Commentary: Fire safety, giving blood, and dropping eggs at Camp Verde schools

Each year, Mrs. Reddell leads her students (top photo) through the process of dreaming, planning, and building the perfect packaging design. (Photo courtesy Camp Verde Unified School District)

Each year, Mrs. Reddell leads her students (top photo) through the process of dreaming, planning, and building the perfect packaging design. (Photo courtesy Camp Verde Unified School District)


Camp Verde Unified School District’s last blood drive of the year (above) was a huge success. (Photo courtesy Camp Verde Unified School District)

At Camp Verde Unified School District, last Friday was Good Friday.

Our well is having a whole new electrical system being installed.

We are having our parking area to the west of the junior high gym paved.

A new walk-in cooler is being installed in the kitchen.

Elementary playground equipment is being replaced at the east side of the elementary school and several other pieces of playground equipment are being resurfaced protecting our kiddos.

All the fire safety issues at South Verde have been completed with doors, breaker bars, and the attic areas now in compliance.

Plans are already in place to reroof South Verde as well.

All of the air coolers (swamp coolers) at the high school gym have been refitted with new motors, pumps, filters, and checked out in support of the coming warmer months.

Over the next few months we will ask the State Facilities board for funds to resolve some issues at the high school and put a new roof on over the choir and band rooms.

Efforts to improve the physical security of our kids are continuing with the installation of gates at the middle school, and we will soon have a similar system at the high school.

As our enrollment increases at the high school, we are evaluating how best to improve security and add more classrooms with less cost.

We are evaluating different access methods to provide a more secure school environment for our kids.

Working with local law enforcement, we will be laying out training plans and processes on how best to implement safety responses to protect our kids in dealing with a potential threat against our schools.

Fleet update

Over the last few months, our two bus mechanics Bruce Westberg and John Rawson have spent a great deal of time updating many of our buses in our fleet.

Over the last year, many school districts in the other parts of the state used their Prop 301 money to purchase new buses.

As a result, many buses with low mileage have been available on the market, and Bruce and John have done a great job in finding and upgrading our bus fleet with several buses having one-third or one-half fewer miles.

In this time, the district has purchased six buses, regular full size buses, special education buses, and white buses.

If we were to purchase one new full size school bus, the cost alone would be between $120,000 and $140,000.

And with their efforts, the district was able to purchase these buses for just more than $90,000 and greatly improve the age of our bus fleet.

At Camp Verde High School, the Earth Science classes built balloons while studying the atmosphere. 

For about 125 students, the project cost less than $200 in materials ordered from Office Depot and took about 1.5 hours.

Track has two events this week.

On April 18, they will be at the Sedona Invitational.

On April 21, they will be at the Yavapai County Meet.

Baseball has a home game against Sedona at 3:45 p.m. April 18.

Softball plays at home at 3:45 p.m. April 20 against Payson.

Golf has a match on April 20 at Forest Highlands in Flagstaff.

Our annual CVHS CTE Expo will be held from 5-7 p.m. Monday, April 24.

Please swing by to check out all of the amazing things going on in CTE-land.

National Honor Society (NHS) induction night is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 26.

Our next Site Advisory Council (SAC) meeting will be at 7 a.m. Wednesday, April 19 in the small conference room.

Please stop by to find out about the super cool things going on here at CVHS.

AzMerit testing at the high school began on April 17 and will run through Thursday, May 4.

Attendance is super important, so please make sure the students are present.

Giving blood

Our last blood drive of the year was a huge success. Love the student participation, as well.

Camp Verde Middle School would like to congratulate its Students of the Month for April: sixth grade Ethan

The middle school would also like to recognize its Employee of the Month, Mr. Mark Colbert. Mark is a team player, who is always willing to help out.

National Showcase School

Big news this week at Camp Verde Middle School. Principal Danny Howe received a phone call from Flip Flippen, founder of Capturing Kids’ Hearts. 

He wanted to congratulate Mr. Howe and his staff for being named A National Showcase School for a second year in a row.

Mr. Howe would like to take this opportunity to thank Camp Verde Middle School for their hard work and dedication. 

Teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, nurse, custodians, and maintenance are truly amazing. 

