Profile of a 21st Century TUSD Student
TUSD Quality Standards and Governing Board Goals
The Fruchthendler Firebird
Office (in Word)
Arrival and Dismissal
Early Dismissal Days
Check Out Procedures
Health and Safety (in Word)
Non-Accidental Injuries/Physical Neglect of Minors
Student Drop-Off & Pick-Up
Fire Drills/Lock Downs/Bus Evacuations
Lunch (in Word)
School Lunch Program
Cafeteria, Playground Monitors, and Parents on Patrol
People (in Word)
Parent Connections (in Word)
Philosophies and Policies (in Word)
Public Complaint Procedure
School Dress Code
Miscellaneous (in Word)
Lost and Found
Curriculum and Programs
An art appreciation curriculum has been set up to study different art masters at each grade level. Volunteer “art parents/docents” present these lessons and follow-up activities based on styles of these artists. Lessons are coordinated with the classroom teacher and presented once a month throughout the year. PTA has allocated funds for supplies. This program can be integrated with various other art programs, experiences, field trips, etc. Please contact the office if you are interested in helping with this program.
Fifth grade students meet twice a week during school hours with a TUSD certified teacher. Students gain experience learning to play woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. Local music stores rent instruments and sell books and supplies. Registration forms are sent home the second or third week of school. Students are expected to make up any missed class work. As part of a TUSD arts enrichment program, starting in the 2001-2002 school year, all 3rd grade students will have the opportunity to have lessons on the recorder, taught by our band instructor, and 4th grade students learn to play the violin.
Before and After School Care Program
The Lighthouse YMCA provides school care from 6:00-8:30 a.m. and a three hour on-site after school program from 3:14 until 6:00 p.m. Registration, fee information, and other questions should be directed to YMCA staff by calling 795-9725.
The chess club is open to students in all grades and is taught by a knowledgeable chess instructor. The club meets Wednesday mornings for one hour before school. Members participate in tournaments, and Fruchthendler students have won several awards throughout the years. Students purchase T-shirts and pay tournament fees, but the PTA sponsors the instructor.
Firebird Folders - Firebird Newsletter
Members of the PTA communication committee meet once a month to organize and distribute PTA and school information to every family and each staff member at Fruchthendler. Included in our Firebird folders is the Firebird Newsletter, which is published monthly. The newsletter contains articles written by PTA members, faculty, and Student Association members. The newsletter also includes a calendar of upcoming events. The vice-president of the PTA coordinates the newsletter. Articles for the upcoming newsletter may be left in the office for the PTA. Students in all classrooms return the empty folders to school for subsequent refills of information. In homes having more than one student at Fruchthendler, only one child is designated as the carrier for the monthly folder.
Our Community Council serves as a decision-making and service oriented group for students in grades 3-5. Five officers are elected along with classroom representatives who are responsible for informing and involving their class in school wide activities. Representatives attend meetings approximately every two weeks. The Community Council is facilitated by two Fruchthendler teachers.
Fruchthendler follows a core curriculum mandated by TUSD and the State of Arizona. Elementary curriculum specifics are available for review in the school library and on the district website. Teachers use curriculum guidelines, required materials, and supplemental aids when planning their yearly instructional program.
Cross-age helpers are older students who work with younger ones. Cross-age students may read or talk with younger friends, teach them math facts, help edit their writing, or assist in other ways. Everyone benefits; younger students learn and older ones reinforce their own knowledge, provide community service, and build self-esteem.
Cross Categorical Services
This Exceptional Education program is for students who are identified through testing as needing extra assistance under Exceptional Education guidelines. Students are serviced in and out of classroom as needed and determined by individual education plans (IEPs). Certified teachers in areas of expertise work with students and address specific needs. Volunteers are always welcome and encouraged to assist in tutoring.
The purpose of Curriculum Night is to provide parents the opportunity to meet their child’s teacher and become familiar with the curriculum, classroom policies, and procedures. Curriculum Night is scheduled within the first month of school.
(District-wide Emphasis on Science Education Reform in TUSD)
The vision of this project is the implementation of the National Science Education Standards by engaging all students in learning science through inquiry and hands-on activities (learning by doing). The FOSS (Full Option Science System) kits are a major component of this project. Each grade level has specific kits available for an in-depth study in a specific area and containing many materials for students’ use.
