The Waldron Weekly ‘20-‘21
Dear Anasazi Families,
This past Tuesday, 8/18/2020, the Governing Board met for 4 1/2 hours. To view the meeting please click on the link below. If you want to skip to the consent agenda, please start the video at the 02:32:15 mark.
The following media release was sent after the meeting:
SUSD Governing Board to Look to State
Public Health Benchmarks to Guide School Reopening Decisions
At its Regular monthly meeting yesterday, the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) Governing Board endorsed using metrics established by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to help determine when it is safe to open schools to in-person learning for the 2020-2021 school year.
To aid in that decision-making, the Board also instructed the District to consult a data dashboard developed by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) that provides the most recent statistics available on the coronavirus’ grip on the county, including SUSD communities. The dashboard, updated weekly on Thursdays, presents the number of cases, percent of positive tests and hospital reports of COVID-19-like illnesses per 100,000 residents. The dashboard provides the data by city, school district and zip code. SUSD schools lie within three municipalities and 10 zip codes, but also draw students from beyond those boundaries.
The state and county public health agencies recently issued benchmark thresholds to define what they consider to be minimal, moderate and substantial spread of the virus in the community, as well as criteria school districts should consider in determining when it may be safe to open schools for in-person learning for the first time since March 2020. That is when the coronavirus pandemic first necessitated limiting large gatherings of people, such as students, teachers and staff at schools, leading to the closure of on-campus learning and the cancellation of extracurricular activities. All SUSD students began the new school year online Aug. 10 in one of two distance-learning options.
Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Education have left decisions about returning to in-person learning to local school districts. SUSD Superintendent Dr. Scott Menzel says the wisest course to ensure the continued health, safety and well-being of the District’s 23,000 students, 1,500 teachers and school support staff is to follow the recommendations of public health experts.
“We know that in-person learning is the best way to educate children. Both students and teachers thrive best in that environment. While all of us want to get back to school in the ‘traditional’ way, from what we have learned and continue to learn about how this virus spreads, we must be smart and deliberate about how we achieve that,” says Menzel.
“We know that online learning can be difficult for some of our youngest students. That is why we are looking at the option of bringing them back first, with as much adherence as possible to mask wearing, handwashing and physical distancing recommendations. Additionally, online learning can be particularly challenging for students with special needs. The district has a committee working on what a hybrid/phased-in return to learning will look like, once the metrics warrant transitioning from red to yellow on the ADHS dashboard.”
ADHS recommends that all three of the following benchmarks fall within the moderate or minimal spread category for two consecutive weeks in order to begin offering hybrid learning, defined as some students in physical buildings and some students distance learning:
- Cases: New case rates below 100 per 100,000 people or a two-week decline in case rates
- PCR Test positivity rate: Less than 7% positivity
- COVID-like illness of hospital visits: Below 10%
Last week, the MCDPH dashboard showed a Moderate Risk Level of coronavirus infection within SUSD, with 59 cases per 100,000 residents, a 6.35% level of positive COVID-19 tests and 4% of hospital and emergency room (ER) cases reporting COVID-like illnesses. Those numbers were down from 90.34 cases per 100,000 residents, 8.28% positive cases and 7% COVID-like cases the previous week. Hospital/ER case percentages are countywide figures, whereas the case number counts and test positivity rates are community-specific. The next database update will take place tomorrow, Aug. 20.
Based on each school district’s and zip code metrics, the county dashboard also suggests a type of learning scenario that can safely be implemented – traditional, hybrid or virtual with on-site support. Because students attending SUSD come from zip codes beyond the 10 noted above, the District will follow the option provided by MCDPH, which notes, “A school that draws students from an area broader than district boundaries could use a set of regional zip codes to define their region and average the case rates per 100,000 population and test percent positivity.” SUSD will use the 15 zip codes that represent 92% of the District’s enrollment in its considerations. This data will be compiled weekly, after MCDPH updates its dashboard, and will be shared with the SUSD community through direct parent communication, as well as on the District’s website, susd.org.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” says Menzel, “but we’re not there yet. When we do reach that point, we will need two weeks to get the word out to parents and implement learning transition plans. To help us get there, I encourage everyone in our community to continue to follow public health recommendations to help stop the spread of COVID-19: wear a facemask in public when social distancing is not possible, keep a 6-foot distance from others when you’re out and wash your hands frequently.”
“In the meantime, we will continue to work on hybrid learning and extended Enhanced Distance Learning models in order to accommodate not only those who wish their students to be back in a school building as soon as possible, but also those who may have lingering concerns about their students returning to campuses and those who may need to return to distance learning, at some point, because of illness.”
“We will continue with our mitigation plans to make schools as safe as possible for the return of students and teachers. We will monitor the virus data of the zip codes in which 92% of our students reside. And we will be closely monitoring the experience of other school districts, both locally and nationwide, as they reopen. The last thing we want to do is to go back to school, only to have to shut down again three weeks later,” adds Menzel.
There will be a Special Meeting of the Governing Board at 5 p.m. on September 1 to discuss in more detail a plan to phase in on-campus learning, once the metrics indicate it is safe to do so. Visit www.susd.org/Board 24 hours before the meeting begins to find a copy of the meeting agenda and any presentations, as well as the link to our YouTube channel where you can watch the video live or replay at your convenience.
As information is shared, I will continue to send updates.
Serving your children,
Ms. Jennifer Waldron
Anasazi Elementary School
Anasazi Upcoming Events
Wednesday, Aug. 26th, 1:15pm
12121 North 124th Street
A reminder that if your child will not be participating for the day, please call the attendance line 480-484-7360 OR notify the teacher within 24 hours.
