The Way Back - Back To School

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Arizona Department of Health Services said on Thursday, Sept. 3, that Maricopa County had reached the benchmarks to start reopening schools with hybrid learning models.

Maricopa and Pima counties now meet benchmarks for opening schools

It's been more than month since AZDHS released public health benchmarks for the safe return of in-person, teacher-led classroom instruction. The director of the agency, Dr. Cara Christ, has said all along that the state's benchmarks are guidelines and that the decisions will be up to individual districts in conjunction with their county health department.

Right before that, the Arizona Interscholastic Association cleared the way for high school fall sports to start.

AIA gives final OK when high school sports can begin in Arizona

Arizona's Family has compiled the return-to-in-person-learning plans from Phoenix-area school districts. Please check back regularly as the information on this page changes often.

Health expert weighs in on why Arizona schools can open, but gyms remain closed

Agua Fria Union High School District

The district posted its return-to-in-person-learnin guidelines for families on Sept. 21. Students will be required to complete a health screening form every day before getting on the bus or arriving on campus. Those who ride the bus will have a staggered seating arrangement and load from back to front. There will be just one student per seat and each must wear a mask the entire time. Student who will not wears a mask will not be allowed to ride. Buses will be disinfected between runs.

Once on campus, students who want breakfast will be able get a grab-and-go meal at the school entrance. Kids will go directly to their classrooms. Those who have not completed their health screening forms must do so before going into their room.

In the classrooms, desks will be 6 feet apart, when possible, and will be facing the same direction. Masks are required at all times, but there will be "mas breaks." Hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms and there will be cleaning procedures at the end of each period.

In between classes, students must wear masks and follow one-way traffic instructions as they report directly to their next class.

There will be at least two lunches at each school and students will be told where to buy their food. "It is important that students follow this to avoid large gathering," the guide explains. Students will have to sanitize their hands before going into eating spaces and buying food, and they must wear masks when they are not eating.

Bathrooms will be cleaned every hour and "monitored to ensure that minimal students are occupying the space."

Each school will have "a unique end of the day release," and students will be asked to social distance while waiting for their rides. Students who have events after school are to report to that event immediately. Others will be asked to leave campus right after school lets out.

If a student is not feeling well, they will be moved to an isolation area and "health staff will determine next steps." If there is an exposure, the school will send a notification letter and classrooms will be sanitized.

The district says students who do not cooperate with the guidelines "will be disciplined" and possibly "moved to an alternative learning environment."

Schools are required to report positive COVID-19 test results and "close contact exposure names" to the county health department. Parents are asked to report positive tests for students or anyone in their homes. "This piece is crucial for contact tracing and potential quarantine procedures," the district explains.

Students have been online since Aug. 4. Learning will remain virtual until the district deems it safe to transition to a hybrid model. Kids are only taking three classes. That will continue for the semester when some in-person learning resumes. Students who opted to do the entire semester online will continue using Odysseyware software after the schools reopen.

Students in the hybrid model will be divided into two groups. One group will be on campus Mondays and Thursdays, and online Tuesdays and Fridays. The other will be the opposite -- in classrooms on Tuesdays and Fridays and online Mondays and Thursdays. The class schedule students are following now will carry over when hybrid learning begins.

Agua Fria Union High School District

Wednesdays will be for deep cleaning on campus. Teachers will have time for professional development in the mornings and office hours and tutors in the afternoons. “Wednesday afternoon will be dedicated to time for students to work independently as needed and for school clubs and other co-curricular activities.”

“We envision an engaging, positive environment where students safely learn with their teacher and peers,” reads the district’s handbook. In-class safety measures include “as much physical distance as possible” with all desks facing the same direction and assigned seating on only one side of tables. Students will be asked to keep their belongings separate in their backpacks and advised to physically distance as much as possible in common areas.

Students will be provided with one reusable mask. They can buy a replacement at the bookstore if necessary. Masks must be worn when the social distancing guidelines of at least 6 feet are not possible. They can be removed when that guideline is met.

