Freedom Traditional News
Freedom Traditional Academy Open House
Join us on May 2 from 5:30pm-7:00pm for an Open House. Learn more about our school, meet the teachers, tour the campus and hear what makes FTA one of the top schools in the state.
Spring picture day is this Wednesday! Students can dress how they would like as long as they are within the Dysart dress code. Visit mydorian.com, search for Freedom Traditional Academy, and click on the green order button. All orders for spring pictures must be placed before 9am on picture day.
City of Surprise and El Mirage Award Student Essay Winners
In partnership with the City of Surprise and the City of El Mirage, students across the Dysart Unified School District were invited to participate in the My El Mirage and My Surprise Essay Contests in November of 2022. Prompts were developed in partnership with each city to elicit responses that spoke about each city’s mission or vision.
More than 200 students in grades 3-12 submitted their essays with schools choosing the top 128 district-wide. The writings were evaluated based on understanding of city services/amenities, creativity, clarity, sincerity of thought, and proper grammar.
Winners from Surprise were selected in specific grade bands and were honored March 7 at the Surprise City Council meeting including: Cadence Fumia and Rose Vasquez from Countryside Elementary in the grade 3-4 division, Tatianna Pellegrino from Freedom Traditional School for 5-8th grade and Kaleb Delgado from Shadow Ridge High School who won for the high school division.
Excerpts included below.
Cadence Fumia encourages people to live in Surprise: “My name is Cadence and I live in Surprise, Arizona. If you don’t, what the heck are you waiting for?”
Rose Vasquez expresses how she feels living in Surprise: “I am really happy I moved here because I have my family, a great school that I really like. I have some new friends, and it’s really clean, safe, and friendly.”
Tatianna Pellegrino shares this insight about Surprise: “Danish architect and urban design consultant, Jan Gehl once said, ‘A good city is like a good party–you stay for longer than you plan.’ Surprise isn’t just a good party; it's a great party.”
Kaleb Delgado says: “[Surprise] carries nothing by surprises, and as a resident here, I am proud to be in such a beautiful community.”
The City of El Mirage structured their essay winners a bit differently and awarded the top three students in grade 3-8: Esmeralda Olvera Martinez; 1st place, Lejla Tvrtkovic; 2nd place, and Kaleb Rodriquez; third place all from El Mirage Elementary School. High school recognitions include Nathaniel Cosio, and Andre Mena, both 11th grade students at Valley Vista High School.
The five students and their families were invited to attend the City of El Mirage Council meeting on March 7. The students were recognized and received ribbons and certificates.
Esmeralda Olvera Martinez shares her reasons for loving her city: “So, do you want to know why El Mirage is special? Well, I’ll tell you. You’re going to love it.” She goes on to describe the schools, library, and festivals in El Mirage.
Nathaniel Cosio shares the value of community: “In the El Mirage community, I feel like everyone knows each other and have fun just getting to live in the city.”
Student winners from both categories were recognized at the Dysart Unified School District Governing Board meeting on March 9th, 2023.
Danielle Edgerton coordinated the dual city essay contest with support from teachers, administrators, and city leaders.
“It has been such a rewarding experience to partner with both the City of Surprise and the City of El Mirage to honor our scholars and writers,” shared Edgerton. “The essays submitted by all of the students were sincere celebrations of their schools and communities.”
There will be no school from March 13th-March 17th for Spring Break! We hope you have a fun, relaxing spring break! We will see you when we return on Monday, March 20th!
Future Kindergarten Families! You are invited to our Kindergarten Showcase on Tuesday, March 21. There will be tours of the school given and an informational session with the kindergarten teachers. The first session will begin at 5:30 and the second session will begin at 6:15. Please call the front office for more information.
Upcoming PTA Events
- 293/6-3/10-Uniform Drive
- 3/7-Meeting @ 6pm in Cafeteria
- 3/18-Spring Training Spirit Night-Game @ 1:05pm
- 3/28-Mother/Son Bowling Night-6pm-730pm @ Uptown Alley
- 4/12-In-N-Out Spirit Night from 5pm-9pm
- 4/14-Bingo Night @ 6pm in FTA Cafeteria
- 4/29-Junk in the Trunk @ FTA from 7am-12pm
No School~ Monday, February 20th!
In observance of President's Day, there is no school on Monday, February 20th.
Spirit week is next week! 2/13-2/17
Spirit Week Line-Up
- Monday-Dress like your TEACHER!
- Tuesday-Dress your HEART out!! Wear pink, white, red, or purple!
- Wednesday-Out of this WORLD-Dress as an extraterrestrial or astronaut
- Thursday-Dress TACKY or MISMATCHED
- Friday-Wear your favorite SPORTS/TEAM jersey or t-shirt!
