At a special meeting on July 7, the Apache Junction Unified School District Governing Board approved a plan to educate district students with virtual learning starting July 21.
“Since last spring, a task force of district administration and educators have worked tirelessly to develop action plans to meet the educational requirements for our students,” AJUSD Superintendant Dr. Krista Anderson said in a release. “Our No. 1 priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff. With our distant-learning curriculum, we are being safe while providing a rigorous education.”
The online classroom instruction is for all AJUSD students, including preschool, kindergarten, elementary-age students, and grades seven through 12, as well as special education. The school day will run 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday, the release states.
To support students who are learning from home, and to provide an equitable educational experience, the district is providing all students with laptop devices --- iPads for kindergarten to second grade and Chromebooks for students in third through 12th grades.
“Internet connectivity is often an issue when more than one person is online,” Dr. Anderson said in the release. “To ensure our students have the best educational experience possible we are providing Internet hotspots for families who do not currently have service, or who have limited bandwidth.”
Like attending school in person, attendance will be taken daily. Grades will be given based on the work the students complete and the quality of their work. Students who do not attend class will be marked absent and will impact the student’s overall grade point average. Students who do not complete the assigned work will not be given passing grades, the release states.
“Our teachers are highly qualified and will provide a solid educational experience for the children of this community,” Dr. Anderson said in the release. “We are absolutely missing the smiling faces of our students at their schools and in their classrooms. We’ll just have to see their smiling faces virtually."
The Apache Junction Unified School District serves more than 3,200 students in a 217-square mile area that includes the City of Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Peralta Trail, Queen Valley and the unincorporated areas of the Superstition Mountain foothills. There are five schools in the district including a high school, junior high and a special education facility. Go to ajusd.org.