GESD taking steps to secure its systemsPosted by Jim Cummings on 9/6/2019
This week the Flagstaff Unified School District’s computer systems were compromised by Ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malware or virus that encrypts all files and folders (on computer or network shares), preventing access to important files. The intent is to attempt to extort money from victims by asking for payment.
Most Ransomware infections start with email messages containing attachments that then install Ransomware on your system. Ransomware can also be downloaded when visiting a website or clicking on an unknown link that contains the malicious software.
This forced the entire Flagstaff Unified School District to close all schools on Thursday and may continue moving forward. All district accounts, no matter the access level, can compromise our entire system and the ability to serve our students.
As a result, the Glendale Elementary School District has and is taking a number of preventative steps to secure our data and computer systems. Among them, all email addresses will be removed from our websites. We realize the inconvenience this may cause you, however there are steps that you can take to assure communication between your home and school continues. To do that:
- Sign up at your school for ParentVue. You can do that through your school’s front office. Once you have been given your access privileges you will be able to contact your child’s teacher directly for information regarding progress and other classroom information. You can find out how to access and navigate ParentVue here.
- Check the GESD Parent Blog for updates. Typically we will email you when the blog is updated. You can access the blog here.
- We will continue to communicate with you through School Messenger and other communication apps being used at our schools.
Protecting staff and student information is extremely important to us, and for the last several years we have taken a proactive approach to preventing such attacks. We will continue to closely monitor our systems and do our due diligence to protect all GESD systems.
We thank you for your patience and support throughout this process.
Extreme heat brings challenges and dangers — here's how to handle itPosted by Jim Cummings on 8/16/2019
Extreme Heat often results in the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards. In most of the United States, extreme heat is defined as a long period (2 to 3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. In extreme heat, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature. This can lead to death by overworking the human body. Remember that:
- Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.
- Older adults, children, and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.
- Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.
IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:
- Find air conditioning.
- Avoid strenuous activities.
- Watch for heat illness.
- Wear light clothing.
- Check on family members and neighbors.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
- Never leave people or pets in a closed car.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN EXTREME HEAT THREATENS
- Find places in your community where you can go to get cool.
- Keep your home cool by doing the following:
- Cover windows with drapes or shades.
- Weather-strip doors and windows.
- Use window reflectors, such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
- Add insulation to keep the heat out.
- Use attic fans to clear hot air.
- Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.
- Learn to recognize the signs of heat-related illness.
Be Safe DURING
- Never leave a child, adult, or animal alone inside a vehicle on a warm day.
- Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, shopping malls, and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat.
- If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you or someone you care for is on a special diet, ask a doctor how best to accommodate it.
- Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as this could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.
- Avoid high-energy activities.
- Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness.
RECOGNIZE AND RESPOND
Know the signs of heat-related illness and the ways to respond to it:
Signs: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms, or legs
Actions: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.
Signs: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, or fainting
Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.
Signs: Extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees) taken orally; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; confusion; or unconsciousness
Actions: Call 911 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.
Bici North, Burton and Discovery get new principalsPosted by Jim Cummings on 5/24/2019
L-R: Lorri Alonzo, Tamera Nicol, Angelique Saiz
The Glendale Elementary School District Governing Board approved new principals for Bicentennial North, Glenn F. Burton and Discovery schools.
Tamera Nicol, who currently serves as assistant principal at Bici North, will move into the principal’s office beginning in July. Nicol is a 32-year educator who has served as a teacher, teacher on assignment and assistant principal. She also has experience in early childhood development. Nicol joined GESD in 2011 as an assistant principal at American, and has been the assistant principal at Bici North since 2016. Nicol earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in political science from the University of Texas and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Arizona State University.
Lorri Alonzo, who has been serving as interim principal at Burton, is now principal. An educator for 32 years, Alonzo has spent the majority of her career with GESD. She has served the District as a teacher, achievement advisor and assistant principal. She earned a Bachelor and Master of Arts in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University, and a Master of Arts in Education Administration from Grand Canyon University.
Angelique Saiz, who currently serves as assistant principal at American, was named principal at Discovery School. She has been an educator for 14 years serving as an instructional assistant, teacher, tutoring director and instructional coach. Saiz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and a Master’s degree in educational administration and supervision, both from Arizona State University.
