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VVHS dance teacher selected for national assessment 
VVHS dance teacher selected for national assessment Valley Vista High School dance teacher, Amy Crow has recently been selected by the Arizona Department of Education to participate in the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards Model Cornerstone Assessment. The state of Arizona is one of only three states selected to participate in this program. 

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) is a national coalition seeking to develop new model cornerstone assessments in music, theatre, dance, and visual arts. Ms. Crow will have the opportunity to work on and cultivate new arts standards for high school dance education, and contribute to the growth of arts education in the United States. In addition to developing a new model cornerstone assessment, Ms. Crow will be required to meet regularly with a cohort specific to dance education, and will be responsible for leading students in the assessment, as well as reflecting and reporting on the outcomes and student progress. 

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards is a partnership of organizations and states leading the development of new core arts standards in the United States. The standards developed demonstrate what students should know and be able to do as a result of a quality curricular arts education program. 

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Posted : 9/12 | Direct Link
Power Restored
Safety UpdateUPDATE: 9:38AM Power has now been restored.  All schools will resume as normal. 

A power outage in the region has affected Freedom Traditional Academy, Ashton Ranch Elementary School, Countryside Elementary School, and the District Office.  We are working with the power company to assess what happened and a timeline.  Please check the district website and social media for the most up to date information.  An update will be posted by 9:45am.
Posted : 9/6 | Direct Link
PE teachers “Raise the Pack” with Arizona Coyotes 
PE teachers “Raise the Pack” with Arizona Coyotes Physical Education (PE) teachers across the district recently participated in a training through the Arizona Coyotes as a part of their “Raise the Pack” Street Hockey Program. As a part of this training, each teacher received curriculum on introducing students to the sport of hockey in their PE classes. The teachers received proper instruction on skills, athletic warm-ups, simple drills, as well as options for more advanced drills and lesson plans to implement over time. In addition, the Arizona Coyotes gifted each school with equipment including hockey sticks, street hockey balls, nets, and reversible jerseys for the students to utilize. The implementation of the new hockey curriculum into PE classes will seek to encourage sportsmanship, an active lifestyle, and a broader understanding and enjoyment of the game of hockey for all students. 

The Arizona Coyotes, in partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), developed the “Raise the Pack” Street Hockey Program for local valley school districts to implement hockey curriculum into their physical education classes, in an effort to grow hockey to exponential levels.
Posted : 9/3 | Direct Link
Valley Vista student earns dance mentorship
VVHS Dance TeamAshtyn Frye, Valley Vista High School Pom Line and Dance Company member was selected to participate in the guiDANCE mentorship program. The guiDANCE opportunity is an inspiring mentorship program created and directed by Mary Anne Fernandez Herding, which connects young artists with working dance professionals.

The guiDANCE mentorship program offers a unique opportunity for dance students in their junior or senior year, that are considering a career in dance to connect with a dance mentor. Ashtyn will be able to ask questions one-on-one with a professional dancer, experience a master class, attend a performance, and build a relationship with the dance community. “We are excited to propel her love of dance into the future where she can begin to think about a career or college experience in dance,” said Amy Crow, Valley Vista Dance Teacher.

For the 2019-2020 season, Ashtyn’s mentor will be Jessica Starr, creative director of MusEFFECT, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising social awareness through performance art.  Valley Vista High School participates in the National Dance Education Organization and the state affiliate, Arizona Dance Education Organization(AzDEO). AzDEO partners with Movement Source Dance Company to bring the mentorship program to high school students.

Photo: Ashtyn Frye, Top Left.
Posted : 8/22 | Direct Link
Important Safety Reminders from the Superintendent

Dysart SafeDysart Parents and Guardians,

As we start a new school year, we are asking you to partner with us to keep our Dysart students and campuses safe and secure. Unfortunately, there have already been some stories in the media about school threats this year, and we are hoping to stem this issue with your help.

As a fellow community member, I ask you to please:
1. Have a discussion with your child(ren) about the importance of immediately sharing information that could be considered threatening to our community with a responsible adult. This could be a - parent, teacher or school staff member.
2. Make it clear to your child(ren) that online threats and rumors should not be forwarded or shared, because doing so impedes police investigations.
3. Discuss with your child(ren) the seriousness of making threats toward schools, and remind them that there are a number of charges that can be filed against students – including felony offenses.

If you become aware of an immediate threat, please call 911.  Otherwise, call law enforcement non-emergency lines to report potential threats towards our schools or the community in Surprise (623-222-4000), El Mirage (623-933-1341), or Maricopa County (602-876-1602). 

