School Opening and COVID-19 Information


School Opening and COVID-19 Information

Welcome to the Return to School Information Site

This site has been developed to inform Vail parents of plans regarding the opening of the Vail School District for the 2020/2021 school year. We recognize that as plans are made, some of those plans will need to be modified and adjusted as conditions around COVID-19 are still fluid across Arizona. As some of these topics are still being discussed and considered, you may find areas that are under consideration. As decisions are finalized, the sections will be updated on this site.

If you have questions or concerns after reviewing the information here, please feel free to contact us at newschoolyear@vailschooldistrict.org.

CHOOSE YOUR PATH BACK TO SCHOOL

Our FIRST guiding principle states, “We respect parents. We operate on behalf of parents and assist them in the education of their children. We deeply value parental choice and involvement.”

Parents must make the choice for their children returning to school for the 2020/2021 school year that best meets their own family’s circumstances. The Vail School District has three separate options from which parents can choose. 

Please rest assured that all of the options below will be vastly different from the educational opportunities provided during 4th quarter of 2019/2020. All options will include mastery learning as well as student accountability with grades assigned.

See the details below and select the option you wish to choose for each student attending Vail schools in 2020/2021.

Note: The link for parents to make their selection is not yet available. Please review the options at this time. We will inform parents when the link is available. Thank you for your patience.

On Campus Learning

Kinder - 5th Grades

  • 5 days per week in person
  • Mastery learning
  • Graded assignments and feedback
  • Enhanced safety measures
  • Vail teachers & curriculum
  • Specials, Advanced Math, and ELP available
  • Recess and breaks
  • State and district testing required
  • Ideal for families who are ready to come back to school full time

6th - 8th Grades

  • 5 days per week in person
  • Mastery learning in all content areas delivered on campus
  • Graded assignments and feedback
  • Traditional environment with enhanced safety measures
  • Vail teachers & curriculum
  • Comprehensive middle school experience
  • Reteach/Enrich & Specials available
  • State and district testing required
  • When feasible – extracurricular activities and athletics
  • Ideal for families who are ready to come back to school full time

 

High School

  • 5 days per week in person
  • Mastery learning in all classes
  • Graded assignments and feedback
  • Enhanced safety measures
  • Vail teachers & curriculum
  • Elective classes available
  • State and district testing required
  • Ideal for families who are ready to come back to school full time

 

Brick to Click Learning

Kinder - 5th Grades

  • 5 days per week remotely – Daily participation required
  • Mastery learning lessons in core content delivered through Schoology
  • Graded assignments and feedback
  • Continued connection to current Vail School
  • Vail teachers and curriculum aligned to classroom learning
  • State and district testing required
  • Daily parental support is essential
  • Internet connection required
  • District devices available
  • Ideal for families who aren’t quite ready to return full time and need shorter times of at home learning

6th - 8th Grades

  • 5 days per week remotely – Daily participation required
  • Mastery learning lessons in LA, Math, Social Studies, and Science delivered through Schoology
  • Graded assignments and feedback
  • Students will follow a class schedule
  • Continued connection to current Vail School
  • Vail teachers and curriculum
  • State and district testing required
  • Internet connection required
  • District devices available
  • Ideal for families who aren’t quite ready to return full time and need shorter times of at home learning

 

High School

  • 5 days per week remotely – Daily participation is required
  • Mastery learning in all classes
  • Graded assignments and feedback
  • Students will follow a daily class schedule
  • Students will receive both real time and online instruction via Schoology
  • Continued connection to current Vail School
  • State and district testing required
  • Vail teachers and curriculum
  • Internet connection required
  • District devices available
  • Ideal for families who aren’t quite ready to return full time and need shorter times of at home learning

 

Full Time Digital Learning

Kinder - 5th Grades

  • Flexible pacing of classes
  • Mastery learning
  • Graded assignments and feedback
  • Enrolled at the Vail Innovation Center
  • Includes real time online  instruction
  • Vail teachers
  • Online curriculum modified to match Vail curriculum
  • Daily parental support is essential
  • State testing required
  • Elective classes available
  • Internet connection and a computer is required
  • Semester long commitment
  • Ideal for independent, self-motivated learners for a long term

