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Back to School 2020-2021

Student walking to school

Information on this page is subject to change based on COVID-19 and direction from the Governor, Arizona Department of Health Services, and the Arizona Department of Education.

 

September 8, 2020 Update


We are happy to share that last week’s district health benchmark data continues to move in the right direction. As we prepare to return to in-person classes on Sept 14th (K-4, 9) and 21st (5-8, 10-12), we know there are many questions regarding what health and safety protocols and processes will be in place. District protocols are below. Each school may also have additional protocols specific to their campus. 

HEALTH

  • Families should screen their children for symptoms before sending them to school. Students must not come to school if they exhibit any of the following symptoms: fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, or chills; and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; muscle aches; sore throat; headache; fatigue; congestion or runny nose; cough; vomiting; diarrhea; or new loss of taste or smell. 
  • Face coverings are required - When students and staff arrive at school, face covers are required except while eating, or during recess or outdoor activities. Please note that our guidelines allow face masks, neck gaiters or face shields, as long as they fully cover both the mouth and nostrils. An exception may be made for students with medical conditions, those who have difficulty breathing or who are incapable of physically removing the face covering on his/her own. 
  • Temperature checks will take place daily at school for all students and staff.
  • Air is purged from buildings and fresh outside air is brought in and cooled each morning. Air continues to be refreshed by 20% per hour throughout the day.

DISINFECTING

  • Daily disinfecting of high-touch surfaces - Surfaces in high-traffic areas will be disinfected regularly throughout the day. Classrooms and offices will be provided with cleaning supplies to disinfect learning spaces and high touch surfaces in between uses. 
  • Playground equipment will be disinfected on a regular basis.

HABITS

  • Staff have been trained on health and safety protocols and the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment. 
  • Students will be reminded to wash their hands frequently. Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout each site and all bathrooms will remain open.
  • Each school has developed routines for traffic in hallways, seating assignments in classrooms and the cafeteria, and distancing on playgrounds.
  • School supplies will not be shared.
  • Laptops will be assigned to students, not shared. Devices can be wiped down with damp (not wet) wipes to disinfect.
  • Water fountains will be used only to refill water bottles.
  • Signage to remind us of healthy habits, hygiene and social distancing.

MEAL SERVICE

  • Meals will be served in closed containers - There will be no self-serve stations, or beverage fountains.  Students may also bring their own meals.
  • Touchless checkout will be implemented and staff will take steps to speed up lunch lines and keep as much distance as possible between students. 
  • Schools have developed procedures and schedules to help minimize the number of students in the cafeteria at one time.

BUSING

  • Buses will be disinfected between each run, and will undergo additional cleaning and disinfecting each night. 
  • Students will load from back to front and unload from front to back in order to minimize student contact.
  • Face coverings are required.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • What happens when students or staff exhibit COVID-19 symptoms? All health office staff and administrators have been trained in COVID-19 symptomatic triage to determine if symptoms are typical, such as those associated with allergies and other identified conditions.  If symptoms are new and unexplained, the health office staff will follow the established health services procedures. If the symptoms continue after following the procedures, the parent will be contacted to help identify the onset or continuation of symptoms.  If the student is sent home they can return when they are symptom free for 24-hours without pain-relieving medication. 
  • How should families report if a person in the household has tested positive? Students, families and staff and students must inform the teacher, nurse, site administrator, or attendance clerk if they have symptoms, test positive, or have had direct contact with someone that has tested positive. Anyone in the household with direct contact with the person who tested positive should quarantine for 14-days from the onset of symptoms. If anyone else in the household tests positive, the 14-day quarantine time begins again.
  • How is direct and in-direct contact defined? Direct contact is defined as being within 6’ of someone who has tested positive for 10 minutes (consecutively) or longer, with or without a mask. Indirect contact is defined as being within 6’ of someone who has tested positive for less than 10 minutes. These guidelines are defined by AZDHS.
  • What is the protocol for a positive COVID case at a school site?  Parents/guardians will be notified if their child has direct or indirect contact. Direct contact is defined as being within 6' of someone who has tested positive for 10 minutes or longer, such as sitting next to someone in the classroom, cafeteria, on the bus, etc.  Anyone who has direct contact will be quarantined for 14 days from the last date of contact with the positive person. Indirect contact is defined as being within 6' of someone who has tested positive for less than 10 minutes, or in direct contact with someone who has a person in their household who has tested positive. Those who have indirect contact will remain at school and asked to monitor for symptoms. Please note that HIPAA, FERPA, and ADA regulations limit the details we can provide. Following state and local health agency guidelines, any student or staff member with direct contact is required to quarantine for 14 calendar days, per ADPH and CDC guidelines, and we are required to notify local health officials of anyone testing positive in our schools.
  • What will be the criteria for requiring classrooms or entire schools to close?  School closures will be determined in conjunction with county and state health departments. If a closure is necessary, parents will be notified, and learning will continue remotely, using the same curriculum, for the mandated closure period. 
  • How will student learning be handled during a quarantine period?  Temporary quarantines may be necessary for a classroom or school. During quarantine periods, students will continue learning remotely using Schoology and Florida Virtual curriculum. 


