Yavapai County Superintendent of Schools Tim Carter said, “Most Yavapai County District leaders believe the face-to-face start date will be moved back into at least September. No one can start face-to-face prior to Aug. 17. Under current provisions, each school district or charter will do what it thinks is best within existing statutes and guidance.”
Officials are considering at least three options: face-to-face instruction; online classes with take-home packets; or a blend of the two.”
Yavapai County has more than 8,100 square miles, 25 public school districts and more than 20 charter schools. Many schools are in rural areas. Private schools are not subject to the same regulations as public and charter schools, Carter said.
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is expected to develop public health benchmarks by Aug. 7, for school officials and others to consider.
“Our team has been working tirelessly with administrators and with ADHS to plan for a safe and successful reentry into the school year,” said Yavapai County Community Health Services Director Leslie Horton. “Most schools are planning for a combination of in-person and online education for students of all ages, depending on the level of COVID-19 community risk we are experiencing. I feel schools can provide a safe and effective learning environment for students that places the emphasis on education while at the same time looking out for the health and well-being of children.”
The biggest district in the Quad Cities, Humboldt Unified School District in Prescott Valley, has delayed the return of students to classrooms until Oct. 19. Prior to that, students will have remote online instruction starting Aug. 3.
Prescott Unified School District Superintendent Joe Howard has a three-part reentry roadmap. It involves options for in-person learning, online distance learning, and a hybrid of in-person coordinated with online experiences. The tentative opening date for school is Aug. 6.
Chino Valley Unified School District Superintendent John Scholl said his four-school district will likely open for a four-day school week on Aug. 10. Instruction will be with teachers in classrooms without students. Students will be connected remotely to classes. Scholl said that model will probably last at least two weeks.
Local charter school Tri City Prep Academy will begin remote instruction on Aug. 5, for its 250 students in fifth to 12th grades.
Yavapai College and ERAU Will Open
Yavapai College President Lisa Rhine says most credit classes and lectures will be conducted in a virtual environment. More information is available at yc.edu/reentry.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) officials plan to welcome students to campus beginning Aug. 15. Chancellor Anette Karlsson says ERAU has prepared a variety of content-delivery modes, all using contemporary technologies. Details are available at prescott.erau.edu/campuslife. QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN