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Updates - Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus Updates Graphic
Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman have ordered statewide school closures through the end of the school year. Remote learning is taking place in Dysart and will continue for the remainder of the school year.

The health, safety and well-being of our students, families and staff is our top priority. As our community is preparing for the Coronavirus, our goal is to keep you up-to-date about Coronavirus details, health and safety recommendations and what steps we are taking in our district and at our schools. This website will be updated regularly with the most current information.

 

Frequently Asked Questions >>

 

The FAQ page details answers to some of the most asked questions about the school closures.  Please keep in mind that the situation is fluid and answers to questions may not be available or can change.    

 

Remote Learning >>

 

The Dysart School District will begin remote learning on March 30.  Please visit our resource page to find out information, links, and best practices as we navigate this new way of teaching our children.

 

Resources >>

 

The resources page lists parent and family resources including how to talk with your kids about the virus, health tips, and other important internet and education resources.    

 

Spanish Versions >>

 

All of the pages available in English are also translated into Spanish.  Please click on the link to access information including Frequently Asked Questions in Spanish.     

 
   


UPDATES:
 

May 14, 2020 - 3:30pm

Beginning Monday, May 18, 2020 school and district offices will be open by appointment only, and phones will be answered during business hours
 

 

May 1, 2020 - 5:00pm
 

For the past several weeks, District leaders have been working with State Farm Stadium to provide memorable Graduation Ceremonies for our Class of 2020 Seniors. Originally, graduation ceremonies were scheduled for May, but in light of the physical school closures through the end of this school year as ordered by Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey, social distancing guidelines and event size restrictions, it is not prudent to hold ceremonies as originally scheduled. Our districts still want to hold these important ceremonies, and we are making plans to do so, if it is feasible. 

If gathering restrictions are lifted or adjusted to allow the event to take place, the following dates are reserved at State Farm Stadium to hold our Class of 2020 Graduation Ceremonies:
 

  • June 26 – 27: Peoria Unified School District
  • June 30: Dysart Unified School District
  • July 2 – 3: Deer Valley Unified School District


The specific format for the ceremonies is still to be determined, and will be dependent upon guidance from state government, health officials, and State Farm Stadium. Ceremony times and dates for individual schools will be determined by each district and communicated to seniors and their families when confirmed.
The Deer Valley, Dysart and Peoria schools serve 95,999 preK-12th grade students in the northwest valley.

As stated above, graduation ceremonies for Dysart Unified School District (DUSD) have been rescheduled from May 15 to June 30, 2020. The plan is for ceremonies to take place at the State Farm Stadium, located at 1 Cardinals Drive in Glendale, Arizona. Each ceremony will be live-streamed for the first time ever. We are working closely with the stadium to ensure there is plenty of time between each ceremony to allow for cleaning and sanitizing procedures, so ceremonies are likely to start earlier in the day and be farther apart than originally scheduled. Ceremony times for each school and specific details regarding the format will be announced at a later date, once confirmed with the stadium. 

Dysart wants all graduates to be recognized in a meaningful and memorable way. After taking into consideration feedback from students and parents, postponing the date will allow graduating seniors the opportunity to still participate in an in-person event, which was overwhelmingly requested. While we know this later date may not be ideal for everyone, this is the best option at this time to allow for the majority of students to participate in an in-person ceremony.

Please note that the June 30 Graduation Ceremony is contingent on officials lifting gathering and event restrictions. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility during these uncertain times. We look forward to seeing our students on June 30, to celebrate their accomplishments. Dysart District high schools have already begun celebrating seniors in a variety of other ways as well. Each school is working hard to make this year’s celebration special for each and every senior, and will be reaching out with additional details as they are available.
 

 

April 13, 2020 - 2:00pm

We know there are many questions regarding the grading process as we are doing remote learning for this last semester. While it is our hope that remote learning is a meaningful and engaging experience, we are being flexible to ensure that students have every opportunity to demonstrate competency. 
 

