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Homeroom Hero of the Month

Mrs. Laura Ridge and Tyler Palomo

A representative from Radio Station 92.3 – KTAR recently visited Ellsworth Elementary to present a Homeroom Hero of the Month certificate to Mrs. Laura Ridge, a 6th grade teacher.

Pictured are Mrs. Ridge and Tyler Palomo who nominated her.

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Hike various desert trails with CAC’s C.A.L.L. program

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – With the mild temperatures of a Sonoran winter comes the opportunity to experience the various landscapes that the desert has to offer. Register for Central Arizona College’s Hiking group through the college’s Central Arizona Lifelong Learners program and you can do just that.

The group will hike together on Saturdays, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, 18 and 25. The cost of registering for this group is $10.

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High school students can take first step toward earning college credits this summer at CAC

Central Arizona College again will open its doors to Pinal County high school students this summer with its First Step Program.

Through the program, students who aspire to attend college can get an early start on earning college credit while receiving significant cost savings.

“With the continued increase in college tuition rates nationwide and the financial struggles that many families are facing today, the First Step program can provide a quality opportunity for students and their families to save on future college expenses,” Luis Sanchez, CAC’s director of recruitment, explained.

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Help San Tan Heights Elementary School win a $200,000 TOGETHER FOR SAFER SCHOOLS Security grant!

San Tan Heights Elementary School has been nominated for a TOGETHER FOR SAFER SCHOOLS grant from STANLEY Security. San Tan Heights Elementary School could win up to $200,000 in STANLEY Security installed products and services to help secure our students and facility. The funds are awarded to the schools that receive the most votes at between November 5th, 2013 thru December 13th, 2013. We need support from our local community to vote and help San Tan Heights Elementary School win $200,000.

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Heartland Ranch Elementary School – MAC-Ro Math Winners

Exciting News!  Heartland Ranch Elementary School won a free assembly from the Rodel Foundation.  The Rodel Foundation sponsors MAC-Ro Math, a program implemented by the Coolidge Unified School District last year.

This assembly is awarded to schools that have 100% participation and make significant growth in the area of math, according to Rodel Data.  

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Heartland Ranch Elementary Receives $1000 Grant from McDonald's

At Coolidge Unified School District’s November 9th regular Governing Board meeting, Jessie Arroyos, Principal of Heartland Ranch Elementary School, was presented with a check from McDonald’s for $1,000.

The school was awarded this money because Ms. Arroyos applied for a mini grant as part of McDonald’s Fourth Annual Classroom Supply Grant.

Only ten schools in the state of Arizona were awarded money.

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Harmon Elementary Students Experience BizTown

Pictured from left to right:  Garrett Vernon, Isaac Schuppe, and Kaiden Beebe

Harmon Elementary sixth grade students took a field trip to Junior Achievement of Arizona (JA) BizTown in Tempe, AZ to simulate what working as an adult in a real world setting is like.

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Harmon Elementary Kicks off the year with a ton of enthusiasm


Harmon Elementary has kicked off the year with a ton of enthusiasm, a lot of support from Harmon families, and a little help from Walmart.

We held our 2nd annual Grandparents Day on September 16th.  We had over 300 (confirm) grandparents RSVP for the event.  It was great to see so many grandparents lined up at 7:30 in the morning with their students.  J.O. Combs School District works to instill good character into their students as well as a good education.

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Harmon Elementary Field Day held

Baker pictured while being reunited with friends.

Cooperation, collaboration and team­work are all essential pieces of the class­room puzzle at Harmon Elementary School, 39315 N. Cortona Drive in San Tan Valley. As part of an initiative to create an inclusive and hospitable atmosphere in the classrooms, Jack W. Harmon hosted their first ever Character Counts Field Day on Dec. 20, an event that consisted of two simulating parts.

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J.O. Combs Awarded Certificate of Excellence

Patty Myers – Student Activities, Julie Tucker – Payroll Supervisor, Karla Slovitsky – Director of Business Services, Ann Barwick – Accounts Payable, and Katy Neild – SAIS Coordinator.

