March Newsletter

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ASU Prep Digital’s mission is to design new models for educational success to raise academic achievement for all learners.

Note from Your Director

Dear ASU Prep Digital Students and Families,

February was an exciting month for our Sun Devils! Over the weekend, ASU Prep Digital National Junior Honor Society students volunteered at the Foundation Fighting Blindness 5K Visionwalk. Our students operated water stations, helped with set up and tear down, and cheered on more than four hundred walkers! The event raised over $102,000 for research of retinal diseases! During the event, students were able to hang out with the Phoenix Suns Gorilla and Arizona Coyotes mascot. We are so proud of our Sun Devils! Thank you to NJHS sponsor Sarah Williams and the entire NJHS student body! 

As a reminder, there is still time for you to secure a spring Internship and enroll in the Internship course for credit. This is also a great time to start planning for summer and fall internships. What are your interests, learning goals, and career goals? Take advantage of your personal networks as well as our connection to Arizona State University to find an internship. Want to learn more? Reach out to your LSC or ASU Prep’s Internship Coordinator Ms. Felecia O’Neal at

We hope this newsletter finds you and your family doing well this March. We are grateful for warmer weather across much of Arizona, and the fact that it’s officially spring, in a few short days! Our students are wrapping up their Spring Break vacation, and we’re excited to welcome them back on Monday, March 15th. The final quarter of the school year is full of new achievements, success stories, and examples of pride. It’s a culmination of an entire year’s worth of effort and persistence, and a time when students, parents, and teachers can cross that finish line together.

Here at ASU Prep Digital, we’ve adopted the motto to Finish Strong this year. In reality, it’s more than a motto. It’s an attitude! During this final quarter, we challenge each of your students to “finish strong”. Finish strong in your efforts to submit those assignments on time, and to achieve mastery learning. Finish strong by communicating with teachers, and by celebrating your successes with family and friends. Finish strong by choosing to do better! Did you earn a B on that last assignment? If so, consider resubmitting for an A. Our teachers and staff are committed to helping you along the way. Let’s use this positive attitude to motivate us and never settle for less. Together, we will continue to build a culture of excellence that extends beyond this semester. Of course, please share your success stories so we can celebrate you along the way. At the bottom of every course homepage in Canvas, you’ll find the contact information for our school principals. Send them an email, text, or give them a call anytime you experience success!


Dr. Laura Maloney, Director of Academics

Mr. Michael Kasper, M.Ed, Director of Academics

Staff Spotlight

Jessica Benites, 5th Grade Teacher

Jessica Benites is one of our fabulous and fun 5th Grade teachers. Her teaching philosophy is, “My philosophy is centered around building strong relationships with children by combining humor and storytelling. Moreover, explicitly teaching students how to advocate for their education empowers them to lead their learning.”

Cherie Woods, Middle School Spanish Teacher

Cherie Woods teaches Middle School Spanish and has been teaching Spanish for 25 years. Before moving to Arizona, she taught Spanish in Hawaii – at both brick-and-mortar schools and online for the State of Hawaii. 

Senora Woods has three daughters – two that now live here in Arizona and one in Hawaii. They alll love to hike and her favorite hiking in Arizona so far has been in the Grand Canyon. One of these fall breaks, she would like to hike the Rim-to-Rim.

Senora Woods loves teaching at ASUPD! She shared: “We have a culture of high-touch and have a lot of contact and get to know our students and their families. My husband and I (and our two Goldendoodles!) live in North Scottsdale, and I have found that many of my students are actually neighbors too! I feel very fortunate to work with an amazing group of teachers and leadership team that constantly strive to innovate and raise academic achievement for our students. Simply the best!”

Ashley Prinsen, High School French and Senior Seminar Teacher

This is Mrs. Prinsen’s second year at ASUPD. She loves working at ASUPD because of the flexibility it provides her to do what she loves, while making an impact on her students; as well as having more time with her babies at home! Mrs. Prinsen also loves the support of our administration and how positive and open to new ideas everyone is! In her free time, she loves to travel and be outside as much as possible (running, walking, biking, hiking, etc)! She escapes to the beach any opportunity she gets.


