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Gallego enrollment application now open for 2019-20 school year
    We are now accepting online applications for the 2019-20 school year for Gallego Primary Fine Arts Magnet School's Kindergarten Class. At this time all other...
Star Academic HS partnership with UA and TYLO published in High Country News
As published December 6, 2018 in High Country News Extreme heat hits Tucson’s poor neighborhoods hardest By: Jessica Kutz On a cool morning in mid-November, about two dozen volunteers...
Table with books for young adults
Reading Under the Stars is a literacy event sponsored by the Sunnyside Literacy Council and the Sunnyside Unified School District.  The goal of this annual event is to raise awareness of the...
SUSD employees qualify for $25 UMR pay period premium discount
Beginning June 2018 through March 2019, Sunnyside employees will have an opportunity to earn UMR points by participating in activities to earn a premium differential of $25 per pay period for the...
Summit View Formative Assessment work featured in national education blog
As published November 14, 2018 in Getting Smart blog By: Nancy Gerzon and Mary Ryerse A group of teachers set out on an adventure (aka field trip!) to conduct classroom observations and to...
SUSD'S Patrick Robles Profiled in national youth multimedia project
By Mary Katzke, reset4change November 29, 2018 Patrick makes me feel like a Nordic giant when I walk beside him, but make no mistake in underestimating his stature in his community. I recently...
2018 Profile of a Graduate
Our Vision: Every child... College, Career and Community Ready. Our Mission: Our mission is to develop students with a strong sense of identity, purpose and agency, so that they leave our system...
Challenger awarded Green Reach Grant from University of Arizona
Exciting NEWS: The University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences' Community School and Garden Program will provide materials to install a pergola in Challenger's campus...
    We are now accepting online applications for the 2019-20 school year for Gallego Primary Fine Arts Magnet School's Kindergarten Class. At this time all other grades for the 2019-2020 school year are at capacity. For all other grade levels you may apply online to be placed on a waiting list, with employee priority. However, we do not guarantee enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year. If an opening should occur, the student highest on the list will be contacted for potential enrollment in grades 1st to 8th at Both Gallego Primary and Gallego Intermediate Fine Arts Schools. PLEASE NOTE: If you are enrolling multiple students, please submit a separate form for each student. For additional information or questions, please contact LeeAnn Palomarez at 545-2063 or leeannp@susd12.org. Current Gallego Students DO NOT need to re-apply. NOTA: Estamos aceptando solicitudes en línea para el año escolar 2019-2020 para la Clase de Kindergarten de Gallego Primary Fine Arts Magnet School. En este momento, todos los demás grados para el año escolar 2019-2020 están en capacidad. Para todos los demás niveles de grado, puede solicitar en línea para ser colocado en una lista de espera, con prioridad de los empleados. Sin embargo, no garantizamos la inscripción para el año escolar 2019-2020. Si ocurriera una vacante, se contactará al estudiante con el puntaje más alto en la lista para una posible inscripción en los grados 1º a 8º en las escuelas de bellas artes intermedias de Gallego Primary y Gallego. Nota: Si está inscribiendo a varios estudiantes, envíe un formulario por separado para cada estudiante. Para información adicional o preguntas, comuníquese con LeeAnn Palomarez al 545-2063 o leeannp@susd12.org. Estudiantes actuales de Gallego no necesitan volver a llenar la solicitud.
