Superintendent Larry Weeks encourages all members of our district to immediately  “SEE SOMETHING. SAY SOMETHING” should they see anything that seems suspicious.  His letter sent to parents and staff outlines the measures we take to ensure safety, yet reminds that we must all be vigilant and report anything suspicious immediately to school or department leaders.  Those leaders will bring the information immediately to his attention.  Thank you for bringing any questions you have to the attention of campus or department leaders in the district or the Superintendent’s office at or 602.257.2912.

Please remind everyone you know – SEE SOMETHING. SAY SOMETHING.

AzMERIT Testing Begins in April

Students in grades 3-8 will begin AzMERIT testing in April.
For more details regarding AzMERIT and Move on When Reading, please see:

AzMERIT Letter for Parents of 3rd Graders

AzMERIT Letter for Parents of 4th – 8th Graders

August is Attendance Awareness Month

Phoenix #1 proclaimed August “Attendance Awareness” month because we understand the strong relationship between good attendance at school and student achievement.
In fact, studies show that students with poor attendance in the early years tend to struggle with achievement throughout the rest of their school years. And, good attendance leads to high school graduation!

For more information, please read here about the effects of poor attendance.

Welcome Letter from Mr. Sotomayor

July 2017

Dear Parents,

Welcome to a new and exciting school year at Herrera! Our mantra is VICTORY TOGETHER! This speaks to a strong belief in collaboration between home-community-school. There is nothing we cannot achieve by working together. As a staff, we will continue to work hard to ensure the on-going success and growth of our students and the school community. We are anxious to build upon the traditions and successes at Herrera. We are looking forward to another successful school year with an emphasis on learning and personal growth!!

As you prepare for your child to start the school year, we wanted to share some important information to ensure a safe and pleasant start of school.

Open House
We will be holding our Open House/Title 1 information night on Tuesday August 1st from 4:00-6:00. There will be presentations on Title 1 at 4:00 and 5:00 in the media center. You are welcome to visit your child(s) classroom at any time during the open house. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, obtain important information regarding expectations/procedures and to learn more about the school. Treats will be provided to all in attendance.
We look forward to seeing everyone there!!

School Hours
Please note that school begins at 7:50 a.m. and dismissal is at 2:55 p.m. Breakfast will be served from 7:20– 7:50 a.m. School supervision for the playground will be provided beginning at 7:30 a.m. Students, who arrive to school before 7:30 a.m., must report to the cafeteria.

First Day Procedures

Class lists will be posted outside the front doors, in the cafeteria and outside the office. You are welcome to stop by Herrera to view the lists any time starting July 31st. There is no morning playground recess the first day of school on August 2nd. Breakfast will be served from 7:30 – 7:55 a.m. Students are to go directly to their classrooms after they eat breakfast. Teachers will be in the classrooms at 7:45 a.m. If your child needs help finding the cafeteria or their classroom, staff members will be in the hallways and throughout the school to assist them.

At the beginning of every school year, we send home forms that contain vital information in regards to your students’ health and safety. This information allows us to communicate with you in the most effective and efficient manner. Please make sure to take the time to review the information sent home and return it to the front office within the first two weeks of school.
Open communication between home and school is very important to the success of our students. In order to communicate with you in the most effective manner; we suggest you follow the steps listed below in regards to ensuring our students’ success:

Step 1

Contact teacher and/or Team

Step 2

Contact Administration:
Erin MacFarland, IEIS…Assistant Principal
Kevin Sotomayor, Principal

Early Dismissal Days
This year we will continue to dismiss students early on Wednesdays for teacher professional development. Beginning August 9th students will be dismissed at 12:55 p.m. each Wednesday.

School Supplies
We supply teachers and students with materials and supplies but sometimes run short on certain supplies, so I am asking for your help. Donations of the following supplies would be greatly appreciated:

1 ream of copy paper 1 box of pencils
1 box of Kleenex Hand Sanitizer
1 box of crayons 1 box of markers

First Week Schedule for Kindergarten Students
Kindergarten students will have early dismissal for the first week of school, August 2nd – 4th. All kindergarten students will be dismissed at 12:55 p.m. Teachers will spend the afternoons completing a variety of formal and informal assessments to measure their students’ skills and abilities. Teachers will use this data to ensure that students are placed in the appropriate class. Your child’s kindergarten teacher will be contacting you to schedule a time to assess your child. All kindergarteners will attend school for a full day from 7:55-2:55 beginning Monday, August 7th.

Drop-Off/ Pick-Up Procedures
We expect to have a higher than usual number of parents who will drop-off and pick-up their children during the first few weeks of school. Therefore, we ask that you assist us by following the guidelines listed below.

