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Meet the Principal

July 22, 2019
Dear Sundown Mountain Parents and Students,
Hope you had a great summer.  My name is Anthony Capuano, proud Principal at Sundown.  I'm excited to have this opportunity again to work with an outstanding faculty and staff providing a quality education, in a safe and nurturing environment for your child.  I come with over 30 years of public education experience, eleven of which are here in the Dysart Unified School District.
I want to share with you some important information, as you all get ready for the start of the 2019- 2020 school year.  I want to first invite you to our Open House/Meet the Teacher event on Monday, Aug 5th from 5:30-7:00 p.m. This will be the first opportunity to meet the faculty, staff and the administrative leadership.  This will help Sundown, its parents and students to get acquainted and set forth a positive and productive tone for the great school year to come. We have moved to our own facility during the summer and are located at 12397 W. Thunderbird Rd. El Mirage, AZ. (We are on the corner of W. Thunderbird Rd and 124th Av) 
Sundown will be in its 9th year of applying PBIS.  (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support).  By providing students essential skills and opportunities to make positive and productive choices, and recognizing their efforts.  This program creates and fosters a school environment rich in trust and support.  We are very proud of the successes and culture it has brought to the campus, and look forward to building on past academic accomplishments with our new and returning students and their parents.
I would like to share with you the 3 primary goals for the 19/20 school year and how we plan to achieve these goals.  These goals are a continuation of our past efforts, but in addition, they are closely aligned to the 2017-2020 Dysart Strategic Plan.
1.Each Sundown Mountain student, through personalized learning, will develop the knowledge, skills and disposition as defined by the Dysart Profile of a Graduate that ensures 21st Century success.
2.Perpetuate a “We Are Dysart” culture of shared leadership and having student success will open communication, innovation, ownership and empowerment. School staff and students will work hand and hand in efforts to forge a pathway for student success in an academic, vocational and or military career track for post-secondary pursuits.
3.Campus Safety, within the realm of site safety, a major area of focus will be digital safety while utilizing Dysart’s latest technology advancements. This will encompass the safe and appropriate use of technology within and outside the school setting, with a strong emphasis in digital citizenship while navigating the web.
These goals will be a continuing theme throughout the school year and will be monitored  periodically for effectiveness and fidelity.
Arizona State Statutes and Dysart Unified School District Policy mandate that schools are responsible for students' safety.  To insure that we are compliant with all regulations, Sundown Mountain will strictly enforce the following:
  • Once the school day begins, students under the age of 18 must be signed out by legal guardian or the emergency contact listed on the Household Registration Form.  All emergency contacts must be 18 years of age or older.  Legal identification will be required upon signing out of a student.
  • Students who independently chose not to attend school or leave campus before the end of the day is considered truant and will be subject to the discipline matrix for "Unauthorized Absence". Please refer to the Student and Parent Handbook for further explanation of this procedure.
  • Student's driving to school and parking on campus must adhere to the law and school policy.  If student drivers do not follow legal requirements or school policy, their parking privileges may be revoked without prior notice.
    • Student drivers must meet legal requirements such as; valid driver's license, current registration, proper insurance, etc.  If it becomes known that a student is not compliant to the law, the student's vehicle may be booted and held for the guardian to remove the vehicle from the premises.
    • Students must follow parking lot speed limits, procedures as posted and drive in a manner that is safe for all students and staff.
    • Minor students that drive to school may not leave campus early without the legal guardian or emergency contact signing the student out.  This is a State Law and we are required to uphold the law.  Please consider this when making appointments during the school day as we will still require the guardian to sign the student out of school.
    • Student drivers are not allowed to leave campus with other minor students during the school day.
As a reminder Sundown Mountain and the Dysart Unified School District Policy encourages technology in the classroom but the use of personal cell phones for personal calls, texting etc. take away from valuable instructional time.  Students are not permitted to use cell phones for personal use during the class period. Cell phone use is permitted before school, after school, during passing periods and at lunch.
Parents are always welcomed at Sundown Mountain.  I encourage all parents to consider volunteering here at our school, the benefits you will receive from this experience will be most rewarding. Please contact our school secretary 623-876-7250 for more information about how to become a volunteer at Sundown Mountain.
I look forward to a great school year!
Anthony Capuano
Sundown Mountain Alternative Education Program