6th - 8th Grades

  • Flexible pacing of classes
  • Mastery learning in all classes
  • Graded assignments and feedback
  • Enrolled at the Vail Innovation Center
  • Vail teachers
  • Online curriculum modified to match Vail curriculum
  • Elective classes available
  • State testing required
  • Internet connection required
  • District devices available
  • Semester long commitment
  • Ideal for independent, self-motivated learners for a long term

 

High School

  • Enrolled at the Vail Innovation Center
  • Mastery learning in all classes
  • Graded assignments and feedback
  • Flexible pacing of class schedule
  • Vail teachers
  • Online curriculum modified to match Vail curriculum
  • Elective classes available
  • State testing required
  • Semester long commitment
  • Internet connection required
  • District devices available
  • Ideal for independent, self-motivated learners for a long term

 

Select your choice for each child… COMING SOON.

FAQ’s

Q – What option is best for my child?

On Campus Learning – This option is best for students who do not have underlying health conditions.

Brick to Click Learning – This option is best for students who plan to return to school by no later than January 2021. Students will stay enrolled in their home school with their assigned teacher(s), but lessons will be taught remotely, and classwork will be done at home. 

Full Time Digital Learning – This option is best for students with long term circumstances preventing them from physically returning to school. Students will be enrolled in the Vail Innovation Center. This option requires at least a semester long commitment. 

Q – How much face to face time will there be with teachers?

On Campus Learning – This will be a typical classroom setting. Students will interact with classified and certified staff and other students.

Brick to Click Learning – Students will complete coursework online through Schoology, ZOOM, and other online platforms. K-5 students will complete assignments given by teachers. 6-12 students will be expected to join regular classes virtually – following a regular schedule – on a daily basis. 

Full Time Digital Learning – All learning and coursework is completed online from home.

Q – Will there be Mastery teaching and learning? 

Yes. All options will follow the Arizona State Standards.

Q – Will there be grades?

Yes. Grades will be given in all three options.

Q – Will there be social distancing if I choose the Return to School option?

Each student desk will be separated. Students who sit at tables will have dividers. Six feet of separation may not be possible in many situations.

Q – Will my child be sharing supplies with other students?

In most cases students will have individual supplies in the classroom. Supplies may be shared in some cases and will be cleaned after each use.

Q – Will school events still take place?

Large events and performances will be postponed through the 1st quarter of the school year. We may extend this timeline if necessary. 

Q – Will my child switch classrooms?

Yes. Students will follow their class schedule and change classrooms according to their traditional schedule. 

Q – Will there be recess for elementary students?

Students will still attend grade level recess outside. 

Q – What will lunch periods look like?

Elementary – Students will alternate between eating in a classroom or eating in the MPR. Students will still play on the playground after eating regardless of where they eat.

Middle School – Students will alternate between eating in the MPR or in designated, shaded outside areas. Students will still have time to play and socialize in small groups when they are done eating.

High School – There will be two lunch periods during the day to help reduce crowding. Multiple points of sale for the purchase of lunch will be implemented to reduce lines and potential crowding. Feasible social distancing practices will be encouraged.

Q – What is the policy for visitors and volunteers?

Volunteers will be limited on campus and in the classroom. However, your child’s teacher will reach out with opportunities that you can complete at home. Face coverings are required for visitors/volunteers.

Q – How will my child make up 4th quarter educational gaps?

Teachers will spiral review Q4 concepts throughout the 1st quarter. 

Q – Will attendance policies remain the same?

Attendance expectations will be modified to accommodate those affected by COVID-19. 

Q – What precautions will be in place on the bus?

Students will be spaced out on the bus and may be required to wear a face covering.

Q – What if my child has an IEP? 

Students with IEP’s or 504 Plans will receive the same support as a typical year (i.e. co-teaching, paraprofessional support, inclusive practices, accomodations, modifications, etc.)

We are opening schools with three different choices for parents so families can make the best decisions for their circumstances. One option is On Campus Learning. The following procedures are under consideration to enhance safety for all students and staff while physically at school.

We will continue to make changes to these procedures as circumstances dictate.

