Sunrise Drive FFO Digest
Dec 22, 2015 - Vol. 1 Issue #4

It's hard to believe that we're halfway through the school year! Oh, how time flies! Due to the winter break, this will be a shorter edition of the FFO Digest, but we still want to share a few upcoming events and thank some fantastic volunteers.

A big thanks to Anne Gruber, Holly McNulty, Alli Swanson and Ritu Pandey for making the wildly popular Science Night with Mad Science possible. This awesome team will also be leading the upcoming Science Fair activities in February.

A huge thanks to Margie Brown for handling all the behind the scenes work to setup all of our fun dine-outs. They are great opportunities to socialize with other Sunrise families and provide some financial support for the school. Mark your calendars for the next dine-out at Shlomo & Vito's on January 12th, 2016!

Lastly, we want to thank Anita Chapin and Margaret Barber for all the volunteer coordination they've been doing for the Chinese Immersion program. We will feature related events and activities here in the digest so everyone can all learn about cultural opportunities at Sunrise.

There are a few days before the end of the 2015 tax year. You still have time to make donations to help support our children, teachers and school. Donate directly to the Sunrise FFO through the Spirit of Sunrise campaign, make a donation to the CFSD Foundation, or take advantage of the Arizona Tax Credit program to support fee-based, extra-curricular offerings within the district. Donations to these programs help make Sunrise and CFSD the best place for our kids to go to school!

Thank you to everyone for using the Sunrise Amazon link (see below) for holiday shopping to help send a little bit of holiday cheer to Sunrise. Please continue to use this link throughout the year to bring additional funds to our school.

We look forward to an outstanding 2016 at Sunrise Drive!

Happy Holidays,
— Amanda Saffer & Valorie Colson (FFO Co-Presidents)

P.S. Please use the Sunrise Amazon link ( for all your shopping to help raise money for Sunrise!
Sunrise Drive FFO
Grants at Work!
Approved at last month's meeting, here is what your FFO dollars are making possible:
  • Power tools that will be used by the FFO and Sunrise custodial staff - up to $200
Donations keep us afloat
End of Year Donations
Adequate funding for our schools is extremely important to keep everything afloat. Please consider the following ways you can help support our children, teachers and school.
  1. Spirit of Sunrise Direct Donation
  2. CFSD Foundation
  3. Tax Credit
Learn more about each of these options below:

1) Spirit of Sunrise Direct Donation
Your 100% tax-deductible donation to the Sunrise FFO funds field trips, fun events, Lego robotics, classroom gardens, artist-in-residence, chorus, teacher grants, and much more. Without this support, these events and programs would not exist.

We have a $10,000 goal and ask for $50 per student, but we gladly accept whatever amount works for your family. Thank you so much to those that have already donated. It is because of you that our children will continue to experience the very best education available.

Make your contribution by cash, check (payable to “Sunrise Drive FFO” dropped at the front desk) or make an online payment by credit card via PayPal.

2) CFSD Foundation (
The mission of the CFSD Foundation is to raise funds to attract, develop and retain excellent teachers throughout the district. Specifically, the Foundation helps fund our district’s teacher induction program.
Has your child's teacher been working in CFSD for three or fewer years? If so, she/he is part of the district's 3-year induction program. The desired result of the induction program is to provide district students a more competent, skilled teacher working with their children.

The 3-year induction program has a price tag of approximately $250,000 so it is the combination of a CFSD Foundation gift and some district funding that keeps that program alive. Times are especially challenging this year because the Arizona Legislature cut all funding for this program. The only way to find this program is through direct donations. Our goal is to raise $500,000 this year.

At Sunrise Drive, there are 18 teachers who participate in and benefit from this program. Help support our Sunrise teachers: Donate to CFSD Foundation today!

3) Tax-Reduction to Sunrise Drive School
Any Arizona taxpayer has the opportunity to give to Catalina Foothills School District instead of paying it in taxes. The donation must be earmarked for support of one of our many qualifying fee-based, extracurricular activities. We'll send the donor a receipt for their records. Then, when the taxpayer fills out their 2015 Arizona state taxes, they can subtract the amount of the donation, up to $400 (joint filers) and $200 (individuals), from what is owed in state taxes.

This is not just a tax deduction, it is a tax credit that reduces the amount of taxes owed to the state, dollar-for-dollar. For more information about how this credit will work for your individual tax situation, contact your tax advisor.

Tax credit dollars are spent to support fee-based, extra-curricular offerings. However, regular communication between the school principal and CFSD Community Schools Director leads to a beneficial partnership that also helps support the needs at Sunrise, as dollars are spent to serve a joint purpose

You can donate online with your credit card or fill out the 2015 Tax Credit Form, which can be mailed to: Murphey Administration Center, 2101 E River Rd., Tucson, AZ, 85718 or dropped off in person at any CFSD school, by December 31, 2015. Please make checks payable to Catalina Foothills School District (CFSD) and note the program to which you'd like to contribute on the check.

Thank you for your support!
year of the monkey
Chinese Immersion
Chinese Immersion Program

Chinese immersion updates can now be found in the FFO Digest!

It’s been a busy year preparing for the Chinese Spring Festival, which will include a ChinaSprout Book Fair for children and parents. We also worked hard on the ChinaSprout Book Grant to fill our teachers classrooms with Mandarin literature.

The 2016 Spring Festival rings in the Year of the Monkey! All families are invited to join us for a wonderful night of performances and activities on February 12th, 2016. Look for more details in next month's FFO Digest!

Chinese immersion related volunteer opportunities will be listed soon from the FFO website. Check out

- Anita Chapin & Margaret Barber
Awards & Events
Students in CFSD were the highest performing Arizona district in every subject and grade level, exceeding all statewide averages on the AzMERIT test. Sixty three percent (63%) of students passed both sections of the test — well above the state average.

What these results tell us is that we are on the right track ,” said Mary Jo Conery, associate superintendent of CFSD. The AzMERIT test goes beyond the previous bubble test by measuring a wide range of real-world skills, like critical thinking, problem solving and analysis.
P-21 Award
Partnership for 21st Century Learning
Practices that help students prepare for success in school and in the real world have prompted national recognition for Catalina Foothills School District.

On December 1st, the district was named a 21st Century Learning Exemplar by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, or P21, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that connects education, business, community and government leaders.

Catalina Foothills is one of only 16 schools and three school districts in the country to have been chosen this year.

Dine Out
Shlomo & Vitos
Tuesday, Jan 12
4:00 - 9:00PM

Join friends for dinner at Shlomo & Vitos!

2870 E Skyline Dr
(520) 529-3354

Mention Sunrise Drive Elementary and Shlomo & Vito's will donate 15% of your bill (pretax) to support Sunrise Drive Elementary School!

No flyer necessary!

Check out upcoming Dine Out options on the FFO calendar!

Mark your calendar!

  • December 21 to January 1No School, Winter Break
  • January 12th – Dine Out at Schlomo & Vito’s
  • January 18th – No school, Civil Rights Day
  • January 22nd – FFO Meeting at 8:15 in the LRC
  • February 4th Science Day
  • February 12 – Chinese Spring Festival @6:00 - 7:30

Check out the full FFO Calendar of Events at

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