District requires masks with opt-out choices
Students and employees in the Madison Elementary School District must wear face coverings indoors on campuses through Wednesday, Sept. 29.
The district recently announced it would update its mitigation plan mandating face coverings for students and workers through that date, with a limited opt-out option. It follows Arizona’s immunization opt-out procedures, which allow parents to choose to not have their children vaccinated due to medical, religious or personal beliefs. Parents who want their children to opt out of wearing the face coverings need to contact their school’s health office to acquire the needed form.
Superintendent Kenneth Baca in a letter to parents said because the state Legislature passed a budget recently that banned public schools in Arizona from requiring masks, the Madison district had removed the face covering requirement from its mitigation plan. However, Baca said the Phoenix Union High School District had adopted a face covering mandate for students and staff and argued in court that under the Arizona State Constitution that the legislation would not take effect until Sept. 29. He said he and the Madison district governing board “take very seriously our duty” to follow the constitution and laws of Arizona. They have consulted and obtained advice from their legal counsel and updated their plan, Baca said.
He said the decision was made based on balancing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines with advice that legal counsel provided. He added the mask mandate also is based on trying to decrease the disruptions to learning by implementing strategies to try to prevent the spread of the virus and to limit the number of quarantines that must occur when anyone is infected or exposed.
For more information, visit www.madisonaz.org.
Madison Meadows receives facelift
Students are learning in recently reconstructed, modern and energy-efficient spaces in Madison Meadows Middle School.
The school installed Daiken air coolers, which were identified in an energy audit conducted by a specialized consultant as being the most efficient to fit the air-conditioning units’ design. Recently installed KMC Niagara energy management controls give officials control and detailed monitoring that align with district standards. The district now uses 100 percent LED lighting with occupancy sensors in most areas of the school. It also was able to obtain APS rebates for showing high efficiency in the school.
Madison Meadows also continued its open classroom model, which uses glass partition walls and space for collaboration. The school has a modern kitchen and dining area, with multiple serving and point-of-sales lines for students who access express service. Madison Meadows has the district’s first “Learning Stairs,” which allow for more seating, a lecture area and an exciting area for students to hang out in on campus.
District earns award for financial reporting
The Madison Elementary School District recently received the Association of School Business Officials International Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Award for fiscal year 2020. This honor recognizes financial transparency in school districts, retirement systems and public colleges and universities.
School districts are not required to prepare comprehensive, annual financial reports, but only to submit an annual report that the Arizona Department of Education mandates. However, the comprehensive report allows the district to expand beyond the minimum requirements, providing insights into management discussions and analysis of factors that impact budgets and expenditures, including staff salary increases, changes in students’ attendance and construction of new buildings.
District requires masks as Delta variant spreads
Students and employees in the Phoenix Union High School District are required to wear masks when indoors in the presence of others as the Delta variant of COVID-19 has been spreading.
The district recently announced it would enforce its existing mask requirement of universal indoor masking only, regardless of whether a student or employee has been vaccinated against COVID-19. It said in the announcement, which was made July 30, that in all 32 of the zip codes the district covers that there was a high or substantial spread of the Delta variant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health have updated their recommendations to include universal wearing of masks indoors for all teachers and other employees, as well as students and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of their vaccination status, according to the district.
District officials heard from employees, students and families recently that they wanted the district to realign its mitigation practices with guidelines and recommendations from local and national health agencies.
To learn more, visit www.pxu.org.
Vaccines being provided around district
The Phoenix Union High School District is continuing to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the community on its campuses.
It will offer them from noon to 6 p.m. Mondays, on Sept. 13, 20 and 27 in the south parking lot at Camelback High School/Camelback Montessori at 4612 N. 28th St. Those who want to obtain the vaccines should enter off Campbell Avenue.
The vaccines will be given from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Sept. 7, 14, 21 and 28 in the staff mail room at North High School at 1101 E. Thomas Road. You can obtain a vaccine from noon to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, Sept. 1, Sept. 8, 15, 22 and 29 in room 710 at Central High School/Phoenix Coding Academy at 4525 N. Central Ave. Recipients should enter off Central Avenue.