If you don't participate this week, you must wear your school uniform!
Stay within the district dress code.
NO pajama bottoms, torn jeans, masks, face paint or football gear is allowed!
The Book Fair is coming next week! Your students will go as a class during the week, and it will also be open until 7pm on Thursday 2/9!
Parent/Teacher Conferences-Early Release
Firebirds-Just a reminder that we have parent teacher conferences next week! We will be releasing at 1pm on Thursday, 2/9, and Friday, 2/10!
Did you know you can support Freedom and receive a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit! Choose one of the three categories (athletics, fine arts, enrichment programs) or let us decide! 100% of your donation goes to OUR school and the category of YOUR choice. Learn more and donate today: Tax Credit
Welcome Back Firebirds! We hope you had a fabulous break! School resumes tomorrow, Thursday, January 5th. We can't wait to see all of you!
Winter Break and Return to School Dates
Freedom Traditional Academy will be closed for Winter Break December 21st, 2022-January 3rd, 2023. The school office will reopen on Wednesday, January 4th and students will return to school on Thursday, January 5th. Have a wonderful and safe break Firebirds!!
Winter Wonderland Night
Please join us for some holiday fun at FTA! We will start our night off with some performances starting at 5:30pm for Kindergarten, 6:00pm for 1st grade, and 6:30pm for 2nd grade. Wear your PJ's and enjoy some exciting activities planned by each teacher! In the cafeteria, Santa will be there to meet and take pictures with you! Don't forget to stop by the holiday shop in room 112! We can't wait to see you there!
Spirit week is next week! 12/12-12/16
Hey Firebirds! It's time to show your school spirit! Our Winter Spirit Week will be 12/12/-12/16. Any students that choose not to participate are required to wear a school uniform. Dress Code Applies!
- Monday-Dress like you're going on your dream vacation to Hawaii (Hawaiian Day)
- Tuesday-Holiday Wars-Dress up to represent your favorite holiday! (All holidays are included, but No Costumes!)
- Wednesday-Dress up in your best ugly holiday sweater or hoodie. (Ugly Sweater/Hoodie Day)
- Thursday-Plan ahead and dress up like a friend (Twin Day)
- Friday-Wear Pajamas to school (Pajama Day) (No slippers or spaghetti straps)
Picture Re-take Day is 12/14!
Did you miss picture day or want to take a new picture?
Retake day is quickly approaching. If we did not see you on picture day or you would like a new image, Dorian Studio will be taking pictures at your school again soon. Do not miss out on ordering pictures of your student. Orders may be placed online by searching for your school name at mydorian.com and selecting the green Order button next to your school retake day event. Online orders are available up to 4 days after retake day. If you already ordered and want a new picture taken please be sure to return your original picture packet to the photographer on retake day.
Band/Choir/Orchestra Winter Performance
Hey Firebirds! Join us as our Band, Choir and Orchestra perform in their winter concert on December 6th at 6pm!
Upcoming Events at FTA
Hey Firebirds! Check out what's happening!
- 11/29-Pickleball Club @ 315, Girls Soccer Game @ 5pm @ Cimarron Springs.
- 11/30-Dress Down Day, Boys Soccer Game @ 5pm @ Cimarron Springs.
- 12/1-Girls Soccer Game @ 5pm @ Cimarron Springs.
- 12/5-Boys Soccer Game @ 5pm @ Cimarron Springs.
- 12/6-Girls Soccer Game @ 5pm @ Cimarron Springs, Choir Concert @ FTA @ 6pm
- 12/7-3rd-5th grade Reading Benchmark, District Spelling Bee, PTA Spirit night at Cane's from 4pm-9pm
- 12/8-3rd-5th grade Math Benchmark, Girls Soccer Game @ 5pm @ Cimarron Springs
- 12/9-Girls Soccer Game @ 5pm @ Riverview, Boys Soccer Game @ 6pm @ Cimarron Springs
- 12/12-12/15- PTA Holiday Shop (More information to come)
- 12/13-Parent Flag Ceremony
- 12/14-Dress Down Day
- 12/15-Winter Wonderland @ FTA from 5pm-7pm
- 12/20-Last Day of 2nd quarter, Early Release @ 1pm
- 12/21-1/7-Winter Break- No School
Happy Thanksgiving Firebirds! We hope you all have a fun and relaxing break! Freedom will be closed from November 21st-25th.