 ​

April 3, 2020 - 5:00pm
 

Good afternoon Dysart Parents and Guardians,

Our first week of remote learning has come to a successful end! We know that the week has had some challenges, as well as many extraordinary learning experiences. Your patience and understanding is appreciated as the software companies work to resolve their issues to better serve teachers and students. Dysart staff will continue to be flexible with lessons through the rest of the year. To address potential security concerns with remote learning, we have asked our staff to take extra precautions to ensure digital safety and security.

Please remember that, per Governor Ducey, we are required to continue offering remote learning through the end of the school year. However, with the Governor’s decision to physically close schools through the end of the school year, many new questions and concerns come to mind. Here are some updates as Dysart continues to provide remote learning:

Grab-and-Go Meals
Dysart’s free meal program for children 18 and under continues! Beginning on Monday, April 6, eight additional sites will open to meet the high demand for meals. All children are welcome to enjoy a meal, even if the child is not enrolled in Dysart. Grab-and-Go breakfast and lunch service takes place Monday-Friday from 11am-1pm at Asante Prep, Ashton Ranch, El Mirage Elementary, Dysart High School, Kingswood, Luke Elementary, Riverview, Shadow Ridge, Sonoran Heights, Sunset Hills, Surprise Elementary, Thompson Ranch, and Willow Canyon.

Credits and Refunds
We are currently processing requests for credits and refunds due to activity or event cancellations. Please be patient as staff works through the sheer volume of transactions with limited staffing and social distancing orders. According to Arizona law, different rules will apply depending on how the fee was paid. Please call the school’s main line if you have questions regarding your specific situation.

Please note that by Arizona law, tax credit contributions used to pay for athletic and testing fees cannot be refunded. However, contributors can still apply the tax credit when their state taxes are filed, and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. (Please check with your tax consultant for details.) For students that remain enrolled at a Dysart school next year, the dollar amount for athletic fees will automatically be placed On-Account to be re-allocated to another tax credit eligible expense for the same student in the next school year.

Graduation
Dysart continues to work on plans for graduation celebrations, and are confident that we will be able to develop a meaningful and memorable event to properly celebrate high school seniors. Details will be shared as soon as plans are finalized. 
 
For continued updates, please go to Dysart.org/Coronavirus. Thank you and have a great weekend!

 ​

April 1, 2020 - 5:00pm
 

Good afternoon Dysart parents and guardians,

Remote learning has been a new challenge for all of us, and we know there has been some frustration in these first few days due to internet connectivity issues and Schoology system outages. 

As with any major change to a system, some bumps in the road are to be expected, and we are working to address and resolve them as quickly as possible. Please know that our staff will be flexible and patient with students during this challenging time, and we ask for the same courtesy, as our staff has been working tirelessly to adjust our operations to support district-wide remote learning in a very short period of time. 

We have received some questions regarding how much time daily lessons should require. The daily time expectation for K-5 students is 1-2 hours per day and 2-3 hours per day for grades 6-12. If your children are needing to put more time than this into their lessons each day, please reach out to your child's teacher and let them know so that adjustments can be made. 

This is a new way of operating for all of us, so please be patient as we work out the kinks, and kindly let us know when there are challenges or issues that need to be addressed.

Here are a few tips for those having trouble with Schoology or another aspect of remote learning:

  • Parents that need help accessing Schoology can watch a helpful video tutorial at Dysart.org/Schoology101
  • Access Schoology using dysart.schoology.com, not through an online search.
  • Refresh your browser if Schoology issues occur, and continue to do so as needed. Remember that most schools are shifting to online operations right now, which is slowing down these virtual learning environments and internet connectivity around the world. They are working hard to keep up with demand too.
  • Reach out to your child’s teacher(s). Our staff are working hard, just remotely, so please contact them via email with specific questions or concerns, and they will follow-up with you. 
  • If you’ve already reached out to your teacher and still need help with Schoology, please contact 623-271-0112 or [email protected] for assistance between 7:45am and 3:45pm, starting tomorrow.
  • If you’re having a computer/device issue, please contact our IT Support Hotline at 623-876-7071 or [email protected]


Dysart is proud to be able to continue providing meaningful and engaging instruction to our students, and appreciates your patience as we work through the many challenges that this complete shift in operations brings. Teachers are trying new things and figuring out what works best, and we will all work through this together and come out stronger in the end. 

