- Higley Unified School District
- Family Communication
Higley Schools 2020-2021 Opening
- School Opening 2020-2021
- Family Communication
- K-12 Instructional Model Options
- K-12 Instructional Model Survey
- Remote Learning
- HUSD Distance Learning Plan
- Governor's Executive Order Open for Learning
- Health Screening & Protocols
- Family FAQs
- School Meals to Go
- Technology Request
- Kids Club
August 4, 2020Dear HUSD Community,
Thank you for your ongoing support and patience during these ever-changing times as we navigate the reopening of schools. We want to thank those that have taken the time to reach out to us and share your thoughts and concerns. We hear you and are working to address your specific questions with answers as quickly as possible. As we shared in our communication last week, we are expecting on Friday, August 7 additional health benchmarks provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services. These guidelines are intended to help district leadership determine if we are able to reopen schools for in-person learning with appropriate mitigation strategies.
Late Monday, August 3rd we received communication from State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffman, regarding the forthcoming public health metrics. Here is an excerpt of her letter sent to school superintendents “Arizona is not currently in a place to resume in-person or hybrid learning by August 17th. As school leaders, we should prepare our families and teachers for the reality that it is unlikely that any school community will be able to reopen safely for in-person or hybrid instruction by August 17th.”
Thus, we wanted to share with you that we will review these metrics with our Governing Board when they are released and will continue to develop our reopening plans. We wanted to share this update with you so that you have the same information that we do at this time. We will continue to keep you aware of any new information. In addition, we wanted to share that the Educational Services team is working on providing additional clarification on the differences between online and remote learning so that all questions and concerns can be addressed.Thank you for your ongoing support during these unprecedented times.
Dr. Mike Thomason, SuperintendentDr. Dawn Foley, Associate Superintendent
July 30, 2020July 30, 2020Dear HUSD Families,Welcome to the 2020-21 school year. Our top priority during this unprecedented time in history is the safety of our students and employees.We are providing you the following information in accordance with Governor Ducey’s Executive Order 2020-51 issued on July 23, 2020. The Executive Order outlined three major components for school districts to consider and implement as we embark on this unique school year.
- The first component of the Executive Order is that by August 7 additional health benchmarks will be provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services. This data will help guide district leadership if we are able to reopen schools for in-person learning with appropriate mitigation strategies.
- The Executive Order also indicates that by August 17 we must begin to offer free on-site learning opportunities and support services for students who need a place to go during the regularly scheduled school day. On-site learning opportunities and support services may include teacher led or paraprofessional support such as student supervision and strategic support for remote learning for students in need during standard school hours. The Arizona Department of Education currently describes this service as a “safe learning space for students who are at-risk, in special education programs or who are the students of essential workers.” These limited learning opportunities and support services may be suspended or terminated if the District or the Arizona Department of Health Services advises closing the premises for public health reasons or is in the best interests of the students and employees.
July 22, 2020
Dear Elementary Community,
We appreciate your grace and patience as we continue to finalize plans for starting school remotely on Monday, July 27. The purpose of the remote learning schedule is to provide structure for students where they have opportunities to interact with their teacher(s) directly numerous times each week. This includes engaging in live instructional sessions and completing assignments/activities with continuous teacher support available as needed. Additional learning opportunities for students include live and recorded specials classes, independent work, weekly social-emotional lessons, as well as flex time where teachers may meet with students in small groups or individually to best meet their needs. In cases where your child may not be able to attend live lessons, students will have the ability to view recorded lessons. All lessons and content will be delivered exclusively through the Canvas Learning Management platform.
*Please understand the schedule is subject to change and serves as an overview. Additional details or changes will be communicated by your child’s teacher.
At 5 pm on Wednesday, July 22 teacher assignments will be posted in ParentVue. Please reach out to your front office if you need assistance setting-up your ParentVue account.
Virtual Meet the Teacher:
At 4 pm on Thursday, July 23 teachers will send an e-mail to families. This e-mail will include a welcome video, additional information about accessing Canvas, and information regarding an opportunity for live Q&A sessions on Friday, July 24.
Live Q&A Sessions with Teachers:
Families will have the opportunity to participate in small groups for live Q&A sessions with the classroom teacher. Each interactive session will be 25 minutes long and will allow you and your child to get to know your teacher. If the allotted time slots are not convenient for your schedule, please contact your child’s teacher to arrange an alternate meeting time.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your school office.
