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Laveen Superintendent Announces Retirement. Board Appoints Assistant Superintendent as Successor

Laveen School District Superintendent, Dr. Bill Johnson, has announced his retirement effective June 30, 2020. Laveen’s Governing Board approved the retirement at their December 12 meeting.

Following the board’s approval of Dr. Johnson’s retirement, Governing Board President Jill Barragan nominated Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Dr. Jeff Sprout, as Dr. Johnson’s permanent replacement. The Governing Board unanimously approved her motion.

In a letter to the district staff, Mrs. Barragan expressed her gratitude to Dr. Johnson and reflected on his many accomplishments during his 15-year tenure with Laveen.

“It is Dr. Johnson’s leadership that has brought Laveen schools to where they are today. Laveen has implemented many successful initiatives since he joined us back in 2005. In 15 years we have seen the district grow from one that was virtually unknown outside of our immediate community to one that is widely recognized for its many achievements and innovative programs, as well as having a voice in state level policy decisions. These accomplishments take years of dedication and determination. We are fortunate to have had a superintendent that was so deeply committed to the Laveen District and community as a whole.”

Dr. Johnson has served the Laveen School District since 2005 when he was hired to fill the business manager role. In 2011 he was named Superintendent.

Under his leadership, the district has seen many changes, including:

  • The district has grown from four schools and 2,200 students to eight schools and 7,400 students
  • Classrooms have moved from chalkboard and overhead projector technology to a computing device for every student
  • Updated curriculum has been adopted in all core subject areas
  • All schools have implemented successful signature programs
  • Laveen schools have become “schools of choice” since the opening of attendance boundaries
  • Laveen has been recognized on the state and national levels for numerous programs and achievements

In his announcement to the staff, Dr. Johnson noted “It has been a great privilege to work with so many wonderful people over the past 15 years. Together we have accomplished many positive things for our schools, the students, and the community. I feel very grateful to have been a part of the important work being accomplished by our schools and school district. I know that as much as we have accomplished, there remains a tremendous potential to continue to improve, progress, and to do much good.”

Barragan cited Dr. Sprout’s experience and commitment to the Laveen District and community in her nomination. “Dr. Sprout has served our district for over six years and has been dedicated to making Laveen a great place to work for our staff in the areas of recruitment, retention, benefits, and leadership development.   He has been actively involved in the community, serving in the Laveen Lions Club and has chaired the Laveen Community Parade for four years. He has volunteered many hours in developing the Laveen Education Foundation and has supported the last several bond and override measures,” she wrote.

“I am humbled by the opportunity the Board has granted me. For almost seven years, I have enjoyed working closely with Dr. Johnson to make Laveen a great place to work and live. I look forward to working with the incredible Laveen staff as we continue to create bright futures for all Laveen students,” Dr. Sprout stated following the appointment.

Before joining Laveen, Dr. Sprout was a teacher, principal, and Director of STEM Research and Development in the Alhambra District.  He was the recipient of the Excellence in Education teaching award, Rodel Exemplary Principal Award, and, along with his staff, received the A+ School of Excellence Award.  He completed his doctoral program at Arizona State University.

“I have no doubt that Dr. Sprout will continue Dr. Johnson’s trajectory of building a successful and highly respected school district,” added Barragan.

Dr. Sprout will begin as Superintendent on July 1, 2020.

Announcement

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Study Session on School Start/End Times Planned for Dec. 5

As we prepare to open our ninth school in August, the district must evaluate the impact Estrella Foothills Global Academy will have on our bus transportation services and, in turn, school start and end times.

On Thursday, December 5 at 6:00 p.m., the Governing Board will hold a study session to review the possible changes to school start/end times beginning in the 2020-21 school year. 

We anticipate that the options being considered will be presented to the Board at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Thursday, December 12 at 5:30 p.m. Information regarding the options being considered will be shared following this week’s study session. 

Visit our Start Time Page for details and updates.

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Laveen’s 6th Annual Winter Festival is December 6

Each year, the Laveen Elementary School District hosts a Winter Festival for the community. The sixth annual Laveen Winter Festival is scheduled for Friday, December 6, 2019. The event runs from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the LEC lawn, 5001 W. Dobbins.

This year’s Winter Festival will feature obstacle courses (for both big and little kids), games, activities, student performances, photo opportunities, holiday gift vendors, food, and much more!

