August 5, 2020
Dear CGUHSD Parents and Guardians,
As we prepare to kick off the 2020-21 school year, there have been many challenges due to our inability as a district to conduct business in our usual in-person format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Altering our practices and conducting business online for student registration this school year has been especially challenging for our parents and guardians as well as our staff. In a typical school year, we conduct a walkthrough registration at both schools over a single week and provide our students and families all the information necessary to start the school year. This year, registering students has been very time consuming and has caused us to push registration into a second week to understand which modality of learning each of our students is choosing to learn in. Even though, as of Tuesday, we have been able to get most of our students registered, our administration and counselors are now tasked with completely reworking student schedules based on the modality of learning they have chosen and get teachers their class rosters so they can make connections with their students prior to the first day of instruction. With all the challenges we have had to overcome, there just simply is not enough time for us to complete these tasks this week and give our teachers enough time to make necessary student connections.
Last night, the Governing Board approved adjusting our school calendar by five days and moving the start of the 2020-21 school year to Monday, August 17, 2020. You may view the updated calendar on our district and school websites. This will allow our school administration and counseling department to complete the work that must be done and will provide our teachers ample opportunity to connect with their students to ensure that everyone is truly ready to begin the school year. While we regret having to push the start date back, we also understand that starting a school year ready is incredibly important for student success. Because this school year will begin virtually, it is critical that teachers and students have time connect before the first day of instruction.
At this time, the reopening of schools for Modified In-Person learning is unknown. Last week, Superintendent Hoffman sent out a communication to all school leaders letting us know that it is not safe to reopen Arizona schools for in-person instruction on August 17, 2020. By August 7th, school leaders will be provided the guidelines and criteria that will allow local school boards to determine when it is safe for their school district to reopen for in-person instruction. The District, in collaboration with the Arizona Department of Health Services, will make these decisions based on health data, the needs of the community, and capacity to return with sufficient safe and healthy strategies in our reopening plan. Virtual learning for all CGUHSD students will begin on Monday, August 17, 2020, and will continue until in-person instruction is able to commence. At that time, students who wish to attend school in-person in our Modified In-Person model will have the option to do so.
This school year, our enhanced version of virtual learning will provide consistent direct instruction with daily student/teacher interaction and includes virtual instruction that follows the schedule of the typical school day. All coursework will be conveniently housed in Blackboard as one instructional platform, and devices will again be available to all students in the Casa Grande Union High School District. Families will receive an additional update next week containing information regarding class schedules, virtual teacher meetings, meal service, virtual learning expectations, and more.
The health and safety for staff and students continues to be paramount in our extensive planning efforts for a safe and healthy return to school. We have spent countless hours developing creative solutions to unprecedented problems so that we may continue to provide uninterrupted, high quality instruction for our students and families.
Your patience and support are appreciated, and we will continue to work diligently to prioritize the well-being of our students, staff, and community.
Dr. Steve Bebee