School News

What Parents Need to Know About this Year’s Standardized Testing

Late in 2014, the Arizona State Board of Education adopted Arizona’s Measurement of Educational Readiness to Inform Teaching (AzMERIT) as the new statewide standardized testing. The new exam system will be given to 3rd grade through high school students in April and will replace the AIMS test in reading, writing and math.

We wanted to answer some questions that have come up so everyone is aware and on the same page as we adapt to this important change in education.

This Spring, Go Pitch a Tent!

We live in a beautiful area of Arizona. The Coconino National Forest is right in our own backyard. Among the trees and wonderful landscape lies the perfect place to plan a staycation. Get outside and see what lessons the great outdoors has planned for you. From setting up camp (teaches teamwork!), to making a fire (teaches science!), to hiking (learn about exercise!) there are so many things you can take in from a simple camping adventure.

Practicing Patience as a Virtue

Everyone has to wait. Whether it’s waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting on the sidelines at a sibling’s soccer game, waiting in the lobby for dance or karate class, or waiting to be picked up by the bus or carpool for school, life just has a lot of waiting.

This teaches all of us that patience is a skill that inevitably has to be learned. It can be one of the hardest skills to learn, but it is truly one of life’s lessons that cannot be avoided. Most of us are taught that patience is a virtue, but most of us are never taught why.

A Good Time to Set Goals for the New Year

Sometimes New Year resolutions seem silly. People don’t keep them and then make jokes about not being able to stick to their resolve.

But one of the things we teach our students at Heritage is the importance of setting goals and then taking the steps necessary to meet them. That is essentially what a resolution is: a goal for a brand new year.

Why We Have a Dress Code

When you think about it, most (if not all) schools have a dress code. In many schools it is just a long list of what NOT to wear. But such lists can be hard to interpret and labor-intensive to enforce.

Here are some good reasons that we have standardized school clothing:

Campaign Ads and Election Time Present Teachable Moments

In school and at home we teach our kids about the values of respect, fairness and caring. We encourage treating others like we would like to be treated. We ask them to be honest and to not use hurtful language. We encourage them to be cooperative, friendly and helpful.

So what do we say when campaign ads pop up that present negative language or have hurtful meanings, as they are doing with increasing frequency and ferocity at this time of year? You can’t avoid them. And you can’t really explain them very well either without talking to our kids about how mean and dishonest some adults can be. Can you imagine letting school elections deteriorate to that kind of name-calling and small mindedness?

Recognizing Anti-Bully Month: Show Your Respect

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. This is the perfect time for all of us—students, teachers and parents—to be more aware of current efforts to reduce and prevent bullying. Our character trait for October is respect, making this issue even timelier. For the whole month, campus-wide, we will be having special activities centered on standing up to bullying and creating a hate-free atmosphere.

Parent Involvement is Key to Success

It used to be that kids went to school, dads worked and moms stayed at home. Once in a while, mom might bake cupcakes for a school party, but she probably didn’t attend it. Parents didn’t decorate doors and bulletin boards, serve on committees or volunteer in the classroom. MAYBE they helped with homework; but even that used to be way less common. Homework was the child’s responsibility.