SUSD Proposes Back-to-School Plans for Students, Teachers

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (July 7, 2020) – Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) students would start the 2020 – 2021 school year on schedule and online Aug. 10, 2020 under a proposal being considered by the district’s Governing Board. Parents and guardians would select a modality option for their students to follow for the first semester. With conditions permitting, students would transition to their chosen learning modality on or about Aug. 17, 2020.  Governor Doug Ducey’s June 29 Executive Order delays the start of on-campus schooling until Aug. 17, but permits districts to open sooner, provided learning takes place online. The date is subject to change as health conditions change or new Executive Orders are issued.

The learning modalities were defined in detail by the leaders of the District’s reopening planning subcommittees at a special meeting of the Governing Board today. Parents would have the ability to choose the learning modality that best fits their student(s) from the following options:  


  1. Full-Time, On Campus: On an SUSD campus, five days a week, with enhanced cleaning and disinfection. Masks will be required of all students and staff while on campus when social distancing is not possible and on all school buses. Full-time registered nurses are on-site at all Scottsdale Unified campuses.


  1. Full-Time Online: Online five days a week through Scottsdale Unified’s fully accredited, age-appropriate, distance-learning programs in a robust learning management software, with classes led by the same state-certified, Scottsdale Unified teachers who teach on our campuses.


  1. Hybrid: A combination, or hybrid, model of online learning with some on-campus attendance. This option is pending parent interest, by campus, for elementary and K-8 schools, and would not be offered to preschool students.


The selection made for each student would remain in effect through the first semester of the school year that ends Dec. 18. Students will not be permitted to change modalities until the semester break. To accommodate distance learning, all Scottsdale Unified students would be supplied with their own technology device so that no student would have to share a device with a sibling.

“We are very fortunate to have the resources to provide the Governing Board and our families with good options to start the new school year,” says Superintendent Dr. Scott Menzel. “We look forward to a robust conversation with the Board and our community on which path we pursue.”

Even so, Menzel says whatever decision the Board settles on may have to be revisited, should the public health situation with the coronavirus pandemic change dramatically again between now and the first day of school. “It’s important for us to be nimble and flexible so that we can react quickly, if we must, to any new or revised local, county or state public health directives,” Menzel adds.

Along with the community members, parents, teachers and staff who participated in the subcommittee process, the recommendations provided to the SUSD Governing Board are based on the results of a recent survey of parents, students, teachers, staff and administrators.

Members of the public, students, parents, community members and staff are invited to provide their thoughts on the proposal through Scottsdale Unified’s new ‘Let’s Talk’ online, comment-collection system. A link to the new SUSD Let’s Talk portal is available in the row of icons at

The Governing Board plans to meet again on July 9 at 5 p.m. to discuss these plans and community input. The complete back-to-school proposal, titled “Return to Learn,” is posted online at, under the 2020 Governing Board documents for July 7, 2020.

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