  1. Car riders are to be dropped off and picked up in the Pick-up Bay in front of the school on 11th street.
    • Traffic flows from north to south. Please follow this pattern and do not attempt U-Turns in front of the school as this can cause an accident.
  2. Bus riders will be dropped off and picked up on Pima Street.
  3. Walkers may be dropped off and picked up on the map located on the Primary playground in front of the swings and play equipment. If you plan to drop-off or pick up a walker please wait in this area. Please use designated crosswalks when crossing the street.
  4. Parking along 11th street is prohibited. Car riders will only be released to vehicles in the pick-up line. The Pick-up Bay is the safest place for your children. Please help us keep them safe at all times.
  5. Calls into classrooms cause a significant disruption to the learning environment; we ask that you make any arrangements with your child in the morning before they come to school. Please let them know if you are picking them up, going on the bus or if they are being picked up by a family member.
  6. Being on-time to school is crucial to the success of our students. First bell rings at 7:50. This is when teachers will escort students into the building. The late bell rings at 7:55. At this time, you will need to enter by the office to receive a late pass. Regular on-time attendance is critical to the learning process. Any student with excessive tardies and/or absences will require a parent conference with administration and could result in being cited for truancy.
  7. It is essential that students not be picked up early. The last 30 minutes of school are critical, this is the time teachers go over homework and clarify information for students before going home so that students can be successful while doing their homework. We will not release students between 2:30- 2:55p.m. so that they can receive all instructions before going home.

Preparation for the First Day of School
Remember as we move closer to the first day of school it will be important for you to start preparing your child(ren) to return to school by adjusting their bedtime to get them back on a school schedule. It is a great idea to begin to have them continue/start reading on a daily basis, practicing some math problems and doing some creative writing.

Please stay in close contact with your child’s academic team throughout the school year. Our successful partnership is vital to the success of our students. We look forward to working with you this year. Have a wonderful rest of the summer as we prepare for another successful year at Herrera School for the Fine Arts & Dual Language!

With Panther Pride,
Kevin S. Sotomayor

Download Welcome Letter

Meet Emma, Univision Student of the Week

Say hello to Univision AZ Student of the Week, Emma! A student at Herrera, Emma shows academic strength every day and has many friendships with her classmates. Emma’s teacher describes her as a mature leader among her peers. She is also a member of Herrera’s dance group! Well done, Emma!

Meet Ben, Univision Student of the Week

Meet Univision AZ Student of the Week, Ben! At Herrera School, Ben is the lead trombone player in the marching band. In addition to his musical talents, Ben has a knack for theatre and performs in school plays. He also loves reading works of nonfiction, fantasy, comedy and mystery.

Ben’s teachers say that he’s very respectful, a great role model, and a loyal friend. He has a unique sense for others’ needs and is genuinely compassionate and sincere.

In the future, Ben would like to be a volunteer in an animal shelter. He also dreams of becoming an actor.

Partnering to Test the Drinking Water on Our Campuses

May 11, 2017

Dear Phoenix #1 Families & Community;

At Phoenix Elementary School District #1, we have been working with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to conduct screening programs to determine if there is a presence of lead in school drinking water. ADEQ is coordinating with multiple state and local agencies, public water systems and public schools to proactively conduct these screening tests.

Herrera School drinking water was tested. There were no samples obtained that indicated a presence of lead in the drinking water above 15 parts of lead per billion parts of water (15 ppb). This is the level that is in compliance with federal drinking water standards.

We are pleased with these results. We will continue to work with ADEQ to insure the drinking water on our campuses is safe for students and staff. The safety and health of our students and staff is our number one priority.

Should you have further questions regarding this topic, there is information available at or you can speak to Principal, Mr. Kevin Sotomayor or call my office at 602-257-2912.


Mr. Larry Weeks,
Superintendent, Phoenix Elementary School District #1


Download Letter from Superintendent (English & Spanish)

17 de noviembre de 2017

Estimadas Familias y Comunidad de Phoenix #1;

En el Distrito Escolar Primario #1 de Phoenix, hemos estado trabajando con el Departamento de Calidad Ambiental de Arizona (cuyas siglas en inglés son ADEQ) para llevar a cabo programas de investigación para determinar si hay presencia de plomo en el agua potable de las escuelas. ADEQ está coordinando con varias agencias estatales y locales, sistemas públicos de agua y escuelas públicas para llevar a cabo proactivamente estas pruebas de detección.

Se revisó el agua potable de la Escuela Herrera. Ninguna de las muestras obtenidas indicó la presencia de plomo en el agua potable superior a 15 partes de plomo por mil millones de partes de agua (15 ppb). Este es el nivel que cumple con las normas federales del agua potable.

Estamos satisfechos con estos resultados. Seguiremos trabajando con ADEQ para asegurar que el agua potable en nuestras escuelas es segura para los estudiantes y el personal. La seguridad y la salud de nuestros estudiantes y personal es nuestra prioridad número uno.

Si usted tiene más preguntas sobre este tema, hay información disponible en o usted puede hablar con el Director, el Sr. Kevin Sotomayor o llamar a mi oficina al 602-257-2912.