As published December 6, 2018 in High Country News Extreme heat hits Tucson’s poor neighborhoods hardest By: Jessica Kutz On a cool morning in mid-November, about two dozen volunteers and students work in a shallow basin behind Star Academic High School, a school on Tucson’s south side, shoveling out piles of dirt and placing rocks in front of a drainage designed to capture rainwater from the school’s roof. One teenage girl uses a hammer drill on the hard dirt, creating a hole big enough for a young tree, while other students spread mulch and plug native grasses into the basin.   The landscaping will beautify the school’s barren lot, but the project’s real goal is to add shade and natural vegetation to one of the hottest parts of this desert city. Trees and plants have a dramatic cooling effect in urban environments, and researchers say they’ll be critical safeguards for the health and well-being of residents as temperatures continue to climb. Students, nonprofit and grassroots organizations construct green infrastructure that will direct stormwater to native trees and grasses they are planting to improve the landscape at Star Academic High School. Norma Jean Gargasz for High Country News A few years ago, city and county officials mapped tree canopies and shade throughout Tucson. The results showed that in northern and eastern Tucson, where the city’s wealthier residents live, the tree canopy is expansive. But south of 22nd Street, home to many of the city’s low-income and minority residents, shade is scarce to nonexistent. And its absence shows: The south side can be up to 5 degrees hotter than the greener neighborhoods to its north. University of Arizona students and high school students helped design the school's landscaping with their community in mind. Norma Jean Gargasz for High Country News This disparity will only worsen as the climate continues to change. The Southwest is projected to warm by as much as 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. In Tucson, rising temperatures will be further amplified by the urban heat island, a phenomenon linked to rooftops and asphalt roads, which absorb more heat from the sun during the day than natural surfaces and then radiate it at night. The effect is particularly pronounced in the sparsely vegetated parts of the city where people of color and low-income residents live. Those areas are expected to heat up more quickly and be less equipped to buffer the changes with costly amenities like air conditioning. Here, extreme heat could lead to more hospital visits and even deaths. Planting trees and using captured stormwater to irrigate them could help a lot. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in the hottest part of the day, shaded areas can be 20 to 45 degrees cooler than unshaded spaces. To grow more vegetation, the city of Tucson has created programs to encourage installation of rainwater-harvesting cisterns and stormwater collection basins. But so far, the programs have disproportionately benefited the more affluent areas of the city, where they are least needed. Over the past decade, Tucson has tried to prepare for a hotter future by promoting green infrastructure and water conservation through water-harvesting policies. The city created financial incentives, such as rebates and grants, to encourage citizens to make improvements in their own neighborhoods or backyards, capturing water or adding vegetation. Unfortunately, there's a problem, City Councilmember Regina Romero tells me, sitting in her cramped office in the basement of the Center for Biological Diversity, where she works as the Latino engagement director. The way the incentives are structured often makes them inaccessible to the city’s low-income residents. Take the city’s rainwater-harvesting program: In 2012, Tucson started a rebate program that reimbursed residents up to $2,000 for installing cisterns and other systems to collect rainwater on their properties. The hope was that people would use water collected from their roofs, instead of drinking water, to irrigate landscaping. Communities with less resources, like this south side neighborhood, are less likely to apply to grants for projects like curbside irrigation. Norma Jean Gargasz for High Country News But few people in poor neighborhoods took advantage of the program. “(Rainwater barrels) were kind of becoming this middle-class symbol of wealth,” said Andrea Gerlak, a water policy scholar with the University of Arizona. Most of the rebates went to northern Tucson, where the shade canopy was already densest. Low-income residents couldn’t afford the upfront costs of installation, and in many cases, they were unaware the program even existed, Romero says. In the initial rollout phase, none of the promotional materials or workshops were available in Spanish. Since then, the city has directed funding to a local nonprofit called the Sonora Environmental Research Institute, which is distributing systems to low-income and Spanish-speaking residents with zero-interest loans and grants. Over 100 harvesting systems — about 6 percent of the systems funded by the city's incentive program — have now been installed in low-income households. Similar access problems have arisen with a new neighborhood program, which distributes up to $45,000 a year to each of Tucson’s six wards for small stormwater harvesting projects — things like water collection basins and curb cuts, which funnel water from the street into landscaped medians or parks. Romero proposed the program to add vegetation to more heat-stressed parts of the city. But the City Council ultimately decided that any funding opportunity had to be equally available to every part of the city. “Well, we all know that equal does not mean equitable,” Romero says. Out of the 20 applications received in the first year of the program, 18 were in two of the city’s more affluent wards.   