hall of Remembrance which consisted of over 120 photographs of Veterans from our community. Their years of service encompass all American conflicts from the First World War to the current War on Terror. All community guests and Veterans enjoyed a catered breakfast and had a chance to share their military experiences with each other at a reception sponsored by the Canyon Ridge Parent Teacher Association.

The 2019 Veterans Commemoration represents the tenth consecutive year that Canyon Ridge School has honored those who have served, or those currently in uniform. From it’s inception, the program has sought to educate learners regarding the importance of service and showing respect and appreciation for those who protect our freedom. The format of the assembly offered at Canyon Ridge has become the basis for assemblies that are now present at five schools in the Dysart Unified School District.
Posted : 3h | Direct Link
Dysart Seeks Memorabilia and Stories for Centennial Celebration
Dysart is excited to celebrate its 100th year of educating the community in the 2020-2021 school year. If you have a story or memory you would like to share with us to celebrate the upcoming centennial, or would like to volunteer to help, please let us know at Dysart Centennial
Posted : 11/15 | Direct Link
STEM Cross Collaboration Day - November 26
Tuesday, November 26, 2019 is our STEM Cross Collaboration Day, where students team up with other Canyon Ridge students in a different grade level to work on various STEM related projects.  Because of this event, our lunch schedule for this day will be modified.  Please see the following for lunch and recess times.

Grade Levels Cafeteria Times Recess Times
1st and 7th Grades 10:20-10:55 a.m. 10:55-11:15 a.m.
2nd and 6th Grades 11:05-11:35 a.m. 11:35-11:55 a.m.
5th Grade 11:40-12:00 p.m. 12:00-12:15 p.m.
3rd and 8th Grades 12:00 -12:30 p.m. 12:30-12:45 p.m.
Kinder and 4th Grades 12:35 -1:05 p.m. 1:05 - 1:20 p.m.
Posted : 11/15 | Direct Link
Canyon Ridge Veterans Day Celebration
On November 8, 2019, Canyon Ridge hosted a Veterans Day Commemoration to celebrate our American Heroes.  The event included the presentation of colors, student performances, Veterans of Foreign Wars honored guest speaker, Dennis Grau, the Veterans Commemorative Plaza Award, along with a presentation of the American flag.  The event was followed by a reception and breakfast for our special guests.    Please enjoy the Video Presentation of this event.
Posted : 11/12 | Direct Link
PTA Spirit Wear
Order your sweatshirt or spirit shirt if you still need one using the link below. November 5th will be the LAST day spirit shirt orders are accepted for the year, and we will not be carrying an inventory of sweatshirts or t-shirts. Paper forms will be going home next week!  Visit Canyon Ridge PTA Spirit Wear Store
Posted : 10/25 | Direct Link
Coming Events - Week of November 18, 2019

Please mark your calendars for the following upcoming events:

Please remember Every Monday is early release.  We release 1 p.m.

Monday, November 18 -
Canyon Ridge Girls Volleyball v Mountain View at Canyon Ridge Elementary; 7:30 p.m.
Canyon Ridge Boys Soccer v Mountain View at Cimarron Springs Elementary; 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 19 -
Kona Ice for sale after school
PTA General Membership Meeting; 5:30 p.m. in the Media Center

Thursday, November 21 -
Thanksgiving Luncheon Celebration; Price for all visitors is $3.50.   Lunch schedule follows:

Grade Lunch Times
6th 10:00 - 10:20 a.m.
7th 10:15 - 10:35 a.m.
8th 10:35 - 10:55 a.m.
5th 10:55 - 11:15 a.m.
4th 11:15 - 11:40 a.m.
3rd 11:40 - 12:05 p.m.
2nd 12:05 - 12:30 p.m.
1st 12:30 - 12:55 p.m.
Kinder      12:55 - 1:20 p.m.

