In keeping with Gov. Doug Ducey’s order to not open classrooms until Aug. 17, the Buckeye Elementary School District will start the school year with online classes Aug. 5.
“The plan is to provide remote learning on Aug. 5 until Aug. 17 in accordance with Gov. Ducey’s executive order, which says buildings are to open for parents who need a place for children to be dropped off during the day for child care,” BESD Superintendent Kristi Wilson said.
“We are currently collecting information from stakeholders such as parents and staff and will adjust plans accordingly once we learn more from our stakeholders (Arizona Department of Education) and the governor’s office.”
The district discussed flexible plans for the fall at a July 13 board meeting.
“We have only one agenda, and that is to return to normalcy,” said Dr. Mike Lee, assistant superintendent.
Families will have the option to participate in full remote learning for the whole year if they so choose through the “BESD-V” virtual classroom program.
Registration is required for the BESD-V program.
“We have built flexibility in our plans to provide consistent teaching and learning experiences for students and predictability in scheduling for parents,” Wilson said.
Lee said the district aims to keep things as stable as possible. “People have enough uncertainty in their lives at this moment,” he said. “We don’t need to add anymore.”
According to the district website, once transitioned to the in-person model, the plan is to bring all students back into the buildings five days a week while requiring personal protective equipment such as masks. The school day may be shortened based on needed instructional time, appropriate breaks and food services.
Breakfast and lunch will continue to be served but will be done so in the students’ classrooms or set cohorts to minimize unnecessary mingling.
The district is planning to continue providing transportation, but the schedules may be altered to follow health guidelines.
Extracurricular activities, field trips and sports have been canceled through the first semester, and assemblies or other large group activities have been suspended until further notice.
Limited visitors will be permitted on campus and volunteers will not be allowed for now.
According to the district website, the “BESD-V” remote learning model will utilize Google Classroom and will depend on government mandates. Instruction will include live teaching, mandatory virtual attendance, peer engagement and mandatory assignments.
Special classes such as art, physical education, music and technology will be available in the online learning environment.
Although this is the current plan for the district, things may shift depending on COVID-19 numbers and government orders, but BESD aims to make any transitions as smooth as possible, Lee said.