Students will have to complete a health screening form every day and take part in a cleaning process that including disinfecting their desks and helping with high-touch areas.

🡕 District website | Parent/guardian handbook

COVID-19 Information Line: 623-932-7090

Alhambra Elementary School District

On Oct. 1, Superintendent Mark Yslas announced that the district would remain in distance-learning mode through the end of the first semester on Dec. 18, making it one of the few Valley districts not offering an in-person learning option for the entire semester. Yslas said the decision was made based on surveys completed by families and by teachers. Based on that data, "We came to the realization that we could not find a way to make the OCIP (On Campus-In Person) option work at any of our schools," Yslas said in a letter to families that included results of the survey broken down by school.

The district had said early on that students would do their entire first quarter online. Classes started in the distance learning environment on Aug. 17. The first quarter ended on Friday, Oct. 2. The district's fall recess was Oct. 5-6; classes resumed on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

"Your child will continue with their current Distance Learning model with the same teachers and the same schedule," Yslas said. "Our Meals to Go program will continue with the same distribution days, times, and locations. Connectivity support for families will remain available."

The first semester ends on Dec. 18, followed by the district's winter break. The third quarter begins on Jan. 4.

The district’s Healthy Traffic Light plan is available in its online handbook. The handbook lays out the details of how reopening will work at each “light” – red means substantial COVID-19 risk, yellow signifies minimal to moderate risk, and green is for minimal to no risk.

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

The district has met the benchmarks to start in-person learning. The transition week, explained below, will be Sept. 23-Oct. 2, with the in-person model starting on Oct. 12 after fall break.

For families who chose the in-person model, there will be a transition to from virtual to classroom. Learning will stay virtual during that week. Instruction will be half days and learning labs will continue. Parents who said they wanted their students to return to school will be contacted to confirm that decision. Parents can switch from in-person to Distance Flex at that time. Students who are already in the Distance Flex model can transition to in-person learning at the end of the quarter, which was Oct. 2.

AESD schools have been offering Learning Labs during regular school hours for students who need an on-campus workspace. Reservations are required and families will be responsible for their own transportation. Click here for more information.

The school district's board is offering three different learning models: In-person Learning, Flex Model, and Digital Academy. 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. 

Click here for more information

Balsz Elementary School District

The Balsz School District reopened on Aug. 17, offering in-person classes, as well as remote learning for its students until at least the end of the first quarter. Parents are required to sign a waiver for any student who attending school in person. The Balsz School District also has an additional option for parents who need to have their students in a school setting. Students can receive the online instruction through the virtual learning program, but will have the opportunity to utilize the district's 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.

District website | FAQs

BASIS Charter Schools

BASIS.ed, which operates charter schools through the Valley and Arizona, is closed for in-person learning until further notice. Most of their schools are already open with full distance learning and more will open in the next two weeks, 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. However, some students may be eligible for the Supervision Model, which is explained further here

The school district says the earlier they will be able to reopen will be November 9. Click here to read about the COVID-19 Mitigation Plan.

A COVID-19 dashboard is being provided by the school district. Click here to see any confirmed cases.

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 Learning Center online program 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.

The district plans to bring groups of high need students first. If all benchmarks are met, the district brought all students back on campus for hybrid learning on October 12. Students will attend in-person on Mondays and Thursday or Tuesdays and Fridays. 

Cartwright School District

The school year started August 3rd with everyone taking part in distance learning. Until further notice, schools will transition to a 4-day week, with Fridays designated to be a deep-cleaning day. On Oct. 15, the Governing Board voted to continue distance learning until at January 2021. Board members will reevaluate the situation on Jan. 14. 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, as of September 8th. More information here.

