• Novel Coronavirus - Previous COVID-19 Communications

  • Information sent March 30, 2020 - printer-friendly version


    Dear Parents & Guardians,

    As promised in last week’s communication, we are now providing daily updates. While most days these updates will only be posted on www.dvusd.org/COVID19, today, we are sending an email as well.

    This afternoon, Governor Doug Ducey has issued an executive order urging Arizonans to stay home. The order takes effect at 5pm, on March 31, 2020. We will communicate with families as to how this new order may impact school operations over the next few weeks; however, Home Learning will continue for the remainder of the school year. Our staff is ready to support our students and families.

    We have several important items to share with you today. This letter contains updates about: Home Learning for the remainder of the school year; reminders of our parent resources for social and emotional support, High School Athletics and Food & Nutrition.

    Home Learning
    DVUSD is committed to providing home learning to your child. For the week of March 30-April 3, we invite families to enrich their child's learning at home. You can see these enrichment opportunities at www.dvusd.org/homelearningBeginning April 6, teacher-directed online instruction, as well as home packets, will begin. Teacher-directed instruction will continue for the remainder of this school year.

    Social-Emotional Resources
    We recognize that today’s news about the closure of school for the remainder of the school year will weigh heavily on our students, staff, and families. We encourage you to view the social-emotional supports that have been created and shared on our district website, and to take some time to talk with your children about their emotional health. Please see www.dvusd.org/resources for helpful information regarding social-emotional supports for your child.

    High School Athletics
    We learned today that the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) has cancelled all athletic activities for the remainder of the school year. We know that this news will be disappointing to many; however the health and safety of our student athletes is the primary concern right now.  

    Food & Nutrition
    DVUSD will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch to children 18 years and younger for the remainder of the school year. See www.dvusd.org/food for a list of distribution sites.

    We thank you for your patience and cooperation. Please take care of your families and yourselves. Our staff is here to support you through these next steps. 

    Deer Valley Unified School District

     

     


  • Information sent March 27, 2020 - printer-friendly version

    March 27, 2020

    Dear DVUSD Families,

    Thank you for your continued patience and support as we navigate the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the mandated school closure caused by the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19. We hope you and your family members are staying healthy. 

    We want to provide you with an update for the next two weeks. As you know, all Arizona schools will remain closed until at least April 10, 2020. When or if we receive an update from state officials about the closure, we will pass that on to our community as soon as we can. 

    In the meantime, we know our students are anxious to get back to learning. We are working closely with principals and teachers to prepare for the transition to Home Learning. 

    We have several important items to pass along to you today. This letter contains updates about: Home Learning for March 30 - April 3, Home Learning with teacher involvement for April 6 - 9, Essential Item Pickup from schools, additional free food distribution sites, and parent resources for social and emotional support.

    DVUSD PreK-12 Home Learning Information

    March 30- April 3

    On Monday, March 30, you will find enrichment and review learning opportunities on the DVUSD Home Learning website for families to engage in with their children from Monday, March 30 through Friday, April 3. These learning opportunities are NOT required, nor will they be used for grading purposes. The enrichment and review learning opportunities are communicated and posted for families to view on our District website:  www.dvusd.org/homelearning.

    During this week, DVUSD teachers will be involved in training on how to provide instruction in an online environment. They will be developing student learning plans to provide high-quality instruction during the COVID-19 school closure.  

    April 6-9 (April 10 is a scheduled Spring Break day)

    Beginning on April 6, 2020
    , students will connect with their teacher in a virtual home learning experience. Students in grades 3-6 will interact with their teacher in either Google Classroom or Canvas and students in grades 7-12 will use Canvas as their learning platform. What that means is student assignments and activities will be assigned and collected in one of these two learning management systems. Pre-School and kindergarten through 2nd grade student learning will be posted on the teacher or school website with a weekly lesson plan including live links for learning activities. Also beginning on April 6, all teachers will provide Virtual Office Hours. Parents and guardians will receive communication on Friday, April 3 related to student access to their Google Classroom or Canvas learning platform. 

    We will embrace the DVUSD Home Learning instructional delivery until our schools reopen. At this time, school closures are confirmed until April 10, 2020. 

    For families who may need a device for their child or who need a low/no tech solution, such as paper packets of instructional material, Thursday, April 2, and Friday, April 3, have been set as the dates for parent pick up of these items. Additional information will be provided early next week regarding the procedures for parent pick up of a learning device or paper packets.


