SRES Principal Announcements 20-21SY

SRES Principal Announcements 20-21SY
Posted on 05/19/2021
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Updated May 19, 2021
Thank you for choosing Salt River Schools to provide educational services to your child. The safety of your child and all children in our schools as well as the safety of the school staff and support personnel is very important to us.
This letter is to inform you that today, May 19, we had a fire alarm go off in SRES Building B, and smoke was discovered coming from a microwave in the staff eating area. Students and staff reacted quickly to the alarm and evacuated the building, just like we practice in our drills. The Salt River Fire Department responded immediately and deemed the school building safe to return.

Fire drills are typically conducted monthly. These drills are a requirement and are completed in conjunction with Salt River Fire Department. This type of drill is an evacuation in which every adult and student evacuates the building to safety. Once students and adults are accounted for we lift the drill and business resumes as normal.

We want each student to understand and be aware of the importance of responding to a fire alarm and to think clearly and confidently when it sounds. By practicing, they will know what to do and how to do it in a real emergency, as it was today. Our response today ran smoothly. Each student and staff member followed procedures effortlessly.

Please remember that practicing safety drills help maintain our school as a safe place to learn and work. We are proud to serve you and your children, and we will continually strive to provide a safe learning environment for them.

If you have any questions regarding today’s fire alarm and the subsequent evacuation of Building B, please contact our school office at 480-362-2400.


Dr. Amanda Guerrero
SRES Principal

Updated April 23, 2021

ATTENTION STUDENTS RETURNING TO SRES ON APRIL 26, including students in Mrs. Fullen's class, Ms. Gilchrist's class, as well as 5th and 6th grade students!

School begins at 7:45 a.m. Students may enter campus beginning at 7:30 a.m. on school days. There are a few other important reminders to share with families of returning students:

  • There are many safety procedures in place, so students must follow all posted signs and listen to staff who will be stationed throughout campus to help students adjust. Those procedures were outlined during a live, virtual tour you can watch below (or click here).
  • There are many safety measures to be aware of, including:
    • temperature checks (check your child's temperature before they come to school, and they must stay home if they have a fever, student temps will also be checked at the school entrances)
    • handwashing and sanitizing
    • walking patterns
    • acrylic desk barriers
    • physical distancing
    • water dispensers (students may bring a personal water bottle to school, but won't be allowed to refill it at the water dispensers; there will be disposable cups to use instead)
    • wearing face masks (we have plenty of disposable masks to share with students who forget to wear one to school or need to change their mask during the day)
  • At this time, only staff and students are allowed on campus - no visitors, so families will say goodbye to students at the door, and staff will walk in those students who need support, including being walked to their classroom.
  • Teachers have backpacks and school supplies to distribute to their students on April 26, so there is no need to purchase these items for your child. Students will not be sharing these learning materials; common items, such as classroom materials or equipment, will be sanitized by staff throughout the day, as appropriate.

We can't wait to see you! If you have any questions, please visit our website at or give SRES a call at 480-362-2400.

Watch this recording of a live tour our Education Board took on 4/22/21 of SRES to view the safety procedures in place for students and staff.

Updated April 22, 2021

This message is for families who have indicated that their child will continue with remote learning and not return to campus. Your child's virtual teacher is identified below. Call SRES at 480-362-2400 with any questions.

  • Kindergarten students will return to campus May 17. Jaime Huma will supervise online sessions for remote kinder students beginning this day.

  • First grade students will return to campus on May 10. Justin Kershner will supervise online sessions for remote first graders beginning this day.

  • Second grade will return to campus May 10. Cheyenne Enos will supervise online sessions for remote second graders beginning this day.

  • Third grade students will return to campus May 3. Sara Marcum and Gina Anglavar will supervise online sessions for remote third graders beginning this day.

  • Fourth grade students will return to campus May 3. Rana Maracle will supervise online sessions for fourth grade ELA students, and Kirankumar Patel will supervise online sessions for fourth grade math students beginning this day.

  • Fifth grade students will return to campus April 26. There will be no instructor change for remote fifth graders. Ms. Garcia and Ms. Spencer will teach both their in-person and remote students simultaneously.  

  • Sixth grade students will return to campus April 26. Deena Chapple will supervise online sessions for remote sixth graders beginning this day.


Updated April 12, 2021

Dear Salt River Elementary School Families,

I am so excited to welcome students back to campus on Monday, April 26. This letter is to help explain our school’s specific plans to reopen. Please keep in mind that our plan is different from the Early Childhood Education Center and the Accelerated Learning Academy. Those schools will release their own plans.

