SUSD Parents to Be Surveyed on Reopening Plans

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Sept. 3, 2020) – The Governing Board of the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) concluded at its Sept. 1 Special Meeting that it wants to hear from parents first, before it decides how to pursue a reopening of SUSD school campuses. SUSD is making final preparations to ensure that staffing, facilities and resources are in place at the appropriate levels to accommodate the needs for teaching and learning.

A survey will be sent today to parents and guardians of students in K-12 Enhanced Distance Learning to ask their opinion on which approach they prefer, going forward, for each SUSD student in their household. The survey will gather grade- and school-specific data to better tailor the way SUSD approaches its transition from yellow to green status.

In the meantime, Enhanced Distance Learning will continue for SUSD students through at least Sept. 11, 2020, pending the results of the survey that the Governing Board will convene to review in a Special Meeting scheduled for 5 p.m., Sept. 9. For a copy of the meeting agenda, visit www.susd.org/Board. The meeting will be broadcast live and will also be available for replay on the District’s official YouTube channel.

In the survey, parents will be asked if they prefer to:

  • remain in Enhanced Distance Learning until the benchmark public health metrics are green for two consecutive weeks
  • go to a hybrid model in which students would have two, half days of instruction in person and the remainder of the time receive remote, synchronous (live) instruction or
  • if they would like the District to consider a phased-in, full return of students, beginning with grades K-2, then adding grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12 in subsequent weeks.

When possible, parents, students, families and teachers would receive a two-week notice of when they would return to school campuses.

Special Education self-contained students will be the first to go back to campuses the week of Sept. 14, as authorized by gubernatorial Executive Order. Parents and guardians of special needs students recently indicated their overwhelming choice to return their children to school for their instructional programs.

“Our singular focus is the safe return of our students to their schools as soon as possible. That’s what all of us want,” says SUSD’s superintendent, Dr. Scott Menzel. “There is no substitute for face-to-face instruction, so we need to stand ready to implement a plan that gets students back in the classroom with their teachers.” 

“We know that distance learning is especially challenging for our special needs students and littlest learners, so that’s why we’re considering bringing them back first,” Menzel continues. “We want to be sure our community is behind this approach, and we look forward to receiving the thoughts of our families, now that we’ve had nearly four weeks in our current model.”

Last month, the Board decided to use county metrics and state guidelines to steer its decisions on when it is safe for students and teachers to start going back to brick-and-mortar schools. The district monitors weekly health statistics of the 15 zip codes from which SUSD draws 92.5% of its students. The metrics posted Aug. 27 on the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) dashboard and analyzed by the District indicate that a majority of SUSD’s zip codes are in the yellow benchmark category. To learn more and to view SUSD’s current status, visit www.susd.org/Metrics.

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