    Essential Item Pickup
    Per our March 20 update, we have scheduled a time for DVUSD parents to pick up essential items that may be needed for instruction on March 31 from 8:00-4:00 p.m. We will be implementing specific procedures to create the safest environment possible for our students and staff.

    Please note that this pickup is only for essential items that students will need to engage in online learning. This pickup date is also for parents to pick up a band instrument if needed at home. District administration has directed school administrators to only approve requests that fall into this “essential” category.

    In order to pick up an essential item, parents must do the following:

    • Your school will send you an email, text, and/or phone call explaining how to make an appointment for Tuesday, March 31. A parent will receive a 15-minute time slot to retrieve an item. These procedures are necessary to keep within the recommended guidelines by local, state and national health agencies when interacting with others during pickup. No one will be allowed to congregate when on campus.
    • Depending on the item(s) to be retrieved, each campus will determine if materials are delivered to parents or if parents/students will be escorted to retrieve their materials. We anticipate that most items will be able to be delivered to the front office for pickup.
    • Social distancing procedures will be in place at all times.
    • All band instructors will arrange pickup of instruments. The exact pick-up procedure will be determined by each campus’ band director. If only a few students need an instrument at a campus, then the band instructor can assign each student a time. However, in situations where there is a larger number of students, the band instructor will have a Sign Up Genius type of format where each student would sign up for a 5 - 10 minute time slot.
    • Only a parent(s)/guardian or approved person on a child’s emergency card should come to a campus to retrieve an item.
    • Additional information for cleaning out desks, lockers, etc. will be provided at a later date, if necessary.

     These procedures are consistent with the recommendations from our local health agency. We thank you for your cooperation.

    Food Distribution Sites Added
    Our #Extraordinary Food & Nutrition staff have provided more than 21,000 meals during the first five days of food distribution. We are now adding several more sites, including six school bus stop locations within DVUSD. Any child age 18 and under can get a free breakfast and lunch so take advantage of it! Visit www.dvusd.org/food and see attached for all of the food distribution sites.

    Parent Resources
    DVUSD leaders are committed to bringing you timely information that will help you support your student(s) at home and help you navigate these unchartered waters. Please see www.dvusd.org/resources for helpful information regarding social-emotional supports for your child. 

    Thank you again for your patience and support through these challenging times. Beginning Monday, there will be a daily posting by 4 pm on www.dvusd.org/covid19. We look forward to our Home Learning journey beginning next week!  Most importantly, please be sure to keep you and your family safe by following all recommended precautions from local, state, and federal authorities. This certainly is an unusual time, but we will successfully navigate it, together, as a community.

     

    Sincerely,


    Curtis Finch, PhD       
    Superintendent           

     

    Dr. Gayle Galligan                  Gary D. Zehrbach, PhD                      Jim Migliorino
    Deputy Superintendent           Deputy Superintendent                       Deputy Superintendent
    Curriculum, Instruction,          Administrative Leadership                  Fiscal & Business Services
    & Assessment                         & Services     

     


  • Information sent March 24, 2020 - printer-friendly version

    Dear DVUSD Families,

    Greetings. As you are aware, Governor Ducey has ordered all schools closed through at least April 10, 2020 due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Last Friday, we provided various updates about items such as meal distribution and medication pick-up, posted at www.dvusd.org/COVID19 under previous communication. In today’s communication, we want to provide additional reminders, as well as information about future online instruction.

    DVUSD is committed to continuing student learning during our current school closure.

    • In order for online learning to take place, we want to ensure students have access to online learning. Please respond to this short survey to help us understand your family’s access to technology: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Q7FYZLS. The survey only takes a minute to complete and we ask that all families complete it as soon as possible -- by Friday, March 27 at the latest. We will use this information to guide our next steps.

    • The District has set a goal to begin delivering online teaching and learning opportunities beginning on Monday, April 6. In order to do this, certified and some classified staff will be engaging in various training and planning activities between now and April 3. Please note that classroom based online instruction will not start prior to April 6.

    Leading up to Online Learning

    • On Monday, March 30, the District Curriculum & Assessment Department will post extended and enrichment learning opportunities for families to engage in with their children from March 30 - April 3. These extended learning opportunities are not required, nor will they be used for grading purposes. The extended learning opportunities will be communicated and posted for families to view on a District website (www.dvusd.org/ExtendedLearning) by the end of the day on March 29. 

    • On Monday, March 30, your school’s principal will be holding a virtual staff meeting for teachers and other staff to provide important updates.

    • Students and families will have an opportunity to pick-up essential personal belongings next week. This will occur Tuesday, March 31 from 8-4 pm. Specific procedures for this pick-up will be sent later this week. This is not to be confused with student medication pick-up which is today (March 24 3-5pm) or tomorrow (March 25 8-10 am).