Congratulations to the J.O. Combs Unified School District for receiving the Association of School Business Officials International’s (ASBO) Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting award. This award is conferred to school systems that have met or exceeded the stringent criteria standards.

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J.O. Combs April Students of the Month

The J.O. Combs Unified School District continues to partner with Banner Ironwood in a Student of the Month program which recognizes one student every month from each of our schools. There is a selection process in place where students get recognized for the various pillars of the Character Counts Program which include Responsibility, Trustworthiness, Citizenship, Caring, Respect and Fairness.

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J.O. Combs Approves School Site Configuration Changes

The current configuration of the five elementary schools will change from Kindergarten through 5th grade (K-5) to Kindergarten through 6th grade (K-6).

J.O. Combs Middle School will serve students in grades 7 and 8.

This model was considered in order to address the excess classroom space at the elementary schools and the projected student enrollment and limited capacity at the middle school.

There are no changes to Combs High School; it will remain a comprehensive high school serving grades 9 through 12.

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J.O. Combs is excited to offer students a wide variety of after school enrichment opportunities.  The partnership between Combs and various enrichment vendors means families do not have to look outside the community for recreational offerings.  All enrichment classes are held immediately after school as a convenience to parents. 

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J.O. Combs - Superintendent's Update Sept 2012


1. District enrollment is 4,629 students which includes Community Pre-K through Grade 12.

2. The Combs High School JV Football team won their game at home on Thursday against Canyon State while the Varsity Football team was victorious last Friday night at Canyon State. 

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J.O. Combs - Superintendent's Update Oct 2012

Students from left to right: Simon Taunima, Madison Durrant, Cheyanne Collier,  Vincent Bacerott, JayCee Riggs, Front Row:  Sarah Pinkerton, Kenli Clare, Kiera Kaechelein


Superintendent’s Update

School and District News

1. District enrollment is 4,615 students which includes Community Pre-K through Grade 12.

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J.O. Combs - Superintendent's Update Nov 2012

Below you will find Dr. Gayle Blanchard’s “Superintendent Updates” from the Nov 14th Governing Board Meeting

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Intoxicated Teacher at Poston Butte High School

This afternoon, a teacher at Poston Butte High School, was exhibiting signs of impairment associated with intoxication. According to Dr Richard, principal at Post Butte, the administrative team worked quickly with their new Pinal County School Resource Officer (SRO) to ensure the safety and well-being of the students.

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Inaugural Hard Rock for Jimmy Tribute Show hosted by CAC on Jan. 14

What better way to welcome the new semester than by letting your hair down and head banging at a hard rock concert?

The Inaugural Hard Rock for Jimmy Tribute Show will be held Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Signal Peak Campus on the Green (8470 N Overfield Rd, Coolidge, AZ  85128).

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In response to requests from the community, CAC providing more detailed maps on proposed redistricting

The 10-acre, 87,000-square-foot East Campus opened in August 2011 and will expand the number of courses offered for the 12/13 school year.

In response to requests from the community, Central Arizona College is providing more in-depth maps of two proposed redistricting maps for the Pinal County Community College District Governing Board.

In addition, CAC is providing a link to the pre-cleared Pinal County Supervisors Redistricting Plan adopted for the county supervisors on Oct. 19, 2011. This link will take you to the official website of Pinal County.

The detailed maps for the PCCCD Governing Board include street names to give the community a better visual representation of their proposed district. This will allow residents to provide more informative feedback to the college.

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J.O. Combs Marching Coyote Regiment Earns First Place


The J.O. Combs Marching Coyote Regiment (MCR) recently competed in the Basha High School Marching Invitational and the Mesquite High School Invitational.

At both of these competitions, the MCR won first place in their division outscoring the Williams Field, Higley, Mesquite, Queen Creek, and Poston Butte marching bands, among others.

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