Nicol, Alonzo and Saiz will start in their new positions beginning July 1.
New Assistant Principals Assigned to Bici North and Burton
L-R: Tevis Madison, Jeff Nell
Tevis Madison and Jeff Nell were named the new assistant principals at Bicentennial North and Glenn F. Burton.
Nell has been an educator since 2001, and has spent the last 16 years at Burton serving as a teacher and as a math and science achievement advisor. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Northwest Christian College in Eugene, Or.; and a Master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.
Madison has been an educator for 13 years and served as a teacher and student service specialist. His most recent assignment was as a teacher at American. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Arizona State University and his Master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.
New directors, principal coach appointedPosted by Jim Cummings on 5/24/2019
L-R: Jody Gallimore, Andrea Arellano, Sienna Shively
Alex Garcia new Director Language Acquisition
Alex Garcia was named GESD's new director of Language Acquisition. An educator for more than 20 years, she most recently served as coordinator for language acquisition. She has also served as a teacher, English Language Development teacher and content specialist. Garcia currently serves on multiple state committees on language acquisition. She earned a Barchelor's degree in elementary education from Arizona State University, a Master's degree in administraion and leadership from Grand Canyon University, and a Master's degree in adult education and training from the University of Phoenix.
Executive Director for Behavioral Health and School Safety Named
Dr. Louis Laffitte was approved as the District’s new executive director for behavioral health and school safety. He will oversee the daily functioning of student services, school and district safety, discipline, social and emotional Learning, and diversity and inclusion. Dr. Laffitte has been an educator for more than 20 years serving as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, director and superintendent. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Arizona, and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Administration and Policy from Pepperdine University.
Gallimore Moves Up to Director of Student Services
Jody Gallimore, who has served GESD for more than 30 years, was named the District’s new director of student and family services. She has been serving as coordinator of student services for the last two year. Prior to that Gallimore served GESD as a teacher, district-wide math/science achievement advisor, curriculum and instruction coordinator, assistant principal and principal. She earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in elementary education from Arizona State University.
Arellano New Director of Social-Emotional Learning and Mental Health
Andrea Arellano will be the new director for socio-emotional learning and mental health. Arellano — recently named a winner of GESD’s Excellence in Administration Award — brings knowledge and skills of group therapy, socio-emotional learning and mental health that will support the District in this important work.
For the last two years Arellano has served as principal at Discovery School. She has spent her entire career with GESD beginning in 2002. Before being named Discovery’s principal she served as a teacher, librarian, summer school coordinator, social-emotional learning specialist and assistant principal. Arellano earned a Bachelor’s degree in elementary educational and Master’s degree in education administration and supervision from Arizona State University. She also earned a Master’s degree in educational counseling from the University of Phoenix. She will start in her new position on July 1.
Shively Named New Principal Coach
Sienna Shively is GESD’s new principal coach for multi-tiered support services and school culture. She has been an educator for more than 20 years, serving as a teacher, assistant principal and principal, and this past year assisted GESD as a curriculum coordinator. Shively earned her Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Arizona State University, and a Master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Phoenix.
