The Way Back - Back To School


PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - During a news conference on July 23, Gov. Doug Ducey did not give any guidance on when students could return to the classroom. Instead, he told parents to visit local school district websites for information. Ducey also said that by Aug. 7, the Arizona Department of Health Services will develop and release public health benchmarks for the safe return of in-person, teacher-led classroom instruction.

Districts have been putting their school year plans together all summer. Many of those plans have already changed a couple of times. Below are their current plans for the 2020-2021 school year. Please check back often. These plans could change.

Agua Fria Union High School District

Classes started Aug. 3/4 in an all-remote or virtual learning environment. School learning will remain virtual until it is safe to move into the hybrid model. Each student will be provided a Chromebook. Students will be asked to attend class at designated times and attendance will be taken. Students will only take three classes at a time based on feedback from the spring that six classes are difficult to manage in a remote environment. Students who want a full online option for the entire semester will be provided the option to begin the school year utilizing Odysseyware software and continue online throughout the semester even after schools have opened in the hybrid model.

COVID-19 Information Line: 623-932-7090

Click here for more information

Alhambra Elementary School District

Alhambra Elementary School District is offering two choices when it comes to planning a safe return to school: full-time online learning at home or 2-1-2 at-school learning. With the 2-1-2 at-school learning model, parents will need to have child care on Wednesdays. Currently, the school district plans to begin school on Aug. 17 with distance learning and will continue with that model through the first quarter. During the first quarter of distance learning, district officials will closely monitor and determine when it is safe for students to return to school.  

Parents are asked to complete a Digital Citizenship Class for each student.

Start of 2020-2021 school year at a glance

Distance Learning University

Click here for more information

Avondale Elementary School District

Based on guidelines set by AZDHS, the district has decided not to resume in-person classes on August 17. All students will continue to learn remotely, and the district will notify parents via e-mail as it continues to monitor benchmark metrics weekly to determine when students can return. The school district's board is offering three different learning models: In-person Learning, Flex Model, and Digital Academy. Parents can choose what works best for their families. With the Flex Model, parents can have their kids transfer to in-person learning at the end of any quarter, once in-person learning becomes available. Families can also move to the Flex Model at a later date. With the Digital Academy, "students will have scheduled live real-time and small group instruction." Those teachers will be from different schools in the district. The Digital Academy is meant for yearlong enrollment. Classes started on Monday, Aug. 3. Students who are part of the In-person Learning Model started the year in the Flex Model and will transition to on-site classrooms when the school reopens.

Click here for more information

Balsz Elementary School District

The Balsz School District will offer remote learning for its students until at least the end of the first quarter. The Balsz School District will also include in the learning plan an additional option for parents who have to have their students in a school setting the ability to be on our campuses. Students will still receive the on-line instruction through the virtual learning program, but will have the opportunity to utilize our clean and safe environments. Either option comes with the limitation that parents can only change their student’s learning setting at the end of a quarter.

Teachers started on Aug. 3. Students will start on on Aug. 17.

District website

BASIS Charter Schools

BASIS.ed, which operates charter schools through the Valley and Arizona, has announced the 2020-2021 school year will begin instruction 100 percent online on the regularly scheduled first day of school. The school administrators said their facilities will return to 'Families Choose in 2020-21' program, with parents indicating whether they would prefer to have their students receive instruction in-person or via distance learning, as soon as the State permits. BASIS Charter Schools website.

Buckeye Elementary School District

Schools began online on August 5th. The district will offer in-person learning at the end of the first quarter. The district is planning to offer virtual learning for students through the end of the year. More information here.

Buckeye Union High School District

The school district began online classes on August 5. The district is providing two learning options. Learning Option A will happen in phases as the school works to provide in-person instruction. Those phases will occur in this order: distance learning, hybrid and finally regular school day in person. Option B is LcOnline which is the district's fully online school. Families that choose Option B, have to stick with it for the entire 1st semester. See the district's Distance Learning Parameters by clicking here.

Cartwright School District

The school year started August 3rd with everyone taking part in distance learning. After the governor gives his approval for in-person learning in Arizona, parents will choose whether to send the kids to the physical classroom or have them stay home with online learning. Schools will transition to a 4-day week, with Fridays designated to be a deep-cleaning day. More information here.