At SRES, students will return to campus in phases, based on student grade levels or class groupings. Please inform your teacher whether or not you plan to have your child return to learn in person or continue with virtual classes. For those who return to learn in person, we will gradually welcome more students until we are at full capacity. With this format, our school can safely adhere to social distancing guidelines and help staff and students build confidence in our health and safety measures. Students who are not on campus will continue with virtual classes. Please make sure your student attends their scheduled classes.

  • On Monday, April 26, the SRES campus will welcome back all fifth and sixth grade students, as well as Ms. Gilchrist’s ESS self-contained class, and Mrs. Fullen’s first and second grade combination class. All other students will continue with virtual learning.

  • On Monday, May 3, we will welcome back all third and fourth grade students, as well as specific first grade students who have already been contacted by their teacher (in addition to those students who returned on April 26). All other students will continue with virtual learning.

  • On Monday, May 10, we will welcome back all first and second grade students (in addition to those students who returned on April 26 and May 3). All other students will continue with virtual learning.

  • On Monday, May 17, we will welcome back all kindergarten students, so they can experience what a classroom is like, how school operates, and prepare to enter first grade in the fall.

  • FACE students will have their own plan communicated to you by FACE teachers.

Teacher will reach out to families regarding the SRES reopening schedule and other important information as it relates to your child. Our focus is to provide a safe learning environment for our students and staff. Thanks to tribal and federal funding, our campus has installed brand new health and safety equipment (known as PPE or personal protective equipment). In the coming days, we will showcase these new elements on our website and social media pages so students and families can feel confident in our school’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

I know this school year has been challenging; however, I am so inspired by the cooperation, patience, and resilience our students, families, and staff have shown each other. Thank you. If you have questions or concerns, please call me at 480-362-2400 or send me an email.


Dr. Amanda Guerrero
SRES Principal

Updated January 5, 2021
For those experiencing grief and/or who may be struggling emotionally or behaviorally, SRES has two school counselors ready and willing to help students and families. They can be reached at 480-362-2400.

Remembering Bella with Books
By Nancy Yurek, SRES Librarian

Although there may have been random bright spots in a very long year filled with illness, isolation, and interruption to our school routine, there isn’t a single person I know who wasn’t impacted by grief and loss this past year. In my role as a school library media specialist, I am often asked to suggest a children’s book title that might address grief. Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley, and the beautifully illustrated The Funeral by Matt James, are two titles I have suggested to meet an inherent need to understand and process loss.

Recently, our school family suffered the tragic loss of first grade student, Bella Leon. She was killed by a drunk driver on December 26, 2020. Sadly, due to COVID-19 school closures, I last saw Bella in the SRES Library just before spring break in her kindergarten year, over 10 months ago. I remember her visits to the library in the mornings before school to read to the variety of stuffed animals affectionately known as our “Reading Buddies." She would seek out the small, blue plush Pete the Cat and sit with him in her lap reading his books or use the other puppets. She loved having silly fun with classmates. She would visit the library at recess and create valentines from colorful scraps or fold paper into snowflakes in the library’s MakerSpace.

Bella would also, of course, check out books. She enjoyed the Pete the Cat books (a series by Kim Dean) most often, but her checkout history also revealed she read books about Carl the Dog by Alexandra Day and Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold. As I thought about these book selections in relation to the loss of beautiful, sweet Bella, I immediately thought I wanted her to be remembered in the library not by suggesting books about grief and loss, but by sharing the books she enjoyed most with our school family. I purchased several new titles with the characters she favored and have donated them to our school library in her memory. When future young readers open these books, they will discover a nameplate inscribed with: “In Loving Memory of Bella Leon” – it brings comfort to believe that as her name is read, she will continue to live in our memory.

Bella loved reading "Pete the Cat" books. Bella enjoyed learning facts from Fly Guy books. Bella thought the "Carl the Dog" books were fun and cute.

Nancy Yurek
Library Media Specialist
Salt River Elementary, Salt River Schools

Updated November 2, 2020

You should have recently received your child’s Report Card. Our teachers evaluate students based on progression towards mastery of academic standards. The primary goal of this standards-based system is for all students to meet adopted content standards in order to be proficient in every aspect of the curriculum by the end of the year. By doing this, we evaluate every student’s achievement using similar criteria consistently applied at all levels. Understand, as we do, that it takes time for learners to develop procedural skill, the ability to problem solve, and a full understanding of concepts in the content areas of reading, math, science and social studies. In order to generate quarterly grades, teachers must determine whether students are progressing satisfactorily on their journey toward proficiency.

