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Countryside Cambridge students present Shark Tank projects
Countryside Elementary School Shark Tank ProjectsThe Cambridge Academy at Countryside Elementary School culminated their second semester cross-curricular project on Monday, May 22 with a live Shark Tank "television show." Students worked in groups to design a product that could fill a need in the today's market that isn't currently being met. They then developed a company to produce their invention. The ultimate goal for students was to earn investor money, similar to the Shark Tank television show, by demonstrating the promise of their project idea and design, a strong sales history for their company, and a healthy profit margin from their past sales. 

Students from the top 10 projects competed in front of sharks who were administrators and 21st Century Specialists from the Dysart Unified School District. These sharks played a similar role to the sharks on television, in that they challenged students with business questions, as competed against one another to be the chosen investor for each company. 

Winning projects included N.O.L.T Robotics, a company seeking to revolutionize health care through their unique robot design that catered to people with certain disabilities, CHAINTS, a chalk and paint product that can serve as both a chalk and a paint for children, and Art Exchange, a company that provides an opportunity for artists to share their expensive supplies with one another through a monthly membership and loan program through which they can receive monthly art supply boxes. 

Other ideas created by students included an ocean cleaning robot that can decompose trash 20-30 times faster than the natural decomposition process, changeable treadmill surfaces to provide an outdoor running experience for runners in inclement weather, waterproof paper for students' agenda books and science textbooks, virtual reality programs and devices to assist with more real world experiences, and technological advancements, such as tracking devices and athletic skills monitoring devices. 

The Cambridge Academy at Countryside provides an enrichment experience for students grades 6-8, focusing on project based and 21st Century learning.
Posted : 5/22 | Direct Link
Arizona Broadway Theater performs for students
Arizona Broadway TheaterThe shoe fits! In partnership with the Dysart Unified School District, the Arizona Broadway Theater (ABT) performed for over 2,000  fifth grade students at the Valley Vista Performing Arts Center during two events on May 15-16, 2017.  Laughter and applause filled the auditorium as actors performed the play 'Cinderella, Cinderella', a unique and comical adaptation of the original Cinderella story.

The mission of The Arizona Broadway Theater is to enrich lives through the power of the performing arts by producing live theater and other high-quality entertainment. The ABT Performing Arts Association, Inc., was formed in 2008 exclusively for educational and charitable purposes. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization seeks to enrich lives, educate people about theatrical expression, and support the performing arts by offering staffing, programs, and services to performing artists, youth, and community groups in the greater Phoenix area.
Posted : 5/18 | Direct Link
Willow Canyon High School students headed to Girls and Boys State
Students from Willow Canyon High School will attend Arizona Girls and Boys State this summer.  The program, sponsored through the American Legion, is an educational opportunity for students to learn leadership, citizenship, and the operations of government.  Chosen delegates spend a week learning and applying their skills in mock legislative sessions, law enforcement sessions, assemblies, and recreational programs.  Angelina Ramirez and Tomi Hartley will represent Willow Canyon at Girls State in July at the University of Arizona.  Jack Abah, Kasey Cocking, Noah Eide, Aidan Guest, Jonathan Vinson, and Jacob Williams will represent the Wildcats at  Boys State in July at Northern Arizona University.  

To become a delegate, students in their junior year need to be nominated by a teacher, counselor, or staff member and include transcripts, a personal essay, and participate in an interview with a member of the American Legion

The American Legion provides programs for veterans, youth, and the community while being advocates for a brighter future.  
Posted : 5/17 | Direct Link
DUSD High School students participate in the AIA Unified Track Meet
Willow Canyon High School AIA Unified AthletesStudents from the four Dysart district high schools participated in the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) Unified Team Track and Field Invitational on May 5 at Mesa Community College.  The Willow Canyon High School team took third place at meet.  Students participated in the 100 meters, 400 meters, 4x100 meter relay, shot put, and long jump events throughout the competition.  

The event is supported by and in conjunction with the Special Olympics of Arizona, which has been established to foster inclusion, camaraderie, and the development of meaningful relationships between students of all abilities.  
Posted : 5/16 | Direct Link
Sundown Mountain students recognized for blood drive efforts
Sundown Blood Drive WinnersSundown Mountain Alternative Education Program Town Hall students were recognized as the Nolan Ryan Division winners and Platinum Award recipients in the United Blood Services (UBS) High School Challenge at Chase Field in Phoenix on May 10. The students were awarded for their success coordinating and facilitating three blood drives during this school year. The students were able to exceed their donor goal at each blood drive.  

