• Family Engagement Night

    Posted by Nick Helmick on 8/25/2019

    5th Grade Families... Please don't forget that Tuesday, August 27th is Family Engagement Night at Paseo Hills. The team will be going over with families "The Business of Being a 5th Grader" and sharing information about the curriculum that students will be learning this year. Families will also get more information about what goes on each day in 5th Grade at Paseo Hills. We hope to see you all there from 5:00 - 6:00 in Room 300.

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  • 2019-2020 5th Grade Suggested Supply List

    Posted by Nick Helmick on 7/28/2019

    2019-20 5th Grade Supply list      

    Things students will need to have and use daily.


    2 single-subject spiral notebooks

    4 pack of whiteboard markers for personal use

    Markers or crayons or colored pencils


    Pencils, erasers, pencil sharpener


    1 pack Loose leaf 3 hole Notebook paper

    *Supplies that are helpful for the classroom: tissues, paper towels, hand sanitizer, zip-top baggies, wipes.

    Arizona law requires that public schools provide supplies required for academic success. This list represents optional, supplementary items which you may supply at your discretion. If you have questions, feel free to contact the school.

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  • 2019-2020 Welcome Letter

    Posted by Nick Helmick on 7/28/2019

    Welcome to Fifth Grade!


    We set VERY high expectations for our students and expect that all students do their best at all times. We hold students 100% accountable for their choices and students will quickly learn that not only are they the center of our classroom universe, but that all of their choices do have consequences… be it positive or negative. We will work together to create a safe, enjoyable, and respectful learning environment so that students are excited to walk through the door each day. Our class curriculum is closely aligned with the Arizona College and Career Readiness Standards to ensure that your student will know and be able to do what is expected for school and in life. 


    The following letter provides information about each core class as well as fifth grade procedures and policies.


    Math & English Language Arts (ELA):

    Mr. Nick Helmick will teach Math and ELA this year. He is a native of Arizona and graduate of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. This is his eighth year of teaching and sixth year at Paseo Hills. Mr. Helmick is very excited about teaching Math and ELA this year.


    The math curriculum teaches skills and strategies by using Eureka Math as well as various projects and inquiry-based assignments. This program is also available online through the teacher website, and Parent Help Pages and Homework Helpers will be sent home with students during each Module. Grades are determined through unit assessments, quizzes, homework, and finals. Homework will be assigned every night (Monday – Friday) and students will be required to complete this and turn in the next school day. If there are any questions, please have student come to class prepared to ask for help at the beginning of each class. Students should also be practicing their math facts as well as any assigned homework. Special projects will be given specific due dates ahead of time and recorded in planners.  


    Science and ELA:

    Mrs. Sue Piotrowski teaches Science! She is a graduate of Grand Canyon University. This is her ninth year teaching 5th grade and twelfth year working in the district. She is happily married and has three awesome children, all who have been in DVUSD schools. She loves to read, travel, swim, teach, and follow her beloved Ohio State Buckeyes!


    The science program is aligned to FOSS, an inquiry-based curriculum. Due to the hands-on nature of the curriculum and project-based learning, students are expected to maintain a detailed Science notebook to support their understanding. Grades are based on quizzes, tests, projects, notebook checks and data recording.


    Social Studies & ELA:

    Miss Jennifer Reiman is originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming.  This is her first year at Paseo Hills and first year of teaching fifth grade.  This is her eleventh year of teaching. She has taught Kindergarten, third grade, and fourth grade.  She graduated from Midland University with her Bachelors Degree. She graded from Grand Canyon University in 2017 with her Master’s in Reading.  She is a huge baseball and college football fan. She is a big fan of the Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, University of Nebraska Cornhuskers and University of Wyoming Cowboys.


    The social studies curriculum is closely aligned to the Arizona College and Career Readiness standards and covers American History from the time of early European exploration through the Civil War and Westward Expansion. The majority of academic learning will be completed in the classroom through participation, collaboration, group work and individual practice. Any work that is not completed during the school day needs to be completed at home and turned in the following school day unless otherwise noted. Students will also be expected to spend time studying at home. Academic grades will be determined through quizzes, tests, and projects.


    Our ELA curriculum teaches comprehension skills and strategies by using our Reading Street text as well as various literature studies. We will be doing whole class book studies and small group literature circles to help ensure that students understand the weekly concepts.  Grades are determined through story and unit assessments, quarterly book projects, reading logs, and finals. In order to encourage reading and to practice our comprehension skills and strategies, students will be assigned weekly reading logs. Reading logs will be handed out on Monday and are due the following Monday. In order to receive full credit, students must complete the front side, and ANY FIVE QUESTIONS on the back side, and have an adult sign their logs. Students are required to read for at least 20 minutes a night for 5 nights. Extra copies of the reading log and rubric are available on classroom websites as well as from the teacher. Projects, study guides, reports, and other assessments will be given specific due dates ahead of time and recorded in planners. Writing skills will be practiced and applied across all subjects. The writing curriculum consists of grammar, word study, writing composition, as well as speaking and listening skills. Grades are determined through final written pieces, grammar and word study assessments, participation in collaborative discussions, and oral presentations. Most writing pieces will occur during class, but students may have to complete some practice or projects at home, including studying for their weekly word study assessment to ensure their success.  



