2021-22 COVID-19 BACK TO SCHOOL MITIGATION PLAN
Updated September 3, 2021
Peoria Unified has been open to in-person instruction since September of 2020 by following the requirements of public health officials. In addition to federal and state health agencies, the district has closely followed the K-12 Guidance to Schools provided by Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH). In addition, components of this plan were reviewed with representatives of district stakeholders and public opinion was provided via phone calls, emails and social media messages from the community.
Additional updates to this plan may be made in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Arizona Department of Public Health (ADHS), MCDPH, Executive Orders issued by the Governor and the decisions made by the district’s Governing Board and Leadership Team. The Peoria Unified School District may make revisions to this plan at any time based on changes in federal, state or county requirements or changes in community spread of COVID-19. Some procedures may vary by school based on enrollment or layout of school campus and will be shared with parents by school principals.
IN PERSON INSTRUCTION
- Masks will continue to be optional but are recommended for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals while indoors, during times of substantial or high transmission, per the CDC and Arizona Department of Health Services. You can view the transmission rates in our community on the Maricopa County Department of Public Health dashboard (MCDPH) for schools
- Per federal order by the CDC, masks are required on all district buses by students, staff and drivers, unless drivers are operating the vehicle without any passengers.
- Maricopa County recommends that fully vaccinated individuals wear a mask for up to 14 days after coming in close contact to an individual who tested positive.
- Students, staff or visitors are not required to be vaccinated. For information on vaccinations, visit MCDPH’s website.
- A Home Health Screening and Information Guide has been created for parents.
- Parents and guardians need to assess their child's health daily prior to heading to school or the bus stop.
- Students need to stay home if they feel ill or are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory infection.
- If staff has concerns, based on a visual check of the child, they will contact the school nurse prior to sending the student to the nurse's office.
- Students are reminded of proper hygiene, including:
- Avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Covering the mouth when coughing.
- Covering the nose when sneezing and safely discarding tissues.
- Morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up procedures will be provided directly to parents by the school principal and are subject to change.
- Students will maintain physical distancing of at least six feet when possible
- Students will sit and travel in cohorts
- Seating charts are established in all classrooms (specials)
- Students will need to bring their own refillable water bottles.
- Parents who are seeking support for their child should contact their principal or call 623-412-5262.
- Hand washing and sanitizer used as students enter the classroom.
- Hand sanitizer will be available in hand sanitizer stations and in individual bottles on all campuses.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) will continue to be available to students and staff as requested.
- The use of air purifiers will continue in all campus spaces.
- Lunch tables will be separated and facing one direction in Elementary Schools.
- Students encouraged to eat lunch outside and maintain social distance at High Schools.
- Masks are optional but are recommended for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals while indoors, during times of substantial or high transmission, per the CDC and Arizona Department of Health Services.
- Per federal order by the CDC, masks are required on all district buses by students, staff and drivers.
- Students in need of social emotional support should call our Student Support Line at 623-412-5262 during the school day.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
- Daily cleaning will take place on all campuses and district spaces.
- Enhanced sanitation will occur in cases where an individual has tested positive.
- Increased cleaning of high touchpoint areas in schools and district spaces.
Extracurricular, Events and Field Trips
- High School Athletics will follow MCDPH guidelines along with guidance from AIA.
- Athletes and spectators will be provided with updates from their coaches and athletic directors.
- Require a safety plan for incorporating mitigation strategies at indoor events.
- Field trips are approved on a case-by-case basis.
- Elementary athletic events will be modeled after guidance provided by the AIA. Athletes and spectators will be provided with updates from their coaches and administration.
- Out-of-state travel for students will be suspended and reassessed at the end of December.
- Limit volunteers and visitors on campus.
Isolation and Quarantine
The Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) updated their notification process regarding K-12 quarantines. Effective immediately, MCDPH will now review cases, quarantine and provide schools a letter for close contacts each school day. Once a school receives this notification, the school must exclude close contact students from campus for the duration of their quarantine period. Exceptions from MCDPH are below:
- Fully vaccinated students are not subject to quarantine.