Safety Tools

Wellness Checks

  • Daily home health screening – PLEASE DO NOT COME TO SCHOOL SICK.
  • Please run this wellness checklist EVERY day before sending your student to school.
  • Staff will be observing students for signs of illness.


Face Coverings

  • There is a Pima County Resolution requiring face coverings in all settings where social distancing may not be possible. Absent this requirement in the future, it is our intent to do the following: 
    • Create a cultural norm that adults and students will wear face coverings when physical distancing is not possible. 
    • Ask that parents provide a face covering for their student. If a student comes to school without a face covering, one will be provided.
    • Consider individual exemptions on a case by case basis.

Personal Health and Wellness Tips

Hand Washing

  • Sites will be implementing hand washing protocols. Additional hand washing will be expected at all sites. 

Face Touching

  • Schools will provide education and reminders that when one touches an infected surface with his/her hand and then touches eyes, nose, or mouth — which are entryways for viruses into the body — one could potentially become infected and get sick.

Precautionary Measures at the Schools to Enhance Safety

Building Sanitizing and Cleaning

*Sanitizing is a process to remove contaminants including germs and viruses. 

*Cleaning is a process to remove residue including dirt, grime, waste, etc. 

  • Sanitizing and cleaning will be done with frequency at all district sites and expanded to include the following:
    • Sanitizing will occur in high frequency areas in regular intervals throughout the day.
    • Cleaning will occur daily.
    • Site and custodial staff are collaborating regarding site specific needs.

Installation of Hand Sanitizing Stations

  • 1 for classrooms with a sink
  • 3 for classrooms without a sink
  • Additional sanitizing stations will be installed in general use areas and high traffic areas.

Restrooms

  • Sanitize morning, midday, and high usage times.
  • Sanitize before and after lunches.
  • Cleaning will occur daily.

Drinking Fountains

  • Students will be encouraged to bring water bottles.
  • Drinking fountains will be utilized, modified, or closed based on site needs. discretion. If open, they will be sanitized at regular intervals throughout the day.

Ventilation

  • All sites will maximize fresh air capacity of HVAC units in classrooms.

Visitors on Campus

  • Volunteers on campus and in the classroom will be limited with site discretion. Teachers will reach out with opportunities that volunteers can complete at home. 

Physical Distancing & Traffic Flows

  • Following CDC guidelines for schools, physical distancing will be done when feasible.
  • Students will be physically distanced to the greatest extent possible.
  • Six feet of physical distancing in classrooms may not be possible.
  • Sites will institute traffic patterns that maximize physical distancing.

Signs/Education

  • Schools will be putting in additional signage to promote safe practices, and education of these practices will be taking place. Lessons regarding expectations are being planned and will be presented.

Shared Materials

  • Whenever possible, schools will be limiting sharing of supplies. However, when this is not possible, items will be sanitized. 

Playgrounds

  • Playground structures will be utilized, modified, or closed based on site discretion. If open, they will be sanitized at regular intervals throughout the day.
  • Playground procedures will be developed to maximize staff and student safety at each site.

Lunch Time

  • Procedures will be developed by each site to maximize staff and student safety during lunch periods.

The Vail Governing Board voted to change the start date for the 2020/2021 school year to August 10th. An updated calendar will be posted here soon.

What will an average school day look like for your child? That depends on your child’s school. Please note that as current conditions change, these school day components are subject to change.

COMING SOON

THIS TAB IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION

LINKS WILL BE PROVIDED FOR EACH SCHOOL SOON

Pre-K

Vail Inclusive Pre-School – COMING SOON

Elementary

Acacia Elementary School – COMING SOON

Copper Ridge Elementary – COMING SOON

Cottonwood Elementary School – COMING SOON

Esmond Station K-8 School – COMING SOON

Ocotillo Ridge Elementary School – COMING SOON

Senita Valley Elementary School – COMING SOON

Sycamore Elementary School – COMING SOON

Vail Academy and High School – COMING SOON

Vail Innovation Center – COMING SOON

Middle School

Corona Foothills Middle School – COMING SOON

Desert Sky Middle School – COMING SOON

Esmond Station K-8 School – COMING SOON

Old Vail Middle School – COMING SOON

Rincon Vista Middle School – COMING SOON

Vail Innovation Center – COMING SOON

High School

Andrada Polytechnic High School – COMING SOON

Cienega High School – COMING SOON

Empire High School – COMING SOON

Mica Mountain High School – COMING SOON

Pantano High School – COMING SOON

Vail Academy and High School – COMING SOON

Vail Innovation Center – COMING SOON

Transportation will be provided based on conditions at the time. Routes and schedules are subject to change. Masks may be required.

