Glendale Union High School District

Three seniors receive GCU scholarships

Three students in the Glendale Union High School District are already making names for themselves on the college level.

Sunnyslope High School senior Bryann Osborn and Washington High School seniors Rubicel Pita Martinez and Jose Pacheco recently received the Students Inspiring Students Scholarship from Grand Canyon University. This scholarship is awarded to students from inner city high schools who keep a grade-point average of at least 3.5 and complete 100 or more hours of required work, including college preparedness exercises and academic help in the university’s Learning Lounge.

To learn more, visit


Senior scores national honor for community service

A Sunnyslope High School senior is receiving national recognition for his service in the community.

Seamus Simmons recently was given an engraved bronze medallion after being chosen as a 2021 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Distinguished Finalist. This awards program is the country’s largest youth recognition operation based exclusively on volunteer community service. It honors middle level and high school students for their tremendous service to others on a local, state and national level.

Prudential and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) started the awards program in 1995. To learn more, visit


Make tax credit donation to help schools

When you are preparing your taxes to file, you also can make a donation to benefit the Glendale Union High School District or public schools in other districts.

Arizona tax law allows taxpayers to earn credit for contributions they have made or fees they paid to a public school to support extracurricular activities. This is a dollar-for-dollar credit that is equal to the amount donated or the amount of fees paid. State law permits taxpayers to receive a tax credit of up to $400 if they file personal taxes as “married filing jointly” or $200 for those filing as “head of the household” or “single” if they provide funds to a public school. Besides extracurricular programs, your donation also will go toward supporting district students and community school meal programs, among other items. The deadline to file your contribution is April 15.

To donate to the Glendale Union district, visit


Madison Elementary School District

Virtual academy to start in district this fall

Enrollment is underway for a new online school that will kick off in the 2021-22 academic year in the Madison Elementary School District.

Madison Virtual Academy is a unique online offering for students in grades third through eighth. It provides 90 to 135 minutes of live teaching and about 90 to 120 minutes of asynchronous (independent) learning per day. Students will be taught in the core subjects of math, science, English Language Arts and social studies with special area opportunities. There will be a focus on students’ social/emotional wellness. Students do not have to live in the district boundaries to enroll for the virtual academy. The online school is free of charge.

To learn more, visit


Osborn Elementary School District

District finds ways to help meet community needs

The Osborn Elementary School District has been serving as a source of support in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has been finding creative ways to stay connected to its parents, students and the larger community over the last year. Adults who have a child enrolled at Longview or Clarendon elementary schools or Osborn Middle School were invited to participate in adult language classes provided in Spanish and English online. Longview Elementary School provides a free little library and visitors there also recently were treated to fresh cilantro, arugula and lettuce harvested in the school’s gardens, as well as other treats.

Clarendon Elementary School has been offering learning opportunities for families experiencing stress, using tools illustrated in a social-emotional program called Conscious Discipline. This program teaches children how to regulate and manage emotions so they can make safe and healthy choices. Adults are taught in order to help children most effectively they need to first display self-control. Participants are given a learning link to review independently and then they can talk about what they have learned with others virtually.

Encanto Elementary School’s attendance team has been providing resources and support to families that are experiencing hardships and/or grief related to COVID-19. When the school is notified that a family member of a student has died, the family is contacted by an Encanto social worker, who expresses her condolences and offers her counseling services to the family. The social worker also tells families how to talk to their children about the death and provides resources in the community to help with burial expenses and other basic needs.


Learn about dual language program

You can help immerse your child in two languages – English and Spanish – at an early age in the Osborn Elementary School District.

Enrollment is taking place for the district’s Spanish Dual Language Program, which is offered at Clarendon, Encanto, Longview and Solano elementary schools and Osborn Middle School. There will be informational meetings online/virtually for parents to learn more about the program at 5 p.m. in English on Monday, March 15 and then at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 25 in Spanish through Zoom. Informational meetings also were held last month. Registration forms for the program will be accepted through May 20.

This dual language program offers a 50/50 English and Spanish model that promotes language proficiency through reading, writing and speaking in English and Spanish. It follows Arizona academic standards and delivers rigorous curriculum, instruction and assessments, according to Monica Artea, curriculum specialist for Language Acquisition and Biliteracy in the district, as well as a parent.

