United Parent Council (UPC) has been a district wide organization in the Paradise Valley Unified School District for over 30 years. They strive to connect parents across the district to share and learn about individual schools, programs and district wide initiatives.They also provide opportunities for parents to have access to the district’s decision makers and processes through committees, monthly programming and direct updates from Dr. Lee prior to general meetings. Often, UPC general meeting attendees (open to the public) are the first to hear new district information as they meet on a monthly basis.

Wildfire’s UPC reps are Julie Blumenreich julie.blumenreich@cox.net and Julee Grovert julannna@aol.com if you have any questions about UPC. http://www.pvupc.org

UPC MAY 2015




March 2015 – PV United Parent Council E-Bulletin (click here)


Teacher Appreciation Nomination Form 2015


UPC March 2015 flier: David Berliner


February 2015 – PV United Parent Council E-Bulletin (click here)


– January 21, 2015 UPC Meeting Highlights –
Tip: Print out and use to give your report at parent group meetings
Comments from Dr. Jim Lee, PVUSD Superintendent:
Ø   New Employee – Becky Kelbaugh is our new communication specialist.
Ø   Parent Satisfaction Survey – Everyone should have received a parent satisfaction survey via e-mail. Please participate in this survey. Schools use those results to help them continually improve.
Ø   Chinese Student Visit – This is the 2 nd year we are welcoming Chinese students. They will be arriving February 9 th . Seven-eight kids will be shadowing at Whispering Wind, Vista Verde MS will be offering Mandarin, and 1 HS student will be at North Canyon. Not only is this an opportunity for Chinese students to learn about us, but for us to learn about them and the Chinese culture.
Ø   State Budget Outlook – We are cautiously optimistic that our legislature will figure out a way to get the money that was promised to us to the schools. The governor just came out with a budget proposal that includes cutting 5% of non-classroom spending, which includes buses, duty aids, crossing guards, counselors, nurses, etc. We have been “scrubbing” our budget for the past several years. 85% of our budget is people. PVUSD’s non-classroom expenditures are already 5% less than the state average. We are 22% below the national average for non-classroom spending. We still have about a $9 million deficit. We are concerned that we will not be able to attract quality teachers, which is a big challenge. More to come.
Ø   State of the District – The State of the District meeting will be held January 22 nd . The PowerPoint presentation will be posted on the UPC website. We will share district honors and talk about challenges for the future, i.e. the teacher shortage crisis. We will also discuss how we need to address individual student needs, which is an on-going challenge, as well as marketing successes we have accomplished as part of our goals.
We received 2 new school memberships (32 school memberships total). Please continue to encourage others to join us and post our flyers at the schools.
January 21, 2015
Arizona SciTech Festival
·        The Arizona SciTech Festival is a state-wide celebration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM or STEAM when you include the arts) held annually in February and March.
·        Through a series of over 400 expos, workshops, conversations, exhibitions and tours held in diverse neighborhoods throughout the state, the Arizona SciTech Festival excites and informs Arizonans from ages 3 to 103 about how STEM will drive our state for the next 100 years.
·        Spearheaded by the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Science Center, the Arizona Technology Council Foundation, Arizona Board of Regents, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University, the Arizona SciTech Festival is a grass roots collaboration of over 450 organizations in industry, academia, arts, civic, community and K-12.
·        Jeremy Babendure, Ph.D. / Executive Director, Arizona SciTech Festival / Assistant Research Professor, Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, ASU and UA
February 18, 2015
What’s Happening at the AZ State Legislature