More Information is COMING SOON.

School breakfast and lunch will continue to be available. More details will be provided as specific plans are determined.

Community Programs 20/21 Child Care:

Community Programs Locations:

  • Acacia 879-2268  
  • Cottonwood 879-2660  
  • Mesquite 879-2184
  • Ocotillo Ridge 879-3660
  • Senita Valley 879-3185
  • Sycamore 879-2579
  • Desert Willow 879-2313
  • Copper Ridge 879-3761
  • Esmond Station 879-3444

Scheduling Options:

  • Sites that offer Preschool: 7:00am-6:00pm
  • Before school and after school programming at all sites.
  • Standard schedule pricing will apply.

Group Sizing:

  • Preschool 13:1
  • School Age 20:1 (grouped according to age, coming from varied school day classrooms.)

Sign In/Out Procedure:

  • Parents/Visitors will be asked to remain at a designated area.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided for parent/adult use.
  • Please allow additional time during arrival for child well checks.

Arrival Procedure for Children:

  • For preschool and school aged before care classrooms, temperature checks will be conducted before entering classrooms while the parent is still present.
  • Any child with a temperature of 100.4 or higher, or displaying any signs of illness, will not be allowed to stay.
  • Children will be asked to wash/sanitize their hands upon arrival and throughout the day.

Meal Time/Snack Time Procedures:

  • Preschool lunch/snacks will be in each classroom.
  • Children will be asked to wash their hands before and after all meals.
  • Staff will use disposable food handling gloves when assisting children.

Meal Options:

  • Families provide lunch.
  • Families can utilize the District Food Service Program (879-3913) which offers lunch and breakfast options.
  • All snacks are to be provided by families.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Procedures:

  • Staff utilize an opening and closing procedures checklist each day.
  • High touch points will be wiped down throughout the day.
  • Tables will be cleaned and disinfected before and after meals and activities throughout the day.
  • Nightly sanitizing will be done by District Custodians.

Hand Washing Procedures:

  • Upon arrival
  • Encouraged often throughout the day
  • Before and after meals/snacks
  • After outdoor activities
  • After bathroom use 

Personal Protective Equipment:  ***(unknown at this time)

  • Use of face coverings are required for staff and school age children throughout the day.
  • Staff will use gloves throughout the day for bathroom assistance, food handling, cleaning, and first aid.

Covid-19 Positive Procedures:

  • We will notify and work with the Arizona Department of Health Services and Pima County Health Department for current recommendations and compliance.

For all other questions contact:

Linda Kubiak 

Community Programs Director 

520-879-2032 

kubiakl@vailschooldistrict.org

Parents are asked to complete a health check before sending their child to school each day. If a child appears ill at school, his or her temperature will be taken. The child will be sent home if he or she has a temperature of 100.4 or greater.

In the event of someone at the school testing positive, parents will be notified.

The Vail School District is working with the Pima County Health Department on specific guidelines. More information will be posted here as it becomes available.

Check here for updates from federal, state, and local health information.

Pima County 6/19/20 Resolution

CDC Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes

Pandemic and Seasonal Flu Education and Preventative Messages for Parents

CDC’s Updated Coronavirus Direction for Schools (K-12) and Daycares

Pandemic Preparedness, Arizona Department of Education, March 12, 2020

New 2020 Coronavirus Facilities and Bus Cleaning Guidelines

Key Facts about the Flu

Pandemic Flu Characteristics & Challenges

Pima County Health Department’s Information on the Corona virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

State of Arizona Pandemic Influenza Response Plan

Pima County Health Department Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Plan

