2021-22 COVID-19 information and communications

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(updated Sept. 27, 2021)

Dear Mesa Public Schools community,

Today's court ruling on school face-mask bans does not impact Mesa Public Schools mitigation strategies. We continue to strongly encourage staff and students to wear masks while indoors.

Learn more about all our COVID-19 mitigation strategies at mpsaz.org/reopen.

(updated August 25, 2021)

Hello Mesa Public Schools community,

We are concerned that the number of COVID-19 cases continue to increase in our city and schools. This increase impacts the health of our community and disrupts our goal to provide in-person learning for those who choose it.

Since the first day of school, 577 students and 123 employees have reported testing positive for COVID-19. We placed 1,859 individuals in quarantine last week, including 9 classrooms or programs.

Mitigation strategies help control the spread of COVID-19 and keep our schools open for in-person learning. We strongly encourage staff and students to join us in keeping our schools safe by wearing masks while indoors.

The following mitigation strategies are being added:

Masks will be used as a mitigation measure when needed. If we see elevated case counts in a classroom, we will require masking for 10 days to try to avoid quarantining the class. If 3% or more of a school's population (students and staff) are reported positive for COVID-19, we will require masking for the entire school.

Masks will be required on school buses, in accordance with an order from the CDC and federal executive order 13998.

Grades K-6 out-of-district field trips will be suspended until further notice.

Increased hand washing/sanitizing throughout the school day will be encouraged and expected.

Directional hallways and similar traffic patterns will be reinstated.

Signage encouraging individuals to wear a face mask and stay home when sick will be displayed throughout district buildings.

All employees will be required to complete a daily health attestation acknowledging they are fit for work prior to or upon arrival at work.

new data dashboard has been published and will update daily to indicate active cases in our schools. COVID-19 messages from your school remain the most timely and accurate way to monitor cases.

All previously communicated mitigation strategies remain in effect.

We need your help to keep our students and staff healthy and our schools open. Parents are required to complete a health assessment of their child before they leave home. Please keep your child home if they exhibit any COVID-like symptoms. If you had reason to test your child for COVID-19, they should not attend school until you have received a negative test result. As a reminder, please complete the 2021-22 COVID-19 Parental Acknowledgement and Disclosure for each child in your family attending a district school. Next week, schools will begin reaching out to parents who have not completed the form.

Visit our COVID-19 information web page frequently for updated information on vaccine clinics, community spread and more. If you have any questions, please email reopen@mpsaz.org.

Thank you to all our community members, parents and employees who have reached out to share their thoughts and preferences about our COVID-19 mitigation strategies. Although these opinions vary greatly, we need to work together. We know following COVID-19 mitigation strategies is the best way to ensure all students have the opportunity to participate in in-person learning.

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(updated August 13, 2021)

Dear Mesa Public Schools community,

Thank you for your continued partnership and support. We remain vigilant about COVID-19 and continue to review and refine our mitigation strategies to ensure we are providing a healthy and safe learning environment.

Please review the following updated mitigation strategies:

  • Classroom seating will be separated by three feet to the greatest extent possible.
  • Adult and student gatherings will be limited to 50% capacity in indoor spaces, and 75% capacity in outdoor spaces.
  • In compliance with state law, face coverings continue to be recommended and will be available for anyone who wants one. Additional signage will be displayed in all schools and departments to encourage the use of face coverings.

Staff and families will continue to receive direct communication about positive COVID-19 cases at their site. Please ensure your contact information is up to date with your school.

Please remember to keep your child home if they exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms. This will ensure your child is able to return to school as quickly as possible.

Throughout the year, vaccination events will be available to our community. The next events are Aug. 16, 4-7 p.m., at Carson Junior High, and Aug. 17, 2-5 p.m., at Dobson High.

If you have any questions, please email reopen@mpsaz.org.

Thank you for choosing Mesa Public Schools and working with us to keep our schools safe.

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(updated August 10, 2021)

Hello Mesa Public Schools families,

The school year is off to a great start! Our goal is to provide a healthy and safe learning environment so we can focus on high-quality instruction for every student. We remain vigilant about COVID-19 and have strategies in place to address it.

