News & Events

News & Events

Fun Friday

September 8, 2017

For Fun Friday activities, the students were rewarded with shaved ice treats!  Lots of smiles and loads of fun! Great job to our students!  What a wonderful week!  

August 2017

What’s Happening in Our Elementary School?

Welcome back to our amazing students and parents! Wow, we have missed you! Elementary had a very eventful and busy first month! The students were eager to learn and participate in new activities. Elementary has been able to grow and expand this year, as we are starting to take part in cooking classes every Thursdays after silent reading time. The students have been so eager and engaged in learning how to cook healthy snacks. They have also learned how to become scientists and use the process of the scientific method when conducting an experiment. Elementary was able to do three big science experiments this month which included melting candy, observing how Orbeez grow, and also learning how to collect data with pennies. The students had a lot of fun this month! We want to give a HUGE shout out and welcome to Mr. Andrew, who has done an excellent job working with the kids! We are excited for the new school year! 


What’s Happening in Our Middle School?

Middle school has had a busy start to the new year! Our first week of school, we worked on making sensory items for our self regulation techniques. The class really enjoyed using Orbeez! In history, we are learning about Arizona History and all the adaptations from our people and the land. We had a class project to bring in an item or photo describing our family histories. In science, our focus has been engineering. We have built many structures using limited items and focusing on how to work around ‘constraints’.


Transitions Activities

Aurora Day School Transitions Program is off to a great start this year! We’ve successfully integrated a P.O.S. (Point of Sale) System into our student coffee shop! Our students are taking orders using Android tablets and a small wireless receipt printer, similar to what you may see at small vendors and restaurants. The Transitions Program’s next project is the ADS Print Shop which will allow student employees to express their creative side through manufacturing custom print items such as Autism Walk t-shirts, custom mugs, banners, vinyl stickers, and much more!

What’s Happening in Our Elementary School?

The month of May has been fun and eventful. Our amazing students have been engaged in amazing projects for science and social studies for the last part of the year. In science, the students learned about how volcanoes erupt. They built a 3-D model of a volcano out of papier-mâché and named their very own volcano. Once their models were complete, they were able to see their volcanoes erupt by using vinegar and baking soda to produce a chemical reaction. As we closed up our volcano unit, Ms. Emmy prepared a very interesting social studies lesson. The students traveled back in time to learn about the history of Native Americans and the way they lived many years ago. Ms. Emmy and Ms. Joselin worked together to have the students construct a model of a Native American teepee. The students had a great time constructing their 3-D models, and it’s been a great way to end the school year. Ms. Joselin, Ms. Emmy, and Ms. Annessa want to wish everyone a wonderful summer! We will miss you all!









The R.I.S.E. Classroom: May 2017

May is a bittersweet month for as, as we’re excited for summer break, but sad to leave our friends and staff. Our students became scientists this month, experimenting with galaxy slime, rainbow bubble snakes, lemon suds eruptions, and how to make popcorn on a cob. We also participated in a school-wide STEM project with the theme of robotics, so we built robot hands!

Robot hands can be extremely useful. The group e-Nable uses 3-D printers to make custom-fitted plastic “RoboHands” for children who are missing fingers. These artificial hands work very much like the cardboard version we made (pictured here; see more pictures from our monthly activities in the Photos tab). Cables connect the fingers to the RoboHand’s wrist. When the wearer bends his or her wrist, the fingers close. Straighten the wrist and the fingers open.

Our version of a robotic hand was made from cardstock, tape, straws, and string. The completed version allowed us to pull strings that would curl the fingers inward!

Happy summer from the R.I.S.E. classroom to you!

Middle Schools News: May 2017

The middle school has been focusing on engineering with math and science this month. We have made robotic hands, levels, and pulleys. In math, we learned about geometric vocabulary and created a geometric start. We have also utilized our math skills to take a walk to a local gas station and purchase slushes.

Before the weather gets too hot, we will take a hiking trip to Thunderbird Conservation Park. As we progress to the end of the year, we’ve been focusing on some energy exercises. We complete yoga each morning, followed with breathing exercises. We imagine that all of our worries about the new school year are placed in a box. This box is attached to a red balloon that carries all our worries away. The students have responded very well to all these strategies and hands-on projects!







Future Engineers!

Our elementary students have been working hard to enhance their engineering skills in the classroom. With testing behind us, the class has been conducting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) experiments all month long. With the help of our student teachers, Ms. Kimber and Ms. Emmy, we have be able to learn about force and motion. The elementary engineers were put to the test as they were challenged to make a car without any electricity or gas. Our engineers were able to draft, produce, and test a balloon car that they created with a little help from staff. We also launched and exploded many bottle and balloon rockets and, lastly, overcame the cargo challenge—namely, students needed to create a paper airplane that could hold a sustainable amount of pennies without them falling off. The students had a blast learning about force and motion this month and making their simple machines. Stayed tuned for our last month of school as we look into chemical reactions!






