Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information & Resources

The health and safety of our Arizona communities is paramount, and we are closely monitoring the spread of novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.  Please see this webpage for information and resources on this topic to help keep your communities updated.

School District Resources

The Arizona School Boards Association supports and respects the very difficult decisions which have been made and will continue to be made in the coming days and weeks in the face of this public health crisis by the educators and leaders of school districts around the state, all with the health and safety of their students and communities at heart.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

  • Effective March 31, 2020: An Executive Order was issued by Governor Doug Ducey which follows new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and comes at the recommendation of public health officials who are tracking data specific to Arizona. The Governor’s order promotes increased physical distancing, while encouraging social connectedness among citizens.
  • Effective March 30, 2020: Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Hoffman stated that the current school closure will be extended through the end of the school year. See the announcement by clicking here.

 

K12ITC PROVIDES ASSISTANCE TO ALL DISTRICTS:

Whether you are a current K12itc customer or not, K12itc’s commitment to Arizona K12 public schools. If you need technology assistance, even just suggestions or advice, please click here to request assistance at no cost.

 

RECEIVE ASBA TEXT MESSAGES:

If you would like to receive ASBA text messages on COVID-19 updates plus other important information, please click here.

ASU researchers have provided the public with critical COVID-19 trends. Click here or the image below and stay up to date on the novel coronavirus in Arizona with continually updated graphs that provide insight and context on the pandemic in our state.

Click here or the image below to view the Coronavirus and School Closures map.

Click here or the image below to view the Map of Maricopa County Student/Children Food Distribution Centers.

Concern. Resolve. Dedication. Compassion. Arizona’s school board members and superintendents have demonstrated them all in recent days. Your commitment to the safety and well-being of students, staff and communities in these challenging and uncertain times is evident. Arizona’s public school leaders are shouldering the responsibility of making unprecedented and difficult decisions for students, families, staff and communities across our state. ASBA acknowledges your service with deep gratitude and wants you to know we are there for you with our full support. We will get through this together.

Our staff is poised and ready to serve and support your districts as you work through the many complex and challenging leadership, governance and management/operational issues on the path ahead. We believe one of the most critical ways in which we can do so is to be responsive to your pressing questions by providing quick access to clear, consistent facts and information to all of our members.

Please use the new, online form on our COVID-19 page to submit your questions regarding this public health crisis and:

  • Board governance/meetings
  • District policy
  • School finance
  • Legislative/public policy issues.

As questions arise, we will answer them ASAP in an online FAQs forum. This is a time for experts. If our staff and partners cannot answer your questions, we will direct you and/or connect you to those we believe can best do so. (Please note that this service is only for ASBA member districts).

COVID-19 FAQ Submission Form

Employees’ Rights Language

  • Pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response, The United States Department of Labor has updated its “model” notice of employees’ rights language. The updated language must be posted or distributed to employees electronically in time for the effective date of April 1, 2020.  The new language is effective through December 31, 2020.

 

  • Access the link for the DOL updated document.  A policy advisory on this information will not be sent out. The provisions are relatively short-term, as they are effective only through the end of this year, and the application of leave requirements may vary district-to-district, so changes to the policy manual are not suggested. Districts should contact their attorney for any legal advice.

 

Professional/Support Staff  Telecommuting

  • ASBA policy subscribers were recently sent model policy GCKA on professional/support staff telecommuting. View a portion of the policy by clicking here.

 

School Closure

  • Please refer to your district’s policies ID and EBCD-R on school closure which can be found on PolicyBridge.

 

ASBA’s PolicyBridge software is designed to expedite the process of delivering Policy Services to member districts, by using a web-based platform that is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If your district is not a current policy subscriber, please contact Renae Watson, ASBA’s Policy Technician for additional questions and further assistance.

It’s clear that the election in 2020 will feel different given the global pandemic with which we are faced. And, while we are still just over six months away from election day, candidates and campaigns are already being impacted, nationally and right here in Arizona.  

