The CUSD administration and Governing Board presented the annual "state of the district" message to community leaders on January 31 in the Governing Board Room. The annual report provides an overview of the district, academic performance, recognition of students and staff, budget information and an update on expenditures from bond elections. Learn more at www.cusd80.com/annualreport.
Brags - Honors, Awards and Special Programs
There are a LOT of great things going on in our schools — honors, awards, community service projects, special programs we offer and accomplishments. Click below to spread the word, and to see the things we're doing!
Proactive statewide public school drinking water screening program
Chandler Unified School District is participating in a proactive statewide public school drinking water lead screening program sponsored by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). ADEQ is coordinating this screening program with multiple state and local agencies, public water systems, public schools and other parties. While drinking water is not considered to be a common source of lead in Arizona, eliminating lead in drinking water is an important step to reducing your child’s overall exposure to lead.
Please visit the ADEQ website for detailed information about the statewide public school drinking water screening program for lead.
As part of our continuing commitment to provide a safe environment for both students and staff, please be assured that we will provide you with timely updates.
San Marcos Teacher Named Exemplary
Lauren Delfino-Karl, second grade teacher at San Marcos Elementary School, was named a 2016 Rodel Exemplary Teacher over the Thanksgiving weekend. She is one of 15 educators across the state recognized by Rodel.
CUSD Nominated for Six Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards
CUSD Community Relations Department has been nominated for six Emmy Awards. The honor comes after the district's media production department, under the direction of Michael Holland, entered a documentary video about district history into the Rocky Mountain Southwest Regional Emmy Awards competition. The program, called The History of Chandler Schools, Part 3: Summary of a Century, was judged by members of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and deemed worthy of nominations for the coveted award. Emmy trophies will be handed out to selected recipients at an awards event on October 17.
The program is narrated by John Prothro, teacher at Perry High.
The nominated video is the last of a three-part series on the history of the district. The CUSD production team took home three awards for part 2 of the series in 2014. All three parts can be seen on the CET99.org Youtube channel.
Kids School Safety Tips:
In light of recent reports of encounters with suspicious vehicles in neighboring communities, this is a good time for us to review with our children practices to help keep them safe.
Did you know? The CUSD graduating class of 2015 earned more than $92 million in scholarship offers. Congratulations, graduates!
CUSD excelled at the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair (AzSEF) 72 students earned 106 awards.Also, notably Hamilton High School was named the Outstanding Senior High Division School of the Year for the second year in a row. Furthermore, eight CUSD high school students qualified for the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in May. The Arizona Science and Engineering Fair is able to send 15 projects on to ISEF. This year, nine of the 15 projects advancing to ISEF are from CUSD. ISEF is the premier global science competition with approximately 1,600 high school students from 70 countries showcasing their talent.The projects advancing to ISEF are listed below.
- Kaitlyn Loop and McKenna Loop, Arizona College Preparatory – Erie, “The Effect of the Type of Harvesting Method on the Amount of Algal Mass Recovered for Economically Feasible Biofuel Production”
- Farah Eltohamy, Arizona College Preparatory – Erie, “Nanotech Fungi”
- Hal Carrigan, Basha High School, “Can Bacteria Effectively Reduce the Toxicity of Mine Drainage”
- Samantha Bouchal, Basha High School, “Can Caspase 3 Inhibitors Improve Cornea Storage for Transplant?”
- Mani Kandan, Hamilton High School, “A Novel Solution for the Visually Impaired Utilizing Computer Vision and Vibrohaptics”
- Shona Das and Lisa Zou, Hamilton High School, “The Effect of Silicon and Boron on Arsenite Uptake by Maize”
- Aryasp Nejat, Hamilton High School, “Developing an Effective Phage Therapy for Treatment of Staphylococcus aureas: The Effect of Bacteriophage K Solutions on Methicillin-resistant s-aureas bacteria (MRSA)”
- Rebecca Jernigan, Hamilton High School, “The Innovative use of Proteolytic Enzymes as a Specific Targeting Antiviral”
- Rikita Bharati, Hamilton High School, “Observations of Phytosterol: A Novel Method of Cancer Treatment Using Plant Based Steroid Compounds”
The Governing Board recognized staff, students, volunteers and state or national champions Thursday at the District Night of Recognition at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Click here to view the program and see the list of winners.