July 15, 2020July 15, 2020Dear Secondary (7-12) Families,The start of the 2020 – 2021 school year is rapidly approaching and will be unlike any other in the history of education. While we continue to navigate these ever-changing waters, we appreciate your concern about your student’s education. All students will start the school year on July 27th in a virtual environment through our remote learning platform, Canvas Learning Management. For tutorials regarding Canvas, please visit the district remote learning website.All students will begin Remote Learning on July 27th, regardless of whether your family opted for on-campus/in-person learning or Online Learning.Remote learning will follow a specific, defined schedule. Lessons will be delivered through the Canvas Learning Management platform until Higley Unified School District transitions to the next stage of the school year. Below is the schedule students will follow until campuses reopen:The purpose of this schedule is to provide structure for students where they can interact with their teacher directly at least twice per week in Microsoft Teams. Students are expected to be engaged and present during remote learning. Students are required to interact and attend Teams sessions offered by their teacher. In cases of extenuating circumstances, families will need to communicate directly with the teacher if they cannot be in the Teams sessions. Teachers will communicate a consistent grading policy and assignment deadlines, as well as take attendance.While the district previously sent out a survey regarding your preference for in-person or online learning, moving forward we will ask your input on your preference when we receive approval to return to school in person from the Governor’s Office. This will allow us to know your most up to date decision at that time.Device DistributionIf you are in need of a device for remote or online learning, please fill out the survey at this link. Each family can check out one device for every two students in the household. Once you complete the survey, your school will contact you directly to schedule a time to pick up your device.Thank you for your patience as we work to start the school year in a remote fashion. If you have questions, please contact the school.
July 15, 2020Dear Elementary Families,The start of the 2020–2021 school year is rapidly approaching and will be unlike any other in the history of education. While we continue to navigate these ever-changing waters, we appreciate your concern about your child’s education. We strive to provide the best educational opportunities possible for your child. We recognize the diverse learning needs of our students (i.e. SpEd, EL, GATE, etc.) and will be able to provide curriculum differentiation to promote continued growth in the remote and online learning options.All students will start the school year remotely on July 27 with their homeroom teacher from our campus. During this period of remote learning we will follow a specific schedule. Lessons will be delivered exclusively through the Canvas Learning Management platform until we can transition back to campus. Additional information about the Canvas platform is available on our website. A schedule outlining our expectations for remote learning, including live interactive sessions with teachers, a specials schedule, and independent work times, will be sent to families by Friday, July 17th.The purpose of this schedule is to provide structure for students where they can interact with their teacher directly several times each week. We will be expecting more engagement from students than we did during 4th quarter last year. This includes engaging in live instructional sessions offered by their teacher(s) and completing assignments/activities independently. In cases where your student may not be able to attend, you will need to communicate directly with the teacher. These lessons will be recorded to assist students as needed. Teachers will communicate a consistent process for grading, assignment deadlines and taking attendance.While the district previously sent out a survey regarding your preference for in-person or online only learning, moving forward we will again ask for your input on your choice when we do receive approval to return to school in person from the Governor’s Office. That will allow us to know your most up to date decision.Device DistributionIf you are in need of a device for remote learning, please fill out the survey at this link. Each family may check out one device for every two students in the household. Once you complete the survey, our support team will contact you directly to schedule a time to pick up your device.Additional InformationTeacher assignments will be available through ParentVue on Wednesday, July 22 at 5:00 pm. Information regarding Meet the Teacher will be shared out by the end of the week. Thank you for your patience as we work to open schools virtually. If you have questions, please contact your school.
July 2, 2020July 2, 2020Dear Higley Unified School District Families,With Governor Ducey’s Executive Order on June 29, 2020, that schools are not allowed to start with in-person instruction until August 17, 2020, we have had to make changes to our plans for opening schools. We appreciate your patience as we prepare to start school during these ever-changing and uncertain times. Our goal is to provide appropriate and reasonable options for our students.We will start the 2020-2021 school year following our current calendar on July 27, 2020. This decision allows us to maintain our fall, winter, and spring breaks as scheduled. We know that many families plan on these times and we want to be as consistent as possible and not change our previously approved calendar.Governor Ducey’s Executive Order will not allow in-person learning until at least August 17, and it is very possible that this date may be extended. This will require that our instruction for all students will begin remotely on July 27. You will receive more information in the next several weeks about the details on what your student’s daily schedules will look like during this remote learning period. We have made several improvements to our remote instruction and to our Canvas Learning Management platform that will be utilized in grades K-12. You will also be asked to let us know about your student’s technology/device needs.Moving forward, we want to provide the most consistent educational opportunities for your student. In order to plan and staff appropriately we are asking you to select the instructional model that you prefer when in-person learning can resume. If you haven’t already completed this survey please do so at this time.Below are more details about your instructional model options:Instructional Model OptionsChoice 1: In-person/on campus learningThis option is for those families who wish for their students to return to in-person/on campus learning when it is permitted. This option includes:
Choice 2: Online LearningThis option is for families who prefer for their students to continue their learning online only. The teacher assigned may or may not be from the student’s home school. This depends greatly on the number of students who choose the online only option and the reallocation of teachers and resources to meet the needs of these students.
