Heritage Elementary School

Raising Arizona Kids

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Education and schools weekly roundup

Victoria Grovich performing at the Carefree/Cavecreek Chamber of Commerce awards banquet. Photo courtesy of Cave Creek Unified Education Foundation

Student musicians, singers and songwriters in the Cave Creek Unified School District will have more performance opportunities with the newly formed “Rock the District Unplugged” concerts organized by the Cave Creek Unified Education Foundation.

Donations and tips during the performances will be used for classroom resources and technology, international learning, health and wellness, and music and the arts. But for a budding performer, the chance to do their act in front of audiences is priceless. The first “Rock the District Unplugged” concert was in March at the Carefree/Cave Creek Chamber of Commerce Awards night and also at their Business Expo.

The next performance will be at the Relay for Life Cave Creek/Carefree at Cactus Shadows High School from 6:30pm to midnight on Saturday, April 20. Check out the website to see where they are playing next and/or to book performers for your event.


Current high school juniors and seniors interested in science can attend the Midwestern University Health Careers Institute. July 11-20 at Midwestern’s Glendale campus.

Applications must be postmarked by May 1. Only 48 participants will be selected based on their interest in the health professions, as demonstrated by school coursework, volunteer activities, high school transcript, a teacher recommendation letter and an application essay.

During the eight-day program, faculty and advanced students will teach workshops in anatomy, physiology and introductory skills for various health professions, with a special focus on how to prepare for college and what to expect from each profession.

Topics covered in lectures include veterinary medicine, emergency medicine, sports medicine/sports psychology, drug abuse and healthcare volunteer opportunities. A medical field trip to Arrowhead Hospital and a mock emergency medical services rescue scenario presented by the Glendale Fire Department are included in the program.

Hands-on lab topics such as surgery basics, heart-lung machine, open-heart surgery and the high-tech dental lab are  part of the eight-day careers institute.

Call 623-572-3353 to request an application, or visit the event page.


Copperwood Elementary eight-grader Victoria Marbois received a perfect score on the EXPLORE test. Thirty-seven other kids in Arizona also got perfect scores but 37,462 other test takers in Arizona didn’t, meaning Victoria and the other perfect scorers are in the 99.99th percentile for the EXPLORE test. Impressive, yes?

Inquisitive readers are asking themselves, What is the EXPLORE test and why is it in all-caps? I was going to call Ms. Marbois and inquire, but she’d probably tell me to look it up for myself, which I did.

The EXPLORE test is created by the ACT  testing organization. It doesn’t go by its original name–American College Testing–anymore, just ACT. True to form, EXPLORE is officially all caps.

Anyway, eighth and ninth graders take it to see what curricular areas they need to work on during high school, so they do well on the ACT test and the other all-caps testing behemoth, the SAT.

Much like other high-stakes tests, it’s a multiple choice test, which asseses a student’s knowledge and prepares them for even more high-stakes testing. Really, it’s a way to know how a student’s aptitude translates into high-stakes tests because colleges will want to look at those scores. But high-stakes tests do indeed require test-takers to know the material.

Test yourself with some EXPLORE sample questions. Only you will know how you fared.

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Daniel Friedman

Daniel Friedman is a staff writer and photographer for RAISING ARIZONA KIDS magazine and a former classroom teacher.

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