July 8, 2020
Dear MUSD Parent/Guardian:
I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones healthy and well. As you are aware, the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 are continually evolving. Last week, Governor Ducey issued an Executive Order delaying the start of in-person instruction until August 17, 2020, while allowing schools to offer remote learning/distance learning. This past week, District leadership and MUSD’s Return to School Task Force worked to make changes to our Safe & Thoughtful Return to School plan. We appreciate your patience as we prepare to start school during these constantly changing times.
As a result of this Executive Order, the Marana Unified School District will begin the school year on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, through remote learning for grades K-12. We recognize that it is in the best interest of our students, staff and families to re-engage, connect, and begin learning as soon as possible. By extending our start date two additional days, from the original August 3 date to the new start date of August 5, we provide all teachers additional time to plan and prepare. To ensure our school year calendar aligns with the Governor’s order requiring 180 instructional days, we will need to make some calendar changes, so that we can end the school year on May 21. We will communicate these calendar changes once they have been approved by the Governing Board.
I assure you that our District will be prepared to offer the high-quality instruction you expect from us. When faced with this unprecedented crisis last spring, the District came together quickly to provide emergency learning at home to students and support services to our families. Our schools and families stayed connected during a time of great uncertainty. We learned a lot from that experience. Over the past several months, we held focus groups with parents and teachers and engaged in numerous collaborative learning conversations in order to implement more structured remote learning this fall.
During this remote learning period, we will focus on high-quality academics and connectedness, while providing additional services and supports to our students and families. This structured, engaging learning experience will allow students to connect to their teachers, classmates, and daily lessons remotely. There will be consistency in teaching practices and as well as graded learning experiences for students. Lessons will be aligned to our comprehensive district curriculum, allowing a seamless transition to classroom learning when we are able to resume school in-person. Parents of students in grades 5-12 still have the option of enrolling in Marana Distance Learning for the 2020-2021 school year.
You will receive more information in the coming weeks about the expectations and requirements for your student’s learning including meet the teacher visits, grading, attendance, instruction, daily schedules, special needs, Chromebook distribution, sports/athletic practices, and other information. In addition, please know that we will continue to provide our Grab & Go meal program and our Childcare for Essential Workers program.
The health and safety of students, employees, and our school community, as always, remains our priority. We continue to base our work aligned with the Governor’s orders and statutory requirements, guidance from the Arizona Department of Education Roadmap for Reopening Schools, local public health authorities, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the input of our families and employees. I am confident that together we will continue to navigate our current reality and current situation. I do believe that we will get back to a level of normalcy at some point.
We look forward to welcoming our students on August 5. Thank you for your continued support. Stay healthy and stay connected.
Dan Streeter, Ed.D.