As mentioned in the July 28 communication, we are requiring families to complete the 2021-22 COVID-19 Parental Acknowledgement and Disclosure for each child in the family attending a district school. This is a simple online form that will only take a few minutes to complete.

To ensure every student has a completed form, you will need to enter your child's Student ID.

If you have more than one child in Mesa Public Schools, you will receive a separate email for each child with their unique Student ID. Or you can find Student IDs in the parent portal.

Please complete the 2021-22 COVID-19 Parental Acknowledgement and Disclosure by Friday, Aug. 13.

Thank you for supporting our efforts to keep our students, employees and community safe and healthy.

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(updated July 28, 2021)

Dear Mesa Public Schools families,

We are looking forward to the first day of school on Tuesday, August 3. Our goal is to provide a healthy and safe learning environment so we can focus on high-quality instruction for every student. We are committed to timely decision-making and communication throughout the school year.

We remain vigilant about COVID-19 and have strategies in place to address it. These strategies may be updated as needed based on the status of COVID-19 in the community, county or state. Please review the key points in our plan:

Cafeteria service and use will return to normal.

Extracurricular activities, including performing arts and athletics, will return to regular operations. Athletics will follow published AIA guidelines.

Face coverings are recommended and will be available for anyone who wants one. This aligns with state law.

Health offices will monitor students for COVID-19 symptoms. Students exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms while at school will be sent home and follow the Maricopa County isolation guidelines to determine when they may return. Please keep your child home if they exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms. This will ensure your child is able to return to school as quickly as possible.

Hygiene practices such as frequent hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer will continue.

Isolation and quarantine protocols will align with Maricopa County guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Any student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate per Maricopa County guidelines. Students having direct contact at school with a person who is positive for COVID-19 will be notified and asked to monitor for symptoms. Students having direct contact at home with a person who is positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine per Maricopa County guidelines. Students in isolation and quarantine will access their class/coursework through Canvas, our learning management system. A laptop and internet connectivity will be provided if needed. Your child's teacher(s) will maintain regular contact.

All employees are considered essential workers. Employees who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate per Maricopa County guidelines. Employees having close contact with a COVID-19-positive individual will report to work if symptom-free and self-monitor for symptoms.

Parent and employee acknowledgements of our COVID-19 protocols and expectations will be requested once school begins. Please watch your email or text messages for a link to complete the 2021-22 COVID-19 Parental or Employee Acknowledgement and Disclosure. Review the information carefully, sign and submit as soon as possible.

Recess and access to outdoor space before and after school will return to normal.

Reporting of positive cases is critically important. If a student tests positive for COVID-19, their parent is required to notify the school health office. Employees are required to notify their supervisor. The district will notify parents and employees of positive cases at their site.

Vaccinations are not required for students, employees or visitors to attend school or school events, in accordance with state law. Parents and employees may voluntarily share vaccine information with the school or district.

Visitors and volunteers are welcome on campus.

If you have any questions, please email reopen@mpsaz.org.

Thank you for choosing Mesa Public Schools and working with us to keep our schools safe. Together we will ensure every student in Mesa Public Schools is known by name, served by strength and need, and graduates ready for college, career and community.

COVID-19 Dashboard

reporting active and total cases by school
updated daily by 8 p.m.

2021-22 COVID-19 mitigation strategies

Current MPS health benchmarks

(updated October 21, 2021)

Community transmission level is:
High (red)

Current week data (October 21, 2021)

  • Cases per 100K people : 176.55 (red)
  • Percent positivity : 21.56% (red)

Prior week's data (Oct. 14, 2021)

  • Cases per 100K people : 198.17 (red)
  • Percent positivity : 20.01% (red)

Learn more on the Maricopa County Department of Public Health website.

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Why are masks required on school buses?

On January 29, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order requiring that "Persons must wear masks over the mouth and nose when traveling on conveyances into and within the United States." Conveyance is defined by 42 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 70.1, as "an aircraft, train, road vehicle, vessel or other means of transport, including military." On August 5, 2021, the CDC issued updated guidance, which clarified that its January 29, 2021 order applies to all public transportation conveyances including school buses. Passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses, including on buses operated by public and private school systems, regardless of vaccination status, subject to the exclusions and exemptions in CDC’s order.

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