March 4, 2019
Dear Kyrene Community,
Spring is nearly here, and music is in the air! From the recent high-energy performances of School House Rock to the sound of strings filling the auditorium during the Honors Music Festival, you can see and hear the evidence of Kyrene’s commitment to educating the whole child all across our District. The music is not only beautiful but inspiring, because as we all know, it takes a lot of hard work to make something seem effortless. So, thank you and congratulations to our students, educators, and all Kyrene staff, for your hard work so far this year. It shows.
Imagine the Possibilities
In Kyrene School District, we know children learn in many different ways, and we are committed to providing engaging and challenging educational environments for all students, to ensure they become the problem-solvers, creators, and visionaries of tomorrow. A new program, beginning next fall, will be part of that commitment.
Last month, the Kyrene Governing Board approved the implementation of a program that reimagines the standard classroom structure by combining innovative practices in learning environments, methods, and staffing. The program will be housed in a learning studio on the Kyrene de las Manitas campus and will be limited to 120 students.
Interested families can learn more about the program and submit applications online at www.kyrene.org/imagine. For more about the origins of this new learning studio and its innovative approach to education, be sure to view my March video message.
Enroll in Preschool
For our families with preschool-age children, mark your calendars for March 19. Enrollment for the 2019-20 school year opens at 6:30 a.m. and waitlists form quickly. Kyrene has a preschool on every campus, to provide access to early learning opportunities across our District and to ensure children enter kindergarten ready to learn.
March 19 is also the date to register for Kids Club and After Hours programs next fall, as well as Kyrene’s summer program opportunities. Read more about these offerings on our website or go directly to the registration portal at www.kyrene.org/register.
Register for 2019-20 Online
Thank you to everyone who has confirmed your continued enrollment in Kyrene schools for the 2019-20 school year through our new online registration portal. Your participation helps us identify staffing needs for next year, which is critical to recruiting the very best educators. High quality districts seek and recruit high quality teachers well ahead of the coming school year. This early recruitment season creates a sense of urgency for next year’s registration, as staffing needs are based on student enrollment. Later this month, we will begin offering contracts to teachers, and the State asks us to be as accurate as possible when estimating staffing needs. Thank you for helping us stay competitive by registering online today.
Tell us what you think
Kyrene families are invited to participate in our annual survey to evaluate parent and guardian satisfaction. Your voice is critical to helping us review programs and systems, so that we can be sure we are serving the needs of you and your children to the best of our ability. This survey is confidential, to ensure open and honest feedback. All parents and guardians should have received a link to the survey via email and text message (if you are opted in to Kyrene text alerts), and the link can be found on District and school web home pages as well.
Celebrating Black History
Throughout the month of February, Kyrene schools turned a spotlight on the achievements of black Americans, as part of Black History Month. Evidence of these studies and celebrations were apparent on every campus, but just to highlight a few: C.I. Waggoner students read books by award-winning author Kwame Alexander and studied the inventions of engineer Lonnie Johnson; Kyrene de la Estrella kindergarteners learned about the campaign and election of President Barack Obama, while 5th graders emulated Martin Luther King Jr. by writing their own “Dream” speeches; Kyrene de los Lagos 3rd grade students studied a bevy of historic figures including Mae Jemison, a NASA astronaut and the first black woman to travel into outer space.
This powerful poem, written and performed by Akimel A-al student Sabrina Anderson, is proof of how inspired students were by lessons learned during Kyrene’s Black History Month activities. Seeing that passion ignited in our students is what drives educators to do what we do.
Last month, I shared with you the winners of our Kyrene School District Spelling Bee. Please join me in congratulating our District winner, Katie Rayter, who is advancing to the Arizona State District Bee, after earning the 2nd place spot in the Regional Bee. You may have also seen Katie, along with Kyrene District runner up Matteo Paspuel Onate on Fox10 News last month, where they represented Kyrene brilliantly in a spelling challenge with local TV news personalities.
I also want to congratulate Kyrene de la Sierra 4th grader Trinity Rodriguez, who was just named the grand prize winner of SRP’s “Wrap Battle” contest. Trinity designed a vehicle wrap that will be featured on one of SRP’s electric cars, celebrating clean energy. We can’t wait to see Trinity’s design hit the streets, but in the meantime, you can get a sneak peek at her art on Kyrene’s facebook page.
Our spring recess is just around the corner. Whether you are traveling or taking some much-deserved time to decompress, I hope you have a safe spring break, and I look forward to welcoming staff back on Monday, March 18 and students Tuesday, March 19.
Dr. Jan Vesely, Superintendent
Kyrene School District
View the Superintendent’s monthly video message.