Always moving “Forward Together” – Head of School update


The new school year is just a few days away, and we have been busily preparing for the students’ return.  The past week of teacher professional development and team building has us all energized and ready for an extraordinary school year.  Our theme for the year, Forward Together, will keep us focused on deepening relationships with our students, peers, and families as we continue to build momentum for Summit’s future.

I am very pleased to share the enhancements Summit has made in the past few months.

To continue fortifying our math program, we created two Math Coordinator roles.  Molly Danforth (2nd grade teacher), and Ashley Burbach (4th grade teacher), will be our Math Coordinators for Kindergarten – 2nd and 3rd – 5th grades respectively.  In these roles, Ms. Danforth and Ms. Burbach will provide leadership and coordination to bolster our math program’s rigor, comprehensiveness and enrichment, to meet student learning needs.

Completing the “Fund the Future” projects has been a priority for us this summer. Additional curriculum materials were added, and three campus improvement projects finished, with one more in the works that will be completed very soon.

Hands-on learning in Science has always been a curricular strength at Summit, and with the new FOSS Science kits, Elementary and Middle School Science classes will reach even higher levels of innovative thinking.

In preschool and kindergarten, innovative OSMO technology and iPads will now be augmenting our curriculum. OSMO actively engages students in physics, numeracy, literacy, coding and spatial skills, using brain-based interactive games.

The security improvement project is now complete. This included installing a magnetic secured entry system on the main lobby doors, removing a wall section that obstructed visibility to the side entry door, installing a new door to the nurse’s station to allow for greater visibility and access, and rebuilding the reception desk to improve its security and functionality. These enhancements will make the lobby a more secure entry point.  The secured entry system will be in full use later this fall, restricting entry to the front lobby, and requiring visitors to be buzzed in.

We also made major progress on Phase 1 of the playground improvement projects.

On the elementary / middle school playground, we installed new rubber mulch throughout the playground area, and are nearing the final installation of three shade structures over the playground and bleachers, as well as installing a mister system in these areas.  To provide safe playing surfaces for our students, we re-sodded the field, removed the gravel from around the grass area, and removed the boulders behind the basketball court.

The preschool playground also offers even more to our youngest learners. The fencing around the bike storage was removed, and pavers added near the sidewalk, significantly increasing the area for children to ride bikes and wagons and enjoy.

Thank you once again to our parents and supporters for your generous contributions that enable us to improve the Summit experience for all our students!

I’m looking forward to seeing you at Back to School Night!

Go Sabre Cats!

Mark Bistricky Head of SchoolWarm Regards,
Mark Bistricky
Head of School
Summit School of Ahwatukee