September 17, 2021
Dear Scottsdale Unified Families,
We've closed out another great week in SUSD, one of students learning new things and putting that learning into action, one of celebrating students and staff, and one of continuing to come together as the strong community that we are.
We learned this week that 20 of our academically talented high school seniors are Semifinalists in the 2022 National Merit® Scholarship Program. This esteemed program initially selects students based on their performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) that they took as juniors. In order to move to Finalist status and become eligible for one of nearly 7,500 scholarships worth nearly $30 million next spring, the semifinalists must complete a thorough application that looks at not only their academic record and scores on college entrance tests, but also their participation in school and community activities in which they have demonstrated leadership. We want to wish the following students well as this path proceeds:
Arcadia High School: William Logue, Grace Reed, Elsa Steen Koppell
Chaparral High School: Grace Dunn, Jeremy Lee, Dashram Pai
Desert Mountain High School: Dhruv Adha, Bella Agarwal, Eric Amkraut, Paige Baldus, Ryan Johnson, Camden Kross, Maya Leis, Brendan Mawk, Rakshak Shah, Yeju Srivastava, Eleanor Wang, Jiatian Yim
Saguaro High School: Colin Hutton, Kennan McAndrews
At this week's Governing Board Special meeting, we were pleased to recognize two SUSD employees. Both celebrations were heartfelt and stirring, and made us realize once again the impact of the work of our dedicated and resourceful staff.
This week, the COVID-positive rate was relatively flat and remains in the substantial category, but the number of cases per/100,000 increased slightly and remains in the high transmission level. Thankfully, the number of active cases on our campuses is under 50 for a second consecutive week. While the total is higher than the week prior, this week's number reflects a four-day reporting period - the prior week was three because of the extended Labor Day holiday weekend.
As a result of modifying our mitigation strategies last month, including not requiring masked, close contacts to quarantine unless they are experiencing COVID or COVID-like symptoms, we have been able to reduce the number of students who are missing school, and that's a good thing. In the four weeks since August 20, we have not seen positive cases among masked students who were close contacts. We thank you again for your continued support.
Getting Back to 'Normal'
We continue to review opportunities for volunteers to return to our school campuses. Recently, we decided to allow vaccinated volunteers to volunteer for outside activities, at principal discretion. We're looking at taking that a step farther in the coming weeks and allowing volunteers back in classrooms. Individuals interested in volunteering need to work with SUSD Human Resources to submit the necessary paperwork.
We are also pleased to report that our high school fall theater season gets underway next week with the production at Chaparral of Clue on Stage and, the following week, at Desert Mountain with an adaptation of Homer's The Odyssey.
If your child is or has been home as a part of quarantine during this school year, is ill due to COVID-19 or a COVID-like illness, or could just use a little extra learning support, we invite you to use Varsity Tutors. Scottsdale Unified School District has partnered with Varsity Tutors as one strategy to provide additional support to our students whose learning has been impacted by the pandemic. Varsity Tutors provides 1:1, individualized, virtual tutoring in the subject area(s) your student needs, on your schedule.
Please fill out the interest form to access six hours of free tutoring. In order to initiate the tutoring, you will need to complete this Varsity Tutor Permission Slip. Once you have submitted the permission slip, you will receive an email from Varsity Tutors within 48 hours to set up your student's tutoring time. Students will access their tutoring hours by logging in to Single Sign-on, then Clever, then Varsity Tutors. Parents will communicate directly with Varsity Tutors to set up a date and time for tutoring sessions.
Athletics are in full swing in SUSD, and we are excited to be able to provide these exciting opportunities for our students. Please keep in mind that we do have an indoor mask requirement for now and appreciate your cooperation if you choose to attend one of our indoor events. Our goal is to continue to provide in-person instruction, and we appreciate our athletic stakeholders' support of those efforts.
Scottsdale Unified School District Cabinet and Leadership Team
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Community COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Resources
SUSD continues to partner with Embry Health, which operates three, convenient COVID testing sites in the SUSD community:
Ranch Pharmacy: 10769 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale
Other community vaccination resources:
NOAH - Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health: https://noahhelps.org/covid-vaccine/
Maricopa County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Locations: https://www.maricopa.gov/5659/COVID-19-Vaccine-Locations
Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 Vaccine Locations:
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