Category Archives: Uncategorized

What being an A+ School Really Means

What exactly does being an AEF™ A+ School of Excellence mean? Well…it means that the school that is the recipient of this award has met all of the criteria and requirements set forth by the Arizona Educational Foundation as schools of quality, equity, and excellence.

a plus

The process began at Pantano High School when we submitted an application that outlined what we do and how we do it! This process involved all teachers, staff, parents and community members who provided input into the contents of the application. The application was _____ pages long and was comprised of approximately ____________ words!

It would be great if we could write a fantastic application and the AEF™ took everything we wrote in the application at face value and honored us with the award, but that’s not how this process works!

Once a committee reads the application, it is then determined if a school deserves a site visit. Pantano High School made it past the first round of eligibility and our application was found to be most interesting. A panel of four judges, made up of award winning principals visited our school over a two day period. During that time they spent time in every classroom, observing to make sure that we were meeting the rigorous teaching and learning standards as well as being able to provide strong student achievement data.

In addition, they met with Classified Staff and Certified faculty were interviewed them regarding their thoughts, feelings, and contributions to our school and its students. During these interviews, data was again produced that demonstrated our ability to go above and beyond the norm to ensure that our students’ needs were being met both in and out of the classroom.

Last11151048_10152998126494132_4804378898643649536_nly, the panel met with parents and community members to find out what they thought about Pantano High School. More specifically, how and if we were meeting the educational needs of their children as well as their overall satisfaction level with the rigor of the curriculum, the interventions that were being made to support students’ overall school experience. Community members were able to weigh in on the impact that our school has had on the community and their engagement with our students on a variety of levels.

The easiest way to define what it means to be a 2015 AEF™ School of Excellence Award recipient is that it shows to the world that not all schools have to look the same in order to be an excellent school. An outside, credible organization has seen what it is that we do and how we do it, and ultimately determined that Pantano High School is most deserving of this honor because we do what’s best for kids!

I want to personally thank the teachers, staff, parents, communities and most importantly, the students, who helped make this honor possible. Your commitment to going above and beyond to make sure that all students have the chance they deserve to be successful, it to be commended.


Monica H. Wright

New Featured Scholarships!

Hi Pantano Family,

We have recently updated our Life After Graduation: College and Scholarship Info page with some new College Scholarship Opportunities! Do you qualify?

Featured Scholarships:

1. Edvisors Scholarship – $10,000 – 1 Award (Deadline: August 31, 2015)
Student Eligibility:
A) Must be attending an accredited post-secondary institution by the fall of 2016 at the latest.
B) Must be enrolled or planning to enroll in a program that is at least two years in length.
Applications can be found by going here.

2. Jones T-Shirts Scholarship – $1,000 – 1 Award (Deadline: September 7, 2015)
Student Eligibility:
Any college level students that will be attending school Winter 2015 in the United States of America is eligible for our “Love Your Career” scholarship, being offered by JonesTshirts. Any applicant must have met all of the requirements outlined above in order to qualify.
Applications can be found by going here.

3. Student Loan Assistance Counsel – $500 – 1 Award (Deadline: September 15, 2015)
Student Eligibility:
A) Be Enrolled in full-time studies at a college, trades, or technical school by no later than September 2015.
B) Be currently residing in the United States and intend on continuing studies in the United States.
C) Complete the Online Application no later than September 15, 2015.
Applications can be found by going here.

4. ShipDig Scholarship – $1,000 – 1 Award (Deadline: September 15, 2015)
Student Eligibility:
Open to all students enrolled in accredited academic institutions, and high school seniors who are enrolling upon graduation. Students of all majors and intended majors are welcome to participate. Applicants must be residents of the United states. Applicants must be at least 16 years of age. Awards will be sent directly to the financial aid office of the institution of the finalist’s enrollment.
Applications can be found by going here:

5. OMG Scholarship – $500 – 1 Award (Deadline: September 30, 2015)
Student Eligibility:
A) Be between the ages of 16 and 25 on September 30th, 2015
B) Submit answers to the essay questions, which can be found on the application page, prior to the September 30th, 2015 deadline.
C) Have at least one full year of post secondary studies remaining at the time of the award. (Current High School Students are also eligible.)
D) Have a GPA of 2.5 or greater.
Applications can be found by going here.

Help Us Help the Community!

Pantano High School students are partnering with Iskashitaa Refugee Network to help refugees, food-insecure community members, and the environment! And you can help!

The Service Learning class will be going out into the community this term to glean (harvest) fruit from local food sources.

Do you have an orange tree that produces more fruit than you can eat? Don’t let that fruit go to the landfill, let us come harvest it! Contact us to get on a database that will allow us to pick your excess fruit and distribute it to refugees and other members of the community.

Your Fruit Trees Can Help Refugees

Don’t have a tree, but want to help? Print and share the half-page Iskashitaa Pantano flyers with your tree-owning friends and neighbors in Vail. Your support will help bring more food to those in need!

Email for more information.

Reminder: Vail Family University is Next Friday, August 14th

Hello Parents and Students, 

We wanted to extend a quick reminder that Vail Family University is coming up on August 14th. You must RSVP to attend. This is a free program offered by Vail Community Programs. See below for details: 

Family University

Cienega High School Dining Auditorium
Friday, August 14th, 2015
6:00 – 7:45 p.m.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Salad, pasta and dessert will be served.Free Childcare provided by Vail Community Programs.For the first half of the evening, choose two twenty minute sessions to attend, hosted by local presenters. See the session descriptions for more details.Wrap up your evening with a talk by Dr. Kevin Leman, internationally known author and speaker, while enjoying a delicious dessert!

RSVP for the event click here.
Reservations are required and seating is limited.

Questions? Email Heather Stough at

Vail Family University is also looking for volunteers! See the VFU volunteer flyer for details.

OPEN HOUSE! Thursday, July 30th.

OPEN HOUSE on Thursday, July 30, 2015 from 5:00-7:00pm

Come meet the staff of Pantano High School. Visit the campus and talk with your student’s teachers to find out what is being taught in the classrooms.
Site Council Elections will also be held during Open House. If you would like to be a member of the Pantano High School Site Council, or to find out more information, please contact Kathy Newsom at (520) 879-1205.

Happy New (School) Year!

Hello Pantano Family!

All of us here at Pantano are so excited for the start of the new school year on July 24th. We can’t wait to see you all bright and early Friday morning!

We wanted to remind you all that as always, school starts at 8:30am sharp! If you need to talk to the office staff before class, make sure you get here at least 15 minutes early in case there’s a line.

We also want to remind everyone that there is no 5th or 6th period on the first day of school (Friday, July 24th), since students have not yet been placed in 5th and 6th period electives. As such, please plan for school to end after 4th period, at 12:50pm.

Thanks, and see you all soon!

Go Scorpions!