Si Se Puede honored seven educators from CUSD at the 15th annual Cesar Chavez recognition and awards dinner Saturday at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino. Here are the CUSD recipients of this year’s awards: Anne Bender, Chandler High school counselor; Lisa Shore, Frye Elementary principal; Jennifer Duffy, Galveston Elementary teacher; Elizabeth Leon, Galveston Elementary parent liaison; Becky Henderson San Marcos Elementary principal; Debbie Limano, Willis Junior High teacher; David Evans, CUSD Governing Board Member.
(Photo: Arizona Educational Foundation)ACP-Erie Student Wins State Spelling Bee
Marcus Behling, an eighth grader at ACP-Erie, will represent Arizona in the 88th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. May 24-29. Marcus won the state spelling bee on March 21, correctly spelling the word "frankincense” (which had been incorrectly spelled by the other finalist) and then correctly spelling “barometer" to take home the win.
Marcus follows in his brother’s footsteps. Mitchell Behling won the state bee in 2011. Mitchell is currently a senior at Chandler High.
Santan Elementary Teacher Wins RaffleLeticia Velarde, priority preschool teacher at Santan Elementary, won the 2015 Chandler Education Foundation vehicle raffle. She had a choice between a 2015 Toyota vehicle ($27,000 MSRP) or $20,000 in cash, she chose the latter.
Proceeds from the drawing help the Foundation fund school and classroom projects and scholarships for graduating seniors. A big thank you is in order to Big Two Toyota of Chandler and Toyota Financial Services for sponsoring the raffle.
Chandler Unified Improves Credit Rating:
The Chandler Unified School District’s credit rating has been upgraded from Aa2 to Aa1. Moody’s Investors Service credited “the district’s strong financial position, favorable operational standing, rapid retirement of debt and stable tax base.”
Moody’s went on to say, “The district demonstrated strong management during the tax-based declines and state funding cuts of recent years, emerging with reserves at healthy levels and no major backlog of labor or maintenance costs. With recessionary pressures easing, state funding beginning to stabilize and enrollment continuing to grow, the district is well positioned to maintain it strong financial flexibility.”
Letter from the CUSD Governing Board to our Governor and LegislatorsAfter careful review the Chandler Unified School District governing board resolves that the proposed gubernatorial budget, if enacted, continues to degrade the ability of Arizona school districts to provide an excellent education for all students. The proposed state budget will cut $6 million from Chandler UnifiedSchool district funding. This is in addition to the already enacted district cuts of over $36 million the past five years. At the same time, proposals to arbitrarily cut essential "outside the classroom" funding jeopardizes support functions required to maintain a safe, healthy and effective school environment.
The Chandler Unified School District governing board also resolves that proposed measures, such as HB2303, constitute micro management by state government that removes local community control of school operations contrary to the wishes of local citizens. For example, over 94 percent of the 50,000+ parents in the district support the current school start schedule, which would be radically changed by HB2303 with no justification, producing significant disruption to parents and staff members.
The Chandler Unified School District governing board opposes the proposed budget legislation. We urge the Governor and the Arizona legislature to reconsider these proposals, which we strongly believe will be harmful to our education system, students, parents and district staff. We request that our schools be properly funded and we reject any measures that reduce local community control of our schools.The Chandler Unified School District governing board also urges district parents, staff and community members to contact their Legislators and the Governor and ask them to properly fund the district and to reject measures that reduce local community control of their school district.As discussed, approved and signed this 25th day of February 2015.Karen M. McGee, President
David Evans, Vice President
Annette Auxier, Member
Barb Mozdzen, Member
Robert J.C. Rice, Member
Board to Vote on School NameThe Governing Board is scheduled Wednesday night to vote to name the district’s newest elementary school in honor of Dr. Gary and Annette Auxier, Governing Board member. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.
Annette and Gary are the embodiment of civic mindedness. Gary is a highly respected pediatrician. He has provided service and care for our uninsured and underinsured students at the Chandler CARE Center since 1999. In addition to sick visits, he provides sports physicals for CUSD student athletes and well-child preventive care.
