AIMS achievement tests — the perplexing academic chores most students and teachers love to loathe — will be administered next week at Pine Strawberry School. AIMS reading and math testing for all grades except second will be conducted April 7 to 11. The second-graders will take their SAT test April 7 to 9. April 11 has been set aside as a test makeup day for those who are absent during the week.
This is the final year students will be required to take the AIMS test which is expected to be replaced in 2015 by a new assessment that some claim will reflect tougher academic standards
The anticipated AIMS replacement test, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC), is touted to be a tool to measure how well students have mastered the state’s new College and Career Ready Standards, formerly known as Common Core.
However, state bigwigs have not officially adopted PARCC, which has administrators and teachers around the state scratching their noggins in puzzled anticipation.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out,” said P/S school principal/superintendent Cody Barlow.
PSWID committee gathers
The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District Citizens Budget Review Committee held a “working meeting” yesterday, Thursday, April 3. (No results available at press time).
Among the agenda items was an election of officers, the district’s water master plan, the PSWID budget and setting a schedule for future meetings.
There was also a call to the public in which water users could address the committee with their concerns.
The committee is comprised of eight local residents who will run in the upcoming election for the seven seats on the PSWID governing board.
Committee members are: Lawrence H. Bagshaw, Russell Brock, Richard James, Trent McNeeley, Paul Randall, Sam Schwalm, Don Smith and Tom Weeks.
Science’s “Big Dance”
A bevy of five Pine Strawberry School scholars traveled to Phoenix early this week to show their wares in what is public school science’s equivalent to the NCAA’s Division I basketball championship tournament.
It’s the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair (AzSEF) which began Monday at the Phoenix Convention Center.
Abby Ast, Krislyn Alford, Meredith Kiekintveld, Joshua Paine and Bobbie Rose Price qualified for the state showdown by winning both the Pine Strawberry School and Gila County science fairs.
Ast advances to state in the medical/health elementary division while Alford was the Gila County animal science junior division winner. Kiekintveld won the county medical/health junior division title and Paine took first in elementary division chemistry. Price advances as the No. 1 county science in junior division plant science.
In the P/S school science fair, Paine and Alford were grand prize winners as well as gold medalists.
At the state fair, the local scholars — along with other county champions from around Arizona — presented their research with hopes of gaining recognition as some of the state’s finest young scientists.
Also at the school where Buffalos roam, five members of the archery team will soon begin fund-raising efforts to earn the money needed to travel May 8-10 to Louisville, Ky. to participate in the National Archery Championships.
Angelina Blanch, Caleb Barlow, Raci Miranda, Emma Paine and Michael Aguon all earned berths in the national showdown with top finishes on March 21 during a the Arizona State finals held at the Ben Avery Shooting Range near Phoenix.
Those who wish to help the archers make the trip can do so by making their annual tax credit donation for the 2014 tax year.
On the track and field sports scene, the Buffs travel tomorrow to Prescott High School for a multimeet.
Call for volunteers
United Blood Services is seeking volunteers to help with future blood drives in Pine and Strawberry. The drives are held three times each year at the Pine First Baptist Church.
Volunteers are needed to help recruit donors, make reminder phone calls, bake cookies, hang posters and be available to assist the drive teams.
To volunteer or for more information, call Sylvia at (602) 206-4460.
Fuel reduction committee
The Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction Committee meets at 2 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday April 5, in the Pine Cultural Hall.
During it, the board’s newest member, Roy Miller, will be introduced to the public.
There will also be a question and answer session on the recently revamped brush pickup program.
The program, which ended last year after several grants were not funded, will resume this spring.
For pickups, the two communities have been divided into eight zones and there will be one pickup for each zone. All pickups are on Sundays and will begin April 27 and continue each week until June 22.
While the Pine Strawberry Fire Department is helping with maintenance and fuel costs of the program, the fuel reduction committee is overseeing operations. Call (928) 970-0713 for more information.
Also at tomorrow’s meeting, the committee will preview the ongoing preparations for the upcoming 2014 Fire on the Rim Mountain Bike Race.
The audience will also hear an update on the trails project which has recently included weekend work on the new Bearfoot Trail north of Pine.
Pit open weekends
The Pine Brush Pit located .7 of a mile east on Control Road off Beeline has been open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays since mid-March.
The pit is expected to continue to be open on weekends.
Fire department officials remind users the pits are a free drop-off for local residents and not for commercial use or hauling. Also, the pits are for vegetative materials only — no household garbage or construction debris is allowed.
Call (928) 476-4272 for more information.
Wildfire Awareness Week, which began Monday, wraps up tomorrow, Saturday, April 5, with a “Don’t burn debris on windy days ... compost chip or shred day.”
More of the day’s advice is for homeowners to check their insurance to make sure they are covered for both wildfire and flood damage.
Today, April 4, has been designated “Know before you go” day in which residents are advised to check current fire information and restrictions at: WildandFire.Az.gov or call 1-877-864-5985.
If fire danger is high, the suggestion is to move items that will burn — such as woodpiles, lawn chairs and grills — away from homes.
The week has been sponsored by federal, state and tribal partners of the Southwest Prevention and Information Committee as an effort to spread the word on how to prevent wildfires.
Remember, prepare, protect and prevail by getting Fire Adapted now at FireAdapted.org.