Our Report Card uses the following coding system: Highly Proficient (HP), Proficient (P), Progressing (PR), Minimally Progressing (MP), and Not Progressing (NP). The progression toward mastery uses a scale in which NP is the lowest level towards mastery of the standard and HP is the highest level towards it. It comes as a surprise to some families to see anything less than proficient on their child’s report card in the first quarter of school. However, as students begin the school year, we expect them to be progressing to some degree towards mastery of the standard; but not proficient since they have not had sufficient practice yet. By the end of the school year, families should expect their child to be proficient on the standards.

Standards-based grades are more accurate, more meaningful, and more consistent than traditional A-F grades. Your child’s grades are based on standards, not assessment methods; levels of proficiency, not points and percentages; and achievement and performance on assessments of learning, not the learning activity.

  • Grades are accurate because they are based only on the most recent individual achievement on high-quality assessments of learning. They do not include behavior. 
  • Grades are meaningful because they are based on standards and provide direct information about how well your child is achieving the standards. We no longer grade the activity. We grade the learning.
  • Grades are consistent because they are based on clearly defined and understood levels of proficiency and agreed upon processes and procedures. We provide multiple opportunities for students to show evidence of learning. Our goal is to develop students who are reflective learners who know how to set and achieve learning goals.

Families are expected to be partners in their child’s learning. If you have any questions about your child’s report card, please reach out to the teacher and schedule a meeting. We are more than happy to explain standards-based grading and what your child’s grades mean.

Your Principal, Amanda Guerrero, Ed.D. 

Updated October 9, 2020

Are we building a sense of belonging for our students? In Native American and First Nations cultures, significance was nurtured in communities of belonging. Lakota anthropologist Ella Deloria described the core value of belonging in these simple words: “Be related, somehow, to everyone you know.” Treating others as kin forges powerful social bonds that draw all into relationships of respect.

In the classroom, we believe ensuring a sense of belonging for each student is critical for success. As many educational institutions around the globe are undergoing, extending, or planning closures due to COVID-19, half of the world’s student population is unable to attend school. Educators face the challenge of teaching remotely at an unprecedented scale, and in most cases, for the first time.

At Salt River Elementary School, we’ve developed a new initiative to connect with students, especially during distance learning. Welcome to TEAM Up, where students are randomly grouped with an SRES staff member who will connect with them via mail, email, phone call, Class Dojo posts, and more! Sometimes all it takes is a simple, “Hello. How are you today?” to check in and remind your child they belong to our school family and help them feel a sense of connectedness to their school.

TEAM (Teach Empower Affirm Mentor) Up is meant to show our genuine care for students and provide interaction between school and home that’s not focused on academics or attendance. Soon, your child will receive a postcard in the mail from their TEAM Up leader. If your child does not receive it, please call 480-362-2430 to verify we have the correct address on file.

We cannot wait to see you face-to-face. In the meantime, let’s TEAM Up!

Your Principal, Amanda Guerrero, Ed.D.

This message was adapted from here and here.

Update from September 21, 2020

Salt River Elementary School is requesting waivers, pursuant to section 1.2 of Title 25 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), of the 25 C.F.R. subchapter E regulatory requirements enumerated below on behalf of SRES for the fall semester of school year 2020-2021 as part of the school's efforts to ensure that a quality education will be provided for the students served at our school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SRES is requesting these waivers, because the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has rendered traditional educational methods impractical or potentially injurious to the health and safety of students, families, and educators.

This post is required by federal law. For a full list of requested waivers, please read the following: 

Questions? Please call SRES Principal Dr. Amanda Guererro at 480-362-2400 or send her an email.

Update from September 1, 2020

Greetings! Ske:g Taş! For those new to our school, my name is Amanda Guerrero, and I am the proud principal of Salt River Elementary School. This is my fifth year as SRES principal and I am blessed to serve this great Community. Even though we have had to begin school via distance learning, SRES is focused on providing quality education to our students. I could not be any prouder of our teachers and staff in how they have viewed this unprecedented time as an opportunity for growth. They have been working diligently to prepare weekly lessons, integrate technology, and communicate with our families.

Student work packets are available for pick up by families at the parking lot in front of the school off of Center Street every Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. When you pick up your child’s new packet, please drop off their completed work from the previous week so it can be graded. If you are unable to pick up your student’s work packet, it will be mailed home on Wednesday (but this gives your student less time to complete it!).

While learning at home, your child’s attendance is crucial to their learning and mastery of classroom objectives. We are still accountable for meeting state learning standards and requirements. Please ensure your child is logged on by 9 a.m. so their attendance is counted for the day and they participate in classroom learning. If your child is unable to attend classes for any reason, please call 480-362-2467 to report the absence.

We thank you for your patience during these new times full of both challenges and opportunities. We hope this time of distance learning allows us to safely return to campus and be together more quickly—thank you for keeping yourselves safe and healthy. I would also like to thank our dynamic teachers for their dedication to this profession. They have worked extra hours in developing online content and packets for our students. I would also like to thank our families and Community for their collaboration and continual support. It is essential that we work as a team for the success of our students!