Annette was appointed to the Chandler School District Governing Board in 1998. The first time the public voted her into office was in November 1998 and, in an affirmation of their approval of the work she has done, Annette has been re-elected four additional times. She is the longest tenured board member in Chandler Unified history, now serving her 17th year. Her leadership has helped assure that CUSD prospered through a decade of hyper growth, but more importantly, was well positioned to sustain the massive budget cuts that marred public school districts in Arizona.
Pictured on the cover Dr. Gary and Annette Auxier at the CARE Center groundbreaking in 2009. Click here to read the resolution.
Two CUSD Students Advance to the State Spelling Bee
Isha Paode, an eighth grader at Willis Junior High was runner up. She also advances to the State Spelling Bee.
Proposed legislation causes concernThere are two issues we want you to be aware of that could be critically important to the families of 43,000 CUSD students.First: Budget - Governor Ducey’s proposed budget purports to increase funding to the classroom by five percent. Many have naturally assumed he was increasing the funds available for teachers and classrooms. Does that mean more funds will go to classrooms? No, it does not. The proposed budget does not add funding. Instead, it actually cuts $113 million across the state from what is called “district additional assistance” funds. These funds pay for school nurses, bus drivers, mechanics, principals, cafeteria workers, crossing guards, secretaries, air conditioning/heating technicians and custodians.If the Governor’s proposed budget is approved, Chandler will have to cut approximately $6 million.Second: Calendar - In addition, there is an Arizona House Bill (HB 2303) that would mandate the school year could not start prior to September 2 and must end before June 30. CUSD surveyed our community in 2013 and found that 94% of our parents like our year-round calendar. Our calendar also enables us to complete a semester of high school prior to the winter break, instead of students returning after two weeks off to resume the semester.We believe that cost savings related to starting school after Labor Day are overestimated. The days of closing schools for the summer are long over. We run programs year-round and execute our heavy maintenance during the summer. Plus, with technology investment, we can’t shut off or turn up temperatures to extreme heats. Most importantly, our calendar is reflective of our community’s collective input. We believe that these types of decisions are best made at the local level.
Chandler High Wins State Soccer TitleChandler High won its first-ever Division I boys soccer state championship Saturday night at Campo Verde High, defeating Sandra Day O’Connor, 3-2. The Wolves entered the tournament as the No. 7 seed and beat four opponents, including an upset win over Brophy Thursday night in the semifinals.
Message from the Superintendent Regarding Measles:As you may have heard, measles has been reported in Maricopa County. Superintendent Dr. Camille Casteel takes an opportunity to provide families with some helpful information in hopes of limiting its spread in our community. To read Camille’s full letter click here.
Eighth Grader Wins Spelling Bee
Behling, Trias and Paode advance to the Maricopa County Region 6 spelling bee to be held at 9:30 a.m. February 19 in Higley. Also qualifying for the regional bee, in order of finish: Pricilla Rios, Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary; Vinayak Athavale, Jacobson Elementary; Gavin Vogt, Bogle Junior High; Blake Enwiller, Hancock Elementary; Kristin Myer, CTA Goodman; and Julia Shumway, Haley Elementary.
The CUSD administration and Governing Board presented the annual “state of the district” message to community leaders on January 28 in the Governing Board Room. The annual report provides an overview of the district, academic performance, recognition of students and staff, budget information and an update on expenditures from bond elections. To see the video presentation visit www.cusd80.com/annualreport.Contact Community Relations at 812-7650 or by email for a copy of the printed annual report.
The Governing Board voted unanimously on Wednesday night to dedicate its newest secondary school in honor of Camille, officially welcoming the Dr. Camille Casteel High Colts to the CUSD family.
Board Elects New OfficersThe Governing Board on Wednesday elected Karen McGee (upper middle) president and David Evans (lower left) vice president for 2015.Karen was appointed to the Governing Board in July 2010, elected to a two-year term in November 2010 and re-elected to a four-year term in 2012. David was originally elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008 and 2012. Both of their terms expire December 2016.
New SchoolsCUSD will be opening two new schools on Power Road in Queen Creek in July 2015. An elementary school will open at Power and Brooks Farm, while a 7-12 secondary school on the northeast corner of Power and Riggs Roads. More information about these schools can be found on the website.