Thank you and have a wonderful rest of your week!
 

 ​

March 30, 2020 - 5:00pm

Good afternoon Dysart parents and guardians,
 
This morning Governor Ducey and Superintendent Hoffman extended physical statewide school closures through the end of the school year. Click here for the full statement from the Governor’s office: Governor Ducey, Superintendent Hoffman Announce Extension Of School Closures Through End Of School Year.
 
While this includes traditional brick and mortar building classrooms and classes, it does NOT affect Dysart’s remote learning plans, which began today, and will continue through the end of the school year. 
 
Please note that all planned activities and events throughout the end of the school year are now canceled. We know there are a multitude of questions that you have regarding cancelations and the rest of the year. Plans are still being considered for graduation ceremonies, and we will follow-up with details on graduations and other questions as soon as alternate plans are finalized.
 
Our free meal program for children 18 and under will continue, and we invite you and any other community members with children to take advantage of it. Grab-and-Go breakfast and lunch service takes place Monday-Friday from 11am-1pm at El Mirage Elementary, Kingswood, Dysart High, Willow Canyon and Shadow Ridge. We are working on expanding this program to additional sites in the coming weeks, and will notify you of those details as soon as possible.
 
While we are sad that we must end the school year remotely, we are proud that education will not only continue, but will also be meaningful and engaging in Dysart during this challenging time.
 
Please continue to join us in taking proper actions to help stop the spread of Coronavirus. We will continue to bring you additional updates as we learn the impact of this change on our district, and will post them at Dysart.org/Coronavirus. 
 

 

March 24, 2020 - 5:00pm

Good afternoon Dysart parents and guardians:

On behalf of the Dysart Unified School District, I wish you and your family good health. I am sure you have many questions with schools being closed. As school closures continue through at least April 10, 2020, I want to share with you details about Dysart’s plans for remote learning, which will begin on Monday, March 30.
Dysart families have come to expect an extraordinary learning experience, and as we shift to remote learning, we are committed to continue doing just that. Lessons will be meaningful and relevant, and teachers will be responsive to the diverse needs of our entire community of learners. Many of our staff have been working hard to prepare our system for online implementation. 

Here is the current plan regarding remote learning in Dysart:

  • Remote learning across the district will begin on Monday, March 30. Please watch for details in the Parent Portal, emails from your child(s) teacher(s), notices from your school Principal, and information posted on Dysart.org/RemoteLearning.
  • Schoology, Google Classrooms and hard-copy packets are all remote learning options that may be used, depending on the grade level, subject and teacher preference. Parents can always request paper copies of lessons.
  • Teachers will be contacting you this week to ask you about your child’s specific remote learning needs and challenges. Dysart has a limited number of Google Chromebooks that can be checked out by parents to assist with remote learning at home. Schools will share details with you later this week regarding Chromebook pickup schedules and requirements for their campus.
  • Not everyone has internet access at home. Please note that public Wifi is available at every Dysart school and facility parking lot. Also, a number of Internet service providers have special offers right now that may be helpful. A list of resources for Internet access is posted on our website at Dysart.org/Coronavirus under the “Resources” link.
  • Students with special needs, or who currently have outside placement, will be contacted by a teacher to share information for your specific situation.


I know that remote learning puts an additional burden on our families, and that many of you are also juggling many other responsibilities as well. I have asked teachers to be understanding during this transition. I ask you, too, to be understanding as teachers work hard to provide your child with an extraordinary learning experience. 

Also, please remember to join us for Grab-and-Go breakfast and lunch service for community members 18 and under from 11am through 1pm, Monday - Friday. Sites include El Mirage Elementary, Kingswood, Dysart High, Willow Canyon and Shadow Ridge. Please note that the pickup location for Dysart High is in the South bus loop.
If you are looking for opportunities to support your local school, please feel free to contact your local PTO/PTA, the school Principal, or teacher. There are many ways to build school spirit and great memories in this otherwise interesting time.

