Read Across America 2016
This year’s Read Across America celebration, in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, was a fun-filled week of school-wide activities. Monday was Pajama and Drop Everything and Read Day. Many students, as well staff, came dressed in their pajamas and were ready to read at a moment’s notice when the TV flashed the words “DROP EVERYTHING AND READ FOR 10 MINUTES” throughout the day! Monday was also the beginning of the Book Expo in the SPAC lobby. Students of all levels created a variety of projects related to books they had read or written themselves. On Wednesday, elementary students and many staff members chose their favorite book characters to dress like for a super fun Character Parade. After the parade, all students were treated to a free book, courtesy of our principal, Courtney Fritz! Friday brought Sheena McFeely, Deaf author of the book “Shay and Ivy Beyond the Kingdom” to PDSD to share her book and process of becoming a published author with all students preschool through high school throughout the day. Many students recognized Sheena as the actress in the ASL Nook stories they have seen online.
THE JOHN MAUCERE SHOW AT PDSD!
John and Lauren Maucere came to visit PDSD. Some of you might only know of John as SuperDeafy, but we were able to see the other talents that he has to offer. On Thursday night, he did a comedy show for the community. His show was funny and had the audience rolling, crying and laughing until they couldn’t smile anymore! On Friday, he provided two different workshops related to anti-bullying and believing in yourself. Lauren Maucere is a teacher at the Marlton School for the Deaf. She worked with Jessica Madsen’s high school fine arts class to get them started on a Deaf President Now (DPN) play. She provided a script and had some time to work with the students. Stay tuned for this high school production coming soon!
The Battle of the Books began with a roar and ended with all three teams making it into the playoffs! Our Buff, Blue and Green teams did a fantastic job of working together and competing with other deaf schools across the nation. Congratulations to them! Upon completion of the playoff matches, two teams received a slot to try for the BOTB Nationals! It was awesome to watch our Buff and Green teams jump for joy when they learned their score was high enough to enter the Nationals. They will now read four new books and study together to prepare for their final tournament at Gallaudet University to be held April 2-5. It is exciting to see their determination to prepare well and hopefully bring a championship trophy to PDSD. The BOTB chaperones did a great job supporting their teams. Thank you to Renee Jantz, Jane Garza and Wes Porter for your dedication and support!
Optimism, Gratitude and Happiness
Congratulations to PDSD high school students at the State Level Optimist Club Competition! The students presented their essays on the topic “How My Best Brings Out the Best in Others.” Marques proudly presented his ideas and left the audience wanting more. Anna confidently expressed her beliefs and impressed the audience. Cameron positively communicated how not to give up.
In my heart, the students are all WINNERS! Thank you to the teachers, parents and staff who supported these students in their journeys. Please
congratulate Anna, Marques and Cameron on their academic successes.
In addition, please help me in congratulating Cameron Van Zuiden in winning Third Place
and a $500 scholarship.
These students and the experience remind us….
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss
LIGHT RAIL RULES TO REMEMBER! For bikers and pedestrians, please make sure to…
• Be careful, look around the light rail.
• Stop if you see a red flashing light.
• If the light rail is not there, you can cross.
• Obey all traffic signals. A red arrow means ”do not turn.”
• Never stop or park your car on the tracks.
• Never try to beat a train through an intersection.
• Remember, it takes buses and light rail trains longer to stop.
• Light rail trains are quiet. Look for flashing headlights and listen for warning bells and horns.
• Keep in mind that high voltage wires will be live as trains operate along the tracks.
• Always use pedestrian crosswalks.
SCHEDULE STARTING MARCH 19!
Monday – Thursday the light rail will run 4:40 am to 11:00 pm. Friday it runs from 4:40am to 2:00am. A train arrives every 12 minutes from 7:30 am – 6:30 pm and every 20 minutes the rest of the time.
ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT UPDATE
Our after-school programs have been super busy lately! Last December, our basketball teams and our academic bowl team traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico for
the Roadrunner Classic. Coming from a warm place, we froze in the winter wonderland when it snowed during the weekend! Our basketball girls swept all the
games and won the championship! Our boys lost by three in the championship game. Finally, our academic bowl team won all of their matches! We represented
In January, we traveled to Tucson for the Western States Basketball Classic where there were eight schools for the deaf competing. Our girls once again
swept all the games and brought home the championship! Our boys came in second again, in a very hot game. Our basketball season has come to an end. It
has been a wonderful year for PDSD athletics!
Not only our student athletes were busy, but our young Roadrunners in the after-school program became actors and actresses! They, along with a wonderful RASP staff, developed a play where all the superheroes and Disney princesses came to life together. The students practiced their lines daily and gave a great performance. They wowed the audience with their talent! We definitely have some stars at PDSD!
Coming up we will be hosting a spring play, Charlie and the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory!
Auditions were held for students in third to twelfth grades. Be on the lookout for more information on the spring play! If you have any questions about our after-school program, contact Eddie King at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-429-0342.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION MAKES LEARNING FUN!
The Early Childhood Education Department is all about creating learning experiences that bring our students’ education to life in a fun and meaningful way.
Our preschoolers had a great time with their families building gingerbread houses and building memories with each other. While the candy decorations might have been eaten more than they were put on the gingerbread houses, it is evident that this was truly a “sweet” time together. Some of our preschoolers at the San Tan preschool were also building sandwiches in the “Kids Café!” The students took the orders, made the meals and even hand-delivered the food to their parents. Our parents were happy to sit as our students gave service with a smile!
Speaking of smiles, our kindergarten classes were all smiles as they had a blast in celebrating the first 100 days of school. If you ever want to know how many days we have been in school, or how many we have left . . . just ask a kindergartner!
Among the many 100’s of items that day were balloons, stickers and snacks. Throughout the day the students were impressively, and proudly, counting from 1-100! We were happy for the great weather for our outdoor activities and glad we didn’t need to count to 100 degrees that day!
Last but not least are our fabulous first graders. Even though this group of kids might be discussing animals, habitats and how neat it would be to hibernate during the winter, they are definitely not sleeping on the job. The first graders were wide awake during their story times related to zoo creatures. They discussed characters, events and settings. If you think they were wide awake during story time, you can be sure that eyes were wide open as they walked the
grounds of the zoo. What better way to understand the setting of a story, than to actually go?
WINTERFEST – A FEW NEW THINGS!
Besides snow, face painting, crafts, games, book fair and lots of food, this year Winterfest had a snow slide and a silent auction! We had 24 baskets in all
and had fun watching people try to outbid each other for baskets like “Let’s Go to the Movies,” “Flint the Bookworm,” “Family Craft Time,” “Once Upon a Sign,”
“Super Deafy Collection,” “Home and Garden,” and “Ultimate Cardinals Fan.” The real nail-biter bids went to the Cardinals autographed football and the Suns
autographed basketball! One staff member successfully bid on 8 of the 24 baskets! In addition to the Silent Auction, Dawn Sign Press donated a wealth of workbooks and activities for families. We raised almost $1,500 which will benefit our classroom libraries. Thank you to everyone for all of your hard work.
What will Winterfest bring next year?
Future Leaders from PDSD Flex Their Academic Muscles!
As we begin the Southwest Regional Academic Bowl Competition, our hearts beat like hammers and hands grip the buzzers like our lives depend on it. The first question pops up on the screen…
“What Broadway play incorporates American Sign Language with the dialogue, as select characters are portrayed as
Cameron quickly buzzes in… Cameron writes Spring Awakenings.
The moderator responds, “Correct, PDSD 2 points.”
We give a sigh of relief and nerves begin to settle. We dominate the match by winning 45-8. We feel confident and comfortable. As we continue in the academic competition, matches 2 and 3 are successful as we steam rolled over the competition 48-11 and 61-14; however, match 4 would cause our chests to tighten and generate deep breaths as our opponents buzz at a blink of an eye.
