March 16, 2020
Dear MUSD Parents, Guardians, Students and Employees:
Yesterday, Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced that all Arizona schools will be closed from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27, 2020 as a preventative measure to halt the potential community-wide spread of COVID-19, otherwise referred to as the Coronavirus. Like our Administrative team here at MUSD, they have been closely monitoring the progress of COVID-19 with public health authorities. You may read their full statement here.
As we have done from the very beginning, MUSD is following the guidance and expertise of local and national health officials to help protect the health of our students and employees. In line with the Governor's Executive Order. All MUSD schools will remain closed this week for Spring Break and will be closed the week following Spring Break - March 23 through March 27, 2020. To be clear, this means students will not return from spring break.
This is new territory for everyone and we realize that there are many unanswered questions. We are working as quickly as possible to answer those questions in the next few days and will send updates. Below you will find important information.
For our Families
- The Learning, Enrichment, And Play (LEAP) spring break program continues this week for those families previously registered.
- Marana Cares Mobile continues this week with distribution of prepacked food served in a to-go container.
- Next week’s closure involves all schools and all programs including preschool, before/after school care (LEAP), after-school programs, activities, sport practices, tutoring, and any other extra-curricular activity programming as provided in the letter you received on Friday, March 13.
- MUSD will continue to provide meals for students who rely on us for lunch or breakfast, effective Monday, March 23rd. Further details about this food provision will be coming in a subsequent email and will soon be provided on our website, maranausd.org/coronavirus.
- District and school leadership are also working on plans for how educational services may be delivered if the closure is extended for a longer period, as well as to address and take action on a number of other details related to the closure of the district. We anticipate additional direction from the Governor and State Superintendent in the coming days that will help determine state testing, as well as a commitment to consult with school district and legislative partners to determine the extent of any potential make-up days.
- We will continue to make every decision throughout this extraordinary period very carefully, and always with the guidance of our federal, state, and local public health and safety leaders, and with the health of our students, employees, families, and community members in mind.
For Our Employees
- We know our employees have questions about how this will affect them. A separate message will be sent to MUSD employees this week regarding plans while schools are closed to students.
- We anticipate additional direction from the Governor and State Superintendent in the coming days that will help determine how we will support our employees. Part of yesterday’s announcement includes a commitment to work together to make sure dedicated school employees don’t see any disruption to their pay, as well as a commitment to consult with school district and legislative partners to determine the extent of any potential make-up days. Details are forthcoming and will be shared and communicated as soon as we are informed.
- Over the next weeks, I would encourage you to have ongoing conversations with your student about all that they are hearing related to COVID-19. We will continue to post resources for you, like this one from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We have also shared additional resources on our Website at maranausd.org/coronavirus. For the latest updates on COVID-19 in Arizona, please visit http://www.azdhs.gov.
- Health professionals continue to recommend practicing good hygiene such as frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes and avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth. Based on CDC recommendations, social distancing, which is the avoiding of unnecessary close interactions, can reduce community spread and protect vulnerable at-risk populations.
- Rest assured that we will continue to meet over these upcoming days/weeks to finalize plans. While there may be recommendations beyond March 27, it is my commitment to you that we will make decisions that best serve our students, employees, and community.
As a reminder, please do not send your student to school on Monday, March 23. It is worth repeating that this situation continues to be very fluid, but we are committed to bringing you updates as we have them available on our website at www.maranausd.org/coronavirus, via email, telephone, and/or text and social media channels at https://www.facebook.com/maranaschools/ and https://twitter.com/MaranaSchools.
MUSD educators and staff, leadership, and Governing Board members are committed to the health and safety of your student and family and to our remarkable employees and community. We are thankful for the strong sense of community that exists in our District, and I know that by working together we will get through this unprecedented public health challenge Thank you for your continued patience and support.
Doug Wilson, Ed.D.