Dear PUSD Staff, Families and Community-

Checking in with you this week, I want to express the genuine pride I have for our Prescott Schools and all the dedicated people who make up our school community. Our leadership committees continue working around the clock building a safe and unique “Roadmap to Reopen” Prescott Schools with options to open when the timing makes sense to do so safely. We are working now, and will continue working through the weekend to finalize our Roadmap for PUSD Governing Board for consideration on July 14.

Please know that we will always keep your health and safety at the forefront. We always have. With the current rise of COVID-19 cases in Arizona and high level health risk in our community we are feeling the same sense of unease and anxiety that many of you are feeling. I appreciate the open communication we have with parents, students, teachers and staff members. Our leadership continues to plan with the Guiding Principles for Reopening School at the forefront of any decision. I will share all of those below, but wanted to point out the one that I am thinking about almost constantly right now:

Guiding Principle #3- Prioritize student and staff health, safety, and wellbeing over other principles.

I realize that there are still many questions that we are unable to answer at this time, and we will continue to communicate often. Our plans and documents are meant to be fluid and changing like the COVID pandemic itself. The finalized Roadmap will be shared with you all next week. That will be an extensive document with great detail, and will answer many questions. We also plan to announce details on our response to the Governor’s order to close schools through at least August 17. PUSD will open with distance learning as early as possible, balancing time for robust training of our teachers that will make all three of our learning models extremely effective.

The following agenda wording for our PUSD Governing Board will shed some more light on the extensivity of the Roadmap:

Following the Arizona Department of Education recommendations for options to reopen school during the pandemic, district leaders have worked with committees throughout the summer to create three models of learning to coincide with current “levels of risk”. The details of “In-Person”, “Hybrid”, or “Distance Learning” are outlined in this document based on multiple forms of guidance and research, based on current health guidelines. The Roadmap is purposefully fluid and flexible and meant to be versatile in order to handle the constantly changing health and safety recommendations driven by the unknown of the pandemic situation. Overall, it provides the ability to continue teaching and learning, in different possible scenarios, depending on the ability to be in-person or not, and in between. It is a living document that will change with the need based on what is best for PUSD students.

Thank you for your continued patience as we all figure this out together for Every Child, Every Day, Everywhere.

Joe Howard

PUSD Guiding Principles for Reopening Schools:
1. Act with fidelity to PUSD’s Vision, Mission, and Goals by prioritizing quality education for all students that provides continuity of learning and that is engaging and rigorous regardless of the instructional model they are served in during the school year.

2. Prefer in-person learning over distance learning whenever it is safe to do so.

3. Prioritize student and staff health, safety, and wellbeing over other principles.

4. Ensure hygiene and health-related policies are research based, clearly communicated, effectively implemented, and diligently enforced.

5. Promote practices and policies to reduce the risk of virus transmission and support our capacity to be responsive and flexible when facing changing health circumstances.