 

Those running for school board are among the candidates being impacted now by the challenge of collecting signatures to get their names on the ballot when strict physical distancing is necessary and electronic signature gathering is not a legal option, as it is for statelevel offices. 

 

We hope to give you some insight into the process and some helpful tips to make signature gathering a bit more tolerable. 

 

County and local elections are run by local county elections departments and have different signature gathering options than state offices. Currently, county elections do not allow, per state statute, for online signature gathering. (Electronic signature gathering is not allowed for local or state ballot initiatives, either.) That, of course, makes the job of getting signatures to qualify for the ballot more challenging for county and local offices, including school board – especially now. In recent weeks, ASBA has raised this issue with policymakers, however, given the current circumstances, an immediate legislative solution to provide relief for 2020 is unlikely at best. 

 

So, what’s a school board candidate to do in these unusual times to safely collect the required number of signatures and submit them between June 8 and July 6, 2020? We’ve put together a few tips from those running that may provide you with some safe and effective approaches: 

  1. Set up a table outside your door with sanitizing wipes or fresh gloves, a jar of clean pens and a jar for “used” pens and send out a call to friends and neighbors to sign your petition. 
  2. Host a “drive thru” to gather signatures with a similar set up as above. Allow signers to wear fresh gloves to sign and ask them to bring a pen of their own from home. 
  3. For your close friends and supporters, drive to their homes and leave the signature sheet on a clipboard at the front door, ring the bell and stand at least 6 feet from the door while they sign and have them close the door before you pick up the clipboard. 
  4. You can send petitions via email and ask supporters to print it to sign. You will need to ensure the petition is printed properly (check with your county superintendent’s office for directions on printing them correctly).  Remember to have the signer complete the reverse side of the petition for circulators since you will not be present when the petition is signed. 

 

One of the positives to come out of this difficult time is a wealth of creative solutions to problems we never thought we’d be facing. Certainly, there are more great approaches to signature gathering and we’d love to hear how you’re doing it so that we can share more of them with ASBA members. Please email Julie Bacon at jbacon@azsba.org if you have tips and tricks for us to share! 

March 31, 2020, State Board of Education Special Board Meeting

  • On Tuesday, March 31, 2020 the State Board of Education held a special meeting to open emergency rulemaking with regard to high school graduation, A-F letter grades, the manner in which schools are to attest to their provision of educational opportunities to students, and other more minor details relating to school closures.

 

 

  • The form is due by April 15, 2020. While the form is meant to be filled out on a school-by-school basis, school districts can fill out just one and list all the schools within the district (assuming all of the schools are offering similar educational opportunities).

 

March 30, 2020 School Closure & State Board of Education Meeting

  • School Closure Update:  On March 30, 2020, Governor Ducey and Superintendent Hoffman announced that schools will remain closed until the end of the 2019-2020 school year. In accordance with HB 2910 (public school closures; coronavirus disease), schools will continue to receive funding if they continue to provide educational opportunities to pupils. The State Board of Education will determine the manner in which schools attest that they are doing so. (See below).

 

  • Staff must continue to be paid as long as they are committed to work, are able to work remotely, or are available to perform other tasks as assigned as outlined by the district.

 

  • The governor issued an executive order he is calling “stay home, stay healthy, stay connected.” It calls on all Arizonans to remain home as much as possible, except to access essential services or to perform essential functions or operations. The continued provision of learning opportunities to students is designated as an essential operation under EO 2020-12 prohibiting the closure of essential services except in consultation with the state.

 

Click here to read EO 2020-18 Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected

Click here to read EO 2020-12 Prohibiting the Closure of Essential Services 

 

  • Special Board Meeting:  In response to the signature of HB 2910, the State Board of Education held a special meeting on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 10am to open emergency rulemaking with regard to high school graduation, A-F letter grades, the manner in which schools are to attest to their provision of educational opportunities to students, and other more minor details relating to school closures. Click here to view the agenda.