Our Special Olympics Team: Track & Field

The Aurora Day School Special Olympic team has done it again! Our athletes participated in track-and-field on Thursday, March 30, 2017, and what a memorable day it was, with both boys and girls competing in some amazing events.

The girls took home the gold in the 100-meter race, while the boys dominated the running long jump. Miranda won her first gold medal in a racing event and shared an awesome moment with her coach and other teammates. Hailey took home the gold in the women’s shot-put event, and Claire showed how far she could throw in the women’s softball throw competition.

Avery displayed his running skills by winning gold in his heat for the 100-meter relay, while Donovan and Aidan excelled in speed and height in the running long jump event. Isaiah and Andrew both were able to show us their amazing throwing skills, with each of them winning gold in the male softball throw.

The team really worked hard this year and will be back in the 2017–2018 school year to take on new sports and events! Ms. Joselin and Mr. James would like to thank all the staff, parents, and athletes for their amazing support this year!

See more pictures in the Photos tab.


Junior High News

In the junior high, we continued our lesson on adjective clauses and the kids wrote short stories, utilizing adjective clauses. In science, we are still centering our learning on the planet Mars, in particular the recent and future exploration thereof.  The kids created a Curiosity rover poster, along with a corresponding report. In social studies, we are continuing to learn about the Civil War, creating dioramas depicting the deadliest day, when both armies suffered at least 23,00 casualties at the Battle of Antietam













High School News

The month of March was very creative and delicious in our high school class! Our wonderful speech therapist, Devany, created some fluffy slime with the students. They all participated in the activity and learned how the different chemicals reacted to create the slime, which is now being used in our classroom as a stress-reducing tool.
The culinary team cooked for our staff and high school students, preparing delicious nachos! The students went around to each of the classrooms serving the chips with cheese, sour cream, homemade pico de gallo salsa, and seasoned ground beef and turkey. Many compliments were given to our chefs!








Middle School Happenings in March

In the month of March, the middle school classroom was introduced to different cultures and their living environments—like hogans and tepees—in social studies. The objective was to learn about various communities and the importance of family structure. The students created examples of each structure using various materials and creativity. They also created winter counts that highlighted key points in their life, as other cultures did. 
In science, the class built ecosystems and observed the effects of their ‘
“environments” on their animals. Students built their background knowledge about food webs, life cycles, and adaptations through this activity. We are starting to take our lessons outside for math, as the weather has been perfect. We enjoyed our hands-on projects this month!








R.I.S.E. in March

In March, we celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday by reading his great works all month long. We also participated in activities that corresponded with his books. Our favorites were The Lorax, because we got to wear funny mustaches, and Green Eggs and Ham, because we made green eggs and ham (with pretzels, white chocolate, and green M&Ms)! The R.I.S.E. classroom started a unit on plants, learning how they use light, water, and carbon dioxide from the air to make their own food through a process called “photosynthesis.” Plants give off oxygen during the process. The bubbles you see are actually filled with oxygen!









Monthly Elementary School Blog: Elementary Got Talent!

March proved to be a very busy and exciting month for our elementary class. As we continue our STEM unit for the last part of the school year, our students were able to take part in “The Marshmallow Challenge”! They were challenged to work in groups to construct the tallest building they could make. Students were given only a certain amount of marshmallows and toothpicks to create this structure. Our students proved that they are able to work together well in groups, and their imagination was put on display when it came to constructing their models. The elementary class would like to thank our new student teacher, Miss Kimber, for such a fun activity.
Our elementary class also demonstrated their amazing talent in the annual talent show. Alasdair showed us his amazing harmonica abilities, and Aidan sang his way into everyone’s hearts. The whole class also danced their way to a pop routine while our rock star Connor sang  “Scream and Shout” to get the crowd pumping.  Miss Joselin, Miss Annessa, Miss Kimber, and Mr. Robert are very proud of our students, who exhibited great courage and strength in the talent show.
With the summer approaching quickly and a lot of testing coming our way, the elementary class is going to jump into learning about one another’s cultural backgrounds as well as learning about simple machines. Look forward to our next month’s blog to find out more fun and exciting news! 

The Wonderful World of Animals

Our elementary students had a fantastic February learning about different species of animals and their adaptations. The students were able to complete their animal projects and draw their favorite animals to display at Open House. The students also were able to go to the Phoenix Zoo and learn about new and exciting animals that live in the Arizona desert!

Additionally, the students completed their egg drop experiments. They became young engineers as they learned how to create a “safe net” that would protect their egg from breaking after being dropped from the roof of the school.