Cave Creek Unified School District

The school district started the school year on August 5th with online or distance learning. On its website, the district says it plans to offer the choice to transition back to in-person school or continue virtual learning beginning September 8th. That is likely to change since Gov. Doug Ducey has yet to release public health benchmarks for the safe return of in-person, teacher-led classroom instruction. More information here.

Chandler Unified School District

The district welcomed students back for their first day of instruction on Wednesday, Aug. 5. The board voted to push back in-person learning to the beginning of the second quarter, on Oct. 13. They'll revisit the issue on Sept. 23. Until they can open schools for in-person services, all instruction will be delivered through the Chandler Online Academy (COA) or a virtual format. More information here.

Creighton Elementary School District

The district said it will start the school year with "enhanced, structured remote learning" on Monday, Aug. 3. The earliest the district will transition to in-person learning is after fall break on Oct. 13. Parents will then have a choice to send kids back to the classroom or continue with remote learning for the rest of the academic year. For more information, click/tap here.

Deer Valley Unified School District

Classes started on Aug. 3 with virtual learning for all students. The DVUSD Governing Board then voted to push back the start of in-person classes until Oct. 9, the end of the first quarter. The district hopes students can return to the classroom on Wednesday, Oct. 14. With this new approach, the district will have only two options: on-campus/virtual learning and Deer Valley Online Academy, which is full-time online. More information here.

Dysart Unified School District

All students, pre-K through 12th grade, will start online learning on Tuesday, Aug. 4. Administrators have extended the remote learning period through the first quarter. In-person learning is scheduled to resume on Oct. 19, unless benchmark data indicates it is safe to return earlier. School options for the 2020-2021 school year: in-person, online through Dysart iSchool, and split-time hybrid (K-8 only). More information here.

Fountain Hills Unified School District

The most recent return-to-school plan listed on the district's website is from July 10th. As of that date, the district's plans were to begin virtual classes on Tuesday, August 11th and in-person instruction on August 17th. The start date for in-person instruction is likely to change since Governor Ducey has yet to release public health benchmarks for the safe return of in-person, teacher-led classroom instruction. Those benchmarks are expected to be released on August 7th.

The school district plans to offer four learning models: traditional in-classroom, remote learning based on in-person classroom feed, virtual academy A for 9-12, and virtual academy B for K-12. More information here.

Fowler Elementary School District

The school district will be offering 3 instruction models: In-person, hybrid (online/in-person) and online. School will begin remotely on August 17th. More information here | Frequently Asked Questions

Gilbert Public Schools

Gilbert Public Schools began online learning on August 5, with online learning for all students. More information about Gilbert Public School online is found here. The district will begin in-person learning when it has met the Arizona Department of Health Services guidelines. Those guidelines were released Aug. 7. Parents will have a one week notice before in-person learning begins. The board will re-evaluate everything on Sept. 22 if the guidelines have not been met at that time. The district plans to offer three learning models that students and families can choose from: In-person (when safe), flex, and online through the GPS Global Academy.  More information here.

Glendale Elementary School District

The district plans to start online-only school on Aug. 10. They decided to postpone on-site learning until at least after Labor Day. GESD will make further decisions once they have reviewed the state health benchmarks that were released on August 7More information here | Safety Protocols

Glendale Union High School District

The 2020-21 school year will start remotely on Aug. 10 until at least September 4th. The GUHSD Reopening Task Force will evaluate the situation as September 4th approaches to reassess and announce if remote learning will be extended again or whether they will start transitioning to a hybrid in-person plan. More information here.

Higley Unified School District

The district began school on July 27th which allowed them to maintain their fall, winter and spring breaks as scheduled. During a special meeting Aug. 8th, the Governing Board approved a resolution for a return to in-person classroom instruction Oct. 12, or earlier if public health benchmarks are met. More information here.

Isaac Elementary School District

IESC will begin the 2020-2021 school year on August 3rd, with distance learning online. Plans to transition to a hybrid model or even a traditional model of learning in-person could be considered later in the school year. More information here.

JOCombs Unified School District

The Combs Governing Board voted 3 to 2 to have schools reopen for in-person learning beginning Monday, August 17. Administrators say the decision was made after the release of data benchmarks from the state, and feedback from families in the district. More information here.