Pandemic and Seasonal Flu Education and Preventive Messages for Parents

Preventing the Spread of Flu in the Workplace

World Health Organization Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Respone (EPR)

Pandemic Preparedness Resources

Protect yourself and others from getting and spreading respiratory illness like pandemic flu. Follow these Non pharmaceutical interventions

Pandemic Checklists for K-12 Schools

Pandemic Checklists for Child Care Facilities

Pandemic Checklists for Workplace Administrators

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – COVID-19 Spread in Communities

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

Information for Schools and Daycares

Cleaning Schools and Buses

Washing Hands and Preventing Illnesses

Information on Influenza Symptoms, Treatment and Vaccinations

John Carruth’s Letters to Parents

June 29, 2020 RE: New Start Date, Governor's Executive Order, New Website

June 29, 2020

Dear Parents and Staff,

Friday evening the Vail School District Governing Board voted unanimously to postpone the start of the 2020/2021 school year to August 10th for the following reasons:

  • Additional time is needed to plan and execute the work necessary to address three distinct instructional models as well as develop and execute specific plans for health and safety needs at each school site.
  • Arizona and Pima County are currently experiencing record rates of spread of the COVID-19 virus. Additional time will allow for statewide measures, including the Pima County Resolution requiring the use of face coverings, to take effect to help slow the spread.

Today, Monday June 29th, Governor Ducey announced at a press conference that schools will be required to delay the start of in-person classes until August 17th. However, the order allows schools to open remotely through distance learning prior to August 17th.

Over the next few days we will be unwrapping the details in today’s executive order and what they mean for opening schools in Vail. We anticipate being able to communicate our next steps with you by early next week.

In the meantime, please take a moment to review the new section of VUSD’s website. Information regarding educational options, health and safety, and much more can be found at vailschooldistrict.org.

John Carruth

June 25, 2020 RE: Board Meeting - New Start Date - Three Instructional Options

June 25, 2020

Dear Parents,

It has been a little less than two weeks since I last wrote to you. At that time, I indicated that we were working hard on plans to open school on time in July. In the same email, I also noted that the conditions around COVID-19 remain very fluid.

As of this writing it has become apparent that additional time before the start of the new school year would be very helpful to address the following issues: 

1) Arizona and Pima County are currently experiencing a record spike of COVID-19 cases. According to Governor Ducey’s news conference today, this spike is expected to last into July. 

2) Additional planning time is needed to ensure that details around the three instructional choices and safety precautions for schools are fully developed and in place before the start of the school year. 

As such, our Governing Board is meeting tomorrow evening at 6:00PM to discuss the possibility of moving the start of the school year to August 10 for all K-8 schools and high schools. 

The Governing Board will also review three instructional choices for your family that will be made available next year along with health and safety plans for school sites. The instructional choices include:

  1. On Campus Learning where school will be as close to normal as possible with enhanced health and safety precautions in place. 
  2. “Brick to Click” Learning that allows students to learn remotely for short intervals of time while remaining connected to their regular schools. 
  3. Full-Time Digital Learning with the Vail Innovation Center (VIC) delivered by Vail teachers to provide virtual learning in your home for a full semester or school year.

The board meeting will be streamed live for those who would like to view it. A link to the livestream video will be made available on our website at www.vailschooldistrict.org.

If you have questions or comments regarding the new school year, please feel free to reach out to us at newschoolyear@vailschooldistrict.org.

Thank you for your support and understanding.

John Carruth

June 12, 2020 RE: Opening School Survey

June 12, 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope that you and your family are healthy and are enjoying your summer. I’d like to provide you with an update on plans for next school year.

Our primary focus since the end of the school year has been planning for our return to school. Thank you for your feedback through the parent survey and other correspondence. It has helped shape the decision making.

We are planning to open schools on-time in July.

We are working closely with Governor Ducey’s office, the Arizona Department of Education, and state and county health officials. As of this writing, Governor Ducey has stated that schools will be allowed to open on time.

The reality is that conditions around COVID-19 are fluid and will likely remain so through much of this next school year. As such we are planning for flexibility and parent choice.

We are developing three primary choices for you and your family.

  1. School as close to normal as possible with reasonable health and safety precautions in place.

A list of logistics and safety precautions being considered is attached to this letter.