·        Have you wondered how Arizona’s state budget and tax structure affects public education funding? Or how decisions made by the Legislature have shaped public education policy and funding? Join host Julie Bacon at our February program to find out the answers to these and more questions! We will discuss current bills making their way through the Legislature and share ways that you can make a difference to advocate for public schools.
Please contact Stephanie Brown at upcmail@hotmail.comwith any ideas for future programs.
Committee Reports:
Social Media:
We have good momentum building up in our social media. Facebook is going very well with 643 likes so far. We have 10,582 facebook users and of the 10,267 people who have reached our posts, 132 are engaged and have taken action on the site. We have 82 Twitter followers. Please go to UPC website ( www.pvupc.org) to connect to Linked In, Facebook and Twitter
LINC – Leadership.Ideas.Networking.Community:
Local vendors and organizations will showcase their programs and information. You will gather fresh ideas on fundraisers, field trips, festival and much more. This is a unique opportunity to speak with leaders from across the district to get ideas and advice to maximize your efforts at your school. The purpose of LINC   is to “link” the parent leaders of our schools and district leaders to talk and network. We want everyone working together as a PVUSD community. There will be great door prizes! Teasers will be on Facebook.check it out! This information has been sent to the principals and they will be encouraging everyone to attend. Take flyers and invite as many people as you can.
      • Wednesday,  February 11 th
      • Explorer  Middle School Cafeteria – 22401 North 40 th St.
      • 6:30 – 8:00   p.m.
Please e-mail Carrie at loveca78@gmail.comwith any questions.
The Foundation for Public Education:
Independent 501(c)3 – Not for profit, primarily a fundraiser entity raising money for the PV school district. We are not competing with parent groups and we try to bridge the gap from what is needed by the district and what is not funded. 20% of our time is dedicated to advocate for the school district.
      • Fundraiser for District : Tast of Paradise – This is a new fundraiser. If it is successful, we will expand this event.
         • March 11th, 2015
         • 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
         • $50 to attend
         • Tickets will be available in  February (1 st come 1 st serve / only 50 available)
Gifted Education Committee:
Upcoming Programs:
·        Exploring the Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Children – Dr. James Webb is a nationally acclaimed expert on understanding the social and emotional needs of gifted children. He will discuss how characteristics of gifted children relate to their social/emotional needs and interpersonal and emotional styles.
o    Wednesday, February 4, 2015
o    6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
o    PVUSD Governing Board Room – 15002 N. 32 nd St.
·        Transitioning Gifted Pre-Schoolers to Kindergarten and Beyond – Are you overwhelmed about next steps for your gifted pre-schooler or kindergartener? This parent led discussion will share experiences regarding the transition process. Don’t miss this opportunity to talk with other parents about the application and enrollment process; testing options, PV school choices, the many gifted programs, and much more! This is a brown bag lunch program that is parent led. It is for parents of gifted students currently enrolled in PV Schools pre-school or kindergarten.
o    Thursday, February 5, 2015
o    12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
o    District Administrative Center East|West
o    15032 N. 32 nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85032
District Emergency Response Team – DERT:
The District is currently reviewing and revising the SERP (School/Site Emergency Response Plan).  The four groups/teams are categorized below. After each group/team meets to verify all their information, Police and Fire from Phoenix and Scottsdale will review and add any details if necessary. There will be representatives from
Elementary, Middle School and High School in each team as well as Student Services,
I.T., Food Services, Transportation and parent.