Kyrene School District

All Kyrene students will begin the school year learning online on Aug. 17. Once schools meet state guidelines for reopening, Kyrene schools will implement a 3-model design of in-person learning, flex distance learning, and the Kyrene Digital Academy. More information here  | Safety Measures

Laveen Elementary School District

The district will begin school on August 3rd using distance/online learning. Once the data shows safety benchmarks are met, the district will provide families the opportunity to select again from four schooling options: Online Learning via Laveen Online Academy, flexible distance learning (transitions to on-site), in-person and Estrella Foothills Global Academy (K-6). Laveen doesn't have a set date for in-person instruction. More information here | Safety Measures

Liberty Elementary School District

School begins August 5th with online or distance learning instruction. The district has not released any details on in-person schooling since Governor Ducey's announcement on July 23rd delaying in-person instruction indefinitely. On August 7th, Ducey's office is expected to release public health benchmarks that must be met before students can return to the classroom. In early July, the district announced it would be offering 3 learning model options: in-person, distance learning and the Liberty Online School. More information here.

Litchfield Elementary School District

All students will begin school in a distance learning format on Aug. 5. The form offers three options for the fall semester: In-person learning, Digital Learning Academy, or hybrid learning. Once it is safe for students to physically return to school, Litchfield will transition from Distance Learning to the three options. Litchfield released information for students for meal pick ups on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. They released information for prices for non-students, adults and students not eligible for the free and reduced-price meal program.  More information here.

Littleton Elementary School District

School began on July 29th. The district is offering three instruction models that include full-time in-person learning, flexible distance learning and full-time distance learning for the 2020-2021 school year. On July 23rd, Governor Ducey postponed in-person learning indefinitely. On August 7th, Ducey is expected to release benchmarks that must be met before in-person learning can begin. Until that happens, in-person learning is not an option. 

Meals will be available for pickup from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. each school day. Distribution will be curbside and will include two meals a day. All students are eligible for the meals which will be free as long as the student has their License to Learn badge or their student ID number. 

More information here

Madison Elementary School District

All students will begin the school year virtually on Aug. 11. Registration for students is August 4-6. In-person learning has been delayed until at least the end of the first quarter (Oct. 12). Students who plan to attend school in-person do not need to be registered for the Madison Virtual Academy to receive online learning until in-person learning is available.

The district has also released its comprehensive plan that outlines protocols on how it plans to keep everyone safe when in-person school begins. More information here | Start of School Information Chart

Mesa Public Schools

Mesa schools will begin the school year on Aug. 4 with remote learning for all. Remote learning will continue until it is safe to transition into modified in-person learning. Parents will have the choice to keep students in the remote learning model. More information hereClick for safety measures.

Murphy Elementary School District

The district plans to begin online classes on August 3rd. Murphy School District will remain all virtual until it is safe to move to in-person learning. When this time arrives, parents will have the choice to have their child either return to classroom instruction or continue with virtual instruction. More information here

Osborn Elementary School District

The Osborn Elementary School District plans to offer two options for returning to school, but says their online option will be the only choice available at the start of the school year. Online learning will begin on Aug. 3. According the district's website, the earliest in-person instruction would begin is October 12, 2020. More information here | Important dates for school year

Paloma Elementary School District

The school year will start on August 3rd with everyone participating in distance learning.  Parents will have the option to continue with their child in distance learning or attend in-person classes as soon as face-to-face learning is allowed.  Please monitor the district's COVID-19 link for the most up to date information: 

Paradise Valley Unified School District

The Paradise Valley Unified School District said it will start classes online on its regularly scheduled first day, which is Wednesday, Aug. 5. "We will be following the PVConnect model for real-time, online instruction. This will allow for a smooth transition to face-to-face learning without disruption or changes to staffing or student schedules once in-person learning is permitted to resume." The district said in a letter to families that students will follow a schedule with real-time virtual instruction and attendance will be taken at required meeting times.

PV schools has committed to staying online through Labor Day weekend. As it gets closer to September 4, 2020, the district says it will evaluate the instructional model moving forward, which may include hybrid and fully in-person options. This will be dependent on data, guidance from public health officials, and state officials. More information here

Recorded virtual forum (from July 21): 🡕

Pendergast Elementary School District

School begins August 5th through the district's online distance learning program. In-person schooling is delayed until August 17 or until further notice. More information here.