- When a student who tests positive for COVID-19 is wearing a mask during the infectious period, other students who were exposed (within 3-6 feet) and also wearing a mask consistently and correctly are not subject to quarantine.
- Students who have already tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of being identified as a close contact are not subject to quarantine.
Families who have questions about quarantine can contact MCDPH at 1-844-542-8201 or email. Families will receive a communication from Peoria Unified in partnership with MCDPH at time of quarantine.
Learning Support During Isolation & Quarantine
- Principals will notify teachers of students who are in isolation and quarantine.
- The teacher will determine a learning plan and prepare the necessary resources needed for at home learning.
- The teacher will contact the student and/or parent to discuss the learning plan and provide daily digital or paper-pencil assignments and instructional activities. Student laptops and hotspots may be checked out.
- The teacher will check in with students as needed to provide learning support.
- The teacher will respond to any parent or student emails and answer questions or address concerns.
COVID-19 Response Team & Communication
- The district’s COVID-19 Response Team assists school administrators on an as-needed basis.
- Parents receive updates from the school about any changes to mitigation procedures.
- The district provides a COVID-19 dashboard on its website that is updated weekly with the number of reported cases by school.
- MCDPH is providing home self-tests to districts, charter and private schools. Tests are for staff and will also be provided to parents for student use at home.
- Expecting additional free testing sites in our community, by appointment only.
- PCR or antigen and if a home test, BianxNOW are currently accepted for proof of a positive case. Blood tests are not accepted per MCDPH.
- In accordance with Section 504 in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1974, reasonable accommodations will be made for any student with a 504. Should you need special accommodations, reach out to your child’s principal.
Facility Rentals & Campus Visitors
- Rentals will be considered on a case-by-case basis with consideration given to indoor/outdoor
- Campus visitors and volunteers will be limited to those with an educational or operational purpose for being on campus.
eCAMPUS VIRTUAL SCHOOL
While attending school in-person works best for most students, the district recognizes that many students, K-12, can be successful in a high-quality online program. Meeting the needs of every child is the district’s priority and taking critical feedback from staff and families during the pandemic, Peoria Unified modified and enhanced its online instructional model for future school years to offer a permanent, online option for students.
The new online learning model, hosted through Peoria’s eCampus Virtual School, is a full-time online learning option available to students K-12. Students are taught by certified Peoria Unified teachers who are trained to deliver quality, online teaching and learning.
This is a full-time option for students where the eCampus Virtual School will be listed as the child’s “home school” and the child will be unenrolled from their traditional neighborhood school. Students enrolled in eCampus Virtual School will not be able to transition back and forth between in-person instruction and the eCampus Virtual School within the school semester, but spaces may be made available at each quarter. Those interested in enrolling should contact the administration at their child’s home school to discuss if there are openings and inquire about placement on the waiting list.
Additional updates may be made in accordance with Arizona Department of Public Health (ADHS), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Executive Orders issued by Governor Doug Ducey and the decisions made by the district’s Governing Board and Leadership Team. Some procedures and protocols may vary by school based on enrollment or layout of school campus and will be shared with parents by school principals.
DOWNLOAD THE 2021-22 BACK TO SCHOOL PLAN (Updated September 3, 2021)
Maricopa County Department of Public Health
This resource can assist you with the following questions:
- What are COVID symptoms
- How to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the home
- Information on vaccines
- Next steps if you were a close contact to someone who tested positive
- You can speak to a medical specialist
Calling "211" or visiting the website above for the following questions:
- Details on COVID Vaccines
- Housing/Utilities/Food assistance
- Crisis counseling
- You can speak to a specialist about COVID-19
- Testing sites
- Questions on symptoms
- Questions on what to do if exposed
- A parent can call to ask about the impact on COVID-19 in schools