Exceptional Education Inclusion
Fruchthendler is an inclusive school where neighborhood students with moderate to severe disabilities are educated in classrooms along with regular education students. Special support and services are provided to enable all students to be successful learners.
The educational program of students with physical and mental disabilities incorporates paraprofessional instructors, cross-age tutors, volunteers, and support staff to assist the classroom teacher. The program follows federal guidelines and incorporates established Fruchthendler goals. For further information, see Fruchthendler Inclusion Program goals and plan statement available in the office.
The Fruchthendler PTA holds fundraisers, including Spell-a-thon, Fall Carnival, and Fun Run.
Families Helping Families
The PTA obtains the names of TUSD families in need who are from other schools. Profiles of the families (first names, ages, specific clothing sizes and needs, etc.) are compiled and each class is assigned one or two families. Our students and their families donate clothing, food, and household items, based on the information given in the profile. These items are then delivered to the families during the winter season of sharing.
TUSD Food Services Program provides a nutritious, well-balanced meal for students in grades K-5. Lunches may be paid for daily or on a prepay basis, with checks made payable to Fruchthendler Food Services. Lunches cost $1.50, including milk.
Family Life Curriculum
Family Life Curriculum is a state mandated course of study for all students in grades 4 through 12. Parent permission is required for students to participate in this health course, which focuses on puberty, growth and development, decision making, and human sexuality. The course is generally taught by the fourth and fifth grade teachers. The state of Arizona requires that in elementary school, girls and boys are taught the human sexuality lessons separately. An alternative class is offered for those students not participating. This curriculum was revised and updated in 2002. A parent informational meeting is held to review curriculum and answer questions before classes begin. A copy of the curriculum is available in the principal’s office for review.
GATE - PLUS
GATE is an enrichment program offered once a week to develop and enhance critical and creative thinking skills. Students who have been identified as gifted through TUSD testing attend GATE as an alternative to the simultaneous classroom activity. Testing for GATE occurs in January for the following year. Other factors (such as prior placement in another school district from which a student is transferring) also can determine GATE placement.
The Health Office provides medical support for students as needed. The goal of the Health Office, in compliance with TUSD Health Services policy, is to teach children to be responsible for their own health. The Health Office staff is composed of a health clerk who is available during school hours, and an RN who is assigned to Fruchthendler one day per week. The RN additionally serves as a classroom health resource person.
Integrated Thematic Instruction - Balanced Literacy
Academic focus is very important to all of us at Fruchthendler. With balanced literacy and thematic instruction, students learn the basics of academics and self-discipline through social studies, humanities, and/or science themes. Students learn in an environment that provides opportunities to interact with meaningful content. They also make choices, apply and evaluate their own learning, collaborate with peers and have immediate feedback.
The State of Arizona and TUSD offer various special programs and materials for purchase by elementary schools. Each school’s K-3 budget is based upon the number of students enrolled in grades K-3. These programs are periodically evaluated with respect to effectiveness, availability, and tie-in to Fruchthendler’s site goals.
There is an orientation and reception held in the spring for incoming kindergarteners and their parents. Students visit a kindergarten classroom while parents learn about Fruchthendler and its programs.
Library and Media Services
Fruchthendler has a library/media center available to all students and faculty. The center includes reference materials, fiction and non-fiction, periodicals, access to the Internet, and a variety of technological resources, (CD-Rom, video disc players, etc.). The librarian holds two book fairs throughout the school year.
Love of Reading Week
TUSD’s annual Love of Reading Week takes place in February, coinciding with Valentine’s Day. Emphasis throughout the District is on appreciation of reading. At Fruchthendler, readers from the school neighborhood and from the greater Tucson community are invited to read favorite selections in classrooms. The faculty and staff plan other school wide activities geared toward appreciation of reading.
Students have the opportunity to receive a 30 minute music education experience each week. These lessons include: instruments, types of music, choral singing, movement, and notation. Tax credit monies provide an instructor, additional resources as needed, and an accompanist for programs.
