Education

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

1. Which schools are closed?  

Physical school closures apply to all Arizona K-12 schools, including school districts, charter schools, private schools and career and technical education facilities, but do NOT apply to online schools that can operate remotely. 

 

Daycare facilities and preschools may remain open but are encouraged to follow Arizona Department of Health Services guidelines. However, these facilities may prioritize the children of first responders, healthcare workers and other essential workers for enrollment during this public health emergency. 

 

2. Where can I find schools that are providing breakfast and lunch to students? 

A significant number of public schools and non-profit organizations are providing school meals to children under the age of 18. For a continually updated list of districts, please see this link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1whTQcN8jk2jtdHwQ3iDTSans8rbiOc1vi5esMBB6gto/edit#gid=0

3. Will teachers and staff be paid?

  • Schools are required to pay all employees, including teachers, certified and classified staff, including hourly employees, and contract workers for the duration of the statewide school closure. Employees may work remotely or be assigned to other tasks they can perform until the end of the scheduled school year. 

 

  • Schools will continue to be funded normally through existing policy and procedures, however, the Arizona Department of Education, with the approval of the State Board of Education, may waive any school finance policies that may impede normal operations. 

4. Will my child receive educational services or opportunities?

  • Schools must continue to provide educational opportunities to students through remote learning, printed learning materials, and/or independent study. 

 

  • To every extent possible, schools shall attempt to provide access to educational opportunities to special education services to children with iEP and 504 plans, however, they may deviate from statutory requirements if needed. Further clarification is needed from the United States Department of Education on how these deviations may be applied and whether compensatory services will be required once schools return to normal operations. 

 

5. What online resources are there for parents who wish to supplement the educational opportunities provided by schools?

6.. Will my child have to make up days at the end of the school year? 

  • Schools are not required to extend their normally scheduled school calendars for any days missed during the statewide closure. 

 

7. What are the requirements for high school graduation?

  • The State Board of Education passed emergency rules on March 31, 2020 to provide guidance to public schools on graduation requirements:

    • Schools are prohibited from withholding diplomas solely due to lost instruction time because of the statewide closure of schools.

    • Schools were advised to base their decisions for awarding credits and diplomas on the student’s progress on the educational opportunities afforded them during the school closure. 

    • If schools are unable to provide educational opportunities, schools were advised to base their decisions for awarding credits and diplomas on their assessment if the student was on track to earn the credit or diploma prior to the school closure, including through an evaluation of student’s grades or scores on assessments.

    • Link to more information: https://azsbe.az.gov/sites/default/files/Highlights%20of%20Special%20State%20Board%20Meeting.pdf

8. Will my child still have to take the Civics test as a graduation requirement?

  • The State Board of Education also provided rule making guidance that students are still required by statute to receive a 60% or better on the Civics Test for graduation purposes— in any form determined by the school. However, schools are prohibited from withholding diplomas from a student who is unable to take the assessment due to barriers created by the statewide closure. 

 

9. Will my child have to complete any state testing requirements for this school year?

  • All stateside testing remaining for this school year is cancelled, including AZMerit (AZM2), AIMS Science, and AZELLA. 

 

10. Since there is no testing this year, what will happen to a school’s letter grade for this school year?

  • Schools will receive the same letter grade (A-F) this school year as they received in the prior school year. 

Considerations for Schools

As some communities in the United States open K-12 schools, CDC offers the following considerations for ways in which schools can help protect students, teachers, administrators, and staff and slow the spread of COVID-19. Schools can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials to the extent possible, whether and how to implement these considerations while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. Implementation should be guided by what is feasible, practical, acceptable, and tailored to the needs of each community. School-based health facilities may refer to CDC’s Guidance for U.S. Healthcare Facilities and may find it helpful to reference the Ten Ways Healthcare Systems Can Operate Effectively During the COVID-19 Pandemic. These considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which schools must comply.

Click here to read more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html

© 2020 by the Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus.

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