Sr. Larry Weeks,
Superintendente, Distrito Escolar Primario #1 de Phoenix

2017 Flu Letter

February 21, 2017

The flu is hitting us late this year compared to the rest of the United States.   A combination of the following symptoms could mean you have the flu:

Fever (usually high)


Feeling very tired

Dry cough

Sore throat

Runny or stuffy nose

Muscle aches

Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are more common in children

In our schools we have been seeing a lot of students with fevers, coughing and with vomiting. We need to work together to keep our students healthy. The most important way to prevent the flu is to keep hands clean. We need to wash our hands often and thoroughly with soap and water. If this is not possible, then hand sanitizer can be used. Other measures to keep in mind to stay healthy include:

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and discard the tissue, or use the inside of your elbow to block the cough/sneeze.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Do not return to school until you are fever free for at least 24 hours and have not used fever-reducing medications during those 24 hours.

Since the flu is contagious both before and after symptoms begin and end, it is best to stay at home until you are fully well and not experiencing a fever, vomiting or diarrhea at least 24 hours.

The best protection from the flu is receiving your flu shot. It is not too late to do this. To locate clinic near you or call 211 within Arizona or toll free 1-877-211-8661 from anywhere.

Since you are contagious the day before you feel ill until the symptoms stop, it is best to stay home during this time of illness to help control the spread of the flu at school.

Thank you for your efforts in keeping all of our children healthy,

Lynette Wiltgen MSN, RN

Health and Wellness Coordinator


Febrero 21, 2017

La temporada de gripe ha llegado tarde este año en comparación del resto de los Estados Unidos.  Una combinación de los siguientes síntomas podría significar que usted tiene gripe:

  • Fiebre (generalmente alta)
  • Dolor de cabeza
  • Sentirse muy cansado
  • Tos seca
  • Dolor de garganta
  • Flujo nasal o nariz tapada
  • Dolores musculares náuseas, los vómitos y la diarrea son más comunes con los niños

En nuestras escuelas hemos visto que muchos de nuestros alumnos con fiebre, tos y vomito.  Necesitamos trabajar en conjunto para mantener a nuestros estudiantes sanos.  La forma más importante de prevenir la gripe es mantener las manos limpias.  Debemos lavarnos las manos con frecuencia y abundante agua y jabón.   Si esto no es posible necesitamos usar desinfectante de manos.  Otras medidas que pueden hacer para mantenerse saludable incluyen:

  • Cúbrase la nariz y la boca con un pañuelo desechable al toser o estornudar y deseche el pañuelo, también puedes utilizar el interior de su codo para bloquear la tos / estornudo.
  • Evite tocarse los ojos, nariz y boca.
  • No regresar a la escuela hasta que esté libre de fiebre durante al menos 24 horas y no ha utilizado medicamentos contra la fiebre durante esas 24 horas.
  • Dado que la gripe es contagiosa tanto antes como después de que los síntomas empiezan y terminan lo mejor es quedarse en casa hasta que esté completamente saludable y no haya experimentado fiebre, vomito o diarrea por al menos 24 horas.

La mejor protección para la gripe es tomar una inyección contra la gripe.  No es muy tarde para hacer esto.  Para localizar una clínica cerca de usted visite, también puede comunicarse al 211 dentro del estado de Arizona o al número gratuito 1-877-211-8661 desde cualquier lugar.

Dado a que la gripe es contagiosa es mejor quedarse en casa al momento de sentir los síntomas hasta sentirse bien.  Es mejor quedarse en casa durante la enfermedad para ayudar a controlar la propagación de la gripe en la escuela.

Gracias por ayudarnos a mantener a nuestros niños sanos.

Lynette Wiltgen MSN, RN

Coordinadora de Salud y Bienestar

Flu Letter 2017

Share Your Thoughts in Our Strategic Planning Survey

Phoenix Elementary School District #1 wants your input for the 2025 Strategic Plan being developed.  It will be a plan that will identify our goals and strategies to deliver a 1st Class Education to our students and families. It will carry us through to 2025, but of course it will be edited along the years as things change and require updates and tweaks.

To help in this process, we want to understand your perspective to help us build a better future for the students in this district. Please take a bit of time to help by completing this survey.  If you would like to arrange for an individual discussion or serve in a focus group, please e-mail

Our survey timeline is between Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 and Thursday, March 2, 2017.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

You can complete the survey at

El Distrito Escolar Primario #1 de Phoenix desea su opinión para el Plan Estratégico 2025 que está siendo desarrollado. Será un plan que identificará nuestros objetivos y estrategias para ofrecer una Educación de 1aClase a nuestros estudiantes y familias. Nos llevará hasta el año 2025, pero por supuesto será editado a través de los años conforme cambien las cosas y requieran actualizaciones y ajustes.

Para ayudar en este proceso, queremos entender su punto de vista para que  nos ayude a construir un futuro mejor para los estudiantes en este distrito. Por favor saque un poco de tiempo para ayudar a completar esta encuesta.  Si desea organizar una discusión individual o servir en un grupo de enfoque, por favor envíe un correo electrónico a

Nuestro período de tiempo para la encuesta es entre el martes 21 de febrero de 2017 y el jueves 2 de marzo de 2017.

Gracias por compartir sus ideas.