Elementary orchestra is available in grades 4 and 5. Intermediate and advanced orchestras continue through grade 12. Students learn to play string instruments and read music. Classes last 30 minutes and are held during the school day twice a week throughout the year. TUSD provides a certified instructor and some instruments at no charge. Instruments not available through school may be rented from local music stores. Registration forms are sent home the second or third week of school. Students in orchestra are expected to make up any missed class work. As part of a TUSD arts enrichment program, in the 2002-2003 school year, all 4th grade students will have the opportunity to have lessons on the violin, taught by our orchestra instructor, and 3rd graders will learn to play the recorder.
Physical Education Enrichment
Each class receives one weekly lesson of various P.E. activities that promote physical well-being. These lessons are taught during the school day, and the entire class participates. The program provides an instructor, basic materials, and equipment replacement when necessary. Funding is provided by tax credit dollars. Our PE teacher also coaches the track team, which won the city championship for the 2005-2006 school year.
Fruchthendler has always had a very active PTA association. Everyone is encouraged to join, and individual or family memberships are available. Traditionally, the first PTA meeting is held at 9:00 a.m. on the first day of student classes. After that, PTA meetings are usually held on the second Tuesday of each month, from September through May, alternating between a 9:00 a.m. time and a 7:00 p.m. time. Announcements of upcoming meetings are prevalent in the school, Firebird Footnotes, and on the marquee in front of the school.
In February each year, our PTA sponsors a minimal charge appreciation breakfast for students and their families. This is held in the cafeteria before school during the three-day week just prior to Rodeo vacation.
The room parent chairperson acts as a liaison between parents, faculty, and PTA. This position, which lasts throughout the year, involves coordination of field trips, class parties, and other social functions. Each classroom generally has at least two volunteer parents, but more are always welcome.
Each December, students are given entry forms to participate in the Science Fair. Although not mandatory, all students are encouraged to participate, either individually, in pairs, or groups. Projects are expected to be student generated and completed to promote inquiry
and understanding of scientific methods. The PTA Science Fair chairperson sends home instructions, organizes judging, and schedules viewing by all students and parents. First place winners at our school may automatically enter their projects at the Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair (SARSEF) at the University of Arizona.
Student pictures are taken twice yearly. In the past few years, students have been photographed in both the fall and spring. There is no obligation to purchase one of the packet options provided by photographers, however our school receives a percentage of picture sales. Retakes are provided for students when pictures are unsatisfactory.
Our tax credit dollars fund a Spanish instructor. In the past, this has been a native speaker who visits each classroom weekly. Students are exposed to vocabulary, conversation, and culture through interactive lessons appropriate to grade level. Research has repeatedly shown that exposure to foreign language in the early school years facilitate linguistic development and the learning of other languages throughout life.
Fruchthendler participates in the National Spelling Bee competition. Each class has a preliminary spelling bee to determine classroom winners and they go on to a school-wide competition held on an evening in January. This year there will be both a K-2 and a 3-5 Spelling Bee. School winners can advance to a TUSD final, a state final, and the National Championship Spelling Bee held in Washington, D.C.
There are a number of tests mandated by the state of Arizona and TUSD that students are required to take. Tests are currently given to all elementary students in grades 2-5. Performance based assessments are given in reading, writing, and mathematics in grades 1-5. Student scores are confidential and available only to the school or an individual child’s parents. Goals of testing vary; some tests are given to assess instruction, some to assess student needs, and others to evaluate student progress or programs.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION
Teachers, the PTA health chairperson, the school nurse, counselor and principal work together to provide a strong substance abuse prevention program. This important part of the health curriculum is taught at every grade level, with emphasis in the fifth grade on decision-making and prevention.
The team concept is encouraged at our school and the staff works together to be a successful school wide unit. Several teachers have formed in a variety of teams to provide more individualized instruction to students. These teams consist of two or more teachers who plan, teach, and assess student learning collaboratively. Some instructional activities are total group, while others focus on small group interaction. Team teaching has been established in order to provide maximum learning opportunities for students.
The Fruchthendler yearbook provides students, teachers, and staff with a memorable keepsake of the year. Each classroom is featured with a collage of pictures of the year’s activities. School clubs and organizations also have photos in the yearbook. Volunteer parents from each classroom help the yearbook coordinators by taking pictures. Yearbooks are available for pre-purchase at a reduced fee early in the school year, but also may be ordered during the second semester. Distribution is in May, and occasionally there are extra yearbooks left for sale at the end of the year.