Cindy Segotta-Jones, superintendent of the Glendale Elementary School District, recently sent a letter to parents that was also posted on the district’s website (gesd40.org).
She noted Gov. Doug Ducey recently gave an executive order delaying in-person schooling until Aug. 17, in light of an increase in COVID-19 cases in the state.
GESD teaches nearly 12,000 students at 17 schools.
“Though in-person instruction is delayed, the executive order does allow for schools to begin on their normally scheduled start date through distance learning models. We are still reviewing the requirements after the second executive order for the possibility of a distance learning model,” Segotta-Jones said.
“As we are currently reviewing the options outlined in the executive order it is clear to note that our parent surveys showed support for both in-person and online instruction.”
She added that GESD has submitted an application to the State Board of Education for approval of an Arizona Online Instruction program.
GESD recently posted a Healthy Return to School plan.
The district plans a two-phase reopening. Phase 1 is Distance Learning and Glendale Elementary Online (GEO) Learning.
“Using information from parent and staff surveys and our schools’ task force and safety committees, GESD has made the difficult decision to adhere to its current calendar and will begin distance learning and launch the GEO Learning online platform on Aug. 10,” Segotta-Jones said.
According to the district website, learning packets will be available for students who focus on academic reinforcement, skill development and enrichment. Teachers will provide support through Google Classroom, telephone calls and emails.
“GEO Learning mirrors an online class a student would take at the high school or college level only with grade level content,” the website explains.
For Phase 2, families will have the choice of in-person learning or GEO Learning.
The protocols for the two programs:
• Five days of instruction per week.
• Reduced hours.
• Students will report directly to classrooms when they arrive at school.
• Cohorts of students stay together where possible throughout the day, including breakfast, lunch, recess, related arts and dismissal.
• Restricted common area use.
• Structured transitions.
• In classroom celebrations and virtual trips.
• Large events, such as Meet-the-Teacher-Night, may take place virtually or may be scheduled over a period of time to limit the size of the gathering.
• Maximum space between desks, facing the same direction, when possible to allow for social distancing.
• Students will be provided school supplies to limit and discourage sharing of supplies among students.
• Parent drop-off and pickup area; drivers stay in cars at all times.
• Parent appointments made through the office in advance.
• Nonessential visitors and volunteers will be restricted and not assigned in classrooms.
• May choose to assemble and celebrate students in small groupings.
• In classroom celebrations and virtual.
• Athletic and extracurricular activities will be postponed.
• Written and digital collaboration encouraged, limited verbal collaboration.
• Teachers move (instead of students) between classes. Students would remain in cohorts—staying with the same group of students all day as much as possible. Related Arts teachers travel to classrooms (except physical education—may move outside).
• Five days of instruction per week.
• District technology devices available if needed.
• Daily teacher-led instruction in whole and small groups.
• Course content will cover: English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Science and Related Arts.
• Individualized supports and accommodations will be provided for all student populations as appropriate.
• Virtual celebrations and field trips.
• Families who choose online instruction must commit and complete by the quarter or semester.
• State assessments are proctored on campus.
• Students will be engaged in virtual activities.
For more information, visit gesd40.org.