Family FAQ – Updated 06.25.2020
The health and safety of our students and staff is a priority for the Higley Unified School District. Thank you for your support and understanding as we respond to the unexpected changes that have impacted our community due to COVID-19. You can help protect your family from COVID-19 by practicing and promoting everyday healthy habits. Parents are responsible for determining their child’s health status before arriving at school and for keeping their child at home should they present symptoms of any kind. Parents can review specific guidance at on the HUSD website. We have adopted and put in place safety measures recommended by governmental health authorities to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. As situations evolve, we are prepared to comply with the directions from the state and local health agencies and make adjustments as necessary.
Health and Safety Protocols
1. What do our daily health protocols include?
Health protocols on campus include: HUSD COVID-19 Daily Health Screening, scheduled hand washing, hand sanitizer in every classroom, increased cleaning of high traffic areas multiple times a day, and requiring a mask when physical distancing is not possible. See Question 7.
2. Are student temperatures being checked upon arrival to campus?
Student temperatures will only be taken if a student is sent to the health office with any concerning symptoms.
3. What protocols will the health aide follow when a student exhibits symptom related to COVID-19?
Students will be isolated in the health office and parents will be notified to pick up their child. The HUSD Exclusion Guidelines will then be provided. AZ Health Department, School Administration and the District Nurse will be notified. HUSD will then take direction from the AZ Department of Health Services and/or Maricopa Department of Health. These directions might include closing off all potentially infected areas and sending the HUSD COVID-19 Response Team to disinfect and sanitize the area.
4. How will families be notified in the event of a positive COVID-19 case?
Public health departments and HUSD will work collaboratively on communication to notify school communities of the exposure and to provide guidance.
5. What is the protocol for a student who is sick to be able to return to school?
If a student is sent home due to positive COVID-19 test, the HUSD COVID-19 Exclusion Guidelines will be followed to facilitate the return of the student. Students may not return to school if they are required to stay home for 14 days according to guidance from the AZ Department of Health Services and/or Maricopa Department of Health.
6. Will physical distancing occur while on campus?
It is important to acknowledge that consistently implementing the recommended physical distancing guidelines may not always be possible. There are several different components we are considering to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all while taking into account what is feasible. This includes increased signage on all campuses emphasizing traffic flow and safe physical distancing outside of the classroom.
7. Are masks/face coverings required to attend school on campus?
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance requiring the wearing of face coverings in public effective June 20, 2020. HUSD is complying with the ordinance on all campuses and sites. Conditions of the ordinance that apply to schools include:
People are required to wear a face covering in such indoor or outdoor places where persons are unable to maintain safe physical distancing (six or more feet separation) from others not of their own household.
For exceptions, please see the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors website.
8. What additional safety protocols are in place for students on the bus?
We are asking parents and students to ensure that all riders are healthy prior to boarding the bus. The district transportation department will implement the following protections to help while the students are on the bus.
- Health awareness signs will be posted on all buses
- All buses will have hand sanitizer and temporary masks available if needed
- A few bus windows will be opened slightly to allow increased fresh airflow into the bus
- All buses will have the seats and handrails disinfected after each trip/route
- Masks are required for students, drivers and aides (See Question 7)
- Special Education drivers and aides will be provided a face shield to use when they are in close proximity of a student
- Students will continue to have assigned seats on the bus and students living in the same house may be seated together
- Students will continue to scan their bus pass or ID on/off the buses
9. Will breakfasts and lunches be served in the cafeteria if students return to campus?
The goal will be to have breakfast and lunch served in the cafeteria although schedules may need to be modified due to the physical layout of the cafeteria. Changes to the layout will allow for increased space between students and additional points of service. Signage informing students about different procedures will be highly visible. Salad bars will be eliminated on all campuses. Students will use their meal card/ID with scan code for a faster, touch-free system of payment. School lunch aides will help with sanitation and physical distancing during the breakfast and lunch periods.
10. What protocols are in place for the preparation of food on campus?
All employees will follow safety guidelines and sanitation measures, including the mandatory wearing of gloves and masks.
11. Will students be allowed to use the drinking fountains on campus?
Every effort should be made by families for students to bring their own water bottles to school. Procedures will be implemented to frequently sanitize the drinking fountain, but the district cannot guarantee sanitation after every use of the drinking fountain. On some campuses, bottle refill stations will be available and sanitized frequently.
