J.O. Combs school district update

Superintendent of J.O. Combs, Gayle Blanchard released an update of district happenings.

•District enrollment is 4,503 students, which includes Community Pre-K through Grade 12.

•Congratulations to Combs High School for receiving the 2016 A+ School of Excellence award from the Arizona Educational Foundation. This prestigious award was given to only 40 schools statewide. Schools are selected after an extensive evaluation process including an application and site visits. Congratulations to all the faculty, staff, and students. Additionally, Combs High School has been recommended for AdvancED accreditation.

•Community Education Department has announced Summer of Learning 2016. Elementary summer enrichment classes are a great way for students to learn about fun new topics this June. Classes include LEGO robotics, art, cooking, technology, fitness, dance, theater and much more. All classes can be found at the district webpage under the Community Education tab, Summer School link.

•Summer Camp runs May 25 to Aug. 2 and is a safe, fun place for children ages 5-12. Hosted at Harmon Elementary, campers will enjoy games, crafts, computers, and field trips all summer long. Register by visiting the district webpage, http://www.jocombs.org/, under the Community Education tab, Camp programs link.

•Harmon Elementary students submitted entries into the Pinal County Juvenile Court Community Advisory Board Character Counts Essay Contest earlier this year. Winners were chosen based on their essays about one of the six pillars of character: responsibility, citizenship, respect, fairness, caring and trustworthiness. Sophia Kelsey (sixth grader) won second place and Christian Tillard (fifth grader) won honorable mention and will be recognized at a special awards ceremony at the Pinal County Superior Courthouse in Florence in May. Great job Harmon Hawks.

•Congratulations to 58 students at Ranch Elementary for earning a math facts medal. Each month students have the opportunity to participate in the Principal’s Math Fact Club. The students are required to complete a designated amount of math facts per their grade level in a given amount of time. When they achieve the goal, they receive a medal. The students received their medals at the awards assembly on May 23.

•Combs Traditional Academy’s Battle of the Books team placed second in the J.O. Combs/Queen Creek District Battle of the Books on April 26. The competition ended in a tie between the team from CTA of Anissa Deel, Anjali Kok, and Kateland Williams and the team from Queen Creek’s Gateway Polytechnic. The tiebreaker was intense and both teams had opportunities to win it all. CTA is very proud of the time, effort, and success of their team.

•Ellsworth Elementary fifth grade’s field trip to Skateland was more than just skating. The students learned how the concepts of Science/Technology/Engineering/Math could be found in everyday experiences, such as roller-skating. Students received instruction on the subject of reverse engineering and observed a PowerPoint presentation, took apart roller skates, collected data, learned about different inventors and the different types of friction that can be caused by the roller skate. Students enjoyed a day full of skating, eating, and fun.

•May 18 was Simonton Elementary’s first Annual Leadership Day. Leadership Day began at 8:30 a.m. and highlighted student and parent speakers as well as student talents and songs. The day ended with a tour of the campus and a special sendoff for our guests.

•Combs Middle School eighth grade students had the opportunity to develop their science curiosities as they have worked in developing an experiment based on a set of observations. The middle school would like to commend Science teachers Mr. Jonathan Spray and Janel Garner for the outstanding work they have done assisting their students with this activity. Top projects will be chosen to be on display for the Science Fair, which will take place on Monday, May 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. “Congratulations” on this special project and “Good Luck!” This is an open and free event for the community.

•Ranch Elementary fundraising has paid off. The Ranch PTO is excited to announce that a 38×26 shade structure on the primary playground will start taking shape over the summer. Primary students will stay much cooler as they play in the sandbox area. Thank you to everyone that has helped with our fundraisers during the past two years.

•Harmon Elementary hosted the first ever Career Day on Wednesday, May 4 for all students, Kindergarten through sixth grade. Harmon students had an opportunity to meet and ask questions from a variety of professionals including firefighters, a physical therapist, an event planner, a professor from the School of Film, Dance and Theatre from ASU, rodeo clowns and many more. One sixth grade student said, “I enjoyed listening to the event planner because I want to be one when I grow up.”

•Combs Middle School hosted sixth grade students on campus on May 10 and May 11. Sixth grade students began their visit in the cafeteria where they had the opportunity to observe the choir, jazz band, and a special performance by the cheerleaders. Students also had an opportunity to participate in activities organized by the middle school student council. A tour of the campus was provided and their visit concluded with treats and a question/answer session in the cafeteria. Everyone at the middle school is excited to welcome our new students to our school community.

•The San Tan Valley Scholastic Achievement Awards focus on recognizing the academic accomplishments of students that comprise the San Tan Valley. This year’s event took place at Central Arizona College on April 25. Combs Middle School is proud to share that Caroline Wu (eighth grader) was selected as its outstanding student of the year.

•Congratulations to Combs High School athletes
•Baseball players who received all-section honors:
•Colt Chance Baseball first team all-section pitcher
•Matt Robinson Baseball second team all-section player
•Jerek Bernhardt Baseball second team all-section player
•Softball players who received all-section honors:
•Izzy Careaga – first team all-section pitcher
•Absidee Sanchez – first team all-section player
•Madison Simmons – first team all-section player
•Jordan Bullock – second team all-section player
•Carley Foster – second team all-section player
•Alex Perea – Honorable Mention
•Peyton Williams – Honorable Mention

•Congratulations to the Varsity Track team for having an incredible showing and best finish at the State Championships last Friday and Saturday by finishing in the Top 10 in the State as a team. Combs finished with an incredible 15 state placers.

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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