This program is free-of-charge. Students have the opportunity to expand their minds academically, develop strong social-cultural awareness, to excel as a bilingual community member and to eventually earn the Arizona Seal of Biliteracy when they graduate form high school. To learn more, visit, then click on “Parents” and then select “Spanish Dual Language.”


Phoenix Union High School District

Students receive help applying for financial aid

The Phoenix Union High School District is trying to make it easy for seniors to apply for financial aid for college.

It held the AZ Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Drive-In at Central High School, in partnership with Access ASU and the Be a Leader Foundation last month. High school seniors and their families drove to the school and received assistance with completing the FAFSA forms, which offer financial aid and scholarships to students to help cover their college costs. One $500 scholarship is being given every month to a Phoenix Union student who finished their FAFSA. The student will be randomly selected.

Another drive-in FAFSA event was held at The Academies at South Mountain late last month. The drive-up events gave students a chance to seek help safely as participants wore masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.


District celebrates value of career, technical classes

Did you know that students in the Phoenix Union High School District are able to explore and learn skills they can use in future jobs in 35 programs?

The district celebrated the value and accomplishments of all its Career and Technical Education programs in February in honor of National CTE Month. Classes are taught using modern equipment, giving students career-ready skills they can use after graduation. There are a variety of classes offered in finance, business and management, as well as education, industry and engineering technology, information technology, arts and communication, law and public safety, health sciences and human services. Students learn culinary arts, pharmacy support services, automotive collision repair, digital filmmaking and many other diverse topics. The classes embody a contextualized approach to language arts and math integration with an emphasis on CTE content.

To learn more, visit


Washington Elementary School District

The Washington Elementary School District recently held drive-thru kindergarten registration events on its campus (photo courtesy of Washington Elementary School District).

The Washington Elementary School District recently held drive-thru kindergarten registration events on its campus (photo courtesy of Washington Elementary School District).

Explore options for kindergarten online

If your child is gearing up for kindergarten, you can explore the programs in the Washington Elementary School District from the comfort of home.

Registration is underway for the 2021-2022 school year and the district hosted drive-thru events recently on its campuses to share information about its kindergarten classes. The district provides free, full-day kindergarten programs that provide developmentally appropriate, research-based curriculum that addresses reading, writing, science, math and social studies, as well as physical education, art and time for fun. The program offers various chances for kindergartners to learn and practice vital social-emotional and problem-solving skills.

Children are eligible to enroll in kindergarten for the next school year if they turn 5 years old on or before Aug. 31 of that academic year. If children will turn 5 in September or October, they are eligible for the Early Entrance Kindergarten Screening. To learn more, visit


Meal kits provide dinners for families

Families in the Washington Elementary School District who need help putting food on the table can receive free, dinner meal kits every week.

These kits have fresh ingredients and recipes to cook complete dinners for children. Some recent kits included tacos, chips, tortillas, meat, salsa and vegetables, as well as milk, and one with tangerine and teriyaki chicken, fried rice, sunshine carrots, bell peppers, edamame, oranges and milk.

Interested families must register by 4 p.m. on Thursdays to pick up the kits the following week from 8 to 10 a.m. on Fridays. To sign up, visit


Private and Charter Schools

Talia Novak, on the left, a senior this school year, and Katie Harris, also a senior at Xavier College Preparatory demonstrate a centrifugal force activity during last year’s Girls Have IT Day (GHITD) (photo by Dominique Paplaczyk).

Talia Novak, on the left, a senior this school year, and Katie Harris, also a senior at Xavier College Preparatory demonstrate a centrifugal force activity during last year’s Girls Have IT Day (GHITD) (photo by Dominique Paplaczyk).

Xavier to engage girls in STEAM activities online

The COVID-19 pandemic is not stopping students at Xavier College Preparatory from planning their next Girls Have IT Day (GHITD).

This school’s Computer Science Department chairwoman Catherine Wyman and her students will host the 12th annual event, which aims to spark excitement, engagement and encouragement of middle school girls to pursue science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) activities. Student chairwoman and senior Joey Hernandez Mena, as well as Xavier’s whole GHITD Committee, are working hard to reach girls around the Valley.

About 500 middle school students are expected to participate in the event, which will be held online from 1 to 3 p.m. on March 18 through Webex. That means everyone interested can get involved in the fun while staying socially distant and safe. Every experiment and activity will be done live on Webex using common household items. There will be hundreds of hands-on activities including “elephant paste volcano,” “edible models of DNA,” “make your own Playdough,” and “making movie sound effects.”