    All fifth grade classrooms are PEANUT FREE ROOMS. Food is not allowed in the classroom with the exception of celebrations. If your student would like to celebrate with his or her homeroom, this will take place during first hour. All food must be store-bought according to health regulations.


    Homework Practice, Projects, and Assignments:

    Yes, all fifth grade students may have homework practice every night. We do work very hard in our classes to make sure that a majority of the work does get done during the allotted class time, but home practice will happen, especially if students choose to not use their class time wisely. There will be Math homework every night. All practice work is due the following day unless otherwise specified. Projects, study guides, and reports will be given a specific due date ahead of time which will be recorded in the planner. It is expected that all students will turn in their formative practice assignments within the first 10 minutes of class.



    Due to the direct alignment with Standards Based Grading (SBG), some practice/homework, and classwork may be used as a formative assessment only. This means that grades for these assignments may appear in the grade book as a CHECK mark showing completion of the required assignment or as a % that does not affect the student’s grade. Summative assessments (tests, quizzes, and project based learning) will impact the final grade. SBG aligns grading and reporting with the Arizona College and Career Readiness Standards allowing students, parents, and teachers to work closely together to achieve academic success through a variety of different methods. Please review the SBG pamphlet found on our website with your student. The understanding and application of the above mentioned is imperative for the success of your students’ learning. Retakes are only permitted if the student has completed a retake contract, ALL their required practice for the unit of study, AND has a parent or guardian signature on the assessment to be retaken. Retake contracts are available in each classroom and may be printed from our website. Retakes may be taken during our scheduled tutoring times or by appointment. 

    All retakes and late work must be completed and turned in TWO weeks prior to the closing of the grade book each quarter. Retakes are not permitted for any district-mandated assessments or finals. If any student is absent, they have one day to make up the work for every day that they missed. If a student is absent on a date where a major project is due, they are to turn in that project the day he or she returns to class. 


    Grades are maintained regularly and may be accessed through PowerSchool. To monitor your student’s academic progress, please visit http://ps.dvusd.org/public/



    All fifth grade students are required to use their planner and it becomes an easy way to keep the communication lines open between school and home. All students will carry their planner with them from class to class. Students will write down their nightly practice or important information concerning tests, projects, etc. in RED along with a quick summary of what was accomplished in class that day. Any student who misplaces their planner will need to purchase a new one from the office. 


    Each week, students will bring home a blue Data/Communication Folder. This folder will have all returned assignments, graded assessments, and test data in the format of bar graphs, as well as any other pertinent school information. Please acknowledge that you have reviewed the Data Folder by signing the Parent Communication form and return any communication requiring signatures in the folder to school with your student by Monday of each week.


    Class Discipline:

    In fifth grade, we follow all school rules all the time. Please refer to the Paseo Hills Handbook and Students Rights and Responsibilities for a complete overview of school procedures. All students at Paseo Hills will adhere to PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Systems and Support). We have a philosophy at Paseo Hills: Rattlers R.O.C.K.! All students are expected to demonstrate ROCK expectations in all areas of the school.


    ROCK! Stands for:

    1. Respect: Treating others the way you would want to be treated.
    2. Own Responsibility: Being Dependable and making good choices.
    3. Show Caring Through Kindness: Being kind and thoughtful to others.


    Explanations of the ROCK! Expectations and how to use them at school will be discussed during the first week of school and throughout the year. Fifth graders will use this philosophy when making decisions as it is designed to eliminate most discipline issues. All fifth graders will partake in class meetings with their homeroom to discuss the current school events and class issues. 


    As a positive aspect to this behavior system, students will be recognized for making good choices. Rattlers ROCK tickets may be given by any staff member to students meeting or exceeding our ROCK! Expectations. These tickets can be spent at the ROCK store and entered into school wide drawings for prizes.


    In the event that a student’s issue regarding their behavior choices needs intervention, progressive disciplinary action and natural consequences will take place. This will follow steps of the Rattlers ROCK positive behavior plan. For major discipline issues, students may be referred to Administration as needed. 


    • 1st Intervention is a verbal redirection and natural consequence and teacher documentation
    • 2nd Intervention includes a verbal redirection, natural consequence, re-reach of the ROCK expectation not being met by student choice, as well as a written reflection, documentation and communication with the parent/guardian.
    • 3rd Intervention is a teacher assigned intervention form completed, natural consequence, behavior solution form completed in intervention, and parent/guardian notification of the decisions made during our learning time.
    • 4th Intervention shows that the same choices are continuously being made with no effort to change by the student so he/she will be referred to Administration.


    Thank you for helping your student succeed in 5th grade by encouraging him or her to do their best! Please feel free to contact us at any time with questions or concerns.


    Mrs. Sue Piotrowski, Science and ELA     

    sue.piotrowski@dvusd.org 623-445-4562


    Miss Jennifer Reiman, Social Studies and ELA

    jennifer.reiman@dvusd.org 623-445-4540


    Mr. Nick Helmick, Math and ELA

    nick.helmick@dvusd.org 623-445-4563

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  • 2019-2020 5th Grade Suggested Supply List

    Posted by Nick Helmick on 7/14/2019
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  • 2018-2019 5th Grade Suggested Supply List

    Posted by Nick Helmick on 7/16/2018
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