Commentary: Adventure grant, being writers at Camp Verde schools

Dennis Goodwin

Dennis Goodwin

The Yavapai-Apache Nation has received initial approval of a $1.1 million dollar Adventure Grant. 

The oversight of the grant will be the responsibility of the Tribe, however Camp Verde USD is partnering with the Nation in this initial four year endeavor. 

The program uses outdoor adventure activities to foster experiential learning situations that can be translated to life lessons. 

The District will be responsible for tracking and reporting behavior and academic progress of enrolled students in the program. 

We are also looking at how this program could benefit all our students in need of this learning platform, perhaps through Friday Camps.

Congratulations to our November student of the month: Ani Stienhardt.

Seniors: if you are applying to NAU, please be filling out and submitting the FAFSA now ... Priority Deadline application to NAU is Nov. 15.  If you need any help or more information, please see one of your counselors or Riccardo.

Friday Camps are now available to High School Students. Many classes available such as Photography, Art, Technology etc. Please come to the Main Office for more information.

The 2nd Blood Drive is Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. If you are 16 or 17 and meet the requirements, you are encouraged to donate.

Parental consent forms can be picked up in the main office, the attendance office, or from Ms. Westfield in room 101.

Your form must be signed and turned in before you donate

South Verde Math

This week, two students have solved a geometry problem involving a triangle with a centroid. The centroid of a triangle is 1/3 of the way along its apothem (its axis of symmetry for an equilateral triangle) from a side.

With the right relationship described in an equation, it just takes a little algebra to triumph, and how sweet it is!

Spook House

Our Spook House was a success. There were at least 300 participants that walked through our scary little house and many more volunteers that made it a popular attraction on Halloween night.

Mrs. Murphy led the efforts to create this masterpiece and is already planning enhancements for next year.

College

On Thursday, South Verde juniors and seniors participated in the Be a Yavapai College student for a day event.

This all-day event allowed students to experience a real classroom environment and a little bit of college life.

In the end, our students discussed the many options they have after they graduate high school. Most of the students who attended have already taken the steps to become Yavapai College students.

Students, employee of the month

Camp Verde Middle School would like to congratulate its Students of the Month; 6th grade: Tatum McDonald, 7th grade: Kyle Quintana, 8th grade: Corynn Helgeson, and Athlete: Calvin Pitroff. Way to go girls and boys. CVMS is proud of you.

We would also like to recognize our Employee of the Month, Mrs. Stacy Munger. Mrs. Munger is one of our Special Education teachers, and she is in charge of the high school Booster Club. Mrs. Munger is always full of energy, has a smile on her face, and willing to help anyone! We are glad to have her at our school.

Congratulations to all those students who made the basketball teams. The first game is on Nov. 16, with the 7th & 8th grade girls and boys teams going to Cornville.

New 7th & 8th grade students started Tech Lab this Quarter. After several days of orientation they started new stations. Seventh grade students are required to complete one rotation of Microsoft Word and 8th graders are required to do the same with PowerPoint.

Student-made model ziggurats for our Mesopotamia unit in 6th grade Social Studies.

Elementary Board Report

I’d like to take a minute to shine a spotlight one of our many amazing students here at Camp Verde Elementary School.

Kadence Hall-Florence joined us in 2nd grade and is now a 5th grader in Mrs. Wattenbarger’s class.

During a recent observation in the classroom, students were high-fiving each other over some excellent team work.

One student was trying for a high five and got passed over by several students in all the excitement. Kadence saw this student shrug his shoulders and sit down.

She immediately walked over to him and gave him a high five, going out of her way to make sure he felt included. It was a very innocent, casual gesture, but the smile on the other student’s face spoke volumes.

Elementary Board Report

I’d like to take a minute to shine a spotlight one of our many amazing students here at Camp Verde Elementary School.

Kadence Hall-Florence joined us in 2nd grade and is now a 5th grader in Mrs. Wattenbarger’s class.

During a recent observation in the classroom, students were high-fiving each other over some excellent team work.

One student was trying for a high five and got passed over by several students in all the excitement. Kadence saw this student shrug his shoulders and sit down.

She immediately walked over to him and gave him a high five, going out of her way to make sure he felt included. It was a very innocent, casual gesture, but the smile on the other student’s face spoke volumes.

Being Writers

Mrs. LeBeau’s Third Grade Class loves the Being a Writer curriculum. So far this year, students are enjoying the mentor texts that accompany the program.

Students often ask to read them again independently and enjoy discussing them. While reading these texts as a class, they have focused on several skills and techniques writers use in their writing. The class has explored why people write and where writers get their ideas.

They have looked at good leads, or how writers start stories to get their readers’ attention and have worked on drafting their own good leads.

One of the favorite activities has been critiquing sensory details authors use and thinking about how they can show rather than tell their readers about things or events in their own writing.

Dead Horse State Park

Once again, our fourth graders participated in some wonderful hands-on STEAM activities to learn more about the water cycle and the conservation of this precious resource.

The Verde Valley Water Festival that is held at Dead Horse State Park every October is part of Project Wet, and is supported by the University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Book Fair and cookie dough

Title 1 teacher Karen Castillo, ran our book fair this past week. It’s a HUGE undertaking and we are thrilled to report that the total sales for this endeavor equaled $4997.46—twenty-three cents over our highest grossing book fair ever.

Meanwhile, Melissa Howe also undertook the annual Cookie Dough Sales fundraiser — another enormous event that brings in money for field trips and other activities at our site.

The 4th and 5th graders sold cookie dough and earned a total of $15,888.75, which equates to 1445 items.

We pay $7.30 per item, leaving us a profit of $5,340. About half of this will pay for the 5th grade reward trip in May to Wet-n-Wild Waterpark. Well done Mrs. Howe and students.

Exceptional Student Services

In the Developmental Preschool, Mrs. Mazur carved pumpkins with the little ones so they could feel the gooey insides. Some were not impressed, but all had a great time.

It is great seeing the student engagement during the activity.

Nothing like a little party to celebrate the holiday. I am guessing the little ones will be all hyped up for the evening Trick-or-Treating activities.

In the Elementary, Mrs. Weir, our K-3rd grade resource teacher has been helping her first grade students make a book, titled All About Me. The students enjoyed writing about themselves and illustrating their books. They were very proud of their end results.

Ms. Power’s, our 4th and 5th grade resource teacher said her students have been learning Keyboarding. The students have been working on narrative stories and improving their writing skills.

They are now putting their keyboarding skills to use by typing their narrative stories.

It has been great watching the students write about their main characters. 

Most students have chosen to write action adventure stories.  The students have also been working on improving their use of spell check, grammar check, setting margins, fonts, and double spacing.

In Middle School, Ms. Carter is on top of our alternate assessments for our students with special needs. She has entered our 16 students into ADE’s data base for alternate assessments. We are below the 1% cap for our district.

In High School, Mrs. Gustin and Mrs. Warren have been busy with IEP meetings and ensuring their students individual needs are met according to their IEP plans.

A-B-Cs

In the ESS Department, we have an awesome team this year. Preschool students are working hard to learn their A-B-Cs and how to follow direction in the classroom.

In Mrs. Justus’ class, students are participating in inclusion with their non-disabled peers and enjoying their specific learning time when they meet back in the Life-Skills Classroom with Mrs. Justus.

Our resource teachers, Mrs. Weir and Ms. Powers have been busy doing inclusion work and pull-out work to help our students solidify learning skills they need to be successful in the general education curriculum.

Our Speech team, led by Ms. Kohlbeck, has seen some great results with our preschool students who come in for intensive speech therapy during the week.

In Middle School, Ms. Carter and Mrs. Munger are working on their caseload to ensure students are participating in inclusion and working on the IEP goals.

They are also helping out with South Verde and the Accommodations School to write IEPs and ensure the students are making progress toward their goals.

Great job ladies. In the High School, Mrs. Anderson is preparing her students for an upcoming field trip to Flagstaff.

The students will be working on independence skills as they participate in a shopping activity.

Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Gustin, and Mrs. Warren have an upcoming meeting with our Vocational Rehab person to see how their services may help our students as they transition from high school to community or college life. Not to be forgotten, our psychologist,

Dr. Worssam has been very busy. She has been mentoring a student from NAU who wants to be a school psychologists.

ELL Program

Currently CVUSD has 54 ELL students ranging from Kindergarten to 12th grade.  On Oct. 26, we held our annual ELL Family Night in the district library. 

Three families came to hear about the ELL program and make hands on learning activities with their students. 

Parents and students made steam cars as an activity utilizing one of the English language proficiency standards on reading and following multiple step directions. 

Staff was able to talk with parents and establish a stronger alliance.

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