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Articles from December 2016

Vista del Sur Named a National Blue Ribbon School

Vista del Sur Accelerated Academy has been named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Secretary John B. King made the announcement today.

The National Blue Ribbon School program recognizes overall academic excellence. Blue Ribbon Schools show outstanding results for all students. They are known for consistent excellence and improving student achievement.

Vista del Sur was one of only four schools in Arizona to join this esteemed community. They were nominated as an Exemplary High Performing School, receiving this distinction for the performance of all students on the AZMERIT assessment in both math and English language arts in addition to other state performance targets.

Kristi Pashley, the school’s principal at the time of nomination, attributed Vista’s success to the integration of technology into the daily instruction and specific math instructional strategies.

“Vista’s extensive technology, from a 1:1 student to device ratio to classroom SMART boards, allows teachers to assess their students in real time, giving our teachers the opportunity to modify instruction and student groupings immediately.”

The school has also seen great success with the implementation of the Mental Math strategy. “Mental Math is a non-negotiable,” Pashley said of the strategy in which students must mentally solve a math problem, explain the solution to their classmates, and share alternative ways of solving the same problem.  “It has improved our students ability to problem solve, become independent thinkers, and articulate their thinking across all content areas.”

Vista del Sur will be recognized at award ceremony next month in Washington, D.C. Here they will receive the coveted National Blue Ribbon flag that will fly at their school as a reminder of their exemplary teaching and learning. “All of us at Vista are honored to serve as an example of quality instruction and learning for schools across the nation,” said Vista’s current principal Jessica Epacs. “This honor affirms the dedication of our students, staff, and parents in making Vista a community of excellence.”

Vista is part of the Laveen Elementary School District. As an accelerated school, students work a grade level ahead in math and English language arts. It is a school of choice and, as such, does not have attendance boundaries.

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Parents Can Now Opt-In to Receive Text Messages

We are excited to announce that we can now send you text messages on pertinent school and district happenings through our SchoolMessenger portal. Previously we could only send voice messages and emails.

In order to set you up as a text message recipient, you will need to text the word “YES” to 67587. You will need to do this from each device you wish to receive text messages. The phone numbers you register must already be on file as part of child’s profile. If you need to update your contact information, please stop by our school office. You may opt-out of receiving text messages any time, simply by texting “STOP” to the same number, 67587. This will only remove you from the text messaging service. You will continue to receive voice messages and emails as you did before.

Message and data rates may apply. SchoolMessenger is committed to protecting any personal information you provide. SchoolMessenger does not share, sell, or lease personal information about you to any third-parties for their marketing use.  For more information visit

This will be a great new option for many of you as it gives you immediate access to news from your child’s school.

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Paseo Pointe Holds Dedication Ceremony

Paseo Pointe School held their dedication ceremony on September 15. Highlights of the evening included the Dual Language Immersion kindergartners performing their ABCs in Spanish, a ribbon cutting, and tours of the new facility. Speakers included Ms. Kristi Pashley, School Principal;  Dr. Bill Johnson, Superintendent; Ms. Heather Farmer, Governing Board President; Representative Rebecca Rios; and Mr. Barry Chasse of Chasse Building Team. Chasse co-hosted the event.

Thank you to our community for making this possible.

Check out photos from the event on our flickr page.

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