Coronavirus Info 2020-03-15T20:35:23+00:00

SCHOOL NOTICE: COVID-19

update for Mesa campus posted here: https://hamesa.com/schedule-update/

March 12, 2020

Dear Heritage Families,

The Heritage Leadership Team is closely following the Coronavirus situation in AZ and around the world.

We are in contact with local and state authorities regarding the impact on schools.

Earlier this week, Maricopa County Environmental Services Department wrote, “The level of COVID-19 is considered to be low in Arizona, and Governor Doug Ducey declared a public health emergency for the State of Arizona, as a proactive measure to give state officials more leeway and tools to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.”

At this time we do not plan to make any adjustments to our school calendar. Our Maricopa and Gateway Campuses will continue with their normally scheduled Spring Break. Our Laveen and Mesa campuses will resume school next week as previously scheduled with some adjustments as outlined below.

Additional measures are being taken to ensure the health and safety of our families.

  1. Over the break, Heritage schools have had additional cleaning performed to ensure a healthy learning environment.
  2. Some of our scholars have been overseas or in other affected areas during Spring Break. Those scholars who have recently toured France should return to school only after they have self quarantined for 14 days per Maricopa County and CDC recommendation. Scholars returning from Puerto Rico are not required to self quarantine.
  3. Any scholar who is feeling symptoms of Coronavirus or the common cold should seek medical attention immediately. This applies to scholars who are living with others who are feeling symptoms.
  4. MESA CAMPUS: Scholars who stay home for any of the reasons above or others should contact the school to get instructions on how to continue their schooling. By State law, scholars who are not present at school are to be marked absent, but we will not be docking points until further notice. All work still must be completed.
  5. LAVEEN CAMPUS:  For one week, Laveen Scholars will move to a blended learning model on Google Classroom, Khan Academy, and other digital platforms. Scholars should stay at home and not come to school. Heritage teachers will provide lessons on Google Classroom for one week with the plan to return our regular schedule on March 23rd. More detailed instructions will follow this email, however most Heritage Scholars know their Google login credentials and use many online tools.

We know this matter is quite fluid and circumstances may change, including a school closure. We will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate actions as new information is available.

Heritage has an active presence on social media. Please follow us where we will be posting additional information.

Should you have any questions, please contact us during school hours or any of the resources listed below.

Sincerely,

Jared Taylor

Board Chairman

Heritage Academy Schools

(480) 969-5641

____________________________________________________________________________________________

From the Arizona Department of Education:

A letter to our educators regarding COVID-19
March 12, 2020
Dear Arizona Educators,
Today, Governor Ducey, Director Dr. Cara Christ, and I held a conference call with district, charter, and private school leaders regarding guidance on COVID-19.
Like many other states, Arizona is following the Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s Mitigation Strategies in responding to novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Our state and local health officials are using the most up-to-date information to make data-driven and evidence-based recommendations, including guidance around school closures. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) shares these recommendations with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) who then works with our schools and communities to provide accurate guidance and support.
School Closures
Right now, the question of whether or not a school will be asked to close is top-of-mind for our school communities. In Arizona, school closures can occur if/when:
  1. The Governor declares a State of Emergency and State & County Health Departments provide direction to counties and schools to close in order to mitigate potential damage of an epidemic;
  2. County Health Departments provide direction to some or all schools to close based on data/evidence in their county;
  3. Charter Operators choose to close one or more of their charter schools under A.R.S. § 15-183;
  4. School Districts or Charter Operators choose to close one or more of their schools under A.R.S. § 15-806 B.
While some school districts are making the decision to close, the Arizona Department of Health Services does not currently recommend school closures at this time.
In today’s conversation, Dr. Christ shared with school leaders that school closures could potentially lead to an increase in community spread if students were to be placed in a different congregate area outside of their regular communities for childcare purposes. Importantly, when community spread is minimal, keeping our schools open also provides children with a regular routine that helps reduce panic and fear in the midst tense times.
Should ADHS and county health departments’ recommendations change regarding school closures, ADE will work with our school leaders and state officials to help schools in the process. ADE is committed to keeping families, students, and educators as healthy and safe as possible.
To be proactive, we shared information with district and charter leaders today on how they can continue to provide school meals, special education services, and alternative instruction, should their local county health department recommend a school closure. That guidance can be found on our website here.
I know that our schools have very valid concerns about the health of their communities. We encourage all schools to be in close contact with your county departments of public health who are the foremost experts in your community’s health and who can provide the most appropriate guidance on whether or not your school should remain open.
Impact on Students, Teachers, Communities
Lastly, I want to acknowledge the impact of the fear surrounding this new virus on our students, teachers, families, and communities. Our students have important question about the global outbreak of COVID-19, and we know you want to respond with great care. The CDC has shared resources for talking to children about COVID-19, and in the coming week ADE will be posting more resources on our website for teachers to use in their classrooms.
We will continue to communicate with you, our educators and school leaders, as this situation develops. And we are grateful for all you are doing to keep your school, your students, and yourself healthy & safe.
Sincerely,
Kathy Hoffman, MS, CCC-SLP
Superintendent of Public Instruction