Another option for reporting school safety issues or concerns is through our Safe Schools Hotline (623-876-7009) or online via Dysart Safe Report at Additional information, resources, and school safety tips can be found on our website at

Dysart is proud of our relationships with local law enforcement agencies, and works collaboratively with them to ensure the safety of our students and staff.  We all have a responsibility to be vigilant and should strive to prioritize the well-being of our community. It is our sincere desire to ensure our campuses are always a safe place for our students, and we appreciate you partnering with us in this effort. 
Quinn R. Kellis, Ed.D.
Dysart Unified School District
Posted : 8/16 | Direct Link
Riverview makes a difference
Riverview Difference MakerRiverview School hosted a kick-off meeting for their Difference Makers Dads' Club on August 14. Children and their dads or other male role models received pizza, cookies and a drink to enjoy while they met to discuss leadership and future club activities. There was a great turnout, and attendees were welcomed by Man-Up! President Kent Guyer. Surprise Mayor Skip Hall also spoke to the group and shared his thoughts on the importance of community involvement.

The Difference Makers Dads' Club was launched last year at the school to provide opportunities to engage children in positive productive activities with male role models in the hope of having an impact on the culture of the community.  The club is part of Riverview School's new Signature Program focusing on Civic-Minded Leadership.  As a part of the program, Riverview is creating leadership opportunities, like the Difference Makers Dads' Club, to enhance student understanding of self leadership, community leadership and global leadership. Students are given leadership opportunities where they can pursue their passions.

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Posted : 8/16 | Direct Link
Surprise Elementary partners with Surprise Youth Foundation for supply drive
Surprise Elementary partners with Surprise Youth Foundation for supply drive Surprise Elementary School recently partnered with the Surprise Youth Foundation for a school supply drive ahead of the new school year. Surprise Elementary staff and students, along with Dysart superintendent Dr. Quinn Kellis, City of Surprise Mayor Skip Hall, City Council member Patrick Duffy, and volunteers from the Surprise Youth Foundation, worked together to fill 20 shopping carts with school supplies at the Walmart Supercenter on Bell Road. 

This was the fourth year the district has partnered with the Surprise Youth Foundation for a supply drive benefiting our schools. 

The Surprise Youth Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to youth assistance through partnerships with nonprofits, public, and private entities.

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Posted : 7/31 | Direct Link
New Assistant Principals Join Dysart Schools
New administratorsThe Dysart Unified School District is excited to welcome new assistant principals to our campuses. New assistant principals for the 2019-2020 school year are as follows:

Guadalupe Alejos, Assistant Principal - Dysart Elementary School
Sarah Barkley Rosenthal, Assistant Principal - Luke Elementary School
Thom Luedemann, Assistant Principal - Willow Canyon High School
Erin McRae, Assistant Principal - Shadow Ridge High School
Amy Miles, Assistant Principal - Mountain View School
Gina Ostlund, Assistant Principal - Valley Vista High School
Danielle Parnell, Assistant Principal - Thompson Ranch Elementary School
Kaseylyn Romero, Assistant Principal - Kingswood Elementary School
Kara Sehr, Assistant Principal - Marley Park Elementary School
Jillian Strong, Dean of Students - Ashton Ranch Elementary School

Earlier this month we welcomed our new principals to the campuses. Click here to view a list of new principals for the 2019-2020 school year.
Posted : 7/25 | Direct Link
DHS students earn HOSA gold 
 DHS students earn HOSA gold Dysart High School recently attended the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) International Leadership Conference on June 19-22, 2019, in Orlando, Florida. The HOSA International Leadership Conference is an annual conference for future medical professionals, that consists of several competitive events, sessions, and workshops.
Dysart High School HOSA received the Outstanding Chapter Award, as well as National Service Project Recognition at the conference. Three students received the Barbara James Service Award for their commitment to community service in health. Mackenzie Mitchell received Gold, and Katelyn Marr and Luis Figueroa received Bronze. In addition, Lane Vazquez-Luna received mastery level recognition in Healthcare Issues Exam, and Mario Hernandez was an event finalist in Physical Therapy. 
HOSA is a student-led Career and Technical Student Organization( CTSO) whose mission is to promote career opportunities in the healthcare industry. HOSA provides a unique program of leadership development, motivation and recognition exclusively for secondary, postsecondary, and collegiate students interested in a career in health care. HOSA helps build the confidence of students by providing opportunities and responsibilities that lead to realistic choices of careers and successful employment in the healthcare field.

CTSO'S  are organizations specifically for students enrolled in Career and Technical Education programs (CTE). These organizations engage students through focus on CTE application activities such as developing and practicing leadership roles and applying specific occupational and academic content knowledge as an integral part of the instructional program.
Posted : 7/2 | Direct Link
Willow Canyon graduate selected as Student Leader
Willow Canyon graduate selected as Student LeaderWillow Canyon High School graduate, Gabrielle Garcia, was recently selected by Bank of America as a Student Leader. The Bank of America Student Leaders program gives students the opportunity to improve their leadership skills, expand their community impact, and prepare them for the workforce. Garcia was one out of five students selected as a Student Leader across the Valley.

Through the program, students are offered a paid internship with a local nonprofit to provide hands on work experience, as well as a broader understanding of the impact nonprofits bring to the local community. Garcia will be working with the Boys & Girls Clubs in the Phoenix area this summer.

In addition, the Student Leaders are invited to attend a national leadership summit taking place in July, in Washington, D.C., which will focus on skill building and creating a more civically engaged society.
Posted : 6/24 | Direct Link
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