Admission is free. Tickets will be available for purchase for select activities. Credit cards accepted.

All proceeds benefit the Laveen Education Foundation.

Visit our Winter Festival page for more info.

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Laveen Celebrates Groundbreaking of Estrella Foothills Global Academy

On October 25, 2019, Laveen broke ground on their ninth school, Estrella Foothills Global Academy. The future school is located near 55th Avenue and Carver Road.

Development of the school was made possible through a number of partnerships. The land was acquired through a donation by developer Taylor Morrison and proceeds from another district-owned land sale; the Arizona School Facilities Board is funding $14.6 million in construction costs; and, in addition to the site’s three play fields, there will be a joint-use playground/city park of which the City of Phoenix and Taylor Morrison are funding the construction, amenities, and improvements.

Estrella Foothills will offer global studies as its signature program. Plans include becoming an International Baccalaureate World School and offering Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language component. Global designs will be incorporated into the building’s architecture. Estrella Foothills Global Academy will open to Grades K–6, adding a grade level each year until it serves Grades K-8.

The school was designed by EMC2 Architects and is being constructed by S.D. Crane Builders.

Contractor S.D. Crane sponsored the celebratory event.

View photos from the groundbreaking on our flickr page.

For more information about the school, visit www.laveenschools.org/estrella-foothills-global-academy

 

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Laveen District to Host Vaping Awareness Info Session

Vaping graphicThe Laveen School District will host a parent information session on Vaping/ E-Cigarette Awareness at 6:00 p.m. on November 6 at Paseo Pointe, 8800 S. 55th Avenue.

The topic will focus on educating parents about the common myths and misconceptions surrounding vaping and the use of e-cigarettes. Speakers will provide information on the evolution of these products, the dangers associated with the devices, and the chemicals inhaled during usage. The session is being presented by The Office of the Arizona Attorney General.

Middle school students are encouraged to attend with their parents/guardians. There is no charge to attend. This session is open to all Laveen families.

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Laveen Cafeterias Now Serving Afterschool Snacks

Beginning September 30, all Laveen cafeterias will serve after-school snacks to students who participate in after-school activities.

The “Super Snacks” are nutritious, quick and easy to eat, and delicious – giving students a chance to refuel before moving on to their activity. They are served at no charge through USDA’s After-school Meal Program, a component of the National School Lunch Program.

Whether students are practicing sports, receiving tutoring, participating in a club or attending Kids Club – we’ve got a meal ready for them.

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Rogers Ranch Engineering Team Places 4th in National Competition

Rogers Ranch’s MESA team competed in the Math, Engineering and Science Achievement’s National Competition in Tucson this summer. The team came in fourth place overall and took third place for their written report. They were the youngest team to compete.

The team took first place at the MESA state competition in March. The sixth grade students; Ana Fritts, Thomas Beltran, Isabel Cardenas, and Brenan Wesolek; designed a water bottle holder that reminds the user to drink. The challenge required the students to code an arduino microcontroller to solve a real-world problem. The students demonstrated their prototype in two presentations, completed a report, and poster, which were all used to determine their score.

The same team also took first place in the 2018 state competition and traveled to Philadelphia to compete nationally.

The MESA program is sponsored by the U of A and GCU.

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Meet Your Teacher Night is August 1

Our annual Meet Your Teacher Night is August 1 from 5pm to 7pm at all Laveen schools. Visit your child’s classroom, meet the school staff and other families, and complete any last minute paperwork. School starts August 5.

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Immunizations Required for 11-Year-Olds Entering 6th Grade

The Arizona Department of Health Services requires that all 11-year-old children entering sixth grade obtain two adolescent vaccines, Tdap and Meningococcal (MCV4), or provide a valid exemption. These new immunizations are important as they will provide protection against serious illness.

Tdap is a combination vaccine that provides protection against three bacterial diseases — Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Whooping Cough). Meningococcal prevents against four types of bacterial meningitis.

Parents should review their child’s immunization records. If these vaccinations have not been received, the child should obtain the vaccination at either their doctor’s office or an immunization clinic. Proof of immunizations will need to be received before the student can begin school on August 6.

Students who do not have these required shots, or a valid exemption, will not be allowed to start school. Children who are not yet 11 will be required to get the new immunizations once they turn 11.

 

Photo created by Pressfoto – Freepik.com

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