  1. A “Brick to Click” option that allows students to learn remotely for short intervals of time while remaining connected to their regular schools.

A student or group of students may want to remain connected to their regular school but may need to learn remotely due to health concerns, illness, or personal reasons.

  1. On-line school with the Vail Innovation Center delivered by Vail teachers to provide virtual learning in your home for a full semester or school year.

For over 15 years, Vail has offered on-line learning to support parents who choose to home school their children or need them to learn remotely. This program is offered through our Vail Innovation Center. Information about this program can be found here.

Our desire is to provide you with information about your family’s options for the start of the new school year. We are not asking you to choose right now. As more details develop around each plan, we will share them with you and let you know how to indicate your choice. If you have any questions, please contact newschoolyear@vailschooldistrict.org or me directly.

Vail’s Mission Statement reads: We seek to provide parents with safe and nurturing school communities, where their children can obtain a quality education. As we plan for next school year, it is our deep desire to execute all three of these core values.

Thank you for your continued support as we navigate this uncharted territory together.

Respectfully,

John Carruth

May 20, 2020 RE: Opening School Survey

May 20, 2020

Dear Parents,

I’d like to speak with you today about our upcoming school year, but before I do so, I’d like to pause and take a moment to simply say thank you. So much has occurred since we closed schools in March, and frankly, you have been our partners in that process in unprecedented ways. In a very short period of time, we pivoted to provide high-quality educational opportunities to home for you and your children; together we have served almost 200,000 meals to young people in our community, and we have found meaningful ways to honor our graduating seniors. We say that education is a partnership with you, and we know that we have leaned on that partnership in unusual ways over this time. So simply, thank you.

Like you, I think we’re all looking to the future and some semblance of normal. As we look to the future, we intend to use our time-honored Vail values to guide our path. We are a place “where education is a community effort,” and we seek to provide you, parents, with safe nurturing school communities where your children can receive a high-quality education.

Opening school in July is now our primary focus. We recognize, however, that public health restrictions at that time may alter our plans or restrict us from doing so. However, we must be prepared, and we must have a plan. Our primary goal is to return to school as normal as possible given the health restrictions at that time. We know how to do traditional school really well, and we’re proud of that. To that end, we are working on implementing precautions at our schools that will allow the safe return for students and staff.

We also understand that restrictions may prevent us from doing this for a period of time, or simply, that this model won’t work for you or your family for a period of time. Therefore, we are working on a hybrid option that will allow your child to remain connected to their school, their teachers, and their friends. We are also expanding our current virtual option that is offered through our Vail Innovation Center and delivered by our Vail teachers if you feel that that might be a better option to meet your needs.

As we look to next year, we also are looking to you for guidance to help in our planning. Attached to this video is a short, three question survey that when you fill it out, it will give us information that will help us better meet your family’s needs.

Help guide our planning for the next school year!

We recognize that this is an unprecedented time for everyone, and we long for the day when we can all be together again. Education, after all, is a social endeavor, and we really miss your kids.

I know in a short video, I’m not able to answer all your questions or address all of your concerns. To that end, we have created an email address that you can reach out to at NewSchoolYear@VailSchoolDistrict.org, or simply reach out to me, and I’ll do my best to address your concerns. Thank you for your time, and take care.

John Carruth – Superintendent

March 30, 2020 RE: School Closures through the Remainder of the School Year

March 30, 2020

Dear Parents,

This morning Governor Doug Ducey announced the extension of school closures through the remainder of the school year. You can read the full announcement here.

While schools may be closed, we will continue to provide educational opportunities much like the ones we saw last week. You can also expect ongoing communication from myself, your child’s principal, and teachers as we work through questions that remain for our students and families for the remainder of the year.

To parents of seniors, rest assured that one of our highest priorities is to make sure that your children graduate and also have an opportunity to be properly celebrated as they mark the completion of their K-12 career. We are also discussing plans to celebrate other significant milestones such as promotion ceremonies, etc. We will be in contact with specific details as they are finalized.

We have been tremendously encouraged by the outpouring of support for the hard work in which our teachers and staff are engaged. We are deeply appreciative of the high level of parent engagement as we work together to support educational opportunities for your child.