Each school will be providing details about their site-specific protocols with parents. Please note that protocols are subject to change based on guidelines from health officials. We’re looking forward to seeing students back on our campuses over the next two weeks! Thank you for your patience as we navigate these new challenges together.
 

 

 
Dysart is proud to announce that the health benchmark data for the district is trending in the right direction. If the trend continues, beginning September 14, students in Kindergarten through 4th grade, and 9th grade students, will resume in-person learning in the classroom. Sundown Mountain students will also return to school on September 14. On September 21, 5th Grade through 8th grade and 10th -12th graders will return to in-person classes. Students enrolled in iSchool will continue to learn online. 

As a result of in-person classes resuming, the last day of all Learning Labs will be Friday, September 18. 

Buses will be starting their regular routes. Details about transportation eligibility, bus stops and times will be posted at Dysart.org/Transportation by the Friday before school begins for each group.

If your child is participating in full-time online iSchool, they will continue their independent lessons online as long as they are enrolled in iSchool. Teachers will assist iSchool students who need support. If you would like to change the learning format option you previously selected for your child, please contact your home school directly. 

The health and safety of our students and staff is a top priority. Dysart has implemented a number of safety protocols to provide a safe and clean environment when in-person classes resume. This includes:
  • Asking parents to screen their children for symptoms before school, and keep children home if they exhibit specific symptoms
  • Requiring face coverings for all staff and students except while eating, or during recess or outdoor activities
  • Daily temperature checks for all students and staff
  • Regular cleaning and disinfecting, especially on high touch surfaces. Hand sanitizer stations and cleaning supplies will be readily available.
  • Each school will develop routines for traffic in hallways, seating assignments in classrooms and the cafeteria, and distancing on playgrounds.

Dysart is so happy to welcome students back to school soon. Thank you for partnering with us to keep our community safe. 

   
 
 
School Options for the 2020-2021 School Year
 

Full-Time Classroom (K-12) >>


Classes will take place on the campus for this in-person option, and will incorporate health, safety and social distancing protocols, where feasible.

Note: This option will begin with remote learning on August 4 and transition to full-time in-person classes, when allowable.

Additional Information

 

Full Time iSchool (K-12) >>


Students will take online classes through Dysart iSchool, a fully-accredited learning platform. ​iSchool is designed for independent learning with teacher support.  Chromebook laptops may be checked-out, as needed. 

Additional Information

 
 
Please contact your school to select your option or notify them of a change.
 
  
 

Health Screenings, Cleaning and Disinfecting

Before coming to school

  • Parents should screen students for the symptoms below each morning, should self-report symptoms, and must keep students at home if one or more symptoms are present. Students will have the opportunity to make up work missed due to symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • Students must not come to school if they exhibit any of the following symptoms:
    • fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, or chills; and
    • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
    • muscle aches;
    • sore throat;
    • headache;
    • fatigue;
    • congestion or runny nose;
    • cough;
    • vomiting; 
    • diarrhea; or 
    • new loss of taste or smell.
Note: Schools will not give out attendance awards for the duration of the COVID-19 health crisis. 

On the bus
  • Students should not be sent to the bus stop if they are exhibiting the above symptoms.
  • Face coverings shall be required on school buses, with the exception of students with medical conditions.
  • Buses will be disinfected between each run during the day, and will undergo additional cleaning and disinfecting each night. 
  • Students will load from back to front and unload from front to back in order to minimize contact.

At School
  • Face coverings shall be required at school, with the exception of students with medical conditions. Face shields are an approved alternative to face masks or pull-overs. Face covers:
    • are not required while eating, recess, or outdoor activities
    • are required in classrooms and other common areas 
    • are required for all employees and visitors
    • Any student who has difficulty breathing or who is incapable of physically removing the face covering on his/her own will not wear cloth face coverings, and alternate methods of protection will be discussed by parents and staff. 
    • students are encouraged to bring their own face coverings in compliance with the dress code. Disposable masks will be available, if needed.
  • Temperature checks will be conducted daily for students and staff. Thermometers are provided in each classroom and front office. The process will be:
    • A staff member will visually check each student and take temperatures with a non-contact thermometer. Any student with visible symptoms of runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, or vomiting, or one who has a fever at or above 100.4 degrees, will go to the health office. 
    • The health office will use a document to evaluate student health. 
  • Classrooms and offices will be provided with cleaning supplies to disinfect learning and high touch surfaces. 
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout each site.
  • Each school will develop social distancing routines for traffic in hallways, which may include signage and floor markings.
  • Teachers will arrange classroom furniture to maximize the distance between students.
  • Students will continue outdoor recess activities. Playground equipment will be disinfected on a regular basis. Schools may limit the number of students accessing playground equipment.
  • Lunch service will continue in the cafeterias.
    • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed at each cafeteria.
    • Cafeteria staff will keep as much distance as possible between students. Outdoor seating may be available.
    • Food will be served in closed containers. There will be no open food,  self-serve stations, or beverage fountains (at high schools).
    • Cafeteria staff will take steps to speed up lunch lines and use touchless checkout. 
    • Schools have developed procedures and schedules to help minimize the number of students in the cafeteria at one time.
  • All bathrooms will remain open. Surfaces will be disinfected regularly throughout the day.
  • Students will be reminded to wash hands throughout the school day.
  • Students will not share school supplies.
  • Air is purged from buildings and fresh outside air is brought in and cooled each morning. Air continues to be refreshed by 20% per hour throughout the day.
  • Staff have been trained on health and safety protocols and the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment.
  • School supplies will not be shared.
  • Laptops will be assigned to students, not shared. Devices can be wiped down with damp (not wet) wipes to disinfect.
  • Water fountains will be used only to refill water bottles.
  • Signage to remind us of healthy habits, hygiene and social distancing.
 