    Additional Information

    • I have recorded an updated video message for parents that will be available by Wednesday, March 25. You can view it at this link: https://vimeo.com/400366907. Please note that due to the substantial increase in online user activity, users are reporting that the videos sometimes download slowly.

    • All DVUSD athletic activities (including practices) are suspended through at least April 12. The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) will provide further guidance before April 12.

    • Some parents have asked about items such as whether the school year will be extended and how the closure will impact senior graduation requirements. The Arizona Legislature, Governor Ducey, and the State Board of Education are working to provide guidance to all Arizona public school districts on these matters. We anticipate being provided an update by the state sometime early next week. Know that the entire country is in the same situation and our government agencies are working on these items. Stay tuned… 

    • Our Food & Nutrition staff are doing an #extraordinary job at providing meals to our students. Remember that any child age 18 and under can get a free breakfast and lunch so take advantage of it! Additional food distribution sites will be added next week. Go to www.dvusd.org/food later this week to see additional sites. 

    • Regarding future communication, here is what you can expect from us: Beginning, Monday,  March 30 there will be a daily update on our www.dvusd.org/COVID19 webpage. It is possible that the daily posting will indicate that there is no new update, and when that is the case, we will simply post, “no new update.”

    Finally, your child’s principal will likely be reaching out soon with a personal message, so be on the look-out for that. Again, all updated information will also be posted at www.dvusd.org/COVID19. Our thoughts continue to be with our students and families. Please continue to take steps to stay safe.

    Sincerely,

    Curtis Finch, PhD
    Superintendent


  • Letter sent to parents March 20, 2020

    Dear DVUSD Parents & Guardians,

    We hope that you and your family are continuing to stay safe. We want to provide you with some updates and reminders:

    • TODAY, MARCH 20: Governor Ducey and Superintendent Hoffman announced that All Arizona Schools are now closed until at least April 10, 2020. We expect to receive additional information from the Governor and other state leaders this week about how and when online learning could take place for students. We will communicate that information to you as soon as we receive it. In addition, all updates will be posted at www.dvusd.org/COVID19

    • MONDAY: DVUSD Food & Nutrition will offer free grab-and-go school breakfasts and lunches to children ages 18 and under in our community beginning Monday, March 23. Nine locations will now distribute meals at various times Monday – Friday at DVUSD school and community locations. Please visit www.dvusd.org/food for updated information.  

    • TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY: DVUSD school nurses and administration will be available at each campus location in case parents wish to pick up essential student medications. Parents should go to the front office of their child’s school from 3 to 5 pm on Tuesday, March 24 or from 8 to 10 am on Wednesday, March 25. During these times, we will practice social distancing. One family member at a time will be allowed in the nurse’s office to pick up medications. We will set a date in the near future for parents to pick up other student items at school. 

    • All DVUSD on-site school meetings that were scheduled for March 23 - 27 will be rescheduled. Parents will likely be contacted March 30 - April 3. 

    • All DVUSD on-site school-sponsored events are canceled through at least April 13, including Monday’s event at The Traditional Academy at Bellair and Tuesday’s ACT testing for our 11th grade students. 

    • All DVUSD athletic activities (including practices) are suspended through at least March 28. The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) will provide further guidance before March 28. 

    • All student travel has been suspended through the end of the school year unless guidance from local and state health agencies changes. Information about refunds and other details will be sent to parents when it is possible to do so. In-state travel for high school athletic competitions may continue, if the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) chooses to continue the spring athletic seasons.  

    • Due to the social distancing recommendations of public health experts, no live audience will be permitted at the March 24 regular meeting of the DVUSD Governing Board. You may watch the board meeting live (or recorded) by going to DVUSD on Livestream. The meeting begins at 7 pm. 

    Again, all updated information will also be posted at www.dvusd.org/COVID19. Our thoughts continue to be with our students and families. Please continue to take steps to stay safe.

    Deer Valley Unified School District


  • Letter sent to parents March 17, 2020

    Dear DVUSD Parents & Guardians,

    We hope that you and your family are staying safe during this truly unique time in our history. As promised, we are providing you with an update regarding Arizona’s statewide closure of schools. DVUSD will extend our Spring Break for an additional week (Monday, March 23 - Friday, March 27). 

