Creighton School District

Biltmore Prep renovation completed for the fall

Students are enjoying the fruits of the construction that was completed over the summer at Biltmore Preparatory Academy.

Bond dollars the community approved paid for a new gymnasium, renovated the middle school learning spaces and reconfigured the parking lot to accommodate for the increasing enrollment and streamline drop-off and pick-up methods. The new concept has transformed traditional, 900-square-foot classrooms at the school into flexible and open areas, sometimes even outside. All the spaces are designed to keep kids interacting, moving and ultimately learning in various ways.


Glendale Union High School District

Bands to perform at festival

Music is going to fill the air when students perform in the Glendale Union High School District’s annual Marching Band Festival.

The event will feature the nine high school marching bands in the district starting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21, at Glendale Community College at 6000 W. Olive Ave. in Glendale. Students will demonstrate their talent but are not rated.


Thunderbird High School senior Jessica Zylstra (left) and Sunnyslope High School senior Alexis Hatch, were recently named 2020 National Merit Semifinalists (submitted photo).

Two National Merit Semifinalists honored

Two high school seniors in the district are on a roll this academic year.

The Glendale Union High School District Governing Board recently recognized its 2020 National Merit Semifinalists: Sunnyslope High School senior Alexis Hatch and Thunderbird High School senior Jessica Zylstra.

National Merit Semifinalists are selected every September out of 1.6 million applicants around the United States. About 16,000 students, out of the 50,000 high school students with the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores qualify as semifinalists.


Sunnyslope senior to get Congressional Award

Sunnyslope High School senior Jacqueline Hogan will receive a national honor – a bronze medal from the Congressional Award Program.

The program offers young people the opportunity to set personal goals and achieve them. Participants must set and meet goals in physical fitness, voluntary public service, personal development and expeditions/exploration. Awards are given at the gold, silver and bronze levels.

Hogan received a certificate and was presented her medal by Rep. Greg Stanton.


Dealership loans vehicles to driver’s education

A car dealership is driving a program that helps students safely take the wheel. Sanderson Ford AZ has supplied two new vehicles to the Glendale Union High School District’s Driver’s Education Program. Driver’s ed classes are offered at Moon Valley High School. Besides attending 12 hours of classroom instruction, students also get six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction.


Madison Elementary School District

Learn about gifted program at event

Parents who want to find out if their children might benefit from a gifted education in the school district might want to come to the Madison District’s Gifted Program Open House & Information Night on Thursday, Nov. 7.

The informal event will take place from 6-7 p.m. at The Madison Theatre at 5601 N. 16th St. Parents can learn about the classes and opportunities for students in the Rigorous, Enriched, Accelerated Curriculum for the Highly Gifted (REACH) program, which maintains the highest admission standards in Arizona. To learn more, contact Casey George, director of Signature Programs, at 602-664-7931.


Simis Elementary teacher, student earn IB honors

A teacher and her former student are going to the head of the class for shining at Madison Simis Elementary School.

The Arizona International Baccalaureate Schools Association recently gave two awards to Madison Simis Elementary School’s International Baccalaureate Program. One award went to Simis teacher Julia Hubbs, who was named the Arizona IB Primary Years Programme Teacher of the Year. Her former student, Sophie Garcia, received the 2019 Arizona IB Primary Years Programme Student of the Year award for her time as a fourth-grade student at Simis.


Osborn Elementary School District

Solano students engage in global 3D project

Solano Elementary School students are getting a global education some might say is out-of-this world.

Teams of first and sixth-graders recently participated together in the Great Globe Project, a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Science, and Cultural Organization) educational program designed for elementary school students to make 3D printed tiles, which will cover a large-scale model of Earth.

The students were able to experience the methods of 3D printing and engineering design after putting together a simple machine out of 3D printed parts. Their work was documented for presentations to other schools and interested groups and it will be shown to UNESCO in Paris, France.


Phoenix Union High School District

Phoenix Coding team pushes for robotics support

The force seems to be strong with a group of students at Phoenix Coding Academy. The school’s Python Robotics team participated in the FIRST Lego League and FIRST Tech Challenge kickoff event on Sept. 7 at Arizona State University’s Memorial Union in Tempe.

Students on the Phoenix Coding Academy team met with middle school robotics clubs in the area to help spark their interest in Phoenix Coding Academy and robotics in the Phoenix Union High School District.


Camelback gets fired up at spirit conference

Camelback High School students are showing their spirit and spreading cheer to teens around the state.

The school’s student council hosted the 2019 Arizona Association of Student Councils Fall Leadership Spirit Conference on Aug. 28. Nearly 1,000 students from around Arizona participated in the event at Camelback High on North 28th Street to show their school spirit and participate in activities intended to help foster their leadership skills and character development.


Metro Tech opens flower shop

Something new is blooming at Metro Tech that will give students a chance to build entrepreneurial experience.

The high school recently opened a flower shop that students will manage and run. It is open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays. The shop sells flowers, balloons, stuffed animals, small gift items and some student-made merchandise from teens’ work in their Fashion Department, welding class, horticulture class and other courses and clubs on campus.