Soccer Gold

Special Olympics was able to bring home gold in the sport of soccer! All the athletes where able to score goals in all three games! The athletes practiced hard and also showed great sportsmanship out on the field when a couple of our opponents seemed to need some help with the game. (See pictures of our soccer stars in the Photos tab.)
Special Olympics is working hard and practicing for their next event, which is track-and-field, on March 30–31.


Junior High News

For the month of February, our junior high learned and experienced numerous things. For one, we participated in the school egg drop contest and had four eggs that did not break! Great job!

Tony Sloat had this to say about the various academic activities in class this month:

“Our class created a punctuation poster that centered on independent/dependent clauses. We split up into groups and we taught each other how to form different sentences consisting of simple, compound, and complex formats. We also learned about the specific layers of the earth’s atmosphere: troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere. And the junior high also studied about the circumstances that led to the secession of the South that ultimately brought about the Civil War. We broke down the meaning/purpose of the Emancipation Proclamation and how it has impacted our country.”


The History of the Navajo Hogans

Our middle school classroom learned the history of Navajo hogans and created their own hogans and tepees for display. Great job!

Early on, when Navajo people lived in the northern part of North America (modern Canada), they lived in small houses they called “hogans.” You built a hogan by propping a few poles together and covering the surface with branches, leaves, and mud.









Students of the Month


Richard always does an excellent job staying on task. He is an extremely hard worker and is ahead of schedule earning his high school credits.


Jada is always willing to assist staff by volunteering around campus. She has an excellent attitude and is extremely helpful to teachers and administrators. 


Alisdair is a steady and committed student, day in and day out. He is organized and follows through with his work. His positive and open attitude has helped him build his knowledge and investigate new ideas. He has the confidence to share connections he is making. He does an excellent job setting goals for himself and then works very hard to meet those goals.


Miranda was recognized as Student of the Month for her efforts in controlling her anger and working hard in all academics. She made gold level and is being able to maintain it. She is working hard on her math and language arts assignments. Miranda is a pleasure to work with!


Anna earned Student of the Month because she exemplifies gold-level behavior, being respectful to staff, peers, and herself. She also volunteers to help others, leading by example. She is enthusiastic about learning and loves to laugh!

Students of the Month (left to right, top to bottom): Richard, Jada, Alisdair, Miranda, and Anna.

February 2017

High School News

In February, students attended a job fair. Students were able to meet with employers and share their résumés. Sax & Suds Car Wash is up and running. They wash cars by appointment every Thursday afternoon. Business has been brisk. The student store (S.MART) has created a new service to serve the staff within their work space. Great job, S.MART team members!


February Happenings in the High School

High School 2 has been working with equations for math instruction. Along with some stressful moments, we have had some great successes and progress, giving the students plenty of time to practice in order to grasp new concepts.

In language arts, the students are working on the writing process. They are utilizing IXl to practice grammar and punctuation and are showing amazing progress!

One of our students, Carter M., is acting as our behavior coach, utilizing the phrase: “If you can’t be positive, then at least be quiet.”

Our culinary team made some delicious salsa to serve with chips in celebration of our middle school teacher, Ms. Dannessa, having a beautiful baby girl!



A Fantastic February for R.I.S.E.

In February, we celebrated national holidays and observance days, including Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents’ Day, accompanied by educational activities that corresponded with them. The R.I.S.E. classroom also took a field trip to the Phoenix zoo with the elementary classroom! Students participated in various science experiments, such as dissolving candy hearts into different liquids (water, vinegar, and soda) and making thunderstorms in a cup. Wow, we had a lot of fun this month!












What’s Going on in February?

This month, the middle school has been preparing for our open house. We have been learning about animal adaptations. We participated in a project that allowed us to make our own form of camouflage. The students selected an area in the classroom and colored a moth to blend in with that area. The students walked around the classroom and tried to find all the camouflaged moths. In math, the students have been working hard on organizing data and utilizing charts and graphs.







R.I.S.E in January

Coming back from winter break, we did a lot of review work to make sure our skills were still sharp. We starting learning about waves of sound and how vibrations travel through the air. We made paper cup telephones to test the theory. The R.I.S.E classroom also participated in a school-wide egg drop. We celebrated the life of Martin Luther King Jr., and as a fun activity, made homemade play dough with cornstarch and conditioner! See more pictures of our classroom activities in the Photos tab!



Middle School January News

Our middle school students have been working hard on their creative writing. We set new goals for the year and monitor our progress weekly. We have also been learning about animal and plant classifications, as well as the life cycles of various plants and animals. Next up, the class will be participating in a school-wide egg-drop project. The students have developed their own experiments, in which they are to keep their egg from cracking when it drops from the school. They’re really looking forward to putting their theories into practice!










