November 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, 

We cannot believe it’s already November! Hopefully you enjoyed your Fall Break and we’re looking forward to your success at the end of the semester. November is typically a very busy month for students and staff, with the second Discussion Based Assessment window opening up along with a few scheduled holidays. On Thursday, November 11, ASU Prep Digital will observe Veterans Day. We would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” to all of our past and present veterans. On this day, we honor all current and former members of the Armed Services. This day of reflection is a good time to remember that the freedoms we experience in our country are never guaranteed. They are protected by the men and women in our Armed Forces. In addition, the Thanksgiving holiday will be here before you know it. As a reminder, we’ll be observing the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26. During these holidays, teachers will be unavailable and there will be no live lessons. Access will remain open for all students in the event you choose to work over these breaks. 

Please see below for some important grade specific information and dates on what’s coming up, including details on required in-person state testing next semester! 

Happy Thanksgiving, ASU Prep Digital!

Dr. Laura Maloney, Director of Academics

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

Staff Spotlight

Miss Meyer, Kindergarten Teacher

Miss Meyer is one of our amazing Kindergarten teachers. She has worked for ASU Prep Digital since Fall 2020 and helped shape our Kindergarten program into what it is today. She enjoys seeing the growth of her students and loves all of the funny and honest things that the Kindergarteners say. A fun fact about Miss Meyer is that she sings and plays the Ukulele. Her teaching philosophy is to “Make sure the kids feel loved and that they are having fun!”

Mr. Eric Roth, Middle School Math Teacher

Mr. Roth is a middle school math teacher who has taught as ASUPD since Fall 2020. He strives to build a classroom that provides students with the ability to be proud of who they are, and to foster our interdependence within and beyond our classroom. In his free time, Mr. Roth helps out on his family farm. Mr. Roth builds relationships with students that allows them to define what success means to them and helps them set goals to reach their definition of success.

Mrs. Ashley Crane, High School German and Elective Teacher

Mrs. Crane has been with ASUPD since 2017 and she has regularly earned praise from her students, parents and colleagues for her passionate commitment to student success! Mrs. Crane spends her free time cooking new recipes and she loves to share them with her husband and pets! She absolutely loves the flexibility of teaching digitally and watching her students grow academically.

Meet the Teachers

Lindsey Parsi

Lindsey Parsi is a third generation Arizonan and has been an educator for over 15 years. At ASUPD, she began in the role of Learning Success Coach, then moved her way back to the third grade classroom this year. Her favorite thing about working with kiddos and in education is being a partner in each individual, really cultivating their personal learning style, preferences, and developing some of their life-long traits! Every day each student reveals and discovers more of who they are!

Sarah Williams

Ms. Sarah Williams has been a middle school English/Language Arts teacher at ASUPD since Fall 2020. She leads the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) and leads the students through leadership experiences around the school and their community.She ensures that every student learns and grows as a lifelong learner. She creates a safe space to help all students share the learning journey. She lives in Arizona and has a very large family, with 57 nieces and nephews.

Betsy Weber

Mrs. Betsy Weber is not only a world class Science teacher, she is also a fierce competitor. Earlier this fall term, Mrs. Weber participated in the “Spartan Warrior Obstacle Race”, in her home state of California. Evidence of her personal drive and warrior mentality can clearly be seen in the following photos. Way to go Betsy!

School Updates

Elementary School

As you all know, the Fall 2021 term has been a runaway success for our young learners. In keeping with our mission to design new models for educational success and raise academic achievement for all learners, we have some changes in the Elementary K-5 leadership structure. Allison Voltaire will continue her role as the K-5 Elementary Principal and Emily Mulvihill, previously our Elementary Program Manager, is now our Elementary Assistant Principal. Nicola “Nikki” Homy has accepted a position as an Learning Success Coach in Middle School. 

All of the K-5 workbooks have been sent from HMH My Ed to each student. We have loved the positive feedback and smiling faces of students as they receive those. This was a very large order for the distributors. If you find that there is a mistake, simply let your teacher know and the distributor will get the correct ones sent to you as soon as possible. Your teachers will be directing how they will be used in their playlists. Please continue to submit work weekly for consistent learning progress. If your child is struggling with this, please reach out to your teacher or LSC for tips on how to work more consistently.

Learn more about our Elementary School here: 

Economic Concepts Poster Contest Winner
Marisa Malthaner, 5th Grade

One of our 5th grade students, Marisa Malthaner, has been selected as a winner of the 2022 ACEE Economic Concepts poster contest. As part of a social studies assignment, students created original artwork based on an economic principle they chose to study. Her artwork will be featured in the 2022 ACEE Economic Concepts Poster Calendar.