 

Due to the public health concerns, this meeting was held without an audience in attendance. However you can watch the meeting via the Board’s YouTube channel. More information will follow.

 

March 24, 2020 Webinar: FY2021 Budget & School Closure Update

 

K12ITC – Four Areas of Focus for Successful Virtual Learning

It goes without saying, COVID-19 has thrown a new challenge at schools, parents, and students. The big question on everyone’s mind is “Can we virtually educate in an effective, efficient, and secure manner?”

The answer is YES! However, there are four essential areas your district will need to consider:

  • Remote IT Support –With all users going remote, the district must be able to handle an influx of remote IT issues. This new dynamic can overload the IT staff as they struggle to adapt quickly to trouble shooting, diagnosing, and repairing issues remotely. Managed Technology Services companies, such as K12itc, can help. K12itc provides remote IT Support to more than 80,000 users across the United States.

 

  • Connections at Home – Secure connectivity at home is crucial for remote teaching and learning. K12itc offers several solutions to assist including, teleworker devices, VPN connectivity, and remote application hosting to ensure users are connected to the files and applications they need.

 

  • Cybersecurity – With students and staff remote, there are now thousands of uncontrolled environments. School districts need to make sure that the proper web filtering, email security, and anti-virus are in place. It is important for your district to enlist a trusted partner, such as K12itc, to ensure a secure network at school and at home.

 

  • Deploying Video Conferencing – Districts will need to tap into video conferencing to help staff and even students connect remotely. Cisco Webex, the leading enterprise solution for video conferencing, online meetings, and screen sharing, is offering free accounts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact K12itc to set up your district account.

 

Again, please know that we are here for you as a technology resource, whether you are a current k12itc customer or not. If you would like to discuss WebEx, or any technology topics at all, please reach out to Allen Barton, Allen.Barton@menloinc.com at your convenience. We are here to help you! Learn more here.

NortonLifeLock Family Offer 2020

NortonLifeLock is committed to helping the community in these unprecedented times by helping keep families protected and safer as kids connect online for school and play. Click here to learn more.

COX Connect2Compete

Do you qualify for COX Connect2Compete? This program was created specifically for the current at-home learning/working environments COVID-19 has caused many of our communities to work through. Read the bilingual flyer here.

COX Connect2Compete Extends COVID-19 offer with Free Service for Students until July 15 Nationwide

Download a fact sheet you can distribute to your district staff and families.

ENGLISH FACT SHEET

SPANISH FACT SHEET

It is important you keep your families and staff updated as much as possible. Below are questions to think about when sending information out to your school district community. Also, ensure your most updated information is posted on district and school websites, social media and all other communication platforms.

 

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  • If my student has been home with a cough and fever, when can they return?
  • Are field trips canceled?
  • Is staff out-of-district travel restricted?
  • Are volunteers able to continue working in schools?
  • Will online learning be available to students if school is canceled?
  • Under what circumstances would Public Health recommend school closures?
  • If schools are closed how will the instructional time be made up?
  • If our school is closed because of a confirmed case, how long will the closure last?
  • Are public activities at schools canceled?
  • My child is immune compromised or has an underlying health condition. Should they attend school?
  • Children are not at high risk for novel coronavirus, but many of them live with people who are. What can be done to protect more vulnerable household members?
  • What about staff who are pregnant, over 60 years of age, or those who have preexisting health conditions?
  • What about athletic competitions/games?
  • My child is sick or I am fearful of my child getting sick. How do I excuse their absence/s?
  • Can you answer a specific question about the health of my child and the potential impacts of this virus?
  • If my school closes, will the district provide food services or childcare options?

 

 

 

Please consider your schools and district facilities to receive extra attention regarding the spread of viruses. Below are some ideas to consider.