2019-20 GESD Parent CalendarPosted by Jim Cummings on 5/24/2019
Glendale Elementary School District
2019-2020 Parent School Calendar
Aug. 5 — First Day of School
Aug. 7 — Early Release
Aug. 14 — Early Release
Aug. 21 — Early Release
Aug. 28 — Early Release
Aug. 30 — Professional Growth Day*
Sept. 2 — Labor Day Holiday*
Sept. 4 — Early Release
Sept. 11 — Early Release
Sept. 18 — Early Release
Sept. 25 — Early Release
Oct. 2 — Early Release
Oct. 3-4 — Parent Conferences/Early Release
Oct. 7-11 — Fall Break *
Oct. 16 — Early Release
Oct. 23 — Early Release
Oct. 30 — Early Release
Nov. 6 — Early Release
Nov. 11 — Veteran’s Day Holiday *
Nov. 13 — Early Release
Nov. 20 — Early Release
Nov. 27-29 — Thanksgiving Break *
Dec. 4 — Early Release
Dec. 11 — Early Release
Dec. 18 — Full Day
Dec. 20 — Early Release
Dec. 23-31 — Winter Break *
Jan. 1-3 — Winter Break*
Jan. 6 — Professional Growth Day*
Jan. 8 — Early Release
Jan. 15 — Early Release
Jan. 20 — MLK Day Holiday *
Jan. 22 — Early Release
Jan. 29 — Early Release
Feb. 5 — Early Release
Feb. 12 — Early Release
Feb. 17 — President’s Day Holiday *
Feb. 19 — Early Release
Feb. 26 — Early Release
March 4 — Early Release
March 11 — Early Release
March 12-13 — Parent Conferences/Early Release
March 16-20 — Spring Break *
March 25 — Early Release
April 1 — Early Release
April 8 — Early Release
April 15 — Early Release
April 22 — Early Release
April 29— Early Release
May 6 — Early Release
May 13 — Early Release
May 20 — Full Day
May 21 — Last Day of School/Early Release
May 25 — Memorial Day Holiday*
*No school for students
First $9 million in voter-approved bonds soldPosted by Jim Cummings on 5/24/2019
The Glendale Elementary School District has sold the first $9 million of a $35 million bond issue that was approved by voters in November.
The bonds were sold with just a 1.83 percent interest rate, the lowest rate offered. The low interest rate means GESD will save its taxpayers significant dollars on the 10-year life of this bond sale. The District was able to secure the rate after receiving high bond ratings from S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings. S&P ranked the GESD at A+ and the Fitch rant was AA+. Both bond houses sited the District’s conservative financial approach and its low debt.
“In the many times I have sold bonds I’ve never had an interest rate this low before,” said Assistant Superintendent for Business and Auxiliary Services Mike Barragan. “We’ve been good stewards of our taxpayer dollars, and as a result both the District and taxpayers will save because of this very low interest rate.”
The sale of these bonds will allow GESD to address structural deficiencies, make improvement, repair or replace equipment, and to add safety and security improvements.
APS to install solar panels at GESD District OfficePosted by Jim Cummings on 5/24/2019
Arizona Public Service (APS) will install solar panels in the parking lot of Glendale Elementary School District’s Administrative Offices beginning in June.
The panels, which also serve to provide covered parking, are being installed at no cost to GESD, and will provide for a $7,500 yearly reduction to the District’s electric bill, APS Customer Project Associate Austin Hatfield said. The credit is not tied to the amount of energy produced by the solar panels. APS chose the District Office parking lot for the project because it is the only site that meets the ability to provide a minimum of 250 kilowatts of energy. APS provides service to four District sites.
A letter fromSuperintendent Cindy Segotta-Jones in regard to student safetyPosted by Jim Cummings on 4/26/2019
Dear GESD Families,
The safety of our students is our first priority, and because of that we want to make you aware of incidents in surrounding school districts that have raised our level of concern.
In the last two weeks, the neighboring Alhambra district has had four separate incidents of possible or attempted child abductions. Students reported that an unidentified man in a car offered them candy and was photographing them from across their bus stop. In another incident, a parent reported to our school that a nicely dressed gentleman went to their home and said, " I'm your daughter's substitute teacher for the day, and I'm here to take your daughter to school." Another student reported that a man in a work truck asked her if she wanted a ride to school. And, in yet another incident, two students reported that a man got out of his vehicle and exposed himself to them, as he tried to lure them to his vehicle.
This week in the neighboring Pendergast district a well-dressed woman approached students on their way to school and told them she was their substitute teacher and would be walking them to school.
Fortunately no children were hurt or abducted in any of these incidents. Unfortunately, human trafficking, especially with children, remains an unfortunate reality, with an particular concentration in our community.
When incidents like this occur, it is critical that you immediately contact the Glendale Police at 623-930-3000, and that you contact us through your school principal. The sooner law enforcement is made award of incidents like this, the quicker they can begin to do the necessary investigative work to stop or prevent future incidents. The faster we know, the more help we can be to police, our students and your family.