    This is consistent with Governor Ducey’s order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and close all Arizona schools until at least March 27, 2020. If the closure is extended, we will communicate that information to you as soon as possible. We know that the closure of our schools has a major impact on our families. DVUSD Administration have been engaged in emergency planning and would like to share the following updates:

    • DVUSD school nurses and administration will be available at each campus location in case parents wish to pick up essential student medications. Parents should go to the front office of their child’s school from 3 to 5 pm on Tuesday, March 24 or from 8 to 10 am on Wednesday, March 25. During these times, we will practice social distancing. One family member at a time will be allowed in the nurse’s office to pick up medications.  

    •  DVUSD Food & Nutrition will offer free grab-and-go school breakfasts and lunches to children ages 18 and under in our community beginning Monday, March 23. Meals will be distributed from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm  Monday – Friday at DVUSD school and community locations. Please visit www.dvusd.org/food for program details. 

    • All DVUSD on-site school sponsored events that involve mass gatherings will be canceled through at least April 13.

    • All DVUSD athletic activities (including practices) are suspended through at least March 28. The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) will provide further guidance before March 28.

    • The District has suspended all rentals of our buildings and fields through at least April 13, 2020.  

    • All student travel has been suspended through the end of the school year unless guidance from local and state health agencies changes. The exception to this is in-state travel for high school athletic competitions if the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) chooses to continue the spring athletic seasons.

    • Due to the social distancing recommendations of public health experts, no live audience will be permitted at the March 24 regular meeting of the DVUSD Governing Board. The public comment section has been suspended as well. You may watch the board meeting live (or recorded) by going to DVUSD on Livestream. The meeting begins at 7 pm on March 24.

    • The topic of COVID-19 can be a difficult one for parents to discuss with children. We have posted tips for talking to children about COVID-19 on our website

    We know there are still a lot of questions moving forward, such as when and how school will continue and whether school events will be canceled such as prom and graduation. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to make any decisions about these items at this time. As we receive more guidance from local, state, and federal officials we will be able to make better and more informed decisions. We will provide our next update on or before Thursday, March 26. 

    We realize this is a hard time, and we are thinking of you and your family. Our team is making every effort to continue supporting our #extraordinary students and families. We are fortunate to be part of the Deer Valley community where we can take care of each other.

    Sincerely,

    Curtis Finch, PhD
    Superintendent


  • Letter sent to parents March 15, 2020

    Dear DVUSD Families and Staff,

    On Sunday March 15, Governor Ducey and State Superintendent Hoffman announced that all Arizona schools will be closed beginning March 16 through at least March 27.  According to the Governor’s Office, “Governor Ducey and Superintendent Hoffman will work with education officials and public health officials to reassess the need for the school closures and provide further guidance through March 27, 2020.”  During this time frame, DVUSD schools will be closed for ALL activities for students, including Spring Break Camp.  To be clear, this means that students will not return from spring break on March 23. We know you will have questions on many items.  More information will be posted on our website Wednesday, March 18.  Staff should expect email communication from the District in terms of how this closure will impact them by Wednesday, March 18 as well.


  •  

    Letter sent to parents March 12, 2020 
     
    DVUSD Parents and Guardians,

    Deer Valley Unified School District believes the safety of our students and staff is our number one priority. Before our community goes on spring break, we want to provide you with current information about COVID-19 and our district’s actions to prevent the spread of this virus. We also want to be clear that we have not had any confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our school district. In addition, there has not been one case of COVID-19 in any school in Maricopa County. Currently, Maricopa County Department of Public Health does not recommend closing schools.

    As noted in our previous communication sent March 4, district leadership is in constant communication with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) and the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to ensure we have the most accurate information. We encourage our school families and staff to visit MCDPH's Coronavirus page for the most current and accurate information.

    In the case of COVID-19 or other communicable diseases, DVUSD follows the directives provided by MCDPH and ADHS. According to MCDPH, our District will be informed if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19. In that case, we would notify parents and follow MCDPH guidelines.

    If we have updated developments that would impact our families and schools, DVUSD will send out communications to families and employees as soon as possible. At a minimum, this information will be emailed to parents and posted on the school and district websites.

    The district is taking additional measures to minimize the risk of spreading respiratory illnesses. Some of these measures include:

    • Installing additional hand sanitizers at our campuses
    • Making necessary adjustments to our cleaning procedures for our buses
    • Making necessary adjustments to our cleaning procedures for our campuses including increased attention to “high touch” areas as well as providing supplementary cleaning where needed over spring break
    • Launching awareness campaigns across the district with pertinent information and tips about staying healthy
    • Providing training to our plant foremen on specialized cleaning procedures
    • School sponsored student travel after spring break is being monitored. At the time of this letter, MCDPH has stated that it is appropriate to continue with student travel within the United States. However, the closing of venues could cause trips to be canceled. We are aware that some venues have closed. We have no international school sponsored trips.
    • We are exploring necessary adjustments to Food and Nutrition procedures. One adjustment made effective today (3/12/20) is the temporary removal of the student salad bar.