Turkey Trot 11/18
Our annual Turkey Trot is tomorrow! Parents/Guardians are welcome to attend. Just a couple reminders: Please make sure your student has a plastic water bottle with his/her name on it so there aren't any mix-ups among students. Tennis shoes are required to participate in the event. Here is the schedule:
7th/8th Grades: 8:20-9
5th/6th Grades: 9-9:940
4th Grade: 9:40-10:20
2nd/3rd Grades: 10:20-11
1st Grade: 12-12:40
Freedom Traditional Academy hosted their annual Thanksgiving Lunch for families. The feast included turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes and homemade pumpkin cake. The cafeteria was decorated with hand-made crafts including notes of gratitude from students who shared what they were thankful for.
Freedom Traditional Earns an “A” Rating
Freedom Traditional Academy is excited to announce that we have received an A-rating from the newly-released 2022 State of Arizona accountability labels. This letter grade provides us a glimpse into many areas of proficiency and growth for our school, including information about student achievement, college and career readiness, student growth, and other key areas of interest. We appreciate our hardworking students, staff and parents for their contributions in making our school an A-rated school!
This is the first time the state has issued new labels since 2018-2019, due to House Bill’s 2910 and 2402, which temporarily paused the issuing of A-F letter grades. It is important to note that this year the state used the same cut marks as they did in 2019 for K-8 schools, the last year they issued letter grades. However, this year's K-8 growth score is only based on growth percentile and does not include growth-to-target.
About School Letter Grades: Arizona Revised Statutes § 15-241 requires the Arizona Department of Education, subject to final adoption by the State Board of Education, to develop an annual achievement profile for every public school in the state based on an A through F scale. The system measures year to year student academic growth, proficiency on English language arts, math and science, the proficiency and academic growth of English language learners, indicators that an elementary student is ready for success in high school and that high school students are ready to succeed in a career or higher education and high school graduation rates.
Spirit week is next week!
Hey Firebirds! Spirit week is next week. Check out the information below for the spirit days!
Firebirds! It is time to show your school spirit! We will be having our annual Fall Spirit week 10/31-11/4. Any students that choose not to participate are required to wear a school uniform.
Monday- Character Monday- dress up as your favorite character! You can be a hero or a villain. No masks or makeup.
Tuesday- Crazy from Head to Toe- crazy hair/hat and silly socks.
Wednesday- Western Wednesday- dress up in your favorite cowboy/cowgirl/western attire.
Thursday- Athletes VS Mathletes- dress up in your favorite sports attire, or like a smarty pants/nerd.
Friday- Pink Out- Wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness.
Career and College Expo
Dysart Unified School District invites parents and students to a Career and College Expo on Wednesday, October 26 from 5:30 - 7:30pm at the Dysart District Office, located at 15802 N. Parkview Place in Surprise.
The expo showcases Dysart's Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, West-MEC, colleges and universities, and military representatives so families can explore opportunities to pursue in and after high school. This is a great way for 5th through 11th grade students and their parents to get hands-on with all of the career pathway classes and programs offered at Dysart Schools. The event is free and open to the public. Details can be found at www.dysart.org/CTEexpo.
Dysart Schools currently offer 17 CTE programs at four high schools (Dysart High School, Shadow Ridge High School, Valley Vista High School, and Willow Canyon High School.) Program options include Automotive Technology, Culinary Arts, Digital Animation, Digital Photography, Education Professions, Engineering, Film and TV Production, Fire Science, Graphic Design, Laboratory Assisting, Law and Public Safety, Marketing, Nursing Services, Software and App Design, Sports Medicine, Stagecraft Design and Production and Technology Device Maintenance. Learn more at www.dysart.org/CTE.
Freedom Postal Service
There will be no school October 10-14 for Fall Break. We wish our Firebirds and families a safe and happy break and we will see you back on Monday, October 17!
Our 3rd-8th grade firebirds have Benchmark testing Tuesday, 9/27, and Wednesday, 9/28. Don’t forget to get lots of sleep and eat a good breakfast!!!
Want more information on Spalding? September 1st is Spalding night for Kindergarten/1st, and new students from 5:30pm-6:30pm in the library.
Move On When Reading Information for Kindergarten through 3rd Grade
Each year the Dysart School District and Freedom Traditional Academy provide important information pertaining to Move on When Reading. This letter is posted and will be sent home with all students in Kindergarten through Third Grade.
Annual Student Update
Please remember to update the Annual Student Update on the parent portal. Without this update we cannot administer any medications, Vaseline, bug bite cream, or other over-the-counter medications. This is also important as we want to have up-to-date medical information and contact information on your student in the event of an emergency. You can complete the Annual Student Update by accessing the Parent Portal or through the parent portal app.
August Newsletter is available for parents to view and includes exciting information about the school year!
Meet the Teacher
Meet the Teacher night is Monday, August 1st from 5pm-6pm. Hope to see you there!
We can't wait to see everyone back for the first day of school on August 3! Make sure you mark your calendars for event and activity dates and keep an eye on our new website for important information as the start of school approaches.