It wasn’t that these projects weren’t of interest to people living in poorer neighborhoods. It was that the process of qualifying for the funding — developing a project plan and filling out an extensive application — was harder for communities with less resources.  In some of the areas Romero represents, “people work and have two to three jobs,” she explained, leaving them less time to participate in civic life. Additionally, there are few neighborhood associations on the south side. That's another barrier, because most of the city's outreach about funding opportunities is funneled through these groups. “We have to make sure we are responding to that inequity,” Romero says, “and that we are spending those funds in an equitable manner.” Dressed in a school-bus-yellow T-shirt, Claudio Rodriguez watches as his partner, Nelda Ruiz, and other community members mulch and plant trees in another stormwater basin in front of Star Academic High School. “They look like little work ants,” he says, looking on from the building’s shadow at 2 p.m. Rodriguez is an organizer with Tierra y Libertad, a grassroots environmental justice organization that works on the south side. Though it’s been hard to take advantage of the city’s climate adaptation programs in the barrio, Rodriguez and a few partners are finding other ways to get the work done. The stormwater basin at Star High School, for example, came about through a project called Tucson Verde Para Todos, spearheaded by Gerlak and her research partner at the University of Arizona. The group won a grant from the university and partnered with Tierra y Libertad and other local nonprofits including the Watershed Management Group, who designed the basin, to create the project. They secured donated trees and asked university and high school students to help plan the landscaping, and the coalition gathered community input. One result of that input was the creation of a shaded bus stop in front of the school; until recently, a single metal sign marked the stop in a city that regularly tops 100 degrees in the summer. But even when these partnerships work, Tucson and other cities can’t afford to rely on them to promote climate resiliency. As Diego Martinez-Lugo, another organizer, explains, “It is kind of like a double-edged sword.” For the city, projects like this are a win-win, he says: “They don’t have to fund it, and the community is doing it anyways.” Ultimately, this approach ends up putting a lot of responsibility on individuals to fight for projects in communities whose residents are already overworked. As climate change intensifies, governments at every level will need to re-evaluate who is really benefiting from their programs. Federal tax credits for solar panels, for instance, don’t really help low-income communities. The tax breaks make adaptation easier for people who already have the means to protect themselves, says Diana Liverman, a researcher who studies the societal impacts of climate change. “But if you aren’t earning enough to pay taxes, you aren’t getting the tax break.” At the grassroots level, community organizers and other groups will continue to fill the gaps and promote community resiliency in any way they can. “Because at the end of the day, everyone will be affected by climate change,” Rodriguez said. “But it will hit our low-income and people of color first.” 12th-grader, Karla Garcia digs holes for trees with assistance from Betsy Wilkening of Arizona Project Wet. Norma Jean Gargasz for High Country News Jessica Kutz is an editorial fellow for High Country News. Email her at jessicak@hcn.org.
Table with books for young adults
Reading Under the Stars is a literacy event sponsored by the Sunnyside Literacy Council and the Sunnyside Unified School District.  The goal of this annual event is to raise awareness of the importance of reading and to engage Sunnyside families in a wide range of literacy-related events!    This year's event "The Heart of Literacy" will take place on February 11, 2019 (5:00-6:30 pm) at Apollo Middle School and will be devoted to making informed choices regarding health information and learning more about the resources available to our families. Several health screenings will be available, as well as information on nutrition, meal programs, pharmacy programs, and even fitness and wellness programs.  School performances and activities will be offered for children, including yoga classes by YMCA instructors and book giveaways!  Refreshments will be available.  Please complete this FORM if you would like to participate in the event.  Thank you! The Heart of Literacy Event  February 11, 2019 Apollo Middle School  265 West Nebraska Street   Deadline to submit form, January 11, 2019
Beginning June 2018 through March 2019, Sunnyside employees will have an opportunity to earn UMR points by participating in activities to earn a premium differential of $25 per pay period for the 2019-20 plan year. That's basically $25 off your health insurance premium every pay period during (a potential savings of $525 per year!). Below are two activities that can easily satisfy your 50 points to earn this premium reduction! 1. Complete a Biometric Screening through your physician (30 points): Have your physician complete a Physician Lab Form. Visit your UMR portal to download your personalized Physician Lab Form at UMR.com and take it with you to your annual preventive exam. 2. Complete an Online Health Risk Assessment (HRA) through UMR.com (20 points): The results of your biometric screening will be used to complete a portion of your HRA Ready to get started? Follow the instructions below...   Go to www.umr.com and Click on "Login/Register".   Enter your Username and Password or Click "Register" to Create a new Account.   If you have never logged in to UMR you will need to create a new account. You will be asked to select what type of account to create. Select "Member".   Please enter your First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, Member ID, and Group Number. (Member ID and Group Number can be found on the UMR Card provided to you).   Enter your email address and phone number. Your email address can either be your SUSD email or personal email. Phone Number can be either a cell phone or home phone.   Create a Username and Password for your account.   To facilitate password recovery, you are asked to select two security questions and assign them an answer. (You will be asked to answer these questions in order to reset a forgotten account password).   You are now logged in to UMR! :)   Here you can access a variety of health resources designed to help you track and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  
As published November 14, 2018 in Getting Smart blog By: Nancy Gerzon and Mary Ryerse A group of teachers set out on an adventure (aka field trip!) to conduct classroom observations and to seek out answers to some of their key questions about formative assessment. What better way to learn than a field trip? Here were some of their guiding questions: What does formative assessment practice look like in action? What are ways that teachers learn formative assessment? Where do they get stuck? What does day-by-day, minute-by-minute assessment look like in action? How do teachers begin their learning in formative assessment? What systems or structures best support teachers to learn formative assessment? Teachers and leaders from the Austin ISD (all of whom are participating in the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation How I Know initiative) team visited Summit View Elementary School in Sunnyside, Tucson to explore these questions – both to deepen their understanding of formative assessment generally, and also to inform their own learning goals as they enter their second year of the How I Know formative assessment pilot. About the Visit Sunnyside’s Summit View has had a small cadre of teachers and leaders who have been learning about formative assessment over the past four years, and they have worked internally and with colleagues across the district to spread this work. Last year they worked on core formative assessment elements – peer feedback and self-assessment – with all faculty, and this year they have begun professional learning for all faculty that includes the FARROP dimensions. While in Sunnyside, Austin teachers observed four of the FARROP dimensions in routine use across all classrooms: Learning Goals, Success Criteria, Culture of Learning, Peer Feedback. Teachers used a range of ways to help students understand the Learning Goals and Success Criteria, including discussion, co-creation, and the use of models. Further Summit View teachers have done significant work on developing a Culture of Learning in which students feel safe to know or not yet know. Classroom norms and routines allow for students to listen carefully to one another, share ideas, and support one another in learning. Nearly all of the classrooms had structures in place for Peer Feedback – even this early in the year, the kindergarten students were learning the foundational skills to work together to share and critique one another’s work. Even more exciting was having time to observe students who are confident in their identity as learners, actively engaged in learning, supporting peers to move their learning forward, and able to independently use a range of classroom resources to support their learning. Classroom Teachers Reflect on the Observation Process Sunnyside and Austin teachers shared their observations and reflections based on the Austin teachers’ visit to Summit View. On Student Independence Independence in students is exciting to the Sunnyside teachers. Ms. Shay, a 5th grade teacher at Summit View, told the Austin teachers how different it is in her classroom, and how exciting it is to see students own their learning. “I feel like students start becoming more independent in their own work, because not only are they giving each other feedback, but they have to reflect on the feedback that they get and figure out how are they going to use that in the future. My students who are quiet, I’ve noticed are building more confidence. They feel very excited that they can help other people and share what they know. And so you can see their attitude about being a student kind of switch to where they’re like, ‘oh I can help people, and it makes them feel really good about learning as well.’” On Agency and Modeling Austin teachers observed agency in action, both at the student learning level and in regards to learning among adults at Summit View. Kevin Rawlins, a 6th grade English Language Arts teacher, stated: “I was particularly inspired by the 5th grade math lesson I saw on multiplying. I noticed that the students all had a sense of agency and were helping each other out with their work in a respectful way. It was clear to me that this had been modeled.” On Colleague Collaboration And at the teacher level, Austin teachers were delighted by the opportunity to learn from peers. As 2nd grade teacher Jacqueline Triece shared: “You can learn so much about your practice just through collaborating and talking with other colleagues. Observing other classrooms in addition to recording yourself and talking with your colleagues about the positives and negatives in your teaching can help to change your own practice.”  (For source, and for more, see this reflection video, 45:05-48:32) More on Summit View and Sunnyside Summit View Elementary, part of the Sunnyside Unified School District in Tucson, has a high English Learner population. While they use many strategies to improve outcomes for this population, formative assessment practices, in particular student discourse, peer feedback, and teacher conferencing, have had a positive outcome on English Learners. These practices provide safe structures and scaffolding for students to converse in English. As Principal Mary Montano shared as she introduced their work, Summit View has seen significant improvements in their English Learner reclassification rates, and they attribute this to their steady focus on deepening formative assessment practice. At Sunnyside School District, learning formative assessment is a districtwide effort. Carmen Castro, the Director of Literacy and Language Acquisition, highlighted the importance of leader learning: “The central role of administrators is to learn alongside, to be knowledgeable about formative assessment, how it aligns in the district, but also to support teachers as they learn.” Pam Betten, Assistant Superintendent, offered this closing reflection for Austin teachers, “What this work does for you in your room matters greatly. You are creating agency for the kids in your room. Kids see that they can be a creator, not just a consumer, of knowledge. Through formative assessment we provide them with more than a skill set, they gain the propensity to act.” Words of Wisdom The host teachers and leaders took time to share advice and reflections on incorporating formative assessment into the school culture. Teacher-to-Teacher Advice Here’s some advice from a 5th grade, 1st grade and two kindergarten Summit View teachers to Austin teachers as they are learning formative assessment: “Don’t give up.” “Have patience; you can do it; it takes time.” “Take it slow; take it slow to go fast” “Just pick one thing, pick something, and give it a try. It might go horribly wrong, but if you keep trying, and keep trying to figure it out and how it works for you, you’ll get there.” A Principal’s Advice Austin teachers took away that leadership – both school and district – plays a significant role in developing consistent practices. At Summit View, the principal and other school leaders are learning right alongside teachers, taking the formative assessment coursework together, and navigating how to improve practice given their specific context, curriculum, and community. Summit View Principal Mary Montano shared her strong belief in the power of teamwork and hard work amongst teachers and staff: “I don’t know what your spaces for learning are like, but if I could offer anything, it’s invest in one another. I know that every teacher has teacher identity. Every teacher owns that too so we tap into each other. There is enough expertise on your campus to really learn this work by doing the work. That is one of the principles of instructional core: you learn the work by doing the work. Be engaged in it, and be vulnerable enough to fail, and be okay with it.” (Source: Reflection Video, 36:34-37:04) While they are proud of the work they’ve done, they know they have much more to do to establish daily learning routines for other FARROP dimensions, and to continue to think through what it means to move away from more teacher-directed instruction, towards more student-driven learning. As Ms. Atkins, a Summit View Kindergarten teacher, said, “Letting go of control is hard!” However, Summit View Elementary is proving both that it’s possible, and that it’s the key to producing positive student outcomes. For more, see: How I Know: Austin ISD Focuses on Social Emotional Learning Professional Learning Through the Plan, Observe, Debrief (POD) Model Coaching Yields Better Formative Assessment in Tulsa Nancy Gerzon works with WestEd providing national leadership in formative assessment, helping educators reconsider how they support students to learn. Hear students talking about this work here, and follow Nancy on Twitter @NancyGerzon.
By Mary Katzke, reset4change November 29, 2018 Patrick makes me feel like a Nordic giant when I walk beside him, but make no mistake in underestimating his stature in his community. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with him for two hours. I feel like this young man is a man to watch. #reset4change Patrick (“Prezident Robles”) Robles was born in Tucson, raised on Southside, in a neighborhood 97% Hispanic. All four of his grandparents are first generation Americans who saw better opportunities for their own children in America. “America was much more welcoming then,” Patrick says carefully. His father is a supervisor at a collision center, and his mother is a ‘medical assistant’ because, “Here in our school district, they can’t afford to hire full-time nurses so she does the job of a nurse, but doesn’t have a degree.” When he graduates in May, 2019, he will be a first generation college student. Patrick experienced bullying in elementary school, not because of his race, but because he is outspoken. “I’m the one who gets out on the dance floor,” he says proudly. When he was bullied in 3rdgrade, he told his mom what happened. “You don’t mess with Mexican mothers!” She met with the principal and found out he was bullying other kids, and charges were pressed on the other student’s behalf. They stopped him. “It was the first time I saw the power of standing up for myself.” Within two years Patrick was organizing the student body to fight for better food in the cafeteria. “Our beans were nasty- purple in color. Every single Tuesday, nasty tasting and looking, purple beans. We got them to change the menu to better tasting, more nutritious pinto beans.” Patrick went to sixth grade at Challenge Middle School. The first week of school, they asked if anyone would be interested in serving in the house of representatives in the U.S. government. “I go and see this lady with crazy hair- Norma Jean Higuera- and I credit her with changing my life. She saw my writing and history skills- I wasn’t taking honors courses but this got me on that track.” Higuera encouraged Patrick to join We the People. They studied the constitution – rights and responsibilities of citizens. From there on out there were many teachers and family members who have contributed to Patrick’s life. “They discovered my passion and elevated it. I came to the consensus that We the People are the true rulers of this country, if we decide to do so. We decide to take part in public life and vote, we decide to be informed. The course of this country relies on our willingness to vote, and vote smart- and standing up for others.” After that, “I ran for class