Chandler Unified School District

The district welcomed students back for their first day of virtual instruction on Wednesday, Aug. 5. The board voted on Sept. 2 to approve a staggered start for in-person learning. It started on Sept. 14 and by Oct. 13, all students could be back on-campus. Chandler Online Academy and Elementary Connect students will remain in their current instructional setting and may choose to change to in-person learning effective Oct. 13, or remain in Chandler Online Academy. More information here. The weekly-updated dashboard can be viewed here.

Creighton Elementary School District

The district said it started the school year with "enhanced, structured remote learning" on Monday, Aug. 3 and on-site support services on started Aug. 17. Because of the slight increase in the COVID-19 transmission risk level, officials said remote learning will continue through the second quarter, which ends Dec. 18. For more information, click/tap here.

Deer Valley Unified School District

Classes started on Aug. 3 with virtual learning for all students. On Sept. 10, the governing board voted 3-2 to adopt a phased-in approach for students returning to class. By Oct. 14, all grades at all DVUSD schools were able to attend school on campus. The return to learning presentation can be found hereMore information here. The district's COVID-19 dashboard can be found here.

Dysart Unified School District

All students, pre-K through 12th grade, started online learning on Tuesday, Aug. 4. With COVID-19 cases going down, the district said it would have in-person classes and by Sept. 21, all grades returned to campus. Students who are doing full-time distance learning through Dysart iSchool can continue that. Dysart will have safety protocols to keep everything clean. For more information, visit their website.

Fountain Hills Unified School District

The district began full time in person learning on October 19th. The district began virtual classes on Tuesday, August 11. The Hybrid Program began Tuesday, September 8.

Fountain Hills High School closed on Wednesday, Oct. 28 for a coronavirus case on campus. The district said the amount of students who came into contact with that person led to their decision to close the school for 14 days. All students are asked to quarantine during this time. All students will switch to remote learning at this time. Remote learning begins on Thursday, Oct. 29. 

Remote option is available until the end of the semester (December 2020) with the virtual academy available until the end of the school year (May 2021).

If your child is attending via the remote option, they will not attend in person school. This option is available for students who are quarantined, ill, or the parent selected this option until the end of the semester.

It will be imperative for schools to remain open that we all follow the health guidelines. Please, keep your children home if they are ill or are exhibiting COVID-like symptoms.

Detailed information regarding the Hybrid Program can be found below:

Here are some important resources the school district has provided for the health and safety of students and staff as they return to school.

Fountain Hills Unified School District policy on face covering and use of face coverings in schools

Maricopa County Health Department guidance for screening for COVID-19 in schools.

Fowler Elementary School District

School began for all students in our school district on Monday, August 17. All students will start school online.

On July 23 the FEST Governing Board approved distance, on-line learning for all students. Read our Distance Learning Plan Template for School Districts in its entirety.

The school district will be offering 2 instruction models: Hybrid (online/in-person) and online. More information can be found here.

We are closely monitoring the state health benchmarks to determine if and when it is safe to return to in-person classes. Potentially, we would begin to phase-in "in-person" classes, starting on October 19 (following fall break).

Gilbert Public Schools

Gilbert Public Schools began online learning on Aug. 5, with online learning for all students.

On Monday, September 21, Gilbert Public Schools transitioned to full-time in person for all those students who selected on-campus instruction. All safety mitigation strategies will continue and wearing face coverings will remain a requirement.

If there is a significant change in state health metrics, the district says it is prepared to return to hybrid or online learning if necessary. If that occurs, all students, families, and staff will be notified as soon as possible. Gilbert Schools also has a full dashboard now listing individual cases for every school in their district. Click HERE to see the dashboard.

More information can be found here.

Glendale Elementary School District

The district began online-only school on Aug. 10.

Schools in the 85301 and 85302 zip codes opened in the hybrid model beginning October 19, which include, Don Mensendick, Glendale American, Glendale Landmark, Glenn F. Burton, Harold W. Smith, Horizon, Isaac E. Imes, Melvin E. Sine and William C. Jack.