    In the rare case that your student and/or family plan to travel internationally during Spring Break to a country that is a Level 2 or 3 risk (see this link for a list of countries that fall into these categories), we request that you email your school’s principal and include the following email address: springbreakconcerns@dvusd.org. We ask that all students, staff, and volunteers who visit high-risk countries follow the CDC after-travel health precautions, which currently include staying home. As a reminder, the Deer Valley Unified School District does not diagnose students. Health care providers use criteria from public health officials for diagnosing and testing for COVID-19.

    During spring break, it is recommended that you wash your hands frequently, avoid close contact with people who are sick, cover your mouth when coughing, and stay home when you are sick. Students and employees with a fever of 100.0 F degrees or above, should stay home until they are fever-free for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medications.

    This will continue to be a fluid situation; one that you should monitor during spring break. Please go to www.dvusd.org/COVID19 to check on any changes during spring break.

    DVUSD wants our students, staff, and community to be informed and prepared. Follow the public health recommendations about staying safe and healthy, including washing your hands, staying hydrated, and getting enough rest.

    We will continue to gather information, share any information that will impact our families, and be prepared to make any adjustments that our public health professionals recommend.

    Have a safe and restful Spring Break. We will see you back on campus on Monday, March 23.

    Sincerely,

    Curtis Finch, PhD Superintendent

     


  •  

    Letter sent to parents March 4, 2020 

    Dear DVUSD Parents and Guardians:

    With the increased information and questions circulating about COVID-19 (previously referred to as the Novel Coronavirus), we want to provide updated information that we received from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH). We also want to share with you the actions we are taking to protect the health of our students and employees.

    It is important to know we do not have any reports of confirmed exposures within our school district. There has been no community spread of COVID-19 in Maricopa County. There is currently one presumptive positive case and one recovered case in Maricopa County.

    In the case of COVID-19 or other communicable diseases, DVUSD follows the directives provided by MCDPH and ADHS. Should there be updated developments that would impact our families or schools, DVUSD will send out communications to families and employees as soon as we are able.

    What DVUSD is doing:

    • DVUSD is one of the few districts in the Valley with a nurse at each of our schools. Our nurses help provide a first-hand report on the health of our students and employees. They will continue to monitor students and staff.
    • Information regarding flu protocol has been provided to all school nurses as COVID-19 is believed to spread primarily the same way the flu spreads – through respiratory droplets that are produced when someone coughs or sneezes. We are working to ensure our schools are properly stocked with necessary supplies.
    • At all of our schools, custodial staff have been directed to pay extra attention to cleaning “high touch” areas, such as door knobs.
    • We are monitoring reported absence rates at schools due to colds and flu and will take action if we see a pattern of high absence rates.
    • Our district’s leadership team has been and will continue to make preparations if the disease would become widespread throughout our county and/or District. Topics include: making sure schools continue preventative measures (washing hands, staying home if not feeling well, etc.), preparing for extreme deep cleaning of schools, and planning ongoing communication to families and employees if we would need to close a school or schools.
    • Our district continues to communicate with MCDPH to ensure we have the most accurate information available.

    Information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

    • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).
    • Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
    • For more information from the CDC about COVID-19 visit www.cdc.gov/covid19. The Maricopa County Department of Public Health has also provided tips and information, which is attached. COVID-19_letter_to_parents_MCDPH.pdf

    Thank you in advance for keeping your student(s) home from school when showing symptoms of the cold or flu. We are grateful to our parents for your partnership in keeping our students healthy and safe. We will keep you updated with any developments that could impact our families and schools.

    Sincerely,

     

    Curtis Finch, PhD
    Superintendent

     
     

  •  
    Information posted to the DVUSD Website on February 28, 2020 
    We want our parents to know that every day, the Deer Valley Unified School District Staff, including our Director of School Operations, is monitoring COVID-19 and the spread of the illness.
     
    We have and will continue to follow all guidelines from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, the Arizona Department of Health Services, and CDC.
     
    DVUSD staff and nurses monitor our students' health daily.
     
    If the illness spreads to an unmanageable level, DVUSD would follow all state and local direction. We would close schools if that is what is needed to keep our students and staff safe. DVUSD would notify our parents through phone calls, emails, and texts with as much advance warning as possible.