Triadvocates Navigator Special Edition: July 23, 2020

December 31,1969 |

July 23, 2020


Arizona is Open for Learning

Today, Governor Ducey joined by Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced a third executive order outlining new actions for the reopening of public schools. This announcement comes in response to increased pressure from education and health officials asking Governor Ducey to abandon the idea of setting a firm date for schools to start in-person classroom learning and instead demanded the use of public health benchmarks to determine when is safe for schools to resume in-person learning.

On June 29, Governor Ducey set the aspirational start date of August 17 for in-person learning. Today he announced that regardless of when in-person classroom learning begins, every school must start teacher-led distance learning by the first day of their traditional instructional calendar. Additional resources were provided in an attempt to add clarity for the start of the new school year and new data-driven benchmark tools will be given to schools to help them determine when it is safe for them to resume in-person instruction.

Below are the key components from today’s executive order:

Learning Starts Immediately:

  • 180 days of instruction or equivalent hours are required regardless of the delivery method.
  • Teacher-led distance learning must begin by first day of the school’s instructional calendar submitted to the Department of Education. A Distance Learning Plan must be submitted before August 14.

Public Health Benchmarks for Resuming In-Person Classroom Learning

  • By August 7, the Arizona Department of Health Services is required to develop public health benchmarks for the safe return of in-person, teacher-led classroom instruction, and make them available to schools.
  • Local school leaders will use the benchmarks to guide their decision making on when to physically open for in-person learning and consider these recommendations, guidance from county health officials, community needs and available resources to determine when to begin in-person learning.

Schools are Required to Provide Free On-site Learning

  • To qualify for enhanced funding, schools must begin offering free on-site learning and support services for students who need a place to go during the day by August 17 (as already required in previous executive orders).
  • Schools must notify parents of their back to school learning options.

Face Coverings

  • All school districts and charter schools must develop and implement a policy to require face coverings, for all staff and students over the age of five. Some exceptions apply.

$170 Million in Additional Financial Support:

  • The Enrollment Stabilization Grant as originally announced on June 24 earmarked $200 million from the federal CARES Act dollars for schools to address funding shortfalls. Today an additional $170 million was announced to make a grant total of $370 million in grant dollars available to schools.
  • In orders for schools to qualify for these dollars, schools will need to comply with the executive orders and provide the on-site learning opportunities for students.

The Arizona Department of Education announced the current guidance around school facilities:

  • School facilities must remain close for in-person classroom instruction until 8/17
  • Schools can begin distance learning prior to 8/17 upon successful submission of their Distance Learning Plans
  • Schools can continue distance learning after 8/17, as long as an onsite learning option for certain student populations is provided
  • Public health benchmarks, as determined by ADHS and to be released by 8/7, will inform schools' facilities re-opening dates

You can find today’s Executive Order HERE

You can access details on the Arizona: Open for Learning plan HERE

You can find the Arizona Department of Education's School Reopening FAQ HERE


Business Closures Are Extended

This afternoon, Gov. Doug Ducey extended an executive order to continue the closure for gyms, bars, movie theaters, water parks and tubing operators. The order was set to expire on July 27, today it was extended indefinitely, and it will continue to be reviewed for repeal or revision every two weeks. The order also continues the ban on large gatherings of more than 50 people and enables local governments to take immediate enforcement action to ensure compliance with the order.

You can find the executive order HERE.


Tougher than COVID

Governor Ducey today announced a new statewide public education campaign called Tougher Than COVID to encourage Arizonans to wear a mask. The Governor is partnering with the state’s top advertising and public relations firms in an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 and he is dedicating $3 million for English and Spanish marketing materials to be distributed across media platforms statewide.

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