The 85301 and 85302 zip codes have met the percent positivity of less than seven percent (7%) for two consecutive weeks. 

Schools in 85303 zip code area, Bicentennial North, Bicentennial South, Challenger, Coyote Ridge, Desert Garden, Desert Spirit, Discovery, and Sunset Vista will not open because the 85303 zip code has not met the percent positivity of less than seven percent (7%) for two consecutive weeks.

As the school district begins to solidify plans for a possible reopening with the hybrid-learning model, they are asking for  more feedback from parents/guardians of attending students. Access to the survey can be found here.

Glendale Union High School District

The GUHSD Reopening Task Force announced on Sept. 18 that based on the latest COVID-19 benchmark updates, the district has met the requirements to return to in-person learning. The district began hybrid learning on Monday, Oct. 19. For students returning under the hybrid learning model, parents/guardians will be asked to complete a COVID-19 waiver. Students were assigned to either Group A or Group B for hybrid learning, which determine their daily schedules. Information regarding group assignments and class schedules was sent out by individual schools. More information here. GUHSD current COVID-19 benchmarks.

Higley Unified School District

The district welcomed back students on Sept. 8 who opted to return for in-person learning. Schools are contacting parents directly with specific information for student schedules for returning to in-person learning or online. The district also released a video detailing the changes at school campuses. More information here. HUSD COVID-19 dashboard.

Isaac Elementary School District

IESC began 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, but no announcements for when that would be considered has been made yet. The district has added a weekly school reopening dashboard to their website to track when students might be able to return to in-person learning. As of Oct. 29, the overall risk level for the Isaac Elementary School district was moderate, and the recommended learning scenario is hybrid with onsite support. More information here.

J.O. Combs Unified School District

The J.O. Combs Unified School District returned to in-person learning Sept. 8. Combs High School is now classified by the Pinal County Public Health Department as having an 'outbreak' which means two or more individuals are confirmed to have COVID-19. All other schools, departments, and the district remain open at this time. The district has added a dashboard to track the number of active cases on their website. More information here. Curbside meal program

Kyrene School District

All Kyrene students began the school year learning online on Aug. 17. Once schools met state guidelines for reopening, Kyrene schools implemented a 3-model design of in-person learning, flex distance learning, and the Kyrene Digital Academy. This applies to only students who have chosen in-person learning. Flex Distance Learning students will continue to do so. On Oct. 22, the district added a dashboard to their website to report the active number of COVID-19 cases. More information here  | Kyrene COVID-19 dashboard.

Laveen Elementary School District

Laveen Elementary School District has released their own COVID-19 case dashboard and community resting resource for the public, students, staff and parents. You can see the dashboard here

Laveen met the health benchmarks to provide a hybrid model of learning for their students after a vote by the governing board on September 24. Some students will be allowed to return to on-site, in-person learning on October 12. Laveen has four options for school this year including: full-year online learning through the end of the school year (May 2021), flexible distance learning to transition to on-site learning where students will attend school online from October 12 to December 17 and have the choice to return for the remainder of the year for in-person learning, daily on-site learning which is full-day school everyday in-person, or Estrella Foothills Global Academy where students will return to campus for full-time, in-person learning with class sizes up to 18 students. More information here | Safety Measures

Liberty Elementary School District

Liberty Elementary School District will start allowing students back on campus for in-person learning on October 22 after the district met benchmarks of a below 5% positivity rate and percentage of hospital visit with COVID-like conditions under 5% as well. Parents had three options to choose for their kids: in-person learning, distance learning, or Liberty online. In-person learning students will begin school with a normal full day Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with early releases on Wednesdays including ofn the first day of classes. More information here.

Litchfield Elementary School District

Students will from preschool through fifth grade will be heading back to in-person learning five days a week starting on October 26. Sixth through eighth grade will go back to full time in-person learning starting November 2. More information here.