PTA Student Store after school

Other Upcoming Events Include:

Monday, November 25 -
Canyon Ridge School Spelling Bee - 8:30 a.m. in the Media Center
Canyon Ridge Site Council Meeting; 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, November 26 -
Cross Grade Level STEM Collaboration Day - See modified lunch schedule under the School Happenings tab
Kona Ice for sale after school

Wednesday, November 27 - Friday, November 29 -

PTA Events -
Follow the PTA on Facebook for information about our events!
The PTA will host a student store after school every Thursday with snacks, cold water, and spirit wear! Come say hello!
Don’t forget to clip box tops AND download the app to scan receipts! Those add up for our school!

Attendance Reminder -
The Attendance Line - 623-523-8453 - is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.   If you know your child will be absent, please remember to call their absence in by 9:00 a.m. on the day of the absence.  Thank you.

Drop Off and Pick Up -
Our gates and doors for students open in the morning at 7:55 am.   Our teachers and staff members do not go on duty until 7:55 am. For your student’s safety, students should not be left unsupervised by you until 7:55 am.  If you have a student that is participating in a before school activity, our doors to the front office open at 7:15 am.
When releasing from school it is the expectation that all students are picked up within 15 minutes.   Our school office closes at 3:45 pm. Please make sure to inform the office if an unforeseen circumstance takes place and you are unable to pick up your student at the 3:00 pm release.
The parking lot in the back of the school is for STAFF only,  please refrain from dropping off or picking up in this area.

Traffic Safety -
The speed limit in the school zone is 15 mph.   For the safety of our students, parents and staff, we ask that you please adhere to this speed limit at all times.  
Posted : 10/25 | Direct Link
Annual Student Update Reminder
Need to complete the required Annual Student Update or keep up-to-date on your child's grades, attendance and more?  Sign up for the Parent Portal at today.
Posted : 10/22 | Direct Link
Canyon Ridge Toy and Blanket Drive
The Canyon Ridge Toy & Blanket Drive will run from November 12th through December 6th. 

We are collecting new, unwrapped toys for local families and children in foster care.   

We are also collecting new or gently used blankets for the homeless.  Please see the attached Buddy Blankets [PDF] flyer for more information.
flyer for more information!

Drop off bins will be in hallways.

Thank you for your support!"
Posted : 10/21 | Direct Link
Free and Reduced Lunch Program
Hello Canyon Ridge families -

The grace period for free and reduced meal eligibility for the prior school year has passed. If you have not yet turned in an application for the current school year, we encourage parents to apply online at or complete a paper application, available in your school's front office.   If you have already completed an application and received approval for the 2019-2020 school year please disregard this message. 

We encourage all parents to use to track your student's purchases, set low balance reminders, make deposits to cafeteria accounts, or place restrictions on cafeteria accounts. This service is free of charge. The free app may be downloaded in the App Store or Google Play Store. Please refer to the Dysart Nutrition Services webpage for more information. 
Posted : 10/7 | Direct Link
Canyon Ridge Students Celebrate U.S. Constitution Day
Canyon Ridge celebrates US Constitution DayIn honor of the United States Constitution Day, the middle level learners at Canyon Ridge School, offered a special program for students, staff, parents and members of the community at large.

Seventh grade Social Studies classes performed in costume as Founding Fathers and Mothers and offered many details regarding their colonial life and the importance of America’s seminal documents.  In the weeks leading to the event, learners chose their favorite colonial figure to portray from a list of prominent American Founders. From George Washington, to Betsy Ross and Crispus Attucks, over fifteen founding fathers and mothers were represented in this project.

Students gathered biographical information from primary documents, secondary internet sources, and a variety of books.  Their goal was to discuss the pertinent contributions of their Founder during the American Revolution and the formulation of the United States Constitution. To further personalize their learning experience, children constructed props and made costumes that reflected an understanding of eighteenth century culture. Youngsters from other grade levels contributed by attending the event and asking the Founders meaningful questions. Primary level students generated notes and discussed ideas regarding our nation’s most important documents.Topics included the intellectual progression from the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, and the wisdom of the United States. Constitution.