president in middle school and won. Student body vice president, junior year-then this year I’m student body president.” The State of Arizona is 49thin teacher pay, as well as ranked 49thnationally in quality of education. “I think that is preposterous. The governor has TV ads saying how economically successful Arizona is, but we have lost so many good teachers because of low pay. I was good at math in sixth grade, 7thnot, 8thgrade I struggled, 9thgrade I really struggled. Educators filled in the positions of quality teachers. Lack of funding connects to lack of quality of education experience.” The students have been doing their part. “We’re waiting for our government to do theirs We had a mass awakening in April. Our teachers went on strike for a week and a half. I was out there picketing with our teachers- there are so many more students like me who are concerned and want to get involved- it takes more than just this Southside kid.” They need to demand a better education. “We’re with all students on this issue. It is going to take voting- middle aged, people of color, women, minorities.” Why do you think they are not voting now? “When I was registering people to vote, some were very hesitant due to the electoral college.  They believe even though they are voting, their vote won’t matter. We also have a lot of money infiltrating our political system. I believe that people are looking at the news and getting terrified. They see stuff that was protected under previous administration that is now being demolished.” “It starts with one conversation at a time- motivating people to vote on the issues they care about. I’m teaching 18-year-olds if we don’t vote, those politicians won’t care about us- we have to show them we care, and then they will care. My own parents didn’t vote frequently until I got involved.” What are those folks waiting for you to care about? I’ve addressed my feelings about education- that lack of funding for teachers results in lack of good education for students. College should be near to free. Right now, it’s $12,000 a year. No none living around me can afford that. What about current immigration issues? I care very deeply about immigration issues. This is a school that is 97% Hispanic/Latino- there are a ton of folks who are on DACA status. Some have no documentation at all and can’t even apply. They are probably more American than I am. One of my good friends graduated- an incredible student and student leader- is undocumented. She couldn’t even get into a great college because of her status The fact that the government labels her prevents her from reaching her potential. This un-American. At the end of the day, people are people. The people who are being affected by our president’s rhetoric are people I walk alongside every day. I think it’s a fear-based thing – it’s politicians who have been able to steer the conversation in this country to so politically polarized one ideology we can’t have a conversation without getting pissed off at each other. How about the goal being betterment of our country as a whole?” What are your long-term goals?  I want to studying Public Policy and Management. Five years from now- I’m hoping I’ll be sitting on the school board of my school that I’m attending right now. When I launch a career in public service, I want start right here with the people who believed in me. Ten years from – I see myself serving in state legislature as a representative from my area- District Two. God-willing, the Senate after that. The age limit is 26 to be a state legislator. My interest in running for office isn’t because it’s cool, it’s because I believe service is our fee for living. This is our world and I believe everyone should do their part to contribute to the common good.” “I’m hoping a Blue Wave comes in 2020.  I’m hoping that those who are elected grow the guts to do what’s right once they get sworn in in January. That they have the courage to stand up for people. It will take people willing to have empathy again- to feel for one another.” Some of Patrick’s accomplishments: Represented his school at superintendent advisory meetings Presented on the Importance of Systems Thinking and Upstream thinking Addressed the marching army of protestors who went to the state capital Member of the Tucson Teen Congress Interned with his county supervisor Currently, advocating for and working with the Coalition of Southside Students for Change Recently lead efforts for crosswalk renovations
Our Vision: Every child... College, Career and Community Ready. Our Mission: Our mission is to develop students with a strong sense of identity, purpose and agency, so that they leave our system as effective learners who act with purpose to achieve the conditions they desire in their own and others’ lives. Since the release of the 1983 report “A Nation at Risk” our public school systems have been challenged with the task of improving public perception regarding how we prepare students for the future. This issue of a quality of education was compounded with the accountability requirements under the No Child Left Behind of 2001, which focused primarily on one assessment.  This narrow focus on one metric as the definitive measure of school quality misrepresents the complexity of educating students and diminishes the great work of educators across this nation who make a difference in the lives of students every day, in every classroom. And though aggregate performance is a key variable for measuring success, it simply fails to tell a bigger picture of what our students have and will be able to do in the future.  For this reason we felt it critical to recast our PROFILE OF A GRADUATE within a broader narrative of student success. This new framework provides an unparalleled level of clarity that aligns our mission, vision, and the work.  This new iteration of our graduate profile picks up where our Strategic Plan left off in 2015 and drives the work forward through five competencies, key to each student’s journey towards graduation: 1). Knowledge for Learning, 2). Knowledge for Impact, 3). Creative Confidence, 4). Critical Consciousness, and 5). Self and Systems Awareness.  