Dysart is excited to begin engaging students in learning once again, and I am confident that as we move forward, you will see meaningful learning taking place. I look forward to the creative ways we move forward, together with you. Please continue to check our website, Dysart.org/Coronavirus for the latest updates and frequently asked questions.

Quinn R. Kellis, Ed.D.
Superintendent.
 

  

March 20, 2020 - 5:00pm
 

 

This afternoon Governor Ducey extended school closures through April 10, 2020, which means that Dysart schools will now be closed through April 10, 2020. (Click here to view the Governor’s announcement.) We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation and make adjustments as needed, or as directed by officials. These are challenging times, but we know that together we will get through them, and come out stronger in the end.  

Next week we expect to have further information to share with you about continuing instruction online, starting March 30. We are working to finalize our plans based upon recommendations from the state legislature and Governor’s office. 

We want to ensure that all students have immediate access to the medications that are currently in the school health offices. The district will return ALL medications and ALL medical-related supplies back to parents, starting on March 24th. Each school has two designated pickup times. Please view the schedule and pickup details posted on Dysart.org/coronavirus or linked below. 

Also, please remember that free Grab-and-Go breakfast and lunch will be provided to community members 18 and under beginning Monday, March 23rd between 11am and 1pm at El Mirage Elementary, Kingswood, Dysart High, Willow Canyon and Shadow Ridge. Children must be present to receive meals, per ADE regulations. We encourage you to take advantage of this service and share the details with others in the community.
 

Student Medication Pickups (Schedule)
Due to the possible extension of school closures, we want to ensure that all students have immediate access to the medications that are currently located in the school health offices. The district will return ALL medications and ALL medical related supplies back to parents the week on March 23rd. Both prescription medications and over-the-counter medications will be returned. 

Each school has two designated times that medications and health related supplies can be picked up starting on Tuesday 3/24/20 based on this schedule. If you are in an emergency situation and require your child’s medication prior to the designated pick-up time, you can contact our district Lead Nurse, Jacqueline Hoeffler, at [email protected] to make other arrangements.

Medications and supplies will be returned at the school's front office.  A nurse will be available during the designated times. You must have, and be prepared to show, a photo ID. Medications will not be returned without proper identification. If you are unable to personally pick up the medications, please call ahead of time and let the school know who you are sending for pick up. That assigned person must be prepared to show a photo ID as well. If you are uncomfortable coming inside the building, you can call the school office when you arrive, and your medications can be brought outside to you.

Need Other Accommodations? If you are unable to pick up your child’s medications/supplies, during the designated times, please contact your school. They will be available to make other arrangements. All medications and supplies that are not picked up within these times will be locked up in the health office and you will need to reach out to your school directly through the main office to arrange a different pick up time.​
 

 ​

March 18, 2020 - 4:00pm
 

Good afternoon Dysart parents and guardians:

I wanted to touch base with you today to remind you that although our Spring Break is coming to an end, our schools will remain closed through April 3, 2020. We also want you to be aware of some resources that we are providing to the community during the closure. 

Continued Instruction: We have had many questions about if we will be offering online classes during the closure. Dysart has been preparing to continue instruction in various capacities while schools are closed, including through our electronic curriculum site, Schoology. We are working to finalize plans based upon recommendations from the state legislature and Governor’s office.  The alternative instruction delivery (AID) method would begin for students on March 30.  More information, including support for those without computers or internet access, will be provided next week regarding Dysart’s plan to continue instruction for students. 

Meal Service: Beginning Monday, March 23, we will be providing meals to community members 18 and under Monday - Friday, through April 3. Grab-and-go breakfast and lunch will be provided from 11am - 1pm at the following sites: El Mirage Elementary School; Kingswood Elementary School; Dysart High School; Willow Canyon High School; and Shadow Ridge High School. Children must be present to receive meals, per ADE regulations. We encourage you to take advantage of this service and share the details with others in the community.

Child Care Options: At the request of the Governor for additional child care options, we are once again offering our Spring Camp and Growing Minds Preschool. Priority for these programs will first be given to essential medical, public safety and military personnel, second to current Den Club participants, and then to the general public. Limited space is available, and will be based on staffing capacity. Please note that we are taking additional precautions to ensure the health and safety of the children and staff in these programs. Health screenings for students and staff will take place twice a day, additional cleaning and sanitizing procedures will be followed, and class sizes will be reduced to ensure space for social distancing. Parents can enroll or get more information online at dysart.org/communityeducation.

