ACA's Plan to Safely Return to Campus
We are back on the roller coaster and some of you will be waving your hands in the air and others will have your seatbelt on tight. Rollercoasters have a way of bringing all of our emotions and mixing them together at the exact same time. Once the “rush” of an exciting twist or turn we all need some time to process. Placing our next phased in approach will give everyone a lot of detailed information, some time to process, and to gather the next set of questions and suggestions you may have. We are here to support, listen and provide as many answers as possible. Later in the week we will send out a Form to gather more information, collect questions and then host some live meetings.
Many of you have been monitoring and watching the news of schools reopening within the Maricopa County region. Dysart School District has started their roll out process for the week of September 14th, Legacy Traditional is open and Imagine Schools are starting September 21st. Many of the eastern side of Phoenix schools have opened. Deer Valley and Peoria are pending and expecting around the same dates.
ACA has been monitoring Maricopa County benchmark metrics, the data is stating it is coming up to the guidelines of returning to school. ACA is cautious with the benchmarks as the surrounding zip codes of ACA have mixed metrics and do not align as clearly with the general metrics for Maricopa County at large. We are excited to see students again, their excited faces and bring even more life back to the hallways, classrooms, and playgrounds.
Our goal is roll out a phased approach with safety, smooth transition, and allow us to reflect and refine along the way.
Physical Return to Campus in the Hybrid Model (Tuesday/Thursday and Wednesday/Friday)
Week of September 28th – Kindergarten and First Grade
Approximately 100 students on campus each day for the week.
Allows our current new Kindergarten students to learn how ACA feels in person.
Administration and support staff can place most of our attention to meeting the needs of the parents, students, and staff.
Visitors, including parents, are not allowed on campus, we know this will be tough for our kindergarten students, but we must maintain safety.
Students will spend the week with their teachers learning how to enter the classroom, where to put their materials, how to safely follow bathroom procedures, what lunch will look like, dismissal process and of course social/emotional and learning time.
Week of October 5th – Kindergarten through Fourth Grade
Approximately 250 students on campus each day for the week.
Administrators and support staff will continue to support Kindergarten and First Grade, while branching out to support second through fourth grade.
Students in second through fourth grade will spend the week learning how to enter the classroom, where to put their materials, how to safely follow bathroom procedures, what lunch will look like, dismissal process and of course social/emotional and learning time.
Week of October 12th – Fall Break as Planned
Monitor ACA’s metrics, the surrounding areas metrics, and Maricopa County
Week of October 19th – Kindergarten through Eighth Grade, Full Hybrid Schedule in Effect
Approximately 400 students on campus each day for the week.
Administrators and support staff will continue to support all grades, while specifically branching out to support fifth through eighth grade.
Students in fifth through eighth will spend the week learning how to enter the classroom, where to put their materials, how to safely follow bathroom procedures, what lunch will look like, dismissal process along with following their academic courses.
Students will start the new quarter for classes
We know this brings about mixed emotions for many families. We are getting in a groove with this new school year, have worked through many kinks and have become more and more proficient in our Distance Learning Program. The pandemic has challenged our human emotions and the will to see the positive despite the difficult circumstances beyond most of our understandings. I wish we all had the right answers and know exactly what to do, but we don’t. What ACA does have is a powerful group of staff who have all gone above and beyond to continue giving our best education to our students and families. With that being said, our COVID-19 team of administrators have put in several hours last night and this morning developing the best next steps for our stakeholders.
ACA is aiming to roll out a phased approach to mitigate and alleviate as much stress and anxiety as possible. Working with our students and staff to implement a successful hybrid model takes time and detailed planning and ACA is doing everything we know to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Stage 1: Staff back at campus, training, and the start of Full Time Distance Learning (COMPLETE)
Stage 2: Staff on campus and minimal groups of students back at campus including staff children and ACA students in the On-Site Learning Groups through the partnership with the YMCA. (COMPLETE)
Stage 3: Hybrid model and continued Full Time Distance Learning
Stage 4: All students back on campus Tuesday through Friday and continue Full Time Distance Learning.
The Current Stage 2 at ACA:
ACA has over 80 employees on site, an average of 20 staff children, and around 20 students attending the On-Site Learning Groups through the partnership with the YMCA program, daily. We have been open for the past 6 weeks and are currently in our 7th week. To this date we have had no known positive cases or possible exposures. Our safety plans and more importantly the dedication to following the procedures and processes from our staff and students has been a key component.
Programs ACA will offer in Stage 3:
Full Time Distance Learners:
Full time Distance Learning for Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade will remain the same as the schedule now. Distance Learning for third through eighth grade will change slightly and details will be forthcoming. We are currently confirming the number of students for each grade level requesting to stay full time distance learning.
Monday – ALL students are at home for WIN (What I Need Day)
Tuesday and Thursday – Cohort A students will attend on campus 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday and Friday – Cohort B students will attend on campus 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
ACA’s General Plan While Preparing for Stage 3:
Continue to monitor the dashboard and metrics, and if an increase in metrics is seen determine if the Roll Out to Hybrid is feasible.
Collaborate with the governing board, staff, parents, and community members.
Monitor the schools in the area who reopen prior to ACA.
Roll out in phases to work through safety processes, acclimating students, and monitor safety.
Conduct a daily health screening where parents will certify student is symptom free
No parents or visitors will be allowed on campus– only at the front office
All staff and students will be required to wear face coverings while on campus with the exception of eating during snack, breakfast and/or lunch and during portions of recess time when students are outside and greater than 6 feet from others.
Students will be 6 feet apart in classrooms with class sizes no more than 12-14 members.
Students will remain in classes while teachers rotate rooms to minimize hallway congestion.
Any student with a documented medical condition where a face covering cannot be worn will be required to wear a face shield.
Next steps in process for this week and upcoming weeks:
Meeting with grade level leads on reviewing and refining the Hybrid Schedules
Completing all physical building preparation
Enrichment/Afterschool Care, we will be reaching out to parents for sign-ups and our facilities will be on a limited capacity to ensure safety and health of all.
Free on-site learning on opposite Hybrid Days will be partnered with the YMCA, this is a requirement by the State of Arizona. Monday’s will be an option but will be a cost for parents.
Completing the process for daily health screening requirements for students.
Working with kindergarten for the first 2 weeks back – will be much like the first weeks of school.
Spending time on upcoming Monday’s for grade levels to begin planning and reviewing the hybrid schedules and processes touched on during orientation.
We knew shifting to a new model would be occurring, most likely after fall break, this places us two weeks closer for kinder and first grade, one week closer for second through fourth grade and on target for fifth through eighth grades.
ACA is taking a more conservative approach with delaying past the time of the local districts AND is moving to our hybrid model. At this time, we are willing to continue to place the safety of our stakeholders above the “trend” of the surrounding areas. We will continue to monitor local zip codes, and ensure we have proper planning time. ACA’s goals for Stage 3 is to create a smooth transition, continue to place the safety of all stakeholders as a priority, uphold our values and standards while recognizing the need for our students’ education.
As always, please contact us on our website or call our front office if you have any questions. As mentioned above, later in the week we will send out a form to gather more information, collect questions and then host some live meetings.