The UBS High School Blood Drive Challenge helps Arizona high school students make their mark on the community by emphasizing community service and focusing on lifesaving activities. Students develop leadership skills as they coordinate blood drives at their school. Each school is assigned to one of eight divisions based on the school’s senior class size and geographic location.

Town Hall is a student-led leadership group that fosters the importance of community service on campus at Sundown Mountain.
Posted : 5/16 | Direct Link
Countryside students win poster design contest
Countryside Elementary StudentsCountryside Elementary School was honored to have eight student artists chosen in the Arizona Cyber Security State Awareness Poster Contest.  Christie Zhang was recognized as the overall winner and Sophia Reese Cook was chosen as the elementary school winner.  Both students received a backpack and an Amazon Echo.  Anna Schneider, Madelyn Johnson, Anthony Bolis, Sarah Maughan, Samantha Kostiw, and Nasiba Homra were picked as recipients in their respective grade levels and received a gift card for their efforts.  

The goal of the contest is to encourage young people to use the internet safely and securely and to craft messages and images that will best resonate with their peers across the country to stay safe online. The student artwork will be showcased in the Arizona Security Awareness calendar.
Posted : 5/15 | Direct Link
Shadow Ridge DECA students place in top ten
Shadow Ridge High School DECA teamShadow Ridge High School juniors, Nick Perez, Nate Lundy, and Martin Olloren won 7th place in the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) Virtual Business Restaurant Challenge at the International DECA competition in Anaheim, California on April 29, 2017.

The Shadow team competed against 40,000 students in the live event which required them to create and run a profitable restaurant using Virtual Business, an online high school simulation software. The team planned menu items, designed the floor plan, and made crucial decisions in the creation of their restaurant. The students received a $500 prize and recognition as one of the top 10 International DECA teams.  

DECA is a premier student organization that supports the development of marketing and management skills in career areas such as hospitality, finance, sales and service, business administration, and entrepreneurship.  DECA is one of the many Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities offered at the Dysart Unified School District to prepare students for the academic and vocational skills necessary to successfully enter the workforce.  Learn more at
Posted : 5/12 | Direct Link
Parkview students present projects during Genius Hour Showcase
Parkview Genius HourStudents at Parkview Elementary School presented their Genius Hour Showcase to parents and community members as part of their end-of-year culminating projects and the personalized learning initiative in the Dysart Unified School District.  

Genius hour is a method that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom.  It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school.  Students used the Design Thinking Process to develop projects that included community service, technology, and activism.

The Dysart Unified School District aims to provide a personalized learning environment where students demonstrate educational competency with tailored learning pathways that empower them for a rapidly changing world.
Posted : 5/12 | Direct Link
WCHS brings back gold from CTE competition
Willow Canyon High School’s Career and Technical Education Programs have left their mark at recent state competitions earning 18 medals at the Arizona SkillsUSA  and 4 medals in the Arizona Health Occupations Students of America Spring Leadership Conference.  Winners include:

From SkillsUSA:
  • Career Pathways Showcase - Chandler Derby, Taylor Tracey, Brady McDonald (Gold - National qualifiers)
  • Chapter Display - Patty Arban, Andrew Heinrich, Justin Angel (Gold - National qualifiers)
  • Action Skills - Colby Scraper (Gold - National qualifier)
  • Quiz Bowl - Mitchell Zimmermann, Ashley Van Horn, Jordan Link, JT Eslick, Ashton Laibe (Silver - National qualifiers)
  • Entrepreneurship - Bernard Ramos, Chad Corbett, Adam Hayes, Ian Tyndall (Silver)
  • Web Design - Percy Humphrey, JT Eslick (Bronze - National qualifiers)

From HOSA:
  • Clinical Nursing - Kendrick Collado, 1st place
  • Clinical Nursing - Thea Sy, 2nd place
  • Transcultural Healthcare - Katie Truong - 2nd place
  • Healthcare Issues - Mikaela Milanes, 1st place
Posted : 5/11 | Direct Link
El Mirage Elementary School students learn to golf
El Mirage students learn to golfGolf Program in Schools (GPS) and members from the Sun City Country Club visited El Mirage Elementary School this week to teach sixth through eighth grade students the fundamentals of the game of golf.  Students received five days of training on the basics of golf, including swinging form and practicing with different clubs using irons and drivers.  El Mirage students will then have an opportunity to take a field trip to the Sun City Country Club to practice what they have learned on a real course.

Through an introduction to the game of golf, the mission of GPS is to ensure students will learn valuable life lessons.  GPS focuses on building student confidence and the benefits of an active lifestyle.  They present information about golf that can lead to college scholarships, careers, as well as explain the benefits of a game that can be enjoyed for a lifetime.
Posted : 5/11 | Direct Link
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