 

Specialized Flu/Virus Cleaning Routines

    • Each school and district facility will have all touchpoints disinfected at least once each week in addition to daily cleaning of door handles, push bars, etc.
    • Touchpoints include:
      • Door handles & push bars & push plates everywhere
      • Light switches
      • Classroom door windows
      • Classroom sinks and faucet handles, counters
      • Classroom tables/chairs
      • Elevator push buttons
      • Water fountains/bottle filling stations
      • Restroom doors, handles and push plates
      • Toilet and urinal handles
      • Sanitary napkin dispensers
      • Sink and faucet handles
      • Toilet paper, soap, and paper towel dispensers and handles

Daily Cleaning Routines

    • In addition to the special work outlined above, custodians are performing their regular daily cleaning, including wiping down tables, chairs and other surfaces, emptying trash, cleaning restrooms, vacuuming and cleaning floors.

Approved School Cleaning Products:

    • Approved products and wipes to be placed in all classroom.

Hand Sanitizers:

    • Wall-mounted hand sanitizing stations are being installed in all school offices.
    • The hand sanitizing product being used meets the minimum 60% alcohol threshold recommended by the CDC.
    • Adults should always supervise the use of hand sanitizers by children.

Computer Keyboards and Touch Screens:

    • Identify products approved to disinfect computer equipment.

View information by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for travel in the United States, travelers returning from high risk countries and more. PLEASE NOTE the National School Boards Association has terminated its Annual Conference scheduled for April 4-6, 2020 in Chicago.

 

All attendee registrations will be refunded in full. Hotel cancellation also will be handled for you. Due to the high volume of cancellations, registration and hotel deposit refunds may take up to 7-14 business days.

 

Hotel reservations that were not booked through NSBA Housing will not be cancelled for you. If you booked a room outside of the official NSBA room block or online at another hotel, you will need to cancel your own reservation.

 

For more information, an FAQ with related information will be posted in 24 hours to www.nsba.org/Events/NSBA-2020-Annual-Conference-and-Exposition/termination-statement-faq

A new type of coronavirus, abbreviated COVID-19, is causing an outbreak of respiratory (lung) disease. It was first detected in China and has now been detected internationally. While the immediate health risk in the United States is low, it is important to plan for any possible outbreaks if the risk level increases in the future.

 

Concern over this new virus can make children and families anxious. While we don’t know where and to what extent the disease may spread here in the United States, we do know that it is contagious, that the severity of illness can vary from individual to individual, and that there are steps we can take to prevent the spread of infection. Acknowledging some level of concern, without panicking, is appropriate and can result in taking actions that reduce the risk of illness. Helping children cope with anxiety requires providing accurate prevention information and facts without causing undue alarm.

 

View the Parent Resource by the National Association of School Psychologists.

ADHS COVID-19 Webinar Series (Meeting Passwords)

 

  • If you were unable to attend the Schools (K-12) & Childcare webinar, ADHS will host this webinar again (same content) on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 10-11AM
  • If you were unable to attend the Healthcare Providers webinar, ADHS will host this webinar again (same content) on Friday, March 13, 2020 from 12-1PM
  • (New!) COVID-19 Information Webinar for Faith-based Organizations and Social Services March 13, 2020 from 10-11AM
  • Please direct any questions to the form here.

 

More information can be found online.

If you missed ADE’s webinar on Tuesday, March 17, here are links to the recording and PDF of the presentation.

 

ASBA Webinar Archive: https://azsba.org/learning-center/webinar-archive/

 

Recording: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3125162096352062465

 

ADE COVID-19 Response Updates – PDF: https://azsba.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ADE-COVID19-Webinar-1.pdf

 

For additional COVID-19 resources from ADE, click here.

The U.S. Department of Education has provided additional resources for elementary and secondary schools. Click here for additional resources.

Supplemental Fact Sheet Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities, view here.

Here are some examples of what school districts in Arizona have already passed with board approval that allow the continuation of staff-pay as well as flexibility in staff roles. The more we can work together, the more seamless our support for educators, students and families will be.

Tolleson Elementary School District
Washington Elementary School District