To find other campuses in Phoenix Union offering the COVID-19 vaccine, visit www.pxu.org.
Students, teachers required to wear masks
Students and employees are required to wear masks in all Washington Elementary School District facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The district governing board voted recently to change its Safe Return to Learn plan to include a provision that states masks will be required in all district buildings for students and staff members with an opt-out option. Parents and guardians who want their children to not wear masks in district centers must present an opt-out form at the school.
The Washington Elementary School District also is following all quarantining requirements for anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status.
For the latest information in the district, visit www.wesdschools.org/wesdschools.
Social workers can help students obtain uniforms
Parents who need help buying uniforms for their children in the Washington Elementary School District can seek help from social workers.
Washington and Cactus Wren elementary schools, as well as Mountain View School, the Arizona Cardinals Academy and Palo Verde Middle School require students to wear uniforms. Families can visit the websites for the school their child is attending to learn more about uniform requirements and to find a social worker on campus to contact for assistance.
There are licensed, masters-level social workers on all campuses in the Washington district to help with various needs to try to ensure students and families’ success.
To learn more, visit www.wesdschools.org.
Brophy’s Club Week to showcase diverse interests
Brophy College Preparatory students can explore new interests and learn how to join likeminded teens to pursue their passions during Club Week.
The school will host its Club week from Tuesday, Sept. 7, to Thursday, Sept. 9. Brophy provides 100 different clubs focused on diverse interests, including religion, culture, history, government, arts, business, literature, advocacy, science and technology. Students can attend meetings hosted by the clubs and visit with their members to learn more about joining them.
Midtown Primary School students play with kitchen
Imaginative play is a big part of a child’s development and Midtown Primary School is thrilled to help students cook up fun and learning, thanks to a gift.
Jerry Hulings, a Chandler resident, designed and made a pretend kitchen set from scratch for students at the school to use. Many teachers recently twisted the pretend oven knobs, opened the simulated refrigerator and pushed buttons on the play microwave when Hulings visited the school to unveil the kitchen. A retiree, he created this play kitchen in his home garage by sawing, sanding and painting.
Students have been playing with the set since school began in August. The children play with the pots, pans, pretend food, glasses and other kitchen supplies in the set.
Midtown Primary School will continue celebrating art at its upcoming Family Night and Art Show at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24. Students’ artwork will be on display, hot dogs will be served and families and teachers can socialize.
MHP students score high on AP tests
Madison Highland Prep recently honored 12 2020-21 Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars who were recognized for their scores on AP exams by the Advanced Placement and College Board.
May graduates Mckenzie Steele, Saul Guillen and Eliel Leon were named Scholars with Distinction, an honor given to students who scored an average of 3.5 on five AP exams. Current students Abigail Boles and Josh Day were named AP Scholars, an honor for those who have scored an average of 3 on three AP exams.
Xavier volleyball team recognized for success
Volleyball players at Xavier College Preparatory are showing their skills on the court match their academic achievements as their team received a national award.
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) and the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) recently announced that Xavier’s volleyball team received the USMC/AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2020-21 season. This honor is given to volleyball teams that keep a year-long, grade-point average of 3.30 on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 on a 5.0 scale.
AVCA executive director Kathy DeBoer said while teams might not have played in their usual season or might not have competed at all in the past academic year, coaches still found ways to steer their players to academic excellence.
Four Xavier seniors commit to play college softball
Four Xavier College Preparatory seniors on the school’s softball state championship-winning team will play at the college level next year.
Xavier pitcher Riley Flynn committed to playing for Harvard University, starting in the fall of 2022. Riley said the Xavier community helped her to achieve her goal of playing Division 1 softball in a university that focuses on academics and sports by pushing her to succeed in and outside of the classroom.
Bridget Donahey, a shortstop, has committed to playing softball at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. She said playing softball at an academically excellent school in the Big Ten “is a dream come true.”
Meghan Schouten, second baseman, will attend Boston College next year. Emma Petersen, a hitter, has committed to Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y.
The students played on Xavier’s softball team that won the 2021 6A State Softball title, its first state championship in that sport.