12. What changes has the district made to disinfect and sanitize campuses more frequently?
The cleanliness and safety of our campuses is of utmost importance to us in providing the safest environment possible for our students and staff. To this end, we are adding additional custodial staff to every campus with the focus on continual sanitization during the school day. These custodians will frequently sanitize all high touch surfaces such as door handles, stair railings, bathroom doors, and faucets. Bathrooms will be sanitized throughout the day as well. We are using a new CDC approved disinfectant that kills the COVID-19 virus. We have changed the daily custodial duties for our night custodians as well. These checklists are available online at www.husd.org.
13. Will classrooms and desks be sanitized during the school day?
All classrooms will be provided with CDC approved disinfectant that dries within one minute and kills the COVID-19 virus.
14. Can students bring their own disinfecting and sanitizing supplies to campus?
HUSD is committed to sanitation protocols that are in place. In addition, personal hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes are permitted. However, aerosol spray products or products with bleach are not allowed on campus.
School Day/Instruction Information
15. Is the district considering a modification to the school calendar at this time?
HUSD is currently planning to start school on July 27, 2020, with the understanding that changes might occur depending on directives from the Governor and the Arizona Department of Health Services.
16. What will arrival to school and dismissal from school look like if we return on July 27, 2020?
Students will be directed to their homeroom/first period upon arrival to campus in the morning. We are asking students not to congregate and to maintain physical distancing while going to the classroom. We are still working on specific arrival and dismissal procedures that will be directly communicated to families by schools prior to the first day of school.
17. Will Special Education services continue to be provided should a family choose remote learning?
HUSD will continue to provide these specialized services for qualified students on all our campuses and remotely. District and site personnel will continue to work with families to make addendums to plans as needed.
18. Will parents/visitors be allowed on campus?
Initially, families and extended community school members will not be allowed on campus other than official school business such as meetings. Many larger traditional events such as Meet the Teacher Night, Curriculum Night, or Open House may be alternatively scheduled this year. Options could include virtual presentations instead of on campus events. We value the importance of these events in developing our relationship with the community and will continue to look for ways to make families feel a part of our schools. Sites will communicate specific plans to families prior to the start of the year.
19. Will students have to share resources and materials during the school day?
HUSD will make every effort to have individualized instructional materials for all students and where this is not possible, we will sanitize and disinfect resources frequently.
20. Will students be able to attend specials and have recess at the elementary schools?
HUSD recognizes the importance of specials and recess in the development of the whole student. Every effort will be made to include these with the understanding that schedules could be modified to help maintain physical distancing. Sites will develop plans allowing students to safely travel to and from specials.
21. Will students be allowed to use the playground equipment on campuses?
Students will be allowed to use the playground equipment following a rotational schedule to minimize student interaction. Hand sanitizer will be available before and after use. The playground equipment will be sanitized frequently.
22. Will HUSD offer an online option for families who do not want to return to campuses in July?
HUSD is developing an instructional model for remote learning that will meet the educational needs for students who do not intend to return to a campus. This model will integrate the learning management system Canvas and K–12 curriculum in order for students to receive high quality instruction on a consistent platform. Students who start the year in this online option can work with their school to transition back in person at the end of each quarter.
23. What support will the district provide for families in need of technology?
During the fall semester of 2020, HUSD will provide a 1 to 1 model for our secondary schools where all students will receive a device to use on campus and at home. We are looking at the feasibility providing 1 to 1 access at the elementary sites in the future. Families in need of technology for remote learning experiences will be able to request a device from the district.
24. Will extracurricular activities continue to be offered for students such as athletics, clubs, and community education programs?
HUSD will work to offer extracurricular opportunities for students at all levels. Kids Club will be available before and after school and during breaks at all HUSD elementary and preschool sites. Should a family decide on the online option, they will need to contact their school for more information about participating in extracurricular activities.
25. In the event of another school closure, what is the plan for HUSD to continue remote instruction for all students?
HUSD is prepared to provide remote instruction that will be housed in the learning management system Canvas for all students K–12. Teachers have received additional professional development on Canvas to make this transition as smooth as possible for students. Expectations for students will be communicated clearly with well-defined practices for instructional delivery and grading.
26. What are the next steps in the process for opening schools in July?
HUSD will be asking all families to identify the model of instruction they will participate in when school resumes. We are asking families to choose in-person/on-campus education or remote learning. The information from this survey is vital for HUSD as it will allow us to reallocate resources to meet the needs of our families.