Washington Elementary School District

District job fair to highlight openings

Anyone who enjoys working with children might be interested in applying for one of many job openings in the school district.

The Washington Elementary School District will hold a Support Staff Job Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4 at the district administrative center at 4650 W. Sweetwater Ave. in Glendale. Available positions include special education assistants, bus drivers and assistants, food service assistants, substitute health technicians, substitute teachers, office technicians, office managers, food service managers, custodians and after-school support employees. Apply online prior to the job fair at


Sunburst Elementary teacher receives honor

A kindergarten teacher at Sunburst Elementary School is in the spotlight after getting a state distinction.

Jessica Buttles was chosen as a Top 10 finalist for the Arizona Educational Foundation Teacher of the Year Award. The AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year program honors the contributions of great public school teachers around the state by annually recognizing 10 exceptionally skilled and dedicated educators who teach pre-kindergarten through 12th grades. Buttles started her career in the Washington Elementary School District in 2005 and she grew up in Phoenix.

The 2020 AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Arizona Biltmore at 2400 E. Missouri Ave.


Private And Charter Schools

Homecoming, open house at Phoenix Christian

Phoenix Christian Preparatory School is getting ready to celebrate its rich history during a time-honored traditional event.

The school will host its 70th Homecoming starting with a dinner at 5 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. football game on Friday, Nov. 1, on the campus at 1751 W. Indian School Road. The celebration will include festivities and fireworks as part of the game against Scottsdale Christian Academy. A Homecoming Court will participate in the event and a Homecoming king and queen will be crowned. Student government plans all the activities, including a Royalty Parade and the crowning of the king and queen.

Anyone interested in learning more about Phoenix Christian Preparatory School may attend to an open house from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7. To RSVP for the open house call 602-265-4707. To learn more about the campus, visit


Madison Highland Prep offers SAT, PSAT/NMSQT

It’s almost time for students at Madison Highland Prep to take exams that will help evaluate their academic performances as they get ready for college.

The school at 1431 E. Campbell Ave. will offer the PSAT/NMSQT test to sophomores and juniors and the PSAT 8/9 test to freshmen from 8 a.m.  to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16. Students take the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 8/9 exams so that their performance can be measured and to identify areas in which they need to grow in preparation for college entrance tests.

For juniors, the PSAT/NMSQT exam also serves as the qualifying test as they compete for the National Merit Scholarship.

Madison Highland Prep also will hold the SAT School Day Exam on Oct. 16.


New charter school stresses emotional growth

A new local charter school emphasizes life skills and emotional growth while giving students a chance to engage in workshop-style, hands-on projects.

Phoenix Modern, a school for kindergarten through eighth grade, opened recently with about 200 students at 200 E. Mitchell Drive. Classes began Aug. 8.

North Central Phoenix resident Andrew Collins, a social entrepreneur who has helped launch more than 30 schools, opened this school.

Tina Sweis of North Central Phoenix is thrilled that her son, Troy, 6, is a student at Phoenix Modern. He has suffered from serious health problems and was bullied by children at other schools but has found acceptance and friendship at the new school.

To learn more about the school, visit


Gateway Academy certified for tax-credit donations

There is good news for anyone who would like to support the students and families at Gateway Academy while getting their own tax-related benefit.

The private school for third through 12th-graders was recently officially certified as a School Tuition Organization. That means any donations made to Gateway qualify for dollar-for-dollar tax credits up to $1,135 per single taxpayer and $2,269 for married couples who file jointly. To learn more, call 480-998-1071 or visit


Xavier offers classes in financial literacy

It was nearly 40 years ago when a financial literacy class became the norm at Xavier College Preparatory.

As a summer, independent study course that requires research, writing essays and taking a final exam, the high school’s financial literacy class takes students from understanding broad economic theories to learning how to use them in practical ways.

“The financial literacy course helped me understand the flow of money on a personal level,” Xavier senior Grace Bunch said.

It is only this year that Arizona started requiring these lessons through a half-credit in economics.


Dancing and walking underway at SS Simon & Jude

Students are urged to get moving and they often get a spring in their step at Saints Simon & Jude Cathedral School. Several of them take Irish dancing classes once a week with Colleen Kelahan-Pierson, an instructor who visits the campus. They perform throughout the school year.

Irish dancing has been offered as an extracurricular activity at the school for decades and pays tribute to the Irish nuns who came from Ireland to Phoenix to start the school in 1954.

For the second year, Saints Simon & Judge Cathedral School teachers, staff members and students will take part in the Arizona Walking Challenge, sponsored by Terryberry. To learn more about the walking challenge, visit


St. Francis Xavier hosts open house

Parents interested in exploring the educational offerings at St. Francis Xavier School may attend a Preschool and Kindergarten open house on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

The Jesuit elementary, preschool that serves students from 3 years of age through eighth grade is located at 4715 N. Central Ave. Parents can visit classrooms from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and listen to presentations. For details, visit


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