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SDOHS Holds Sandra Day O'Connor Civic's Day Celebration, Other DVUSD Schools Celebrate Civic's Month

SDOHS Hosts Sandra Day O'Connor Civics Day Event

Sandra Day O’Connor students, staff, DVUSD Board President Ann O’Brien and district administration gathered to celebrate the life and impact of the school’s namesake, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, during a Civic’s Day Celebration held on campus Sept. 24. 

Arizona’s Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Celebration Day is a day in which a majority of classroom instruction is devoted entirely to civics. This year was particularly special as it commemorates the fortieth anniversary of O’Connor being sworn in as the first female Supreme Court Justice.  

While celebrating the first female majority leader of a state senate and the first female united states supreme court justice, Dr. Gary Zehrbach, Deputy Superintendent of Administrative Leadership and Services, drew parallels between her life and the values of DVUSD.

“There is much in common between our District’s core values and [Justice Sandra Day] O’Connor’s life. Our values of respect, accountability, integrity, student-driven and excellence are reflected in her extraordinary life and career.” and later remarked that throughout her life and career she was, “Always aspiring for excellence just like all of our students, staff and administrators do here at O’Connor High School.”

Many of the students in attendance of the celebration were SDOHS Civic Engagement and Advanced Studies program students which aims to “Cultivate a new generation of students for thoughtful and active citizenship.” 

The programs Director, Darrell Hudson, shared what it meant to him to work for a school adorned with her name.

“It is an honor for anyone to work here at Sandra Day O’Connor High School and it is an honor to preserve Justice O’Connor’s passion in civics by passing it on to the younger generations. She has been a role model we can all look up to as we aim to fly as high as she has throughout her career and have as much of an impact on whatever capacity we serve in our lives.”


Other Civics Events Around DVUSD!

  • Anthem School: Made a grade level banner of the preamble and had students write definitions and figure out what the preamble actually means to them in their own words.
  • Aspire - Deer Valley's Online Academy: Shared about helpers in our country on Zoom and at Brunch Bunch- students brought photos of family members in the military, first responders like doctors, nurses and we played patriotic songs after we talked about history; learned about the men and women who operated boat lifts to help with the largest sea evacuation and modern history on 9/11; practiced our hand at being constitutional lawyers using iCivics 'Do I have a right?' game.
  • Boulder Creek High School: Played a Constitution Escape Room ; Discussed events of 9/11
  • Canyon Springs STEM Academy: Students pretended to be members of the continental congress and they interviewed each other to complete a scavenger hunt.
  • Copper Creek Elementary School: Dressed in Patriotic Colors & learned about the Constitution, watched videos on the Constitution; Watched a fun video about The Constitution and completed a collaborative sort about the checks and balances of the US government.
  • Desert Sage Elementary School: Showed the students pictures of first responders and we discussed how this part of history is important in America. The students made Patriot Day books where they made red, white, and blue ribbons, colored the flag, and even drew first responders and the Twin Towers; Explored what it might be like to have no law or authority by doing the lesson "Trouble in Gold Flatts." We read the scenarios, identified problems, causes and effects. Then students talked in groups about possible solutions.
  • Diamond Canyon School: Held a school wide assembly with students reading and performing in the choir
  • Gavilan Peak Schol: Recited the Preamble and Declaration of Independence Except and added in School House Rock and Liberty Kids videos
  • Greenbrier Elementary School: Created Thank You cards for our local police and firefighters. We discussed what 9/11 is and looked at the memorial site.
  • Highland Lakes School: Played iCivics game Race to Ratify and discussed who Sandra Day O'Connor is during Social Studies Class; Hung Kindergarten flag handprints from the last three years along fence line. Students created a flag windsock and how we can honor the heroes of everyday!
  • Hillcrest Middle School: Students put together presentation projects concepts of democracy.
  • Norterra Canyon Elementary School: Listened to "The Little Chapel That Stood" and had a discussion about memorials. We then created our own memorial ribbon made a circle map of the privileges we enjoy because of the Constitution and wrote about it. These are displayed in our window; student recited different phrases of the preamble to the Constitution.
  • Sierra Verde STEAM Academy: Read through a webpage dedicated to 9/11 focused on First Responders. Students wrote thank you letters to our local fire fighters or police officers that were delivered; listened to School House Rock song about Constitution and went through a PowerPoint of the creation of the Constitution, Colored Puzzle Pages with the Preamble; Listened to the story through YouTube - "I Have the Right to Be a Child" & Each student made a poster representing one right they thought was important; Completed a Canvas discussion board answering and responding to each other's answers to the question- What is the Constitution and why is it important?
  • Terramar Academy of the Arts: Used the materials to remember 9/11 & discussed what it was; we also completed Agamographs and posted them on our board (American Flag & Military people); learned about the constitution and the branches of government.
  • The Traditional Academy at Bellair: Fourth grade students enjoyed watching the U.S. Constitution "come alive" by members of the legal community on Zoom. The objective was for students to gain an introduction of the United States Constitution by discussing its creation, history, and the bill of rights. Students gained a better understanding of the rights afforded to them through discussions, a video, and a game of Simon Says Bill of Rights with hand signals.
  • Union Park School: Read an article about the events of September 11th and focused on what it means to be a hero and who heroes are in our community; colored a flag while learning fun facts about the Constitution; Did a Constitution Scavenger hunt where they went through the constitution finding different information
  • Village Meadows Elementary School: Worked on the Constitution Packet and learned about the different branches of government, and how they are sorted into judicial, legislative, and executive.
  • West Wing School: Learned about the Separation of Powers. Compared and contrasted being ruled by a king to our government with checks and balances. We discussed what makes our country so special- The Constitution. Watched the Constitution Hall Pass- Separation of Powers video and then had a classroom discussion; Watched a tribute video called "Tribute to Sandra Say O'Connor", discussed what qualities she had to succeed and become a justice of the Supreme Court. Then wrote an essay about the most important leadership quality and how they can use that to benefit the school and their community.