It has been a wonderful example of our motto “Where education is a community effort!”

John Carruth – Superintendent

March 18, 2020 RE: School Closure Update

March 18, 2020

Dear Parents,

We have been spending considerable time crafting plans to offer support to you and your children while our schools are closed as part of the state’s plan to slow the spread of COVID-19.

We are preparing to return to school on March 30th while simultaneously preparing for the reality that school closures could be extended.

You will be receiving notice from your child’s principal soon regarding the specifics of those plans over the course of the remainder of the closures. Should the closures be extended, we will continue to communicate with you regarding the implications and our plans to move forward.

If you have specific questions regarding plans or the impact of the closures on certain events, please consult with your child’s principal or with me. Events around COVID-19 are changing rapidly. We will do our best to answer your questions with the information that we have at that time.

Our community is a very special place. Our children are our most precious gift. While we plan and adjust to this unprecedented time, we lean on time tested “Vail values” to guide us:

  • We are a place where education is a community effort.
  • We are reminded how to ACT.
  • And as a staff, we seek to provide you, parents, with a safe place where your children can obtain a quality education.

These values don’t prevent us from making mistakes, but they do call us all to work together, to extend grace to each other when we stumble, and simply, to do the best we can while educating our children and serving our community- regardless of the circumstances.

Kindly,

John Carruth – Superintendent

March 15, 2020 RE: School Closures

March 15, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Governor Doug Ducey has just announced statewide school closures to take effect March 16th through March 27th.

Please review the announcement from the Governor and the State Superintendent to parents here.

This means that Vail students will have an extended Spring Break through March 30th. We are making plans to provide learning opportunities for the week of March 23rd through March 27th and beyond if necessary.

The Governor’s announcement encourages the continuation of childcare options. As of now, our Community Services and VIP childcare will remain open.

Please be on the lookout for further communication before school resumes on March 30th.

John Carruth – Superintendent

March 12, 2020 RE: COVID-19

March 12, 2020

Dear Parents,

I want to provide an update to the message that I sent out yesterday as the issues surrounding COVID-19 are evolving rapidly.

Earlier today, we participated in a conference call with Governor Ducey, Dr. Cara Christ, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, and Kathy Hoffman, Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Their collective recommendation is that schools remain open at this time.

Fortunately, our students are on spring break until March 23. Our plan is to return to school as usual at that time.

Our district webpage has up to date information on prevention strategies and preparations parents should be considering related to the COVID-19 virus.  You can find that information at: www.vailschooldistrict.org or https://vailschooldistrict.org/health-update/

We are continuing with a thorough cleaning of all schools and high touch areas.  We are also finalizing contingency plans for further restrictions if they are recommended by county or state health officials.

You can expect a communication from me or from your school principal prior to school resuming on the 23rd that will include any updates or adjustments needed to our regular school routine.

In the meantime, we hope you all are enjoying Spring break.

John Carruth – Superintendent

March 11, 2020 RE: COVID-19

March 11, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We continue to closely monitor events surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19), and we wish to keep you informed as it relates to students, staff, and parents in the Vail community.

Yesterday, I attended a meeting for superintendents hosted by the Pima County Health Department (PCHD). Dr. Francisco Garcia, the Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Bob English, the Director of PCHD presented the current state of COVID-19 in our area.

Based on the information they have at this time about the virus and its spread, they are making the strong recommendation to keep schools open and operating with the following reminders:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

District leadership met yesterday to discuss, plan, and prepare for the return of students on March 23rd.

We anticipate learning and business as usual upon our return from break. As precautionary measures, all sites as well as buses are being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected during the break to ensure a clean slate on the first day back. Plans for increased disinfecting of high touch surfaces are also in the works.

We are also preparing should the situation escalate in Vail. We will keep you posted should any changes occur.

If you have specific questions about your child’s school, I encourage you to contact your child’s principal about preparations and plans at their respective school.

Rest assured that your child’s safety, and that of our staff and community, is of paramount importance. Please be on the lookout for further communication before school resumes, and enjoy the rest of your break.

John Carruth – Superintendent