   • Team 1:

      • Functional Annex: Evacuation, lock down, reverse evacuation, off site relocation,reunification

   • Team 2:

      • Communication in an emergency situation

   • Team 3:

      • After school hours procedures

      • Participants:Facilities, Community Education Dept., Nurses, School Administrators,  Athletic Directors

   • Team 4:

      • Care and Concern Team: Health care, counselors, psychologists

As you can see, our district does not “shelve” the emergency plan. It is always being fine-tuned.
Teacher Appreciation:
   • Kick-off February 11 th
   • Packets will be available at LINC
   • Deadline –March 11 th (Not one application will be accepted if it is late – No Exceptions!)
   • Nominations can be submitted via our website
PVUSD CMTE / Secondary English Language Arts Adoption:
   • 7-12 th Grade English Language Arts
   • Parents,  teachers, administrators, and other interested parties
   • 11.18.14  Showcase
   • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and McGraw Hill
   • Computer and Hybrid Literacy Program
   • Full Access  to Digital Subscription for 5-7 years
   • College and  Career Readiness
. Anchor texts are the main literary selections for front-loading of upcoming literacy instruction. All programs include an audio version component with readings done by professional voice actors. The reading vigor level is determined by standardized Lexile bands, with multiple readings of the same text being implemented to deepen vocabulary and theme comprehension.
. History Channel, A&E, and Bio (biography) channels are all authentic text book referenced materials that are consistently updated on the website with the newest information – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. This vendor already has a smaller bound textbook ready for use.
. Both finalist vendors are working to allow students to use one login and one password for program access (possibly linked with their pvlearners’ accounts). Accessibility to virtual portfolios will be provided by each vendor that may be used from grades 7-12.
. Students are encouraged to encounter vocabulary organically. Scholars will have the opportunity to anonymously give peer editing suggestions using the teacher’s rubric specifications via a computerized editing component and each program has a plagiarism management program. At all times, the teacher will control and mediate the social peer editing learning piece.
. Students will be strongly encouraged to use the annotated text computerized feature to highlight sections of the text that are of great importance/significance to them.
. Teachers will have the option of customizing each classes or students assignment by clicking and populating the student’s
computerized text entry box.
. The ELA Committee is still inquiring about the professional development services that will be continually provided during the life of this adoption (possibly 10 years).
Three interesting facts presented to us were:
   1.  A teenager’s general academic attention span is approximately seven to eight minutes in duration.
   2.  Sixty percent of college freshmen have to take some type of remedial reading and/or English course.
   3.  Generally speaking, the academic  level of reading between high school and college is about a two years’  difference in difficulty intensity.
UPC President’s Announcements:
   • Shoes That      Fit – UPC community service project.  
      • $175 in  checks
      • $80 in gift  cards
      • 21 pairs of  girls’ shoes
      • 27 pairs of boys’ shoes
   • AIM Principal  Class | School Culture Parent Panel | Looking for 3-5 Parents
      • Send  Stephanie an e-mail at upcmail@hotmail.comif you are interested in participating in this panel.
      • Monday March  9th, 2015 4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
         • What advice would you give a new principal relative to communicating to parents   (how, when ,why, how often, etc.)
         • What advice   would you give a new principal relative to parent teacher conferences? What format is most effective and what information is important to parents?
         • What do  parents want most when it comes to student management on the campus? (student discipline, routines, etc.)
         • Depending  on the number of volunteers, each panel member will be given 7-10 min  each.
   • PV School Parent Testimonials | Success Stories |
      • Send   Stephanie an e-mail at upcmail@hotmail.comif you are interested in participating
      • PV Schools  looking for 5 parents to give success stories
      • Ideal to   have as much K-12 experience as possible.
   • Elementary Special Education Spring Task Force
      • Send  Stephanie an e-mail at upcmail@hotmail.comif you are interested in participating
      • 2 Parents of  Elementary Special Education Students to attend
      • March 5,  2015 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
      • Closing the  Achievement Gap
      • Improve Strategies for Special Education in Elementary
Upcoming February 2015 General Meeting | PLEASE ATTEND
·        Wednesday, February 18 th , 2015What’s Happening at the AZ State Legislature?
·        Program starts at 10:15 (General Meeting begins at 9:00 a.m. with remarks from Superintendent, Dr. Lee)
·        DAC East and West Meeting Rooms – 15002 N. 32 nd Street