R.I.S.E. in December

December was quite a month! We participated in some exciting science experiments that developed ideas on how water is a powerful force that reshapes the earth’s surface. We also did our monthly iReady testing and decorated Christmas crafts. The R.I.S.E. classroom participated in its monthly horse therapy and got to try dog therapy. Lastly, as a special treat, we enjoyed pizza for Fun Friday! Happy Holidays from the R.I.S.E Classroom!















December Middle School Craze

This has been a very busy month for the middle school! We started studying forces and motion and liquids and gases in science and participated in a couple hands-on projects. For example, we conducted an experiment with Mentos and soda to see the reaction between the two components using various amounts and liquid types. We created a visual aid to help us remember what a solid, liquid, and gas are using magazine clippings. In math, we made geometric shapes and started classifying the shapes as either two-dimensional or three-dimensional. We made an example of each using toothpicks and marshmallows. We learned how many vertices, angles, and faces each shape has. To finish out the year, we’re holding many holiday activities and completing our Christmas Food Drive!











Ms. Joselin’s Elementary Class

food-box-contestNovember was a very busy month in the elementary classroom! Our class competed in a box-decorating contest for the food drive and won! The students received a pizza party for all of their hard work turning their box into a fabulous snowman. We also learned about the first Thanksgiving in social studies, which was followed by many fun art activities with Ms. Annessa. The students also completed numerous experiments, such as SLIME and seeing how water travels through plants. Our students continue to work hard in language arts and math and are growing each and every day!

Middle School NewsSchool News

food-driveNovember has been a busy month for our middle school! We did our best to get the community involved and collect food items for the Thanksgiving Food Drive. Students created flyers and walked around nearby neighborhoods to notify our community about ways they could assist us. As a result, our food drive turnout was spectacular. We supplied nine families with various canned goods, whole turkeys, fresh biscuits, stuffing, cranberry sauce, loaves of bread, and some holiday favorites. All the students played a big part in shopping, packing, and gathering these items for our families in need. We are continuing to work hard to prepare for our Christmas Food Drive.

img_1116In the area of academics, we have been staying on top of our basic skills, and some students have advanced into double-digit multiplication. We are also utilizing our Wonders curriculum for language arts.




R.I.S.E. Newsdaily_news

In the R.I.S.E classroom during the month of November, we worked on various Thanksgiving activities. We made Thanksgiving paper bag books, playeaurorad Thanksgiving bingo, and watched a Thanksgiving play. We also worked on our turkey arts and crafts! We participated in horseback riding therapy and had a canned food drive. We decorated our donation box in an outer-space theme and collected an assortment of nonperishable items. Overall, it was a great month, and we cannot wait to see what December has in store for us!



2016 Food Drive

Click here for event flyer

Annual Autism Walkautism-speaks-walk

For the fifth year in a row, Aurora Day School participated in the Autism Speaks Walk event this October. We walked to raise awareness to help change the future for all of those who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. We also hosted an informational booth at the resource fair to give parents, caregivers, and event-goers much-needed information about our school as well as guidance for those in need of information about special education resources. It was an amazing event, enjoyed by all, and we look forward to participating next year!

autism-walk2autism-walk4 autism-walk1









Open House Success!open-house11

Our fall open house was a wonderful success, with an amazing turnout from parents, guardians, and friends. Attendees were able to see students’ classwork and artwork, sign up for the PTA, and get an introduction to our new curriculum and transitions program. As refreshments, families enjoyed grilled hot dogs, catered BBQ sides, freshly popped popcorn, chips, and cookies. We look forward to our next open house on February 24, 2017!


open-house1 open-house3







Students of the Monthcongrats

September 2016

Connoconnor-september-2016r is a third-grade student in Ms. Ortiz’s classroom.  He has an amazing sense of humor and has shown a great deal of progress at Aurora!




julian-september-2016Julian is a fourth-grade student in Ms. Ford’s classroom.  He brings laughter and joy to any room he enters!





August 2016

isaiah-august-2016Isaiah is a seventh-grade student in Ms. Dosch’s classroom. He is an awesome participant in the Aurora Strong workout each morning and always has a huge smile on his face!





kobie-august-2016-hsKobie is a tenth-grade student in Mr. Paskiewicz’s classroom. Kobie is an extremely bright and creative student!




Aurora Day School Honored

congratulations-ballonnen-16500-lWrite Track Therapy (, based in Arizona, provides contracted therapies to students in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The organization has been working with Aurora Day School students, staff, and families since 2007. Over that time period, we have seen our students attain significant academic and behavioral achievements. As a result, our school has been recognized by Write Track Therapy as the recipient of the Appreciation Hydration School Award for the fall of 2016.

Click here to read the entire feature on Aurora Day School!