Sparky Hangout

Our first Sparky’s Hangout was a success! Check out student products HERE on the first Hangout Padlet. Students were invited to participate in a breakout session, as hosted by Mrs. Lang and Ms. Lindberg and a number of teacher and staff chaperones. Students chose their breakout rooms and could participate in ASU’s Got Talent to show off their talents, a Lego building skills room, an Origami creation room or a Drawing room where students drew their own pumpkins. Leadership opportunities for student leadership were abound, and students participated in small groups, building community and getting to know their fellow students.

Mix-It-Up Art Club

Check out the amazing projects our Mix It Up Art Club has been working on with advisors Janice Rutherford and Natalie Arbuckle for grades K-2 and 3-5

Middle School

In November many of our middle school students will be completing their Discussion Based Assessments (DBAs) and continue working on their weekly assignments and projects. Students are encouraged to attend weekly live lessons in addition to any help sessions that teachers may hold each week.  If a student misses a live lesson, they are recorded each week and posted on each teacher’s homepage. This is a great way to review important information or learn more about that week’s concepts.  Our teachers are providing multiple ways to get help, from scheduled 1 on 1 appointments to open office hours.  If students need any support, please feel free to reach out to the teachers via phone, text message, or email. Learn more about our Middle School program here:

Vet Club Field Trip to Liberty Wildlife

“It was so great to meet the students and some of their family members. They all had an amazing time learning about various native birds of prey, as well as some native reptiles. There were some hands-on opportunities and a flight program at the end where the birds flew over the audience in the amphitheater.” – Jessica Berger, Vet Club Sponsor 

High School

November is the month of crunch time for many high school courses. During this month, many students will begin working on a final projects or preparing for their final exams. ASUPD teachers have provided a link on their course “home page” to their individual calendars for students to schedule time for 1:1 support or to complete last minute Discussion Based Assessments.  Additionally, live lesson recordings and instructional notes are linked for students to review previous lessons that maybe they missed or if they need to refer to them while completing assignments/preparing for the final assessments. Our staff is here to guide our students towards academic success and our model is designed to keep students engaged through consistently open communication channels.  We encourage all students to connect with their teachers early in November to get additional support, as needed! Learn more about our High School here:

Student Highlights

From Heather Churney, HS Learning Success Coach:

“I am glad I stayed at ASU Prep because Mrs. Churney and all my teachers have been so supportive and helpful during the college application process!” – Ryann Hochuli

Ryann Hochuli is a 12th grader in her second year at ASUPD. She has Aspergers and I’m helping her apply to college. Her college essay brought me to tears as she shared her journey! My own 8 year old son, Collin, has Autism and her journey touched me profoundly. Ryann was not sure over the summer if she would be returning to ASU Prep Digital, but after a series of events she decided to continue her studies with us. Ryann, her mom and I know that she was meant to stay so we could finish her high school journey together. Our paths crossed for a very specific reason! On October 24th, Collin and I got to spend the morning with Ryann and her family at Yes Day for Autism in Tempe. She has been a joy and blessing to me both as a mom and counselor.

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!

Holiday Assistance

To help make the holidays brighter, there are organizations in Phoenix and the surrounding area that are providing families with toys, free Christmas gifts, food and meals during the upcoming holiday season. Learn how you can help.

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. 

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. We will be offering multiple testing sites throughout the state in order to make testing accessible to all students and families. Look for further e-mail communication about specific dates and testing locations as the testing window gets closer.

January 25 – 28 – Greater Phoenix (including Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, Peoria, San Tan, Maricopa, etc.)

February 1 – 4 – Northern Arizona (Sedona, Flagstaff, Kayenta, Kingman, Lake Havasu, etc.)

February 8 – 11- Southern Arizona (Tucson, Douglas, Yuma, Nogales, Benson, etc.)

Spring State Testing

April 4, 2022 through April 29, 2022

This year, the required in-person state testing looks a little different at each grade level.  See below for a brief overview of the assessments our Arizona, full-time students will participate in, by grade:

  • Grades 3 and 4 – AASA Writing, Reading, and Math
  • Grade 5 – AASA Writing, Reading, and Math; plus AzSci
  • Grades 6 and 7 – AASA Writing, Reading, and Math
  • Grade 8 – AASA Writing, Reading, and Math; plus AzSci
  • Grade 9 – ACT Aspire
  • Grade 11 – ACT with Writing; plus AzSci
  • Grades 10 and 12 – No state testing

Keep an eye on the monthly newsletter and look for further e-mail communication about specific dates and testing locations as the testing window gets closer. 

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:

A Note from College Board (SAT): Search here to find out if your test center will be closed on an upcoming test date and if it is offering a makeup test day. Remember, test centers may close or make changes on short notice, including on test day, and they may even close for the scheduled makeup date. Test center data is updated every three hours, so be sure to search any closings the night before and morning of your scheduled test. Only fully closed test centers will show in the search results. Find COVID-specific updates regarding the SAT here.

