Local school districts continue to support students and parents throughout the COVID-19 outbreak through school lunch programs and various at-home learning packets.
With the closure of schools until the end of the year, school districts continue to find alternatives to learning in class and to provide meals to students and families who rely on it.
“We served 8,718 meals today and 38,236 meals for the week!” Glendale Elementary School District Superintendent Cindy Segotta Jones tweeted March 27.
GESD’s meal program is a pickup that runs from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday at all schools and serves both breakfast and lunch. For more information, visit gesd40.org.
The Peoria Unified School District is also doing meal pickups for its lunch programs. Thirty different sites are serving free breakfast and lunch for anyone 18 or younger from 10:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Meals for adults are also available for purchase for $3 as long as a child is present.
“We are seeing a pretty solid response and we are certainly encouraging our lunch program,” said Danielle Airey, a PUSD spokeswoman. For a list of schools providing meals, visit peoriaunified.org/Page/5354#MealService.
Deer Valley Unified School District is providing drive-thru or pickup meals at various locations from Monday through Friday for both breakfast and lunch. Times vary and anyone 18 or younger is qualified for a free meal.
“For the past four days, our five sites have provided 17,111 meals to kids so far at nine sites,” said Monica Allread, a DVUSD spokeswoman. For locations, visit dvusd.org/food.
Free meals are also being provided by Glendale Unified High School District to anyone 18 or younger at various locations from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday. For locations, visit guhsdaz.org.
For at-home learning tools for all students, GESD is providing learning enrichment packets for students. Parents that have access to the internet can access these packets on the district website, gesd40.org. Hard copies of the enrichment packets are also available for pickup from 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays.
“Between the ability to pick them up online and the ability to pick them up in person, we think we got most, if not everyone covered,” said Jim Cummings, a GESD spokesman.
DVUSD is currently planning to have Home Learning, which is a blend of online and paper review of learning.
“Many staff members and teachers are working long hours to get the online Home Learning going,” Allread said. “Creating an online school in days instead of months is a really big task.”
PUSD and GUHSD are providing laptops to students for online learning resources. PUSD teachers also will connect with students on an individual basis.
“For some students that might be paper and pencil or access to worksheets; for some students, it might be participating in online learning; for others, the teacher might be working with that student or class in collaborative online workspaces,” Airey said.
PUSD has also provided a page with online resources students can access to continue online learning at home at peoriaunified.org.
PUSD has also launched a student support line for students feeling overwhelmed, anxious or in need of someone to talk to as they navigate through these changes. Parents and students can call 623-412-5262 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“We’re just doing our best to keep families connected; social distancing does not mean social isolation,” Airey said.
DVUSD has also set up a resource page for students and parents online to provide social and emotional support for mental health at dvusd.org/covid19.
“We continue to work with our partner Southwest Behavioral Health Services to provide support for our families who need it,” Allread said.