Student Medication Pickups: Dysart nurses and administration will be available at each campus location next week for those parents that wish to pick up essential student medications.  A schedule of dates and times for each school will be provided on our website when it is available. Please note that when the schedule is released, only one family member at a time (with appropriate identification) will be allowed to access student medications in the nurse’s office to assure appropriate social distancing.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time for our entire community. Here in Dysart, we hope to support our students, families, staff and general community as much as possible. Please continue to check our website at Dysart.org/Coronavirus for the most current information, frequently asked questions and resources. 

- Quinn R. Kellis, Ed.D., Superintendent​

 

 

March 16, 2020 - 3:00pm
 

Dear Dysart parents and guardians:

Today is Monday, March 16 and we wanted to provide an update regarding some services during our school closures. Yesterday, Governor Doug Ducey ordered all schools to be closed through March 27. Dysart schools had already announced a closure through April 3rd, and we will remain closed as scheduled, through April 3, 2020.

Beginning Monday, March 23, we will be providing meals to community members 18 and younger Monday - Friday, through April 3. Grab-and-go breakfast and lunch will be provided from 11am - 1pm at the following sites: El Mirage Elementary School; Kingswood Elementary School; Dysart High School; Willow Canyon High School; and Shadow Ridge High School. Meals will be provided near the exterior gates in designated parking lots. 

Additionally, at the request of the Governor, and after a thorough deep cleaning of the facilities, we will be reopening our Spring Camp, starting Tuesday, March 17, and services will be extended on a weekly basis, as needed. Plans are also currently underway to reopen Den Club as a full-day program. Details are still being determined and will be shared on our website when available.

Priority for both Spring Camp and Den Club programs will first be given to essential medical, public safety and military personnel, second to current Den Club participants, and then to the general public. Limited space is available, and will be based on staffing capacity. Health screenings for students and staff will take place twice a day, additional cleaning/sanitizing procedures will be followed, and class sizes will be reduced to ensure space for social distancing. Parents can enroll online at dysart.org/communityeducation

We will continue to keep you updated on our website at Dysart.org/Coronavirus with the latest information and details. Currently, experts are recommending the use of “social distancing” in combating the spread of Coronavirus. Essentially, this means that everyone should be limiting our social interactions with others, and not going out to public places.  Additionally, we should all be continually practicing healthy habits.

Thank you for your continued support of our efforts to keep our students, families, staff and general community safe and healthy.
 

 

March 15, 2020 - 3:45pm

Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman​ have ordered statewide school closures through March 27, 2020. The Dysart Unified School District will remain closed through April 3, 2020. ​This includes suspending all classes (including outside placement students), activities and events, Community Education Spring Camp, Den Club before and after school care, and all preschools, including Growing Minds Preschool.
 

 

March 14, 2020 - 6:50pm

Dear Dysart parents, guardians and community:

In the best interest of the general community, and after careful consideration of the health and safety of our students, families and staff, the Dysart Unified School District is closing all schools and programs through April 3, 2020 and asking families to keep students at home.  While the district is currently on Spring Break for the upcoming week, the closure will extend through April 3 and includes suspending all classes (including outside placement students), activities and events, including athletics, Community Education Spring Camp, Den Club before and after school care, and all preschools, including Growing Minds Preschool. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation and expect to have further guidance from state officials soon.

While we believe that schools are often the safest place for children to be, we are taking this action to support community-wide efforts to reduce social interactions, as suggested by the Center for Disease Control. It is important to note that there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the Dysart Unified School District.

Dysart Unified School District has been preparing for this situation, and has contingency plans in place, if needed, to provide extended learning opportunities. Further details will be shared soon and posted on our website at www.Dysart.org/Coronavirus.

A separate message will be sent to Dysart employees regarding details on staffing, work plans compensation, and ongoing operations while schools are closed to students.