Wishing you well!

Your Principal,

Amanda Guerrero, Ed.D.

Tips for Teaching and Learning at Home
We are living through an unprecedented time in our Community right now. Our children are learning how to handle it by watching us. Showing that we support them in their academic journey and that learning continues through times of crisis is a life lesson they will hold onto for a very long time. Below are some tips for facilitating learning at home.

  1. Provide a Dedicated Space for Learning: Find a dedicated space in your home that is free from distractions for your child to work in. This space should be as calming and as quiet as possible for them to focus and learn. In my home, this is in the living room coffee table or at the kitchen table. The TV is off, the cell phone is put away and the children wear headphones to block out the sounds of other siblings.
  2. Keep a Schedule: Keeping a consistent schedule for your child during this time is essential. School begins at SRES at 7:45 AM. Build consistency for your child so they are used to the schedule at school once it is safe to return. Lunch typically occurs for forty minutes between 11 AM – 12:30 PM. Include lunch, break times, snack times and even send them outside for recess if feasible. Children are typically resilient and will adjust to the schedule.
  3. Mistakes Are Okay: Mistakes encourage inquiry and should be a learning opportunity, not a penalty. Everyone makes them, even teachers, and it is perfectly okay. Do not get upset with yourself or your child if mistakes happen. This is a great time to set the example for your child on how to overcome a mistake and show them how you work through a setback. That is how we learn!
  4. Communicate: Communicate with the school, your child's teacher, and your children. This is one of the most important keys to your child’s success as they learn from home. Your child’s teacher is there to support and guide, so it is okay to rely on her and any learning tools they give you. The teacher is there for support. She wants your child to succeed. Please reach out with any issues, difficulties, or concerns you may have through Class Dojo, email or phone call. Rely on their expertise to create the most effective and positive routine for home learning. We will soon implement Microsoft Teams so that teachers and students can interact through video conferencing. Stay up-to-date with the class expectations, assignment details, due dates and class times to keep things going smoothly and keep your child’s academic progress moving forward.
  5. Take a Break: You are not expected to sit with your child at a desk or table for seven hours and put on a full day of school. Let yourself and your child have a break. Know that it will not be the same as learning at school, but that it will still be valuable learning time with your child, supporting their future. Their teachers are setting the plans, expectations, and assignments; your job is to support your child in meeting those plans, expectations, and assignments.

Adapted from an article on

Update from July 22, 2020
We hope this message finds you and your family well. School begins remotely for our students on Monday, August 3. Your student’s teacher will reach out to you to introduce themselves and let you know what to expect. During the initial remote phase, work packets and materials will be mailed home to each student. We need your help to ensure the work is completed, as it will be collected and evaluated for progress based on grade-level standards, as well as documented on student report cards.

If you have yet to return your student’s enrollment packet, please visit our website to print one out, which you can turn in by using the lockbox in front of SRES. Everyone who submits completed enrollment paperwork will be entered into a drawing to win one of several prizes, including tablets, gift cards, games, and more! If you have enrollment-related questions, please call Ms. DeClay at 480-362-2430.

Our site leaders have created a safe and effective plan to eventually reopen our school to staff and students, which the Education Board will soon review. Additionally, Salt River Schools recently launched a survey to gain insight on the effectiveness of remote learning and its impact on students and families. Please visit to take the survey, which will help guide education-related decision making.

At this time, we are researching three learning options:

  • Remote: With this plan, every student will be issued a tablet or laptop, as well as a mobile hotspot, if needed. Teachers will provide classes virtually (on a computer) to students at home using an approved Learning Management System for students in pre-K through sixth grade.
  • On-Campus: This plan would be as close to a “normal” school environment as possible. The health and safety of all stakeholders is our primary concern. In addition to procuring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), we will have extra hand washing stations, cleaning supplies, and we will establish updated protocols for our Health Office. Upon reopening, SRES will undergo daily deep cleaning, facemasks will be mandatory, and there will be an abundance of hand sanitizer. Passing periods and lunch times will be staggered to ensure social distancing, and we will work to incorporate recommendations from federal, state, and Community officials as they become available.
  • Hybrid: This plan offers both on-site and remote learning to reduce the number of students on campus each day.

The safety of our students and staff remains our top priority. Regardless of the plan we proceed with, our staff is prepared to quickly modify our approach should the need arise. I am available Monday through Friday by phone (please leave a voicemail) or email to address any of your questions or concerns. Thank you for your patience during this time.

Wishing you well,

Amanda Guerrero, Ed. D
Salt River Elementary School Principal
480-362-2400 | [email protected]

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