- Typical 5 days a week schedule
- Preventative safety measures and enhanced cleaning protocols
- Physical distancing may not always be possible but will be implemented when feasible
- Mask/face coverings are required, per municipal ordinance, when physical distancing is not possible
- Elementary lunch, recess, and specials will happen with modified schedules
- Secondary elective offerings will be similar to historical options
- Instruction in core content
- Limited sharing of devices, supplies and curriculum materials as much as possible
- Social-emotional support provided
- Integration of the Canvas learning platform to support learning K-12
- Participation in extracurricular activities and athletics
- 5 days a week
- Devices will be provided to students
- Instruction in core content
- Social-emotional support provided
- Canvas will be used as the primary learning platform for communication, lessons, assignment and weekly updates
- Accountable grading practices and ongoing feedback
- Students will be enrolled in the appropriate grade level/course offerings
- A highly qualified Higley teacher will teach the class through Canvas
- For high schools and middle schools, not all electives will be available online due to the availability of resources and instructors
- Our school leaders and teachers are exploring creative ways to provide as many elective options as possible but it is not feasible to offer all electives online for the entire year
- Look for future communication about elective offerings
- For elementary schools, specials will continue to be offered via online instruction through Canvas
- The standards taught through the online option align to the in-person model to ensure consistency in case families want to change instructional models
We understand that this is a difficult decision and we know that some families may want to change after the start of the school year. Here are some considerations to take into account when deciding if you want to change instructional models.Transitioning from In-Person to Online InstructionThoughts to consider for this change:
Transitioning from Online to In-Person InstructionThoughts to consider for this change:
- The change can occur at any reasonable time during the school year
- The students would stay in the same course except for certain electives that might not be offered online
- The student would be transferred to a new class with a new, online instructor
- Grades will be transferred to the new class
We know that there are still unanswered questions. Thank you for your patience while we navigate though executive orders, statutory requirements, and the realities of COVID-19 in Arizona at this time. More specific information will be provided as soon as it is available.
- For grades K-6, this change can happen at any time but will require consultation with the school administration for optimal planning
- For grades 7-12, this change can only occur at the end of each quarter/semester
- The student would stay in the same courses/grade level with a new in-person instructor
- Grades will be transferred to the new class
Dr. Mike ThomasonSuperintendent
June 29, 2020June 29, 2020Dear Higley Families,On Monday, June 29, 2020, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced a delay to the start of in-person classes for the 2020-2021 school year until Aug. 17.Higley Unified School District will review Gov. Ducey's Executive Order and will provide additional information as soon as it is available.HUSD leadership will continue to explore and evaluate the next steps to best serve the families of our community.Thank you for your patience as we continue to work through the impact of COVID-19 on our school system and plans for the upcoming school year.Dr. Mike Thomason, Superintendent
Dr. Dawn Foley, Assistant Superintendent for K-12 Educational Services
June 25, 2020
June 25, 2020
Dear HUSD Families,
We have been given the monumental task to determine how to safely reopen our schools for the 2020-2021 school year. There are many essential aspects that must be considered as we reopen schools in a way that is both practical and responsible. However, we also know that it is impossible to meet the desires and needs of all stakeholders during these uncertain times.
The Higley Unified School District is using the Arizona Department of Education’s Roadmap for Reopening Schools Guidance to help our Task Teams plan the specifics for how schools will conduct daily operations when we return to school on July 27, 2020. 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. It is important to realize that there may be unknown factors that will ultimately require us to modify and/or change plans based on the most up to date information from state or national authorities.
We have assembled a Task Force comprised of individuals from multiple perspectives to look at specific protocols and details pertaining to what school may look like when we reopen our buildings. We have also collected survey data to understand what our community and employees are thinking to help guide the important decisions that need to be made for Higley schools.
As we plan for the 2020-2021 school year we are committed to:
- the health and safety of all
- high quality education
- respect and acceptance for diverse opinions and concerns
- ongoing communication
As we reopen schools, HUSD will implement several strategies to reduce the spread of communicable diseases. Some of the increased safety, sanitation, and hygiene precautions that will be implemented include:
- educating staff and families on when they should stay home and when they can return to school or work
- training all employees on health screening and safety protocols
- posting signage on appropriate hygiene and sanitation best practices
- wearing masks is now required per municipal ordinance, students and employees will be encouraged to wear masks when physical distancing is not possible
- providing explicit instruction for students on their role in promoting behaviors that reduce the spread of disease such as:
- hand hygiene
- respiratory etiquette
- appropriate physical distancing when possible
- limiting additional visitors on campuses
- limiting the use of shared materials
- discouraging or eliminating the use of items that are difficult to clean and/or disinfect
- ensuring cleaner school spaces with intensified cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation in our schools
- sanitizing high-touch surfaces frequently
- minimizing the number of students in high traffic areas (routines such as lunches and recess will resume with appropriate safety modifications where possible)
We are also dedicated to providing ongoing and updated information and communication on our HUSD website and through social media. We have put together several resources that include the following:
- instructional options for the 2020-2021 school year
- health information including daily screening and protocols
- FAQs for families
At this time our teams are working hard to provide the best learning opportunities for all students and we need your assistance in letting us know what your preferred instructional option for your student(s). Please complete this survey, by Monday July 6th to help us best prepare for the opening of the 2020-2021 school year.
Dr. Mike Thomason
Dr. Dawn A. Foley
Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services