Any middle school girl in the Valley can participate. The event is free but guests must register ahead of time at


Brophy seniors preparing for graduation events

Seniors at Brophy College Preparatory are gearing up for the festivities that will take place in the coming months.

The high school is planning to celebrate its Baccalaureate Mass at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 21 at St. Francis Xavier Church at 4715 N. Central Ave. In order to allow for appropriate social distancing and due to limited capacity, only seniors and faculty members will attend this Mass. It will be livestreamed for students’ family members and friends.

Commencement will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 22 in Robson Gymnasium on campus. Due to social distancing and the size of the gymnasium, only the seniors’ parents or guardians can attend commencement. Brophy creates a commemorative commencement program that has a section called “Beyond Brophy.” Seniors are being asked to tell the school about any merit-based scholarships or awards they have received from organizations not affiliated with Brophy between June of 2020 and April of this year. They should submit their information no later than April 16 to

To learn more, visit


Madison Highland Prep hosts robotics tournament

Madison Highland Prep is programmed for technological fun as it recently hosted its 7th annual VEX tournament.

The school held the socially distanced event with two competition fields inside its gymnasium last month. Several volunteers in the community worked with Madison Highland Prep’s sponsor, Blue Orthodontics and school staff members to support the 24 participating teams from around the Valley. Also, 18X18 AZ provided the referees and set-up while also livestreaming the event. Matches consisted of two periods – a 15-second autonomous time and a one-minute-and-45-second driver-controlled activity. Madison Highland Prep’s three VEX teams competed for a spot at the AIA State Championships this month.

Shane Jones, a science faculty member, is the team coach while the competition was organized by Nathan Schulz, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) coach.


Midtown Primary volunteer provides art supplies

Midtown Primary School is grateful to a special volunteer, who takes time to serve as the “fairy art godmother.”

Mary Hulings has been donating time and resources to the school to ensure all students have the chance to create, even during this COVID-19 pandemic. Third-grade teacher Mandy Mitchell said Hulings is the school’s own fairy art godmother” and she is very thankful to have her support. Hulings prepares individual craft kits for all students in the school. She has delivered hundreds of craft kits over the last year.

Hulings also takes time to communicate with teachers to ensure the art projects complement good things already occurring in the classrooms. For example, if a teacher is going to read a story about a raccoon, she will prepare a raccoon craft for students to make. Her creativity and time are helpful to teachers and students look forward to making artwork.

Because of the pandemic Hulings has not been on the campus lately but she has someone deliver the art supplies to the school.


The National Speech & Debate Association recently gave the Brophy/Xavier Speech & Debate Team the 2020 Leading Chapter Award in the Arizona District and also honored it as a member of the prestigious 200 Club, among other recognition (photo courtesy of Brophy College Preparatory).

The National Speech & Debate Association recently gave the Brophy/Xavier Speech & Debate Team the 2020 Leading Chapter Award in the Arizona District and also honored it as a member of the prestigious 200 Club, among other recognition (photo courtesy of Brophy College Preparatory).

Speech and debate group earns chapter award

The National Speech & Debate Association recently gave the Brophy/Xavier Speech & Debate Team the 2020 Leading Chapter Award in the Arizona District. This team also was honored as a member of the prestigious 200 Club and was distinguished for its 40th time attending the National Speech & Debate Tournament, which the association said is “an achievement few schools can claim.”

Three Brophy seniors also were commended for individual achievement. Will Hays, Carl Justice and Davis McHenry earned the National Speech & Debate Association Academic All American Award.


Two Brophy seniors nominated for honor

Two Brophy College Preparatory seniors, Luke Maledon and Henry Palmer, were recently nominated for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. About 40 high school seniors in each state are nominated for this honor based on academic achievement and their scores on the SAT and ACT exams.


Xavier honored for focus on computer science

Xavier College Preparatory is the recipient of a national award for helping to shatter the glass ceiling in computer science.

The school recently earned the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for high female representation in AP Computer Science and A and AP Computer Science Principles. Schools distinguished with this award have expanded girls’ access in AP Computer Science classes. This is the third year in a row Xavier has obtained this honor.

Xavier was one of 56 schools recognized for closing the gender gap in both AP computer science courses.

Data show that female students who take AP Computer Science Principles in high school are more than five times as likely to major in computer science in college, compared to girls who did not take that course.


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