The Dysart Unified School District was one of the few districts in Arizona offering three return-to-school options for students, including full-time online, in-person and a hybrid option — but one is no longer available.
Because of a lack of interest, the hybrid option is not a choice for students this fall.
Director of Communications and Public Relations Renee Ryon said the district is still working to finalize numbers.
“They are very fluid right now, and not all families have indicated their selection yet,” Ms. Ryon said. “While hybrid classes were initially offered, when the numbers came in, there was not enough interest by school and grade level to make them feasible. Classes needed 25 to 30 students to sign up in order to make.”
The district anticipates all teachers will have a classroom of students because of the way the district staffs the online iSchool. Ms. Ryon said all teachers will serve in-person students, when allowable and some teachers will also provide support for iSchool students.
“Class sizes will vary based on the number of students signed up for each format, at each school, in each grade level,” Ms. Ryon said. “We are still working on sorting through the data and finalizing the numbers for this year, as changes are still being made. Thanks to the override funding currently in place, class sizes typically range from 22 to 30 for elementary students and no more than 32 students for high school.”
With additional information regarding education expected to come this week for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, DUSD doesn’t have a specific time line for pushing back in-person classes — although the district is committed to the Aug. 17 start date.
“But we are constantly evaluating the health and safety of our students, staff and community, and will adjust as needed and directed by state, health and education officials,” Ms. Ryon said.
DUSD is prepared to move students from in-person to virtual classes without much disruption if needed.
“Because we are using a consistent curriculum Florida Virtual and access portal Schoology across all class formats, moving students back to remote learning should be fairly seamless,” Ms. Ryon said. “For continuity, teachers would continue to teach the same students, regardless of the current class format, and coursework would still be found in Schoology.”
With the option open to parents to change the school choice one time during the semester, the district is prepared to take on the fluctuation.
“We understand that once school begins, there may be a need to change the selected class format. We are asking that parents switch class formats no more than once per semester, so that we can better manage our staffing needs,” Ms. Ryon said. “Because of the way we are staffing our iSchool program, we anticipate having the flexibility needed to accommodate these changes. In high school, teachers are assigned extra sections to cover iSchool courses, and in K-8, students will be assigned a specific teacher, and that teacher will support both in-person and iSchool students.”
Teachers and staff are also being address by the district.
Ms. Ryon said the Human Relations teams has worked to ensure that any concerns or challenges shared by staff are taken care of.
She added many health and safety procedures for all sites have been implemented to ensure staff is comfortable on site.
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