Gilbert Sun News - 9.12.2021

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Ocotillo bridge plan advances

Sports betting storm begins

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An edition of the East Valley Tribune

INSIDE

This Week

COMMUNITY..........15 HD SOUTH offers a trip down memory lane.

BUSINESS................20 The Farmhouse Restaurant a Heritage District staple.

GETOUT..................... 29 Special Arabian horse show returns to Valley.

COMMUNITY........................................15 BUSINESS.............................................20 OPINION................................................26 SPORTS.................................................. 27 GETOUT.................................................29 CLASSIFIED..........................................32

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Sunday, September 12, 2021

Pandemic impacted Gilbert student achievement tests BY CECILIA CHAN GSN Managing Editor

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ilbert students surpassed the state’s average in passing mandated standardized tests in English and math administered in the spring, according to the Arizona Department of Education. However, this year’s AZM2 scores for Gilbert Public Schools and Higley Unified School District fell below their test results from spring 2019 – evidence of the pandemic’s disruption on learning.

The drop was mirrored for the rest of the state. AzM2, which replaced AZMerit and tests public school and charter school students in grades 3-8 and 10, was suspended for spring 2020 due to the pandemic. “We are not concerned by this difference,” said HUSD spokeswoman Teresa Joseph. “This is something we expected, due to COVID-19. “We are using our progress monitoring tools to identify specific core areas where students may not be performing to mastery level and we are working with our teachers

and administrators to address these areas.” The district also addressed the learning loss by offering summer school credit recovery and booster courses to help provide students in elementary and secondary education with extra support, Joseph said. HUSD, the smaller of Gilbert’s two districts, outperformed GPS – as it had in prior years. GPS spokeswoman Dawn Antestenis stressed that the test results were still preliminary and that the final certified data

see MERIT page 4

2 on Council balk at $129K Pensive moment in dues for think tank BY CECILIA CHAN GSN Managing Editor

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hat does a $129,017 check to the Greater Phoenix Economic Council get for Gilbert – plenty it seems. Town Council last Tuesday voted to renew its annual membership with GPEC for fiscal year 2021-22. Gilbert has been a member since 1991. “Every year we vote on whether or not to fund GPEC,” Councilman Scott September said. “GPEC provides additional support to our economic development team here in Gilbert in bringing businesses to the community.” September said when he noticed the item on the consent agenda, he asked staff for the value of what that $130,000 brings to the town. “What they shared with me is that in the last five years, by being

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Offensive lineman Nathan Warm appears pensive as Arete Preparatory Academy in Gilbert started the 2021 football season. The team has had to change its culture as the school attempts to “resurrect” football, as you’ll read on page 27. (Pablo Robles/GSN Staff Photographer)

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