In addition to college and career readiness, Community Ready was added to this iteration of the work thanks to feedback we received from community members, as well as industry and higher education professionals who expressed certain intangibles that Sunnyside students brought to their organizations. Attributing to our students traits like, “community-minded”, “a sense of social justice”, “respectfulness” we felt strongly that Community Ready also provided us with a framework to bridge the gap between knowledge and agency. This framework allows our District to capture the summative experiences that mark each child’s learning journey so that personalizing the classroom is less about technology, and more about each student’s ecology.  Thank you for being a part of our journey.      COMPETENCY #1: KNOWLEDGE FOR LEARNING Our students are knowledge creators. We look to them to not only master the content, but also to transfer knowledge across disciplines: From science to the humanities, from mathematics to the social sciences—Sunnyside students are deep thinkers and well-rounded learners with a strong sense of academic identity.  We trust our students as knowledge co-creators who share their expertise with peers and teachers as part of an intentional process of collaboration. Sunnyside students understand that learning is a social and shared responsibility. By listening respectfully, students value learning from one another as they begin to develop transferable skills like responding positively and constructively, which are important skills to employers as they are assembling their teams.   COMPETENCY #2: KNOWLEDGE FOR IMPACT When Hurricane Harvey crippled the Texas coast in 2018, Sunnyside students in our JTED Construction program rolled up their sleeves, gave up their spring break, and traveled across the country to rebuild homes. When faced with the opportunity to speak at the state capitol demanding an increase in teacher pay, one Sunnyside student took to the microphone, took a deep breath and pumped up a crowd of tens of thousands.    Our students are engaged participants in their future, not merely bystanders. Equipped with deep knowledge of history and a sense of what is fair, our students are adept at using social media and student organizations to drive change. Sunnyside students are aware of community issues and possess real-world knowledge gained from internships and other experiences that put global issues into a local context.   COMPETENCY #3: CREATIVE CONFIDENCE All students are creative, and it’s our responsibility to nurture that creativity. Borrowing from the work of Tom and David Kelley (IDEO, Stanford d.School) we define creative confidence as the natural human ability to come up with great ideas and the courage to act on those ideas.  Sunnyside students take part in human-centric experiences that use empathy, systems thinking, and design thinking to unlock their creativity. Through building prototypes, using causal loops, challenging assumptions, and acknowledging that all ideas are worthy, our students learn how to take risks. More importantly, creative confidence relies on human collaboration, which is embodied in the performing arts. Sunnyside's tradition of excellence in the fine arts provides a first point of entry for students into a world of creativity that gives them opportunities to gain confidence and succeed.    COMPETENCY #4: CRITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS Workplaces, schools and colleges, and other social environments are defined by internal cultures and norms that are not always visible from the outside. Some environments are built to nurture and empower, while other systems have internal cultures that hinder upward mobility. This is why we give students the tools to identify systems that perpetuate inequality so they’re prepared to take action.  In collaboration with League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson and the YWCA Southern Arizona we host workshops that help high school students learn about running for office while deconstructing issues such as racism, discrimination, and LGBTQ rights. Fostering critical consciousness through debate empowers our students to keep up with important issues and to demand a seat at the table.    COMPETENCY #5: SELF AND SOCIAL AWARENESS Students who are self-aware have strong intrapersonal skills such as self-regulation, which develops in the early years and aids in problem solving and supports volitional behavior. Social awareness (or social intelligence) is part of an important skill set that, later in life, is what sets a transformational leader apart from an everyday boss. This profile of a graduate takes into account our students’ social and emotional development and values traits such as assertiveness, conflict resolution, positive self-talk (to name a few)—as important indicators—of self- and social awareness, which is key to our students’ ability to thrive after high school.   NEXT STEPS 1. Create a graphic representation of the Graduate Profile 2. Introduce the Graduate Profile at the 2018 Administrative Summit 3. Develop indicators for each of the Graduate Profile competency areas 4. Establish a continuum or rubrics by grade band for each indicator that will be used to support internal accountability metrics with the desired outcome of establishing our own school label system    
Exciting NEWS: The University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences' Community School and Garden Program will provide materials to install a pergola in Challenger's campus garden! Spearheaded by Mrs. Huizar and Challenger SWAT students, we hope this project will bring more students, staff and community into our garden! Thank you UA Community & School Garden Program for Joining the CHARGE! #LeadingtheCharge https://schoolgardens.arizona.edu/