A "Thank You" to our SUSD IT Department
Anasazi Membership Toolkit - Please join or update
As the school’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), we are excited about this school year and want to make sure you have the information you need to get connected and stay updated on everything that is happening at Anasazi! We plan to use electronic communication mostly this year and it is important to make sure we keep our community in the know especially during these unprecedented times. Please update your information on this site (including updating your student's grade and teacher) to ensure that you are included in all correspondence that relates not only to the school in general but also to your student's grade level. Also as an added convenience, we have added the Library’s “Birthday Book Club” Form and “Sammy Supporter” Form to our website. These forms can now be completed and submitted, and donations can be made directly through the Anasazi PTO website at https://anasazipto.membershiptoolkit.com.
August IB Learner Attribute - CARING
IB in Action from Home
- Be a model for the caring behavior you would like to see in your child all the time. Your child has big eyes and ears and notices everything you do. Using kind words, helping people without being asked, and being an active listener all show your child that you care about people. Even a simple thing, like holding a door for someone, shows your child that you are aware of others around you and want to help them.
- Think about how your family can get involved with community organizations.
- Reduce, Reuse & Recycle.
- After reading a book, spend some time considering how the people in the book acted. Was someone in the book caring? All of the time or just some of the time? Were all of the characters in the book caring or just a few?
- Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse, Kevin Henkes
- The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein
- Yertle the Turtle, Dr. Seuss
- The Grouchy Ladybug, Eric Carle
''What Does My Child's School Day Look Like During EDL?"
Schools will use Buzz as a central location for information. Think of it as a landing page for links. No matter if you have a high schooler, middle schooler or elementary student - all will start with Buzz. There will be a single log in and from there you can find the links for your child's virtual classroom. Content will be provided through Zoom, Teams, and/or Google Hangouts. *More details and step by steps will be coming. Teachers are being trained on this and building it this week during our time together.
Attendance is required during EDL, but guidelines from ADE and SUSD are forthcoming on this issue. We understand that there may be a need for a student to complete work “after-hours” and we will work with individual families to try and meet their needs as much as we are able.
Grading: Standards-based grading practices will be followed for grading. This includes late work, missing work, and retakes.
Assignments and Assessments: Students will submit 2 - 3 artifacts (i.e. graphic organizer, writing assignment, etc.) per week to support essential standards and to measure proficiency. Both formative and summative assessments will be given at appropriate times during learning sessions.
- Grades K-3: 3 - 3.5 hours of synchronous (live with a teacher) instruction and 1 - 1.5 hours of asynchronous (with a teacher, but recorded or similar) instruction per day, which is approximately 20 hours per week
- Grades 4-5: 4 - 4.5 hours of synchronous (live with a teacher) instruction and 1 - 1.5 hours of asynchronous (with a teacher, but recorded or similar) instruction per day, which is approximately 25 hours per week
**Taken from the SUSD “Return to Learn Plan”.
IT Help Desk
Starting Monday August 24, SUSD Help Desk phone lines will be open to assist parents and students with technology questions and issues Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. For assistance, call (480) 484-HELP (484-4357). The SUSD help desk is closed on weekends.
*Taken from SUSD email briefing on 7/31/20.
Code of Conduct Acknowledgement and Updates
The Code of Conduct Release Form has recently been updated. Please note the following two additions:
1. Student Gmail Accounts (susdgapps.org)
As explained above, previously, this permission was previously only applicable to students in grades 7 - 12. Due to the expansion of distance learning for all students, we are asking parents/guardians of all K - 12 students to tell us whether we have permission to issue a Gmail account to your student(s). Please note, students will only be able to send and receive e-mails within the SUSD Gmail system. They will not be able to send or receive messages to or from external sources.
2. COVID-19 Acknowledgement
As a prerequisite for the District's insurance coverage, the Scottsdale Unified School District is required to have families acknowledge that regardless of all of our efforts to comply with the safety guidelines for prevention, we cannot guarantee that people will not be exposed to the coronavirus, COVID-19. The District has made the decision not to require a waiver, but the acknowledgment is deemed important.
*Taken from SUSD Communication email 8/7/20.
Grades K–8 EDL Camps and Grades 6-12 Walk-in Learning Labs
In compliance with Executive Order 2020-51, SUSD provides a supervised place for our K - 8 students to be during the school day while parents work. We have five of these Enhanced Distance Learning, or EDL, Camps, located at Desert Canyon Elementary, Hopi Elementary, Pima Traditional, Pueblo Elementary and Tonalea K-8. We still have availability at this time. You can read more about the program here. If you are interested in your child attending an EDL Camp, please complete this form.
Our Walk-in Learning Labs for middle and high schools opened this week at Coronado and Saguaro High schools. The labs provide students in grades 6 through 12 a safe place during the school day to participate in their online learning. Unlike the EDL Camps, students are not required to stay at the lab for the entire school day – they can come and go as needed. Read more about the labs here. If you wish your middle or high school student to attend an SUSD Learning Lab, please complete this request form.
Our Front Office is Under Construction *** Emails may be received faster than calls.
BE SURE TO CONNECT WITH US!
Our Mission - Anasazi is a diverse learning community committed to fostering a rigorous, compassionate, and inquiry-based environment, that empowers students to be globally competitive in a complex and changing world.
Our Vision - Empower and inspire each child to become life-long learners, within a culture of academic excellence, creativity and critical thinking, to take action and serve in our global community.