All Arizona residents who are enrolled as full-time 11th grade students for the 2021-2022 school year will be required to take the ACT with Writing as part of the state assessment series.  Students in this category will automatically be registered for the ACT spring test administration (in April) by ASU Prep Digital, free of charge.  More information on this spring ACT test administration will be available soon.

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. 

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. 

How is Digital taking steps in helping families and students who need extra support this month? 

  • Teachers support students with a combination of Small Group, 1:1 support, and Open Office Hours.
  • Interventionists provide Peer Tutoring Club and support sessions.
  • Learning Success Coaches regularly create success plans to help students get caught up on missing/late work.
  • Our teachers are available to support students through small group help sessions and 1-on-1 support. 
  • Teachers provide additional tips and support through weekly announcements and support websites. Students can ask teachers for additional help on projects and activities.
  • Middle school students can attend Peer Tutoring to get extra support.
  • Teachers continue to meet with students during their Supplemental Support and Resources Sessions (SSRS) in small groups to support students who are needing a little extra help.
  • Teachers are also available to meet with students to review assignment edits for resubmission or  practice DBAs.
  • Peer Tutoring is available for full time students.

Learn more about our Academic Support Program offerings here.

Get Connected With ASU

Native American Heritage Month Events

Happy Native American Heritage Month! To celebrate and honor Native American heritage, ASU has events all month long. ASU’s Native American Heritage Month aims to provide a platform for Indigenous students to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, and dance. Students provide opportunities to share community values and solutions for building a stronger community. You can view the event calendar here

Sun Devil Day

Join ASU for an in-depth, in-person visit experience at Arizona State University this fall. At Sun Devil Day, you can customize your schedule to attend the sessions that interest you most.

Sun Devil Day is a half-day event, where you’ll get a feel for the ASU experience and learn about your academic opportunities. Tour a campus, learn about degree programs and discover why it’s good to be a Sun Devil. These half-day events allow students to meet with representatives from academic colleges and current ASU students, as well as tour campus to learn more about the ASU experience.

Agendas and times vary by campus. Details regarding the event you choose will be included in your confirmation. ASU is home to four campuses in the metro Phoenix area. Each has a distinct campus feel and specific degree programs. Register now. .

Immersion Health and Safety Updates

Face Coverings

Face coverings are strongly recommended for everyone who is in a building on any ASU Prep campus. Please strongly consider having your child wear a mask in school. We have also strongly recommended this for our teachers and staff.

Face coverings work to reduce transmission of the virus and the CDC recommends that people wear face covers in indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status in areas of substantial or high transmission of the virus. Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ has endorsed this recommendation and has urged the public to follow suit.

Keep all students who are sick at home.

This also applies to students sick without a fever as the COVID-19 virus does not always induce a fever. Please also notify the health office when your student is out sick. 

Keep in mind guidelines regarding frequent hand washing, social distancing, minimizing contact with those not in your household, etc. We encourage students to wash their hands as soon as they get home from school and take any other precautions your family deems necessary, such as a clothing change.

The vaccine is the best protection against COVID-19 in reducing serious illness, hospitalization and the spread of the virus. ASU strongly recommends getting the vaccine for our teachers, staff, and students (if your student is old enough). Reach out to your provider for more information.

Eat healthy, exercise, get adequate sleep, drink plenty of water, etc. to help your immune system.

COVID Mitigation and Quarantine Procedures

  • Daily cleaning protocols will continue and staff will leave items used in the classroom out for mist cleaning.
  • Common school areas will be open (lunchrooms, libraries, etc.) and will be cleaned using daily cleaning protocols.
  • Hand sanitizer and frequent hand washing will be available and encouraged.
  • Drinking fountains can be used and are included in daily cleaning.
  • Shared objects in the classroom can be used and are cleaned nightly.
  • Physical distancing will be maintained when feasible, with students to have 3 feet between them.

Quarantine procedures will be followed:

  • Contact tracing will be done by a nurse.
  • Students will be sent home if identified as a close contact
  • Close contacts are determined through the information we gather during contact tracing, as well as consulting with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health
  • Students who are asymptomatic can test on Day 5 or after and with a negative test and no symptoms may return to school.

Family Communication

  • If your student has been identified as a close contact of someone who is COVID-19 positive, you will be notified. We do not notify students who were not in close contact. 

Support Our Sun Devils

When you donate to ASU Prep, you can dedicate your contribution to one of the following areas:

  • Academic Enrichment
  • After School Clubs
  • Innovations
  • Field Experiences
  • Arts and Culture
  • Sports and Athletics
  • General (the school picks)

Additionally, Arizona residents may qualify for a tax credit (up to $200 if filing single, up to $400 if filing jointly) when they donate to ASU Prep. Please consult a tax adviser to discuss your tax credit eligibility or questions.

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!