Meet the Teachers

Lisabeth Scaife, 5th Grade Teacher

Mrs. Scaife calls Surprise, Arizona home! This is her 18th year teaching and her favorite thing about being an educator is, “Being that teaching is my second career (started in business and completely switched gears) I can truly say teaching is so rewarding. I know that learning can be hard for a lot of students and I love showing them that I believe in them and just knowing that I have made an impact on them no matter how small.”

Amanda Hammill

Mrs. Hammill has been teaching social studies and ELA in secondary schools for 15 years.  When she is not teaching, you can catch her hanging with my family in their RV at spots all across the United States.  Mrs. Hammill is a southern girl, currently living in South Carolina but has lived in many places, including North Carolina (go Heels), Washington D.C., and Kentucky.  Everyone in the south expects that you should love the beach more than the mountains, but Mrs. Hammill says, “I am a mountain girl all the way!”  She also loves teaching at ASU Prep Digital and says that her students are so cool!  “Their talents are already changing the world!”

Samantha Parker, English Lead Teacher

Mrs. Parker lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin with her husband and three children. She says that while she is not a big football fan, she loves hockey and all things winter. This is her 13th year teaching and 3rd year at ASUPD. She chose to teach English because the discipline is all about experiencing the ideas, thoughts, and emotions of people in the past and present from cultures all around the world. The culmination of those events and ideas can impact and drive our future. She says that ASUPD has become a home to her, and she cannot imagine herself teaching anywhere else. In her free time, Mrs. Parker loves to garden, knit, learn languages, play piano, write, and lately work on puzzles. 

As a special note: Mrs. Parker is one of our teachers currently working with students from our Ukraine partnership.  The compassion and support that she has shown her students and her partner teacher in the Ukraine while they are experiencing the traumatic upheaval to their lives is only one example of why we are proud to have her as one of our Lead Teachers.

School Updates

Elementary School

Our students, families, teachers and staff are moving right into this second semester. We have learned a ton, accomplished more, and have had some fun while doing so. We have implemented our pilot into Learning Pods. They are going well! Parents/Home educators and students, we are asking for your support in completing this survey, if you have not already done so, for information regarding your experience with Learning Pods. 

Spelling Bee Update

Congratulations to our grade level Spelling Bee winners who will move on to our school Spelling Bee, to be held on April 2nd!

Science Fair Update

Congratulations to our Science Fair winners, who were celebrated on February 22nd!

Kindness Week

What a successful week we had celebrating kindness. We discussed kindness to family members, ourselves, even the world around us. Please check out how Mrs. Wingate’s class celebrated kindness to pets!

Read Across America

Next week is Read Across America Week!!!  We have theme days for a week-long celebration of reading!  We are looking for volunteers to read to the high school students in their English classes on March 1! Please let your teacher know if you are interested in reading!  High school and middle school students will be reading in our classes on Wednesday the 2nd!

Moving Up to Sixth- Fifth grade families, don’t forget March 2 5th grade students are invited to 6th grade homeroom and we have a family orientation introducing our middle school program at 4:00pm.  Zoom Link to Family Orientation- Password ForksUp21

Spring Break is upcoming and is the week of March 7th – 11th. Students may speak to their teachers one on one to discuss any work that may need to be completed over break. Overall, students should enjoy this time away from live lessons and come back refreshed!

K-6 Social Worker Office Hours

I am happy to announce I will be offering Social Work Office hours on Thursdays from 230pm-330pm for students to drop in and chat, learn a new skill, or meet new friends starting Thursday, January 27, 2022 (students are not required to sign up for office hours). Simply click the link on the flyer and it will take you directly to my zoom room!” -Carla White

Learn more about our Elementary School here:

Middle School

Forks Up Friday!

ASU Prep Digital’s Middle School is excited to start “Forks Up Fridays” where teachers, LSCs and other middle school friends will lead fun Friday activities for students.  Each Friday, starting in February, students will be able to join an hour of fun learning, socializing and enrichment.  Last week we had a pet showcase!  What a great time to see and celebrate our pets!  