This year, our expanded program, which also included technology based chromebook stations about STEM techniques in early American life, was supported by the eighth grade team at Canyon Ridge. These students formed a small group of Founders who guided classes amongst multiple learning stations in the media center and helped  young Founders during presentations. The fifth grade team also played a prominent role with every learner producing a colorful poster about the deeds and accomplishments of a Founder or Revolutionary War hero. Their work will soon be entered in the upcoming Arizona SAR Americanism Elementary School Poster Contest. 

Parents, teachers, community members and local patriotic organizations played a vital   role in our learning experience. Community sponsors, in cooperation with the Canyon Ridge PTA, provided the financial resources to obtain a national traveling exhibit produced by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “Freedom: A History of US” consisted of twelve colorful panels that outlined the quest for liberty; from the colonial era and into the modern world. The exhibit covered over thirty-five feet of space and illustrated critical historical figures and events. Among the highlights were: a rare 1776 printing of the Declaration of Independence, a printed draft and the official copy of the US Constitution, Abraham Lincoln’s handwritten notes for speeches, and letters by leading figures such as Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, and Martin Luther King Jr. Descriptions of the meaning of freedom to the common man were also represented in the personal letters of Civil War soldiers and the recollections of American philosophers and Civil Rights activists. The exhibit served the important role of building a bridge of understanding that links between the work of the Founders and the ongoing quest to promote their written ideals in the modern world.

Our partners in the Arizona Sons of the American Revolution, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10695, the Arizona Daughters of  the American Revolution, the American Association of University Women and the Veterans Heritage Project, served as the presenters of various panels in the exhibit. Mr. and Mrs, Dennis Grau, of VFW Post 10695 in Sun City West,  presented the awards for best costume and performance, by a Founding Father and Mother. The multitude of questions, and the discourse between children and adults, offered a unique opportunity to share cross-generational experiences and perspectives. It also made selecting the winners a definite challenge.

Community members, district leadership and a number of elected officials, were in attendance. Among these special guests were: Arizona House of Representatives Member Frank P. Carroll, of District 22, and the Honorable Mayor of the City of Surprise Skip Hall and Vice Mayor Roland Winters. Their interactions with our performers yielded many thought provoking questions and stories about the Constitution and the history of the State of Arizona.

These endeavors were enhanced by a display of books and letters, with actual signatures of the Founders, offered by Charles Parkhurst Rare Books, Incorporated. Prior to departing the event, all students had the chance to participate in the mission of Blue Star Moms of the Southwest Valley. Students signed a large homemade American flag and wrote sentiments in holiday cards for our troops overseas. American forces will receive these items in care packages in December. Tables and displays from the Veterans Heritage Project, of which Canyon Ridge School is an affiliated chapter, provided information about how students can honor Veterans via interviews, and published accounts of their service, in the annual VHP book, Since You Asked.

In all, the seventh grade team greeted and conversed with over seven hundred learners while in character as the Founders. A similar number of young students participated in our STEM learning stations and covered with the presenters at the Freedom exhibit. Additionally, Canyon Ridge middle level learners participated in a special patriotic project and performed as their Founder for more than one hundred and forty guests at the Arizona DAR-SAR Constitution Day Luncheon, on Saturday, September 21, 2019. After dessert with the membership, students received certificates of achievement from the Arizona Daughters of the American Revolution and posed for photos with family and friends. During this patriotic celebration, Mr. Christopher Raso, seventh grade social studies teacher at Canyon Ridge School, was formally presented the NSSAR National American History Teacher Award for 2019.

By promoting a spirit of patriotism and creativity, the students of Canyon Ridge School, in conjunction with our valued community partners, brought United States Constitution Day to life while evaluating the importance of those who have served and sacrificed throughout our history in pursuit of the American ideal.

Photo Gallery

Posted : 9/24 | Direct Link
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