 

Learning Labs
Note: Learning Labs for K-4, 9 will end September 11 and for 5-8, 10-12 on September 18, as in-person classes resume.


Beginning on Monday, August 17th, Dysart Unified School District will be providing FREE on-site Learning Lab opportunities for our K-8 Dysart students.  Learning Labs, which will operate during normal school hours, will provide a quiet, supervised environment to complete the school day throughout the remote learning period.  The daily schedule will consist of students self-directing their personal remote learning school schedule, lunch and breaks.  Safety procedures will be followed that include social distancing, routine hand washing/sanitizing, temperature checks, mandated masks for all, and cleaning/disinfecting schedules for all common areas and student work stations.

Registration to attend the learning labs opens on Wednesday, August 5th, at dysart.org/CommunityEducation.  Waiting lists will be developed when capacity is reached. Students will need to bring headphones, a chromebook or laptop, and they have a choice of bringing a lunch or purchasing lunch at each school cafeteria (Meal prices are based on your student’s current free/reduced/paid eligibility.)  Transportation will not be provided; all pick-up and drop-off will be completed curbside at each site.  Further instructions will be provided after the registration process is complete.  Learning Labs will be staffed with Dysart Community Education and Support Staff who will provide supervision as students engage with their teachers remotely.

In addition, Community Education Den Club will resume with amended before and after care hours, beginning at 6:30AM and concluding at 5:30PM at all Den Club sites. For a fee, Den Club provides before and after care for Dysart students beyond the normal school day.  Space is also limited and students must enroll in the Learning Lab in order to be eligible to attend Den Club.

Space is limited for both Den Club and the Learning Labs.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at [email protected]
 
 

Attendance Requirements
 

Your child will need to participate in the District’s Remote Learning or iSchool classes in order to be counted as present and attending.  Daily contact will be attempted for all absent students. Dysart’s remote learning plan requires the following minimum level of contact: 
  • K-8 in-person (Remote Learning):
    • During remote learning, teachers will take attendance at the start of each new class period or subject. This includes special areas.
  • K-8 iSchool:
    • K-8 iSchool students can check in at any point during the school day and will be reported as present if daily interaction is noted by:
      • Physically attending an online lesson
      • Emailing the teacher regarding assignments
      • Completion of an assignment and notification of such to the teacher
  • High School in-person (Remote Learning):
    • Student attendance will be taken by the teacher each period.  Students must be present online during the class period in order to be counted as present.
  • High School iSchool:
    • Students enrolled in the full-time Dysart iSchool program will accrue daily minutes describing the amount of time spent working on online academic tasks.

Please note that state law (A.R.S. § 15-802) requires as follows:
  • Every child between six and sixteen years of age must attend a school and be provided instruction in at least the subjects of reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies and science.   
  • The child’s parent or guardian must enroll the child in a school and ensure that the child attends the school for the full time that school is in session.  Our District is currently anticipating conducting 180-days of instruction during the 2020-21 school year (see attached school calendar).
  • Certain exceptions apply to these attendance requirements, such as medical necessity.   If you believe your child qualifies for such an exception, please contact your local school’s attendance clerk.
 
   

Classes, Curriculum, and Special Education Services
 

  • Teachers will use a consistent learning platform in all school models, so that at any point during the school year, students and teachers will be able to seamlessly transition back to remote learning, should school closures become necessary again.
  • Appropriate special education services will be provided per each student’s IEP.  Individual factors may influence which model is most appropriate and so parents should work with their child’s IEP team on the best option.
  • All classes will continue to be offered, although adjustments may be made to the format, capacity, etc.
 
 

Trips, Events and Activities
 

  • Traveling field trips are currently suspended. Students may experience virtual field trip opportunities. 
  • Indoor, large group assemblies are currently suspended.
  • Small group extracurricular activities will continue, in compliance with current executive orders.
  • Athletics will continue in accordance with guidelines published by the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
  • Schools will conduct virtual Meet the Teacher/Curriculum Nights
 
 

Visitors to School​
 

  • Nonessential visitors and volunteers will have limited access to school sites.
 
 

Training
 

  • Prior to students returning to campus, all staff will be trained on implementation of these protocols. Training will include proper use of PPE and supplies; cleaning and disinfecting; and other measures. 
 

Communication
 

  • Parents may visit www.Dysart.org/BacktoSchool for up-to-date information. Please ensure contact information and preferences are current, including phone numbers for calls and text messaging and email. 
  • Questions should be directed to schools.