Litchfield Elementary School District officials are asking parents to fill out a survey to assist the district in reopening its schools for the 2020-21 academic year.
Target date for school reopenings in Arizona is Aug. 3, if deemed safe by public health officials.
In a letter to parents posted June 11 to the district’s website, lesd.k12.az.us, Superintendent Jodi Gunning outlined measures LESD has taken in preparation for reopening schools and asked parents to fill out the online survey by Friday, June 19. The district operates 11 elementary and five middle schools in Avondale, Buckeye, Goodyear and Litchfield Park.
“The Arizona Department of Education released its COVID-19 Roadmap to Reopening Schools and we have developed a School Reopening Task Force with multiple subcommittees to integrate these guidelines into a variety of scenarios to be considered for the reopening of our schools,” Ms. Gunning wrote. “We are working with a diverse panel of teachers, staff, parents, and community stakeholders to examine every angle of this complex topic.”
The team studied the results of the Distance Learning Parent Survey completed by more than 4,400 families and is examining seven major categories.
“With student and staff health and safety leading in importance, the School Reopening Task Force is examining issues like transportation, food services, special education, scheduling options, and budget,” Ms. Gunning wrote. “The decision of how and when to reopen schools rests in the hands of individual school districts, and we will continue to consider regional health and safety data as a determining factor, as well as guidance from the Center for Disease Control, Arizona Department of Health Services, and Arizona Department of Education in the decision making process.”
Ms. Gunning noted that LESD is working with Avondale Elementary School District and Agua Fria Union High School District officials. Students from both districts move on to the high school districts.
“All three districts are united in their commitment to complementary planning for our community’s K-12 students,” Ms. Gunning wrote.
“Your input remains crucial to this planning process. Please assist the School Reopening Task Force by completing the Parent Survey on Returning to School by June 19. We welcome and appreciate your feedback, and will also survey our staff with similar questions.”
Survey questions include:
How comfortable parents are sending their children back to school full time Aug. 3
What safety measures parents need to be in place in order to feel comfortable sending their children to school
What alternative learning methods parents want to see if schools do not reopen in August: distance learning (combines online learning and paper packets), hybrid schedule (combines distance and onsite learning) or full-time digital learning
The survey also asks parents to weigh in on their preferred schedules if a hybrid schedule is put in place, whether parents can drive their children to school to allow for physical distancing on buses, whether the family has reliable internet access, depends on school breakfasts and lunches and whether they need a laptop or electronic device and assistance obtaining internet access for learning at home.
Ms. Gunning also thanked those serving on the task force and shared a link to the district’s planning document.