Peoria Unified School District

All Peoria Unified K-12 students will start school on August 5, 2020, in a virtual instruction model. The district has also extended online learning through Tuesday, Sept. 8, while it awaits benchmarks from the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) that will help support a safe opening of schools. The earliest the district will open schools to in-person learning is Sept. 8. | More information here

Phoenix Elementary School District

Distance learning began on August 6 for all K-8 students. The school district has information about learning labs, meal pickup and resources for distancing learning online. More information here.

Phoenix Union High School District

The district's regularly scheduled first day of school is Aug. 3 and that's when they'll start with "full remote learning" throughout the entire first quarter. Employee return-to-work dates will also remain the same. District's website.

Queen Creek Unified School District

QCUSD start online schooling on August 3, 2020. Despite Gov. Ducey's announcement delaying the start of in-person instruction, the district moved forward with plans to bring kids back to the classroom on August 17th. The district voted Tuesday evening, Aug. 11, that in-person schooling will begin on Monday. More information here | Frequently asked questions

Riverside Elementary School District

The district started their Stem2 Distance Learning program on July 27, 2020. In-person learning would not begin until October 12, 2020, at the earliest. District's website | Frequently asked questions

Roosevelt School District

The district started online learning for all students on August 3. Online learning will continue until after fall break, which is Oct. 5-9. The district has developed three learning settings to meet the student and family needs for the 2020-2021 school year when it is safe to introduce them. More information on the return-to-school plan here.

Scottsdale Unified School District

SUSD plans to start the year on Aug. 10, as scheduled, beginning with the Enhanced Distance Learning Model or Scottsdale Online. The earliest SUSD campuses will open for Full Time On Campus learning is currently September 8, 2020. This date may change due to evolving health conditions, public health guidance and potential executive orders from the State of Arizona. The District's website has the latest information.

The District is looking at two learning models: Full Time On Campus and and Full Time Online. Check the district's website for enrollment options. Time is running out.

Tempe Elementary School District

The school district to begin 100% online instruction on August 17, 2020. They have approval to move in-person learning to October 13, 2020 which will be the Tuesday after fall break. Things could change once the health department releases new information but for now, these are the key dates. More information here.

Tempe Union High School District

Online classes started Aug. 3. The governing board then voted on Aug. 5 that they approved a plan to push back in-person classes. Those won't start until the beginning of the second quarter, which is Oct. 13. More information here.

Tolleson Elementary School District

The school district says the school year will start August 17 with remote learning. Families can choose from two options for children: return to campus or attend the Tolleson Virtual Academy. The district voted Tuesday, Aug. 11, that students will return for in-person learning on October 19th. Those plans are outlined HERE

Tolleson Union High School District

The first day of school was Aug. 4 and all students started with online learning. The school will continue with online learning through the entire first quarter, or Oct. 9. The district is offering 3 models of instruction: In-person, hybrid (in-person/online) and online. In-person instruction will begin no earlier than than October 9th. More information here

Union Elementary School District

The district's school year will begin on August 3 in an online environment. The governing board will meet on August 13, 2020, to review the public health benchmarks for school re-openings that will be released on August 7. In the meeting, the board will determine if the district will start in-person learning on August 17, 2020. Employees and parents will be notified on August 14, 2020, if the district will be re-opening for the in-person learning model on August 17, 2020. More information is here

Washington Elementary School District

WESD schools will start the school year with online instruction by district teachers on Monday, Aug. 10. Online classes will continue through at least Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 7). 

"During the first 30 days of the school year, the administration will be monitoring the current circumstances related to COVID19 and evaluating the options of the plan approved by the Governing Board July 9 based on guidance from federal, state and local health officials, the Governor and the Superintendent of Public Instruction."

Click here for more  information | Frequently asked questions

Wilson Elementary School District

Distance learning will begin on August 3. According to the district's website, reopening of in-person, onsite learning will start October 12. However, that is likely to change after the state releases public health benchmarks that must be met before in-person instruction can begin. Those benchmarks are expected to be released on August 7. District's website

If you know your district's start date and return-to-school plans, email the assignment desk and we'll add them. More information here.


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