Littleton Elementary School District

Students will remain in full-time distance learning through October 21 after a vote from the Governing Board. The transition to the hybrid in-person learning will begin on October 22. The district has released a return to school waiver for students to fill out prior to returning to campus on the 22nd. The form can be found here

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. More information here

Madison Elementary School District

On October 23, the Madison No. 1 Middle School staff and students were advised they needed to quarantine for at least 14 days due to four COVID-19 positive cases on campus.

All students began the school year virtually on Aug. 11. The governing board voted to begin in-person hybrid learning on Monday, Oct. 12. The hybrid learning model consists of some students learning in-person and others learning online to reduce the number of students at school at the same time.

Parents have the option to keep their students learning online through December.

The governing board will meet each week to to review the most recent city data via the Maricopa County Department of Public Health dashboard.

The Madison School District has also created its own dashboard to show how many cases are at each school. Individuals who test positive are asked to quarantine for 14 days and monitor themselves for symptoms.

In the event that an individual has tested positive for COVID-19, the District will send two notifications:

  1. All who were exposed to the individual testing positive (within 6 feet and for a prolonged period of time, typically longer than 15 minutes, and/or in the same classroom/bus/space) will be notified of this exposure, asked to remain home and monitor for symptoms.
  2. Those who were not exposed but are in the same building as the individual who tested positive for COVID-19 will be notified but will not be asked to remain home.

This data on the dashboard reflects the active and recovered cases reported during in-person learning. The data will be updated every Friday by 5:00 p.m.

All schools began serving free meals on Monday, Oct. 12.

Students learning in-person will eat for free and all students learning online can pick up free to-go meals at any school. Children do not have to be enrolled in a Madison school to receive a free meal. Parents can pick up breakfast and/or lunch without their child present. Parents must wear a mask and follow 6 foot physical distancing when picking up meals.

Meals are distributed at the times listed below:

  • #1: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Camelview: 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM & 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Simis: 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
  • Rose Lane: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Park: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Meadows: 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
  • MTA: 9:45 AM - 10:30 AM
  • Heights: 10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

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

The district reopened schools for five-day modified in-person learning on Monday, Oct. 12.

Mesa schools began the school year on Aug. 4 with remote learning, and started modified in-person learning on Monday, Sept. 14 which had students coming to school in cohorts a few days a week and learning online one day a week.

Now, the district has moved forward with modified in-person learning five days a week. The district is calling it “modified” in-person learning meaning students will be required to wear masks and social distance. Parents will also be required to complete the COVID-19 parental acknowledge and disclosure form.

Remote learning continues to be a choice for the families who made that selection earlier this fall.

Mesa Public Schools has also created its own dashboard that displays current active COVID-19 cases in the district.

To comply with Governor Ducey's Executive Order 2020-51, the district opened on-site support centers at 24 district schools on Monday, Aug. 17.

More information hereClick for safety measures.

Murphy Elementary School District

The district began online classes on Aug. 3. On Aug. 17, the district began Phase 2 of their return to school plan, which consists of some students in grades Kindergarten, first grade and special education who have returned to school, part time.

The district also offers resources for students who need a place to continue with virtual, online learning in a safe environment. All students and staff who are on campus attend voluntarily and during the hours of 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

The district will remain in Phase 2 until the Maricopa County benchmarks are met to begin a hybrid learning environment (Phase 3).

Parents will still have the choice to have their child either return to classroom instruction or continue with virtual instruction. More information here

The district released their plan for safety protocols when they decide to return to in-person learning.

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 for the first semester of the school year. Online learning began on Aug. 3. The district said they will not return to in-person learning before January 4, 2021.

The district's governing board decided that school will only re-open for in-person learning if the Maricopa County's dashboard shows all three metrics in the 'green' minimal risk level for two straight weeks. The superintendent, Michael Robert, said in a video on Sept. 24 that the district is still in the 'yellow' moderate risk level. The district will continue to use county's metrics to decide on a re-opening date.

