Safe. Strong. Ready.
A forward-thinking plan for opening schools
(updated September 10, 2020)
Hello Mesa Public Schools community,
Mesa Public Schools has successfully met the metrics to begin modified in-person learning on Monday, September 14. If you have not already done so, please complete the required COVID-19 Parental Acknowledgement and Disclosure if your child will be attending modified in-person classes.
The modified in-person student experience
As mentioned in yesterday's communication, please view our student experience videos for a preview of modified in-person learning.
- The elementary student experience (also available en español)
- The junior high student experience (also available en español)
- The high school student experience (also available en español)
Student and staff safety
The district health & safety protocols are vital to ensuring that when our schools open, they can remain open. This includes a daily home health screening, mandatory face masks (without holes or vents), and six-feet physical distancing as much as possible. Please review the health & safety protocols with your child, so they are prepared for a successful start to modified in-person learning.
Additional COVID-19 testing and flu vaccination opportunities
The district has partnered with the City of Mesa to provide free COVID-19 testing and flu vaccination events at five district schools.
Events will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the following schools:
- Sept. 19 - Longfellow Elementary, 345 S. Hall
- Sept. 26 - Lincoln Elementary, 930 S. Sirrine
- Oct. 3 - Washington Elementary, 2260 W. Isabella Ave.
- Oct. 10 - Hughes Elementary, 630 N. Hunt Drive
- Oct. 17 - Webster Elementary, 202 N. Sycamore
All COVID-19 tests and flu vaccinations will be provided at no cost, regardless of insurance. No appointment or pre-registration is needed. Test results will be available within 48 hours. Free household cleaning supplies will be distributed at the Sept. 19 event and on a limited basis afterward based on available inventory.
School-specific information, including group assignment, transportation and lunch protocols, will be shared with you directly by your school. Find more details about modified in-person and remote learning on our Safe.Strong.Ready. website, located at mpsaz.org/reopen.
(updated September 9, 2020)
Hello Mesa Public Schools community,
We look forward to welcoming our modified in-person learners to campus starting Monday, September 14, 2020, pending the Sept. 10 metrics. School-specific information, including group assignments for in-person learning days, will come directly from your child's school. If you have not already done so, please complete and submit to your child's school the required COVID-19 Parental Acknowledgement and Disclosure.
Tomorrow we will share an update about our metrics, which will include English- and Spanish-language "modified in-person learning student experience" videos for elementary, junior high and high school students. In the meantime, here is additional helpful information for our families who've chosen to transition to modified in-person learning.
A safe school day begins at home
All staff and students will undergo a daily home health assessment before leaving home. Staff and students should stay home if they exhibit any of the symptoms (may be mild to severe) listed at mpsaz.org/reopen. Students are expected to bring a clean face mask, filled water bottle, and fully charged device and charger to school each day.
Masks required for students and staff
All staff and K-12 students are required to wear masks on buses and school campuses. Masks must fully cover the nose and mouth and remain in place without the use of one's hands. Masks must not have holes or vents. All visitors are subject to the same requirements. Review the mask policy for students. Buses and schools will have disposable masks available for those who need one. Review all health & safety protocols.
Safety on the bus
Students are expected to wear masks and practice safe physical distancing at bus stops. When the bus arrives, students will board the bus from back to front, with kindergarten students sitting in the front. Students will have assigned seats. When the bus arrives at school, students should stay seated and follow directions from the bus driver on unloading from front to back. Read additional bus protocols.
To keep campuses safe, no outside visitors or volunteers will be allowed on campus, except for the safety and well-being of students. Essential visitors to facilities will be required to wear face masks and follow safety protocols, and will be restricted in their access to campuses as a whole.
Meal service update
Through winter break, the district is able to provide free meal service for all children 18 and under. Modified in-person learners will eat meals on site during their in-person days. Students may preorder to-go meals at mpsaz.org/food for their remote learning days to pick up before leaving campus.
Full-time remote learners (and any child under 18) can pick up meals from 7 to 8 a.m. at participating junior high schools or 6:45 to 7:45 a.m. at participating district high schools on Mondays and Wednesdays. Students will receive two meals on Mondays and three meals on Wednesdays. Students do not need to be present. Find participating locations and more information at mpsaz.org/food.
On-site support centers
On-site support centers, offered in accordance with Governor Ducey's Executive Order 2020-51, continue to be available for students who need a safe place to go for remote learning during the day. These on-site support centers, available starting September 14 at all district schools, will not provide the same experience as an engaging classroom environment and do not include in-person instruction by a certified teacher. Families must provide their own transportation. Space is limited and registration is required. Learn more about on-site centers.