Additional resources: 

FEDERAL

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United States

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/index.html

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – https://www.eeoc.gov/facts/pandemic_flu.html

This was created in 2009 in response to the H1N1 pandemic and provides guidance to employers on how to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act during a pandemic.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – https://www.ready.gov/pandemic

STATE

www.Azhealth.gov/COVID-19 – The Department of Health Services (DHS) is leading all state-level efforts on COVID-19. DHS has established this webpage to aggregate all state information on the virus, including a screening tool for EMS and first responders (attached).

COUNTY (any missing counties either had no dedicated page or rerouted to the state website)

Cochise – https://www.cochise.az.gov/health-and-social-services/covid-19-info-0

Coconino – https://www.coconino.az.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2118

La Paz – http://www.co.la-paz.az.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=80

Maricopa – https://www.maricopa.gov/5460/Coronavirus-Disease-2019

Pima – https://webcms.pima.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=527452

Pinal – https://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/PublicHealth/Pages/PublicNotices.aspx?ID=3

Santa Cruz – http://santacruzhealth.org/HSAHome/HSADivisions/PublicHealth/CommunicableDiseaseControl/Coronavirus.aspx

Yavapai – http://www.yavapai.us/chs/

Yuma – https://www.yumacountyaz.gov/government/health-district/divisions/emergency-preparedness-program/covid-19-new-and-information

LOCAL

Remote Council Meetings. Section 7.10.3 of the Arizona Attorney General’s Agency Handbook discusses “Remote Conferencing.” In the event that a city or town council is concerned about gathering for a council meeting, the handbook does describe provisions for allowing members of a public body to attend by telephone or other technological devices. A jurisdiction would need to confirm that its local ordinances allow for remote participation in council meetings. Additionally, communities may want to explore live-streaming options for council meetings should large, public gatherings be discouraged. Please bear in mind that Open Meeting Law affords the public the right to attend all open meetings, so live-streaming services must be used as an optional alternative and not as a required form of attendance. The League recommends using the council agenda to communicate key information to the public, including if there won’t be a call to the public, whether or not some or all members of the council will be attending remotely, and any remote viewing/listening options available.

 

National League of Cities – Coronavirus Response Resources for Local Leaders. https://www.nlc.org/resource/coronavirus-response-resources-for-local-leaders

Microsoft, Google, and Zoom are trying to keep up with demand for their now free work-from-home software – this article talks about the free software available right now to empower telecommute/work-from-home options.

 

Coronavirus Local Response Initiative. https://www.bloomberg.org/program/public-health/coronavirus-local-response-initiative/#overview – “ Along with partners at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched a new program of support to help American mayors respond to the rapidly evolving Coronavirus.” The program is open to all cities in the U.S. and will accommodate as many participants as possible. Interested mayors and city leaders should email coronavirusresponse@bloomberg.org to apply.

Courts. The Arizona Supreme Court has issued an Administrative Order (attached) governing the judicial review of claims related to emergency measures taken by local or state government officials.

Reporting/Sharing Information. https://www.apstylebook.com/topical_most_recent This website has useful information from the Associated Press on the correct usage of terms when disseminating information related to COVID-19. This could be helpful to PIOs and social media staff as they prepare or push out information to the public about efforts to curtail the spread of the disease.

ELECTIONS

County Election Officials. https://azsos.gov/elections/voting-election/contact-information-county-election-officials The Arizona Secretary of State has established this website to provide contact information for all 15 county election officials. Please contact your election official for any changes to your election as a result of the COVID-19 virus.

CDC: Recommendations for Polling Locations – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/election-polling-locations.html the CDC has outlined recommendations for preventing the spread of the disease at polling locations.