Let’s not forget the students, for without them we have no school. I say it all the time, “I would not trade any of these kids for any other kids, anywhere.” 

Spring has sprung

It’s all about spring this week at the elementary school. Now that AzMERIT testing is complete, students and teachers have turned their attention to a large array of outdoor S.T.E.A.M. activities with many demonstrations taking place on Thursday.

Second grade egg spin

As a reward for several weeks of diligent work and silence during AzMERIT testing, the second graders participated in their traditional egg spinning contest.

Held every year as a friendly completion between classes, the contest allows students to explore ways in which to make an egg spin the longest.

Each class first holds a completion between students, winners from each class then go on to compete against the rest of the winners from other classes for a grand prize.

This year, Ryan McClure from Mrs. Mezulis’s class emerged as the winner.

Dropping eggs

Each year, Mrs. Reddell leads her students through the process of dreaming, planning, and building the perfect packaging design.

Students are charged with the task of creating housing for an egg that will allow it to be dropped from the top of the football bleachers without breaking.

Designs were fantastic and incredibly creative this year, and many eggs survived the fall without scrambling.

Students were encouraged to be creative, to research ideas, test designs and make any design change prior to the completion.

Students also submitted writing pieces that described the material they used and the concept behind their final design.

Mrs. Reddell handled the actual dropping of eggs off the bleachers to ensure safety and consistency, while students watched from the top of the bleachers and the sidewalk.

This year’s winner are: Most Creative Design, Savannah Garcia; Best Technical Design, Deegan Rodriguez; and Principal’s Choice, Adrianna Cooper.

Accepting the challenge

Students in Mrs. Wattenbarger’s fifth grade class accepted the John Chapman Apple Raft Challenge this week: Using the materials provided, can you create a raft that can hold the weight of an apple without sinking?

Working in teams of two, students researched and built rafts using sticks and yarn.

They were required to complete a written series of questions about their designs.

The final designs were put to the test on Thursday morning in a tub of water on the elementary playground.

Students gathered around as Mrs. Wattenbarger had the class discuss each design and make predictions as to whether or not they thought the raft would meet the parameters of the challenge.

Students engaged in debate, made suggestions, and watched with great anticipation as each of the rafts were placed in the water.

Ultimately, the class picked the winners of the challenge: Angel Casillas and Gabe Tapia.

Their design was well-constructed, used materials wisely, and had perfect balance in the water.

Safety show returns to CVES

Each fall and spring, a group of firefighters come to our campus to teach the students about fire safety.

This spring, the show focused on good fires versus bad fires, campfire safety, and the impact of bad fires on flora and fauna.

Using large photos, firefighters dressed as animals (deer, hawks), and lots of humor, the performers painted a clear picture of what is needed in our forests to maintain the beauty there—low, slow, controlled burns and vigilance from the public.

After the show, the students received goodie bags with activities designed to reinforce the safety messages.

Old lady who swallowed a chick

In Elementary School, students from the High School TOP club came to read to Mrs. Justus’ class.

They read an Easter book, called “There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Chick.” 

The High School TOP Club followed up by doing an art and comprehension worksheet with the students.

Students had to draw a picture of the items the Old Lady had in her belly in the order in which she swallowed them.

The students in Mrs. Justus’ room love having the High School TOP club come to read and work with them.

In Mrs. Weir’s resource class, the students also had a fun filled week of learning reading, writing, math, and some fine motor skill development, while working on daily Easter activities.

The students wrote letters to their family, confirmation letters to their peers, read poems and solved math problems.

Finally, on Thursday, students participated in an egg hunt in which they received baskets containing the confirmations from their peers.

In middle school, Tammey Carter has been busy putting the Extended School Year program together so we are ready to start once summer begins. The students finished up with their AZMerit assessments.

In high school, the special education team has been busy with AZMerit assessments, IEP and MET meetings and working with their students.

A shout out to Janet Anderson, who does a phenomenal job with her Life Skills students.

The students not only work on their academics, but she ties the academics into independent life skills.

Students often participate in cooking and cleaning activities and go on group field trips to help solidify different independent skills they have learned.

In the Gifted Program, the third graders are back.

They are reviewing multiplication facts with fun card games.

The second spent time this week building simple machines.

They totally rocked.


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