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Make a Difference in the Pendergast Elementary School District

Picture of kindergarteners on the first day of school

Dear Staff,

As you all know, parent involvement is vital to a child's success in the classroom. Research shows that when parents are involved, students have higher grades, better school attendance, increased motivation, better self-esteem and fewer behavior issues. Many parents have a strong desire to help their children with their education, and with support, will find themselves becoming more involved and guiding their children academically.

Picture of the Escape BusTo help parents get the resources they need to have a strong influence on their children's school performance, we offer monthly community breakfasts and parent lunches that strive to develop and maintain partnerships with families and the community. By encouraging parents to attend our district and school initiated activities, we can begin to guide them in how to help their children at home and at school while developing an excellent partnership.

Community Breakfast Schedule | Parent Lunch Schedule

We also truly appreciate the volunteers that serve in a variety of capacities throughtout the Pendergast Elementary School District. Whether in offices, classrooms, playgrounds or on field trips, volunteers enrich the educational experience for our students. Although working with students is a great responsibility, it is also highly rewarding.

If you know anyone who might be interested, there are several types of volunteering opportunities available.

Classroom Instructional Volunteer: For those who enjoy working directly with individual or small groups of students, volunteers are needed to listen to students read, reinforce basic math, or assist students with written assignments.

Classroom Assistance Volunteer: Classroom volunteers perform tasks such as putting up bulletin boards, correcting papers, preparing materials, photocopying, and other jobs to provide the teacher with more time for planning and teaching students.

Library or Media Center Volunteer: Assistance to the media center specialist can be provided by repairing and shelving books, completing clerical tasks or preparing bulletin boards and displays. Volunteers may also choose to work directly with students helping them to locate and use library materials.

Other Assignments: Volunteers also assist with after school clubs, act as coaching assistants, and help with other programming.  Volunteers can also chaperone field trips, or even serve as guest speakers. (If you are volunteering for an overnight field trip, please remember it can take up to six weeks to get fingerprint clearance.)

Pendergast Volunteering Handbook >>

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. A quote by Helen Keller

Please help me welcome new employee for the 2018-19 school year >>

I am here to serve you. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

I BEE-lieve in you!



ESCAPE THE BUS - New for the 2018-19 School Year

Pendergast Elementary School District's Puzzle Bus and Escape Room.

The puzzle is based on a one room schoolhouse that has undergone a complete exterior and interior transformation. With faux brick walls, wood floors, antique design and authentic props, it is sure to spark conversation around the dinner table with grandparents who just may have memories of learning in this environment. As students and their teachers enter, they will be given a perplexing scenario.

You can find out more information about the Pendergast Puzzle Bus, including how you can reserve it for your class (grades 3 through 8), by contacting Jim Gradillas at or by calling 623-772-2292.



Picture of the Accountant BeeLOWES TOOLBOX FOR EDUCATION: $5,000, DEADLINE Sept. 28, 2018

Projects should fall into one of the following categories: technology upgrades, tools for STEM programs, facility renovations and safety improvements.

Please respond to to apply today.


Target Corporation is accepting applications to its Field Trip Grants program, an annual program designed to support field trips for K-12 students. Grants of up to $700 are intended to fund visits to art, science, and cultural museums, community service or civic projects, career enrichment opportunities, and other events or activities beyond school grounds. Funds may be used to cover field trip-related costs such as transportation, ticket fees, food, resource materials, and supplies.

Please respond to to apply today.


HONEY BEE GRANT PROGRAM: $1500, Opens Sept. 1

The Honey Bee Grant program allows for a K-12 school or non-profit organization to receive support for an educational honey bee hive. We offer three grant options:

  • Monetary grant of $1,500 to support the success of a honey bee hive educational program
  • Observation hive: equipment grant of a custom made indoor observation hive from The Bee Cause
  • Traditional hive: equipment grant of an outdoor Langstroth or top bar hive with Starter Kit
All equipment grants include a small monetary grant, covering the first year of expenses. Grant recipients also receive remote consultation and assistance with Beekeeper partnership from The Bee Cause Project.

Please respond to to apply today.



The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) has granted PESD 2,000 FREE student admissions as part of The World of Musical Journeys School Tour Program.  The MIM is currently scheduling Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 field trips.

FY19 School and Youth Tour Options >>

Rachel Watson is the contact person between PESD and the MIM.  If you are interested in taking advantage of this amazing opportunity, please email the following information to Rachel Watson at on or before September 28, 2018.

  1. School Name
  2. Name of Teacher Organizing MIM Field Trip
  3. Arriving Teacher’s Cell Phone Number
  4. Grade Level
  5. Number of Classes
  6. Approximate Number of Students Attending
  7. Approximate Number of Chaperones Attending
  8. 1st Date Choice
  9. 2nd Date Choice
  10. 3rd Date Choice
  11. Special Needs Group?   Yes / No
  12. Tour Start Time (Field trip times are 9:30 a.m. or 11 a.m.)
  13. Tour Type

The MIM grant covers the cost of chaperones at a 5:1 ratio for elementary students and 10:1 ratio for middle-school students.

The MIM School Tour Coordinator will send you a confirmation email with additional information when your trip has been scheduled.