This week Forks Up Friday will be a Group Jam: Open Mic Day with Mr. Plothow, Ms. Williams, and Mrs. Newsome.  Hope to see you there!!!

Read Across America

Next week we celebrate reading with a Read Across America theme week.  We have a book-share padlet, a reading themed escape room, and a favorite cozy reading spot flip-grid!  Please check out all the themes on your LSCs Canvas page or the Middle School announcement padlet.  

More information and announcements will be available in Homeroom and on your LSC’s Canvas page.  

African American History Month

Middle school teachers are kicking off African American History month in live lessons.  Students will learn about African American history and different careers associated with varying professional genres.  

Spelling Bee

We had a very successful grade level spelling bee!  Please see below for our winners! They will be moving on to compete in the school wide spelling bee!  They worked so hard, many congratulations to them all!

Neva Recla

Neva started her first business at the age of 2, founded a non profit supporting veterans through art and thank you notes, and has a fashion YouTube Channel! She did her first keynote speech at the DECA Youth conference in front of over 2,000 people at 7 years old. Her mission is to show people they are loved and accepted for who they are and uses a podcast to do so. She wants to inspire kids to become entrepreneurs and show them they can do anything regardless of their age.

Learn more about our Middle School program here: 

High School

Science and Engineering Fair

Congratulations to our 2022 Science & Engineering Fair Winners, who were celebrated on February 22nd:                       

  • 2nd Place in Chemistry – Amelia Thomas
  • 1st Place Winners
    • Chemistry- Charlotte Tyche
    • Biology – Christina Muchow
    • Engineering – Anjolie Delacruz
  • Best In Show Winner for Scientific Inquiry-Charlotte Tyche for her project on “Non-Opoid Analgesic Drug Absorption Efficiency”.                      

Read Across America Day

March 2nd is Read Across America Day!  At the high school, we have extended this into a two day celebration in collaboration with ASUPD Elementary.  On Tuesday, March 1st, our elementary students have been invited to join our English live lessons at the high school to share and read their favorite book!  Then, on Wednesday March 2nd, our high school students are invited to read their favorite book to an elementary class during their huddle time or live lessons.  We are excited to see our students across the grade levels share their favorite stories.

Spring Break

March 7th-11th marks our ASUPD Spring Break!  Our students have been working hard and deserve the downtime this break provides!  Courses will remain open for students who are behind pace or students looking to get ahead.  Seniors can use this time to continue working as their spring semester ends on May 13th.

Social Media Club Openings

The ASU Prep Digital Social Media Club has openings. Students will have the opportunity to gain knowledge of social media channels, strategy as well as leadership, collaboration, and communication skills. Students will have the opportunity to apply their skills in real-world situations and internship opportunities. Join now!

State Standardized Testing Updates

AASA Writing Field Test – January 25, 2022 through February 15, 2022

All Arizona, full-time students are required to participate in annual in-person state assessments in a variety of subject areas.  The very first state exam we have coming up is the AASA (formerly AZM2) Writing Field Test.  The purpose of this test is to pilot new types of writing prompts and editing tasks with the goal of improving the current writing exam.  This exam is for all of our Arizona, full-time students in grades 3-8, and is one single writing exam that is completed in one testing session.  

Calling all Juniors and Seniors: Register NOW for the SAT and ACT

Calling all upperclassmen! It’s time to register for the SAT and ACT. We recommend you taking the exam in the spring of your junior year and again by fall of your senior year. Please visit the links below to register. Bear in mind that there are strict registration deadlines (typically a month before the test), so please register early!

Note: Students who qualify for free and reduced lunch should contact their LSC to receive a fee waiver for their exams. 

ASU Prep Digital’s CEEB Code is 030175.

SAT Registration: 

ACT Registration:

Meet Benji, Your Digital FAFSA Assistant

As part of our college prep culture, we ask that all graduating Seniors complete the FAFSA, which stands for “Free Application for Federal Student Aid.” Would your family be willing to help us with this important college-going point of pride for us? Our goal is to have 100% participation no matter what the student’s choice is after graduation.