We suffer our first loss, but we recall loss and defeat are just mile markers on the road to success. Day one is complete and we look forward to the final day of competition.
Day two begins with a 52-11 win as we answer questions relating to similes and ratios. We reflect on the questions we missed mauling over Epcot Center, “the permanent world’s fair,” and the “sweetest place on earth,” Hershey, Pennsylvania. We remind ourselves to focus on what to do next instead of worrying about what went wrong.
We enter match 6, and we have a gut feeling this will be a rigorous match. We were correct! The match is hot with both teams answering question correctly about the area of triangles and distilling liquids. Unfortunately, we lose by 7 points but we know this is the not the final game.
We move on to match 7 – this match proves a different story. We win 51-11 and our emotions are similar to rollercoasters as we enter the final match of regular play! Feeling our second wind during round two, match 8 proves to be nail-biting. Vivian saves us by knowing Alexander the Great became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles. PDSD victory 30-26!
Next up, Semifinals… a win moves us to the Championship Match! We ride this wave of momentum into the next match. We falter in knowing Hester is the main character of the Scarlet Letter and id est is the full form of i.e. Regrettably, we lose and move into the 3rd place game. We recognize this is a shortfall, but our attitude remains positive. We enter the 3rd Place match confident. We play by allowing messages from our brain to travel through our body and hit the buzzers. We enter round 3 and the category contains answers that have the word “wood” in it. We jot down what we believe is correct; Redwoods, Woody Woodpecker,
Woodrow Wilson and so on. When scoring the last question, we realize that 2 points separates the winner from the loser. It comes time and the last answer revealed, we lack the knowledge that the clarinet is a woodwind instrument. To our dismay, we lose by 2 points! Although we are not moving to the National Competition, we are very proud of the 4th Place finish.
To sum up our thoughts on the Academic Bowl Competition, we don’t count what we lost but instead cherish what we have and plan what we want to gain for next season.
Jump Rope for Heart
On Friday, February 19, Phoenix Day School for the Deaf hosted its 6th Annual Jump Rope for Heart event. The weather couldn’t have been better as our students jumped all day long to BEAT the Number One killer – heart disease. Students had the opportunity to raise money to earn “thank you gifts,” but more importantly the money raised goes towards research and education initiatives.
The total raised this year was $960.53!
Thank you to all who participated and supported the American Heart Association. For those students who earned “thank you gifts,” you will be your gifts in approximately three weeks!
Phoenix Day School for the Deaf 8th grade students attended the United States Deaf Golf Camp at Western Kierland Golf Club on February 2. Once again, professional golfer Rob Strano had our students driving balls farther than they could imagine! The morning session was filled with learning the proper stance, grip and swing. After eight stations of golf drills, our students had all the knowledge and secrets to become professional golfers. During the afternoon session, Rob took our students to the 2016 PGA Waste Management Phoenix Open Golf Tournament. Our first stop was the Titliest Golf Company’s Trailer where students were able to witness where the professional golfers had their clubs made and where they can go hide to avoid the media! Next our students had the opportunity to watch
professional golfers practice and warm up on the course before the tournament and collect autographs. We hit the road again to My Swing, a company that analyzes an individual’s golf swing with 20 plus sensors attached to his/her body and transfers that information to a computer for future analysis to help the individual improve his/her swing technique. Our students left the camp with a wealth of information and FUN. Keep your eyes open as we wouldn’t be surprised to see one of our own students taking the course at the next professional golf tournament.
READING WITH FLINT
Students who didn’t miss any school the month of January had a very special reward – Reading With Flint! Twenty-nine students from second through sixth grade were invited to have snacks and a very special story time with assistant principal Flint as he read a few of his favorites, including Ninja Red Riding
Hood. One student even jumped up to assist in telling the story to her classmates!
Eight kids went on to miss no school for the entire month of February and will be rewarded with a Pizza Party with Flint on Thursday, March 24! More rewards will start at the beginning of next year to help encourage the kids to have super attendance!