It is also important that you speak with your children about reporting these incidents immediately. They need to understand how important it is that when they see something they say something in order to protect themselves, their friends and their community.
Incidents like this are also a reminder that we need to have our children exercise caution when it comes to walking to and from to school, and what to do when approached by strangers. We suggest that you review the Stranger Danger tips below with your children. You may wish to reinforce these tips with your child tonight. Students should be reminded to:
- Never talk to strangers at any time.
- Walk to and from school with others whenever possible.
- Go directly to and from school on a timeline.
- Follow a standard route to and from school.
- Use a code word between you and your child in case of emergencies.
- If it is safe and involves a vehicle, observe the license number and write it down as soon as possible.
- Make sure your child knows a phone number where you can be reached.
Please know that we take incidents of this type seriously and we will continue to work with you and law enforcement to keep our children safe. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact us.
We thank you for your understanding, and your continued support of the Glendale Elementary School District.
Challenger, Sine join Verizon Innovative Learning ProgramPosted by Jim Cummings on 3/5/2019
The Glendale Elementary School District has joined Verizon Innovative Learning, the education initiative of the Verizon Foundation. In partnership with Digital Promise, Verizon Innovative Learning equips every student and teacher at select middle schools across America with a device and up to a four-year data plan. In addition to free technology and access, schools receive extensive teacher training and support, along with the opportunity to engage in powerful teaching and learning that leverages technology in and out of the classroom.
The program, which launched in partnership with Digital Promise in 2012, has reached more than 86,000 students and nearly 6,000 teachers across 100 middle schools to date. At the start of the 2019 school year, Challenger Middle School and Melvin E. Sine Elementary School are among the 50 new schools joining Verizon Innovative Learning, bringing the program to 150 middle schools nationwide.
In addition to free mobile devices and accompanying 4G LTE data plans, participating schools will be assigned a full-time technology coach from Digital Promise to train teachers in effectively integrating technology into their lessons. Over the course of the initiative, Verizon Innovative Learning will also provide the opportunity for students to leverage emerging technology such as augmented & virtual reality, artificial intelligence, 3D design and internet of things.
“Our partnership with Verizon to integrate the most advanced academic tech into our schools creates infinite opportunity for students,” said Principal Tiffany Molina. “This influx of technology will ease the path for our learners to become leaders, and we cannot thank Verizon enough for their contribution to Glendale schools,” Principal DeAnza Baker.
Students are seeing marked academic improvement as a result of the initiative.* To date, Verizon has invested $400 million in education efforts, has impacted one million students and will reach two million more by 2021.
Verizon will be the first to bring 5G technology to the classroom in the third quarter of 2019. This commitment will help provide underserved middle school students with the skills needed to put them on the path to success in an increasingly technology-dependent economy.
* 53% are more engaged in school. Across all VIL programs that reported data in 2017.
After two years, VILS students improved on standardized tests at rates higher than their peers - 3X for math and 2X for reading.
Source: Westat March 15, 2017 Research - Verizon Innovative Learning Schools: Results of the Analysis of Student Administrative Data From Cohort 1 Schools (based on two years of data for 6th grade Cohort 1 schools that provided complete data)
GESD will participate in Say Something Week February 25 - March 1Posted by Jim Cummings on 2/21/2019
The Glendale Elementary School District, in partnership with Sandy Hook Promise, is taking part in National Say Something Week Feb. 25 through March 1.
Say Something teaches students how to look for warning signs, signals, and threats — especially on social media — from individuals who may want to hurt themselves or others and to “say something” to a trusted adult to get them help. The program is based on research conducted by Dr. Dewey Cornell and Dr. Reid Meloy, two leading national experts in threat assessment and intervention.
When it comes to violence, suicide, and threats, most are known by at least one other individual before the incident takes place. In fact, 80 percent of school shooters told someone of their violent plan prior to the event. Additionally, seven out of 10 people who complete suicide told someone of their plans or gave some type of warning or indication. Say Something aims to teach students the signals to that tragedy can be averted.
Say Something Week raises awareness and reinforces the power young people have to prevent tragedies, when they “say something” to a trusted adult to protect a friend from hurting themselves or others.
Sandy Hook Promise is a national nonprofit organization led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.