Thank you for supporting this effort to keep our students, families, staff and general community safe and healthy. We encourage you and your family to continue practicing healthy habits. We will continue to update our website with the most updated information at www.Dysart.org/Coronavirus.

Sincerely,
Quinn R. Kellis Ed.D., Superintendent​
 

 


March 13, 2020 - 3:00pm


Yesterday Dysart announced that we are suspending athletic games, arts performance events and assemblies. While the recommendation from the Arizona Department of Health is still not to close schools, these actions are being made in an effort to help limit large social interactions, which is something that the Center for Disease Control is suggesting.

The following events have also been postponed until further notice:
 

  • Teacher Career Fair, originally scheduled for March 23
  • Dysart Festival of the Arts, originally scheduled for March 28
  • Valley Vista High School Prom, originally scheduled for April 4. We are looking into contingency plans for Proms scheduled for our other high schools (Dysart, Shadow Ridge, and Willow Canyon), but they are currently still scheduled.
     

At this time we are planning to reschedule these events later in the school year, if possible, and will share that information as soon as we know more.

Schools are currently still scheduled to resume operations after Spring Break on Monday, March 23. We will continue to monitor the situation, work with the AZ Department of Health Services, and make adjustments as needed.

Please continue to focus on practicing healthy habits, and check our website regularly at www.Dysart.org/Coronavirus for our latest updates.

 

March 12, 2020 - 3:30pm

 

The Dysart Unified School District is taking a proactive response to the Coronavirus in order to help minimize the spread of any illness. In an abundance of caution, Dysart is taking a number of actions to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our students, families and staff:

  • Dysart is suspending all high school and middle-level athletic games, all arts performance events, as well as assemblies through March 27 to reduce social interactions.
  • All district-sponsored student or staff travel (in and out-of-state), including field trips, is suspended until further notice.
  • As a precaution, Dysart will not allow non-essential campus visitors beyond the front office. This includes volunteers.
  • Additional cleaning and sanitizing procedures have been instituted. This includes:
    • Dysart maintenance staff is regularly sanitizing all campuses, especially frequently-touched objects and surfaces. This includes spraying down playground equipment, sanitizing public areas, restrooms, cafeterias, and high contact areas like door hardware, gates, padlocks on a daily basis.
    • Busses are being sanitized between runs. 
    • Students will be assigned a single chromebook, when possible, and sanitized between uses.
  • In classrooms, teachers will use strategies to minimize student touch/interactions and encourage hand washing and sanitizing. 
  • Students and staff that are sick will be sent home.


Dysart will continue to work closely with, and take direction from, the Maricopa County Health Department regarding all potential health issues. Dysart has plans in place for various actions that may be required in response to the Coronavirus and will take immediate action, as needed, to ensure the safety of our students and staff.  On March 12, the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Department of Education recommended that schools do not close.

Please remember that at this time there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in our district. We will keep you updated about any developments that impact our schools and community. 

A website has been established to provide the most recent updates, answer questions and provide links to facts and resources. Please visit www.Dysart.org/Coronavirus for the most up-to-date information.

Please help us remind students about practicing healthy habits, and keep your child home when they are sick. We appreciate your partnership in helping us keep our students, families and staff safe and healthy. We will continue to monitor the situation over spring break, and post updates as available. 

 

March 12, 2020 - 12:00pm

In light of concerns related to COVID 19, high schools in the Dysart Unified School District will be suspending scheduled athletic competitions through March 27.  School athletic directors will be following appropriate procedures to cancel scheduled events during that time.  Practices will continue as scheduled by coaches, however, it will be closed to the public.  The Dysart Unified School District will continue to monitor the situation and make necessary adjustments as needed. 

 

March 12, 2020 - 10:00am

The health, safety and well-being of our students, families and staff is our top priority. Dysart has plans in place for various actions that may be required in response to the Coronavirus and will take immediate action, as needed, to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Administration is preparing a communication to be released later this afternoon regarding our plans. 

We are asking that students and staff stay home when they are sick and everyone should be practicing healthy habits. We are sanitizing our schools regularly as a precaution. Please remember that at this time there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in our district.