On Oct. 13, Robert announced that after a review of the county's data for the past three Thursdays, the district has not reached the desired metrics to return to school. The district will continue the first semester in distance learning through the winter break, with a return to in-person learning no earlier than January 4, 2021.

Parents have the option to keep their child home continue online learning after school reopens.

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

Paradise Valley brings students back to classrooms in waves

On September 18, the Paradise Valley Unified School District voted to begin in-person learning on a staggered schedule.

Students will return to in-person learning on campus based upon the following schedule:

  • October 8: Pre-K; Grades K-3, 7, & 9; Roadrunner; Sweetwater; and Self-Contained Special Education 

  • October 12: Grades 4-6, 8, and 10 

  • October 19: Grades 11 and 12 

The school district has a 2020-2021 reopening plan online.

Pendergast Elementary School District

School began August 5th through the district's online distance learning program. In-person schooling is delayed until further notice. The school district states families will be notified well in advance. More information here.

Peoria Unified School District

All students in the Peoria Unified School District resumed in-person learning on Sept. 21 and Sept. 28.  Safety measures are answered in the district's online #ReturnToSchool Plan.

"If at any time we feel the safety of our students and staff are in jeopardy and we need to change our instructional status, we will communicate with you," Superintendent Dr. Jason Reynolds said in a recent letter to parents.

More information here

Phoenix Elementary School District

On September 24, the Phoenix Elementary Governing board adopted metrics to determine when students can return to school. The school district will look at metrics for the following zip codes: 85003, 85004, 85006, 85007, 85009, 85015, and 85034 to determine when a Hybrid Learning Model can begin. 

If public health benchmarks trend in the right direction, students can be begin the Hybrid model on November 9. A full breakdown can be found here.

Phoenix Union High School District

The district's regularly scheduled first day of school was Aug. 3 and an announcement was made that in-person learning would not start until January. The district also announced they will be launching PXU Remote Learning 2.0. If state and county data reaches minimal spread in November, the district will consider even more on-site options to end the quarter. Employee return-to-work dates will also remain the same. Specific to athletics, the district and the Tolleson Union High School District have agreed to play football and girls' volleyball together. The districts are still in discussion about potential competitions between girls’ and boys’ golf, girls’ and boys’ swim, girls’ and boys’ cross country, and girls’ badminton. PXU will begin competition on October 26th with several games against Tolleson schools.

During a district board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 22, district officials began looking at new ways to keep kids safe on campus, now that the district has cut school resource officers. District's website

Queen Creek Unified School District

QCUSD started online schooling on August 3, 2020 via the Queen Creek Virtual Academy. On August 17, 2020, QCUSD started in-person learning for all students. Students also have the option of continuing online schooling via the Queen Creek Virtual Academy. 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 will not begin until October 12, 2020, or until further notice, will be the time frame for students to safely return to the school for in-person instruction. These dates are fluid and may change as the district receives additional guidance from the governor, Arizona Department of Health, Arizona Department of Education, and the Centers for Disease Control. District's website | Frequently asked questions

Roosevelt School District

The district started online learning for all students on August 3. As a result of a thorough review of the Maricopa County COVID-19 health data for the South Phoenix community, the district has made the decision to remain in a virtual learning setting at least until Winter Break. 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. Those options will include a full-time virtual academy, a full time in-person option and a flexible combination of the two. More information on the return-to-school plan here.

Scottsdale Unified School District

Students in the district began the year with online learning on August 10, either through the district's Enhanced Distance Learning program or through Scottsdale Online.  During a meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 9, the Governing Board gave the approval to resume in-person learning with a "phased-in" approach. On Sept. 21, kindergarten through second grade had the option to go back to the classroom. Grades 3 through 5 had the option to return Sept. 29. Students in middle school and high school were able to return Oct. 12 after fall break.

