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School Re-Entry Frequently Asked Questions


When will the 2020-2021 school year begin?

Fall semester classes will begin on August 17, 2020.

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When will school buildings reopen?

We recognize the urgency of reopening school buildings for our families and students, and are actively working to create and implement a plan that considers the best available expert guidance and input from all of our community, including our staff and our families.

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What guidance is FESD consulting as it considers reopening schools?

FESD has formed a Fall Instruction Committee (June 2020) which has reviewed public health officials’ guidance, Arizona Department of Education guidance, our and other Arizona school district plans for re-entry. As we develop reopening plans, we are using the best guidance available from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), along with several other evidence-based sources of guidance. Both the Arizona Department of Public Health and the Arizona Department of Education have released guidance for schools and school-based programs. 

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How is FESD approaching its plans for fall 2020?

The district has put together a FESD Fall Instruction Committee which will roll out a set of considerations and guidance for the district. The plan includes bringing together working groups, gathering input from community stakeholders, and developing a plan for review by the FESD Governing Board. We are projected to have a plan for re-entry by early July 2020.

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What is the district doing to address student learning gaps upon returning to school?

Many students will likely return with higher levels of need and our district may see exacerbated achievement gaps due to inequities in learning opportunities following sustained school closures due to COVID-19. Students will require a variety of supports to address emergent academic, health, and psychological needs. Our school district will continue to look for ways to meet these needs when students return to school. It’s important to note that all schools will now have a full-time school counselor assigned to each school in our district. We know that there is going to be learning loss, meaning students may have slipped in their reading grade level and other essential building blocks to academic success. We will assess students and provide additional interventions, as permissible by our budget.

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How will FESD update families and other stakeholders?

We know that FESD’S decisions about how we reopen schools have a big impact on all of our students, families, and staff. We plan on uploading a video by July 3rd that explains the re-entry procedures and answer questions that our school stakeholders may have. We will also update our school district website to include new developments throughout this process. Communication to parents and families will come in the form of web posts, mailings, district newsletters, school-based apps (Dojo, Remind, etc.), and auto calls from the district office.

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What will learning look like in the fall?

FESD has been developing plans for three primary learning models: In-Person, Online, and Hybrid (a combination of both In-Person and Online learning). A final decision was made in late June 2020 as to the adopted learning model for our district.

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What will parent(s) need to do once a decision is made on the learning model selected for our district?

Our district developed an online enrollment/request procedure to begin compiling parent requests for all adopted learning models. The online enrollment process will be launched on our district homepage by July 3. Parents will also be notified via an automated phone call and email about these new procedures. Parents are encouraged to fill out the required enrollment information as soon as possible. Parents will be notified by July 28 about final program placement for their child(ren). 

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What changes can students, families, and staff expect when school buildings reopen?

Based on public health guidance, schools will likely need to operate differently in terms of class configurations, passing periods, recess, specials, face coverings, breakfast/lunch, etc. We will need new procedures for cleaning schools and access to a steady supply chain, in addition to the human resources needed to do this. In addition to facilities, we need to consider guidelines for sports, equipment cleaning protocols, and food distribution practices.

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Who do I contact for additional questions that I may have after a model is adopted for the district?

Parents and community members should contact their school office staff and school administration with additional questions. Please continue to check our website for ongoing updates. School office phone numbers are also posted on our Contact Us page.

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When will I find out if my child has been accepted to the platform that I have selected as my first option?

Our goal is to inform parents about their child’s program placement by July 28. This date will also be dependent on parents registering their child no later than July 22 at 5:00 p.m.

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When is the deadline to select a learning platform for my child(ren)?

We are asking parents to register their child(ren) no later than July 22 at 5:00 p.m. The enrollment form is located on our district website homepage. We are urging parents to register before the deadline to allow us time to plan for student re-entry.

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If I miss the deadline, what program will my child be offered?

We will automatically enroll any children without an enrollment selection in an “in-person” program (hybrid or in-person), until our capacity is capped. This will also depend on capacity within the in-person options. When the in-person capacity is capped, then students will be enrolled in the online learning platform.

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Is there a maximum number of students allowed to enroll in the Fowler Elementary School District Virtual Academy?

Currently, the district has capacity to accept all kindergarten through 8th-grade students in the FESD Virtual Academy.

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Will FESD provide transportation?

The Fowler School District will provide transportation for all qualified bus riders for next year. Currently, we are still working out details for reduced capacity due to social distancing requirements on buses. We are encouraging parents that are able to transport their child(ren), to please do so.

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When will fall classes begin?

Classes will begin on Monday, August 17. Should the Arizona Governor issue an executive order to delay the start of school again, more information will be provided to our parents and community.

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Will face coverings (masks) be required for any in-person classes?

The Fowler School District is currently following CDC guidelines to ensure the safety all individuals. We will require everyone to wear mouth covers (masks) when arriving and leaving campus and when in close proximity to others (within six feet).

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What is Fowler School District doing to ensure the safety of my child, should she/he attend in-person?

The Fowler School District is currently following CDC guidelines for social distancing, classroom and building sanitation cycles, and mouth coverings (masks). We will require all individuals to wear mouth covers (masks) when arriving and leaving campus, and when in close proximity to others (within six feet). We will also conduct daily temperature checks on all individuals entering the building (students, staff, and visitors of any kind). In addition, the Fowler School District will be partnering with an agency, Healthy Verify, which will provide expert, medical advice and guidance for our overall district safety and health needs. Healthy Verify partners with Barrows Neurological Institute and ASU researchers to provide guidance for safe, in-person practices.

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Once my child begins school, will I be allowed to change my child’s learning platform during the school year?

The Fowler School District will consider parent change requests for the three learning platforms at the end of each grading period (first quarter, second quarter, third quarter). Depending on capacity within each program (meaning, adequate staffing), we will consider them on a case-by-case basis.

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Where can I find more information about the Fowler Elementary School District Virtual Academy?

We established the FESD Virtual Academy web page and office contact information. Mr. Chad Ostrom will serve as the Virtual Academy’s principal. We will communicate all updates to the Virtual Academy on our district web page.

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Will there be a school “Meet the Teacher” event this year?

Due to social distancing requirements, we will not have an in-person “Meet the Teacher” event this year. However, a virtual “Meet The Teacher” night will take place at each site during the week of August 10. School information about the upcoming school year will go out to parents before classes begin (August 17) via email, phone, and regular U.S. mail.

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