Before- and after-school opportunities
Elementary students are eligible to sign up for Sun Devil Learning Labs: After School Huddles. The program pairs Mesa Public Schools K-6 students with ASU education students for free, small-group lessons in a virtual environment. Learn more and register.
Xplore tuition-based extended day programming is available at 33 elementary schools starting Monday, September 14. Learn more and register at mpsaz.org/xplore.
COVID-19 testing and reporting
Free COVID-19 testing is available for students, families and staff at Mesa Community College. Drive-thru testing is available 24/7 with an online appointment in advance. The district is in the process of collaborating with health agencies to make testing accessible for more district families. More information about additional testing locations will be shared when available.
In the event a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the district will take guidance from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, which includes alerting the affected community via the SchoolMessenger mass-communication system.
Find more details about modified in-person and remote learning on our Safe.Strong.Ready. website, located at mpsaz.org/reopen.
(updated September 4, 2020)
Starting Monday, Sept. 14, every district school will offer an on-site support center for students who need a safe place to go during the day for remote learning. These centers, which are required by executive order 2020-51, will be operational regardless of our health benchmark status. Centers are open to any student enrolled at that school. Registration is required and space is limited.
While attending an on-site support center, students are able to log in and work on their remote learning in a supervised environment. The centers will follow all health and safety guidelines, including physical distancing and limited group sizes. Face coverings are required for staff and students.
Here are some additional details:
- Space is limited to allow for safe physical distancing.
- These centers do not replicate a classroom experience, and teachers will not be on-site for instruction.
- If a parent does not want their child to wear a face covering, the child will be unable to attend the on-site support center.
- Each student is required to bring their district-issued device (fully charged), power cord and headphones to complete school work.
- Transportation is not provided. Families must provide their own transportation to and from the centers.
- The centers will be open during the regular school day. Don't forget that Wednesday is an early release day. Check your school's website for the hours of operation.
- K-8th grade students are expected to attend the regular school day hours. If they wish to leave early, a parent or guardian must come to school to pick them up.
- Students in 9-12th grade can attend for the full school day or the hours equal to their daily schedule - the hours they attend each day must be determined prior to the first day of attendance.
Learn more about the centers on our website.
While we remain in remote learning, students may attend the center Monday - Friday. If the district transitions to modified in-person (MIP) learning, MIP students may attend the center on their non-in-person days, including Wednesday. Remote students may attend Monday - Friday.
Also on Sept. 14, Xplore, our before- and after-school enrichment program, will be available at 33 elementary locations. Visit the Xplore website for information on hours, location and fees.
Registration for your child to attend the on-site support center at their school for the three-week session from Sept. 14 - Oct. 2. will open at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, and close at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9. Access the central registration system on our website. Please have your child's student ID number on hand to register. If you do not know your child's permanent ID number, you can find it on the Parent Portal.
If you need assistance, please contact the school your child attends.
(updated September 3, 2020)
Hello Mesa Public Schools community,
As we have shared previously, Mesa Public Schools is using state and county public health benchmarks as our guide for opening schools safely. We are pleased to report that the district has dropped below 7% positivity this week, according to data released this morning. If our percent positivity and other metrics continue to follow the current trend, we will be able to begin modified in-person learning on Monday, September 14. We will use the Sept. 10 data to confirm or adjust this date. We will continue to monitor metrics to determine our learning model going forward.
If you haven't reported your learning model choice to your child's school, please do so as soon as possible.
Details about our modified in-person learning model are on our Safe.Strong.Ready. website at mpsaz.org/reopen. To prepare for a modified in-person experience, please review our health and safety guidelines.
Starting Monday, Sept. 14, every district school will offer an on-site support center for students enrolled at that school. These centers, which are required by executive order 2020-51 and follow our health and safety guidelines, will be operational regardless of our health benchmark status. Registration is required and availability is limited. Look for a separate communication on Friday with additional details and the registration link.
We will be sharing additional information as soon as it is available. School-specific information such as group assignments for modified in-person learning will be shared directly with you by your school principal.
Thank you for your continued patience and support. We are so excited to welcome students back to our campuses. Feel free to reach out anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Andi Fourlis
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Sun Devil Learning Lab: After School Huddles
Free small-group learning led by ASU education students for K-6 MPS students