Kyrene teachers spend final week of summer preparing for school year - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Kyrene teachers spend final week of summer preparing for school year

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Posted: Friday, August 1, 2014 7:45 am

With the 2014-15 school year starting next week, teachers across the Kyrene School District are preparing to begin the year on the right foot.

Many schools in Kyrene hosted school improvement plan meetings throughout this week to create a well-established foundation for the first day of school and beyond.

Teachers also have used the final week before classes start to rearrange their classrooms how they see fit.

Cassidy Parker-Anders, art teacher at Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School, said the first day of school was always a special day because it gave her an opportunity to see some new and some familiar faces inside her classroom.

Parker-Anders, who has been teaching in Kyrene for 15 years, used her summer break to create new projects for her students to work on throughout the year.

“Since I see all the students, I’m kind of organizing my classroom, getting ready for the start of the year projects and preparing materials for what’s going to take place for the first couple of weeks,” she said.

Michael Lamp, principal of Estrella, said he was looking forward to the energy that a new school year brings.

“The great thing about education is that you get the do-over every year, and what it brings with it,” he said. “It gives us opportunities to improve on things that we either started in years past or over the summer.”

Lamp and his staff have spent this week going over about their school improvement plan, which focuses on improving upon their English Language Arts (ELA) goal.

“Once we set those, we create assessments that align and then check in with that throughout the year,” he said. “We’re not finalized with that, but we got a lot of work done. Our new coaches have guided us through the process, and got our teachers feeling comfortable with the process.”

At the district level, Superintendent Dr. David Schauer said the 2014-15 year would bring opportunities to build upon Kyrene’s success.

“I think this is a really exciting time to take a look at the success of the district and take a look at where we want to be at for the future,” he said. “It’s one of those times of where we are taking inventory of who we are and what we want to become.”

Kyrene classes for 2014-15 will commence on Monday, Aug. 4.

This year, middle schools in Ahwatukee will have new start times — 8:30 a.m.

Parents are advised to arrive early on the first day of school in order to get adequate parking.

For more information about Kyrene or bus schedules, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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