Picture of two sharks WHosted by OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland and Bodies Revealed

Tuesday, August 21 | 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Calling all Educators, Principals, School Administrators & Superintendents! Visit OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland & BODIES REVEALED to experience first-hand what your students will experience on a field trip. The Open House includes:

  • Free entrance to all 3 attractions so you can check them out
  • Information on our age-based, STEM curriculum that you can access
  • Learn how to book a field trip
  • Participants will receive a special 10% off coupon for field trips booked by December 17, 2018

This event is open to Educators only.  Please, no family or friends (unless they, too, are educators!). Participants MUST register in advance and present school ID for admittance.



DRESS DOWN FRIDAYS - Supporting the Pendergast Foundation

Picture of a pair of jeans WE HIGHLY encourage Pre-Payment to SAVE you money!

This is a friendly reminder that all payroll deduction sign-ups and $100 donations to the Foundation for Friday Jean Days are DUE by August 14th!

Please see attached forms!

- Payroll deduction registrations must be completed and returned to Lorraine Smith by the end of the day August 14th.

- Online or check donations to the Foundation for $100 for the year must be received by the Foundation by the end of the day August 14th.  If an online payment was processed, DO NOT FORGET to email the receipt to for proper registration.

If you plan to pay $5 weekly, these  payments will be collected at school sites by the 8th grade Superintendent Student Council Members on Friday mornings or you will be asked to show the receipt.

REMINDER: $100 for ALL Friday's is the BEST way to go!  There are 38 Fridays in the school year, this is a $90 SAVINGS!  For year round staff, there are 46 Fridays, this is a $130 SAVINGS!


100% of all funds raised go back to the District! ALL donations made to the Foundation are tax deductible.


  1. Support student teachers with scholarships to help lower education cost. Support teachers and district staff with career specific training: Over $200,000 in scholarships awarded to date.
  2. Promote healthcare for our under-served students by providing funds for things like eye exams and glasses.
  3. Support the staff with events such as the Perfect Attendance celebration and giveaways.
  4. Promote student/parent interaction by supporting district wide activities: Color Run, Robotics, field trips, holiday toy drive & grocery gift cards & many more....

How to Donate | Pay Jean Day Money to Foundation >>

Jean Day Payroll Deduction >>

Donation Receipt >>




TEACHERS: Is there any ASU alumni out there? The American Dream Academy is teaming up with the ASU Alumni Association to welcome elementary school teachers back to school. The group is distributing Sun Devil Teacher Back to School Packs. The packs are full of swag for the teachers and their kids. Arizona State University and the American Dream Academy want to recognize Sun Devils who are giving back the next generation of leaders.

Request Your Pack >>


  • Limited to one pack per ASU graduate. Graduation year will be verified prior to distribution. Pack will be mailed to valid school addresses only.
  • Requests will be accepted while supplies last. Deadline to submit your request is September 30, 2018.



Prop 301 Fund

The district will be issuing a one-time lump sum payment to All Returning Teachers that were employed with the district last year. The one-time carry forward of Proposition 301 funds in the amount of $1,200 (before taxes) will be issued to each returning teacher and prorated based upon full time status. The payment will be included in with your September 11, 2018 paycheck.


  • Full time = $1,200 (before taxes)
  • Part time = $600 (before taxes)




New benefit-eligible employees have 30 days from their hire date to enroll in benefits.  If you have not yet selected your benefits for the 2018-19 school year, you will need to complete them as soon as possible.

If you were not able to attend the New Teacher Orientation or are a full-time Support Staff employee and need to go over your benefit options, please contact Barb Aquino, Benefits Specialist, at 623-772-2233 to set up a time to meet.


This service is provided at no cost to benefit-eligible employees.

Last year, 81 employees participated in the mammogram screening, and two (2) breast cancers were detected in the early stages.  Mammograms save lives.  Schedule your appointment now.

Pendergast Learning Center
3841 N. 91st Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85037

Wednesday, September 12, 2018  7:00am - 5:00pm
- Thursday, September 13, 2018  7:00am - 4:00pm
- Friday, September 14, 2018  7:00am - 4:00pm

To schedule an appointment, please call 480-967-3767 or 1-800-285-0272

Find Out More >>



Continuing Teacher Education Classes

The University of Phoenix, College of Education is here to support your educational requirements with online continuing education classes that are 10% off tuition cost and offered year-round. 

University of Phoenix benefits:

  • 3 credits in 4 weeks
  • 10% off tuition cost = $157.00 per credit
  • 100% online
  • Option to waive 9 credits into the MAEd/Curriculum and Instruction with an endorsement

UOPX is currently enrolling for classes in August - December.

Continuing Education for Teachers Schedule >>

For more information and 10% off tuition, contact Nicole Berkebile, or call/text message: 480-290-4328



Pendergast Email Etiquette >>



Perfect Attendance

Pendergast Elementary School District Certified and Classified staff (Sorry! Administrators are not eligible) who make it through the school year without missing a day will be eligible to win one of our GRAND PRIZES! Perfect attendance started on the first day of school.

This year, our GRAND PRIZES will be a car and two Rocky Point Weekend Getaways!



  Weekly Absences % Attendance
Amberlea 1 99.3%
Canyon Breeze 2 98.6%
Copper King 0 100.0%
Desert Horizon 10 94.4%
Desert Mirage 3 97.9%
Garden Lakes 5 97.1%
Pendergast 0 100.0%
Rio Vista 2 98.7%
Sonoran Sky 1 99.2%
Sunset Ridge 0 100.0%
Villa de Paz 6 95.4%
Westwind 5 97.8%

Picture of calendarPendergast Employee Calendar 2018-19

Employee Calendar »

Picture of Bruce the Bee with a Pendergast polo shirtGet Your Pendergast Polo Shirt

Order Online »