Need help with your FAFSA? We’ve got you covered! Ask Benji your questions by texting 602-786-8171. @benjifafsa is your digital FAFSA assistant and will quickly respond with answers. Submitting FAFSA is the first and most important step to making college more affordable. Many universities and colleges require a completed FAFSA on file to be considered for merit based scholarships. 

ASU Admissions: Attention Seniors!

ASU has some fantastic webinars coming up to help you prepare for next year! 

  • Topic: Paying for College: Understanding your costs and financial aid – Join the Paying for College: Understanding your financial aid session to learn about your financial aid package and resources available to you. Our team of experts will guide you through understanding your costs, accessing and understanding your awards, and answer your questions about paying for college. Webinar Registration Link
  • Topic: Next Steps for Admitted Students – You’re admitted! Now what? This session will guide you through your next steps to enroll at Arizona State University. Learn about New Student Experience, including how to register for classes, selecting your housing, student life, how to get involved on campus and everything you need to know to be successful before classes start. Webinar Registration Link

StuGov x Safe Space Discussion: Diversity in Education

Hosted by: Student Government & Diversity Club

ASU Summer Programs

ASU Summer Programs are available for students in grades 8th – 12th in a variety of topics including engineering, leadership, math and the arts. Programs are offered on all four ASU campuses and online, and formats range from day camps to residential programs, where students have the opportunity to live on campus. 

Academic Support

Academic Enrichment Programs 

When student curiosity is ignited, their learning knows no bounds. Our selection of academic enrichment programs let students join small groups that dive deep into learning areas of their choice, advancing their subject knowledge, building their confidence, and increasing their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. 


  • As we approach testing in April, students will have a reduced course load during testing week as well as plenty of support for those testing on-site.
  • Students were able to access  coursework over spring break and all learning applications. Epic, the digital library, which was  open during school hours for families.


  • As we approach testing, please make sure your student is attending teacher office hours and live lessons as the teachers will be giving valuable information on upcoming testing and course work schedules.
  • Students were able to access all of their course work over spring break. If they needed the time to catch up, I hope they used it well.  If not, I hope they had a great break.  Please reach out to teachers for support and help as we move forward in the semester.
  • Your LSCs have many opportunities for students to get help and support.  Please reach out to your LSC with any questions about extra support.


  • Spring Break is upon us and all digital High School courses will remain open for students to access on their own time. This is a great opportunity for students to get caught up, if behind, or work ahead in their respective courses. All Digital Course Home Pages contain recording links for previously taught live lesson and lecture notes/slides for students to review, at their leisure. Often our teachers embed additional support materials within their live lessons to support students while they learn, asynchronously.

Socialize and Accelerate Learning 

We’re building a supportive academic culture that lets students connect with others who share their passions and academic interests. Not only does this make learning more fun, but it allows students to encourage each other on their learning journeys. 

Learn more about our Academic Support Program offerings here.

ASU Prep Digital Blog

International Soccer Prodigy, Adrian Colon, Turns to ASU Prep Digital for Academic Success

Adrian Colon has world-class ambitions on the international pitch — and the talent to see them through — as the 17-year-old prodigy is already a member of the Puerto Rico National Team, but ultimately is seeking World Cup glory. Read more.

Former ASU Prep Digital Student Aditi Ganesh Commands the Spotlight as a Published Playwright

The 11-year-old leveraged the many benefits of online learning to explore her passion for theater and rack up her accomplishments in the world of fine arts. Read more.

ASU Prep Digital’s Best Practices for Math Teachers

The way we teach is ever-changing. And that’s a good thing. Whereas the traditional lecture was once perceived as the best method of educating a room full of students, today there’s increased value in creating a two-way line of communication between educators and learners. Read more. 

Save the Date

Join us on Sun Devil Giving Day! ASU invites you to consider the causes you care about and support them with a gift in honor of Sun Devil GivingDay. When you rally around the ASU Prep community, you’re doing more than investing in education. You’re creating positive societal impact and meaningful change in our communities. Every gift makes a difference. Join us March 17, 2022 and align your values with your giving.


Check out the 21-22 School Calendar and the 21-22 Parent Handbook for additional resources.
Make sure to #RepThePrep and check out the ASU Prep School store!