Following the return to campus, multiple COVID-19 cases have been reported in Scottsdale schools. In a letter from the district sent on Oct. 23, officials said: 

The trend in the metrics in those areas of our District has triggered the need to begin preparing for the potential return to virtual learning where substantial community spread is occurring. Our planning will absolutely take into account transitioning schools within the hardest hit zip codes. Those zip codes are 85251, 85018 and 85253, and all have more than 100 positive cases per 100,000 people. No official word has come yet about a possible date to return to online learning.

The District's website has the latest information.

Tempe Elementary School District

On September 28, the district's Governing Board approved the following adjustments to “in-person” start dates:

1. October 26, 2020 – 100% “In-person learning” begins for kindergarten, first, second, third grade and sixth grade at middle schools, WTA and Laird.

2. November 2, 2020 – 100% “In-person learning” begins for fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth grades.

3. Students will also have the option to continue 100% teacher-led, virtual learning.

(This all depends on Maricopa County metrics or any changes to Governor Ducey's Executive Orders.) 

More information can be found here.

Tempe Union High School District

The district will implement its hybrid model starting Tuesday, Oct. 13, which is the start of the second quarter following fall Break. Students will be divided into two groups. One of those groups will meet in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays while the other will be in classrooms on Thursdays and Fridays. "Students will learn in a virtual setting on the days they are not on campus, in addition to Wednesdays, which will be virtual and asynchronous for all, in order to allow for cleaning in between the cohort groups," explains a letter sent to families. Parents have the option to keep their students in "virtual instruction mode." The district has put together a video outlining its safety protocols.

More information on school reopening here.

Tolleson Elementary School District

The district's four elementary schools will begin in-school learning beginning October 19 at the conclusion of Fall Break, according to an Oct. 9 letter from Tolleson Elementary School District Superintendent, Dr. Lupita Hightower. Those families and students who wish to return to In-School Learning will return, and Distance Learning will continue for those who choose not to return in person yet. For more information visit the district website.

Tolleson Union High School District

All schools in the Tolleson Union High School District will remain in an online learning environment through the remainder of the first semester, which goes through Friday, December 18. The governing Board made that decision on Oct. 6, and sent a letter home to families, alerting them about the change. You can find more information on the district website.

Union Elementary School District

The district welcomed students back to a hybrid learning on October 19, 2020. UESD’s hybrid model offers parents either an in-person or on-line model of instruction. Parents select the model that their child will follow all five days of the school week, for the entire quarter. District and School transition teams have prepared schedules and campuses for the hybrid model. More information can be found here.

Washington Elementary School District

Many students began a  Hybrid A/B Learning Model on Monday, October 19. (Some parents have opted to continue distance learning through the first semester.) 

WESD Hybrid A/B Learning Model:

  • Two full days of in-person instruction at school
  • Two days of self-paced, independent work at home. Students will log in to their Google classroom for their assignments and to be counted as attending class
  • One early dismissal day of Online Distance Learning for all students (Wednesdays)
  • Students grouped in A or B
    • Groups determined by last name, accommodations made for families with children whose last names are different.
    • Group A is Monday, Thursday*
    • Group B is Tuesday, Friday*
    • Schools have communicated groups to families

Online Distance Learning:

Students who confirmed to remain in the Online Distance Learning Model for the remainder of the semester received information prior to Fall Break.

Click here for more  information | Frequently asked questions

Wilson Elementary School District

Wilson schools opened to in-person instruction on October 12, 2020. But after an outbreak of COVID-19 at Wilson Primary School, the district made the decision on Oct. 21 to return to virtual instruction for all Wilson students (both Primary and Elementary) and staff until Nov. 9 (tentatively). Antonio Sanchez, Superintendent, says they will do contact tracing to determine who was in contact with those who tested positive. All close contacts of positive cases will be notified, and will be required to stay home from school (quarantine) for 14 days, regardless of a negative test.

For those parents who originally opted to keep their children home, online instruction will continue. Wilson School District will be continuing hybrid learning (both In-Person and Distance Learning) through December. 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.


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