PV United Parent Council
E-Bulletin   November 2014 
Advocate. Educate. Collaborate.
Parents working together to enhance the PV Schools experience for our children.  
November UPC Meeting…All Are Welcome
November 19, 2014   
Coffee and Conversation with Cabinet
coffee_beans_cup.jpg Please join us for our final program before winter break featuring PVUSD Cabinet Members.  We will break into small groups with:
Dr. Jim Lee-Superintendent
  Dr. Karen Gasket-Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
            Recruitment | Staffing | Hiring | Evaluations | Bargaining
Dr. Lillian Baribault-Asst. Supt. for Instructional Support-Elementary
            Supervise Elementary | Gifted | Assessment | Curriculum
Dr. Patrick Sweeney-Asst. Supt. for Instructional Support-Secondary
            Supervise Middle & High | Special Ed | Technology | Career & Tech
  Ms. Laura Felten-Assistant Superintendent Business Operations
            Finance | Budget | Audit | Transportation Services
Meeting Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Meeting Time: 8:45 a.m.     Meet and Greet
9:00 a.m.     Business Meeting
10:15 a.m. Coffee with Cabinet
Location:  District Administrative Center
East/West Conference Rooms
15002 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85032
REMINDER: No December meeting–Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!
To print out a program flyer, click here.
Shoes that Fit Community Service Project
Shoes that Fit   S hoes that Fit Community Service Project
  October thru November
UPC is collecting donations to benefit shoe closets in Paradise Valley schools!
Shoes that Fit provides shoes to three shoe closets in the district. The closets 
are open to social workers, psychologists, and nurses across the district to 
benefit students who are in need.
To make a donation, please bring any of the following to our UPC general meeting  on October 15th or November 19th:
   • New athletic shoes (sizes 1-8)
   • Gift cards (Payless Shoes is a great option)
   • Monetary donation
NOTE: There is not a UPC meeting in December this year. If your school would  like to collect donations, feel free to contact Stephanie to make arrangements  for a pick-up.
Questions? Contact Stephanie Brown at upcmail@hotmail.com
Special Education Parent-to-Parent Support
people2b.jpg When :    Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 from 12 :00 – 1:00 PM
Where:   Community Resource Center (CRC) Burgundy Room
             15032 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85032
Topic:      Keeping up with the iPad, Accessibility and Apps
What:  In this session, we will review the accessibility settings on the iPad (i.e. voice over, zoom, large text, guided access, speak selection, switch use). Apps are constantly changing; let’s look at reputable sites that have reviewed the latest and greatest.  You will leave with a list of website resources of different iPad apps for specific areas of need.   
Mrs. Jennifer Miller, Mrs. Sarette McIntosh and Mrs. Stacy Thomas will be our presenters for the session.  Both Mrs. Miller and Mrs. McIntosh are speech-language pathologists for PVUSD and have over 17 years of district experience between them.   Mrs. Thomas is an occupational therapist with a certificate in assistive technology applications and has been with the district for 19 years.
Questions?  Contact Cynthia Cypher at Cynthia.Cypher@yahoo.com
Speak Up! Survey
Do you wish that technology was utilized differently in our schools?  SPEAK UP! 
Speak Up, a national online research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow®, gives individuals the opportunity to share their viewpoints about key educational issues, particularly concerning 21st century education and technology. 
Each year, findings are summarized and shared with national and state policy makers. Participating schools and districts can access their data online, free-of-charge in February 2015.
Please click the link below and make sure that your voice is heard.
Survey open until December 19 th , 2014
LINC Vendor Showcase–Save the Date!! LINC logo Parent group leaders you won’t want to miss this event!   Gather fresh ideas on fundraisers, field trips, festivals, and much more!
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Explorer Middle School Cafeteria
22401 North 40 th St., Phoenix, AZ 85050
Join us on Wednesday, February 11 from 6:30-8:00pm @ Explorer Middle School for this year’s annual UPC LINC ( L eadership I deas N etworking C ommunity) Vendor Showcase!  
We invite all parent groups, booster clubs, and UPC Reps to come and meet local fundraising organizations and other program providers to get great ideas for programs at your schools!  More details to come! 
If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Carrie Love, LINC Chair at upc.linc@gmail.com.
Looking Ahead: No December Meeting–Next Up: January 21!
Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season…See you January 21, 2015 for our next General Meeting!
Stephanie Brown
United Parent Council