Our Meet the Teacher night will be on August 1 from 5:00-6:00pm. Please join us to see the campus, meet your child's teachers, and get information on what to expect this year.
Still need to enroll? There's still time to get your children enrolled for the 2022-2023 school year! Parents and guardians can complete the necessary registration information online at Dysart.org/enroll at any time. Please note that in order to finalize registration the following documents will be required: government issued photo identification; birth certificate; proof of residency; and immunization records. For additional assistance with student registration, families are welcome to contact our front office.
Don't forget to make sure you have access to the Parent Portal to keep up with your child’s academic progress throughout the year! Sign up or access the site online at Dysart.org/parentportal or via the Campus Parent app.
Dysart Schools have many opportunities for the community to assist schools in providing an amazing educational experience to each and every student. Volunteers help to enrich children’s learning opportunities, provide individual attention to children who need one-on-one assistance, promote a school-home-community partnership for quality education, provide staff members with more time to work with students, and assist staff members and support personnel with non-instructional tasks.
Where is Help Needed?
- Classroom and teacher support
- One-on-one student assistance
- Event help (preparations, setup, operations, tear-down)
- Guest speakers (experts or retirees in various fields)
- Front office assistance
How to Become a Volunteer:
- Review the volunteer handbook and complete the volunteer application at Dysart.org/Volunteer
- Make an appointment for your volunteer orientation
- Coordinate your schedule through the school office
- Put on your volunteer badge and have fun!
Who Should Apply to Volunteer?
Anyone who cares about children and education is a potential volunteer. Parents, grandparents and community members 18 years of age or older who want to make a difference in the lives of children and support educators are encouraged to apply to become a volunteer with Dysart Unified School District. Volunteers are welcome in all of our schools and prior teaching experience is not necessary.
Learn more or apply here.
School Breakfast and Lunch
Dysart Nutrition Services ensures that students at all schools have fresh, wholesome and nutritious breakfast and lunch options to support their education and focus in class. Learn more about Nutrition Services at Dysart.org/Nutrition. Menus and nutritional information may be viewed at Dysart.Nutrislice.com.
Apply for Free and Reduced Meals
Beginning July 1, 2022 the USDA is returning to income eligibility guidelines for free or reduced meals. All families should complete a Free and Reduced Lunch Application at SchoolCafe.com to help maintain school funding and make sure that qualified families receive this and other benefits. Only one application is required per family, and may be completed at SchoolCafe.com.
How to Add Meal Funds to an Account
Cash and checks are accepted for meal purchases, or families may utilize SchoolCafe.com to prepay for meals online, view their balances, or place restrictions on purchases. Online payments take 24 hours to post to student accounts.
- Elementary Lunch $2.60, Reduced $.40, Adult $3.50
- Elementary Breakfast $1.25, Reduced $.30, Adult $1.75 High School Lunch $2.85, Reduced $.40, Adult $3.50
- High School Breakfast $1.25, Reduced $.30, Adult $1.75
A la carte and snack items are available for purchase on each campus, and additional meals are available for an added charge. Parents are always welcome to dine with their child, but please be sure to call in advance and check-in at the school office. Adult meals may be purchased for $1.75 for breakfast or $3.50 for lunch.
Employment Opportunities in Dysart
Dysart is the largest employer in both the cities of Surprise and El Mirage with over 2,700 employees. Dysart Schools offer highly competitive salaries, full benefits and an inviting school-year calendar with holidays and weekends off for most positions.
With a wide-variety of positions ranging from groundskeeper, to mechanic, to office staff, and teachers, we’re always looking for great people to join our Dysart team!
Current High Need Areas:
- Bus Drivers and Aides
- Childcare and Preschool Aides
- Behavioral Technicians
- Speech and Language Pathologists
- Special Education Teachers
- Math Teachers
- Science Teachers
- ASL Teachers
- Health Services Assistants
- Crossing Guards
- Maintenance Workers and Plant Managers
- Social Workers
Check out our current openings at Dysart.org/Careers and apply today!
Stay Informed on the Parent Portal
The Parent Portal is a great tool to stay informed 24/7 about your child’s academic progress. Grades, attendance, assignments and more are viewable in real time online or via the app, Campus Parent. A single login allows parents with multiple students to access information for all of their children in one place. Learn more at Dysart.org/ParentPortal.
Update Your Communication Preferences and Contact Info
To make sure that we can keep you informed in emergency situations, please ensure that your contact information is current in the Parent Portal. You are also able to adjust your communication preferences (phone, text, and/or email) at Dysart.org/ParentPortal or on the Campus Parent app to ensure you are getting the various message types in the way that you would like. Remember that if you select more than one type of communication per category, you will receive the message multiple times via each of those avenues.