Thank You to Ash Creek Staff

Thank you card to all of Ash Creek

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Thank You to Mrs. Shepard

Thank you note to Mrs. Shepard

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Thank You to VTC

Thank you note to VTC

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Ash Creek Elementary School #53: What we are doing in regards to continuing education during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

On March 10, 2020, Ash Creek Elementary School announced that we were cancelling all after school public gatherings at our campus for the remainder of school year 2019-20, i.e. our annual Track Meet, Taiko Drummers, etc. On March 13, 2020, Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman came together and closed all of Arizona’s schools until March 29, 2020. Ash Creek was just beginning our spring break at that time so this announcement gave us time to prepare for the following week when our students should have been returning back to school.  Ms. Rosario Ruiz, our custodian, cleaned and sanitized the campus.  She spent many hours disinfecting all the learning, eating, playing, and common areas to make the school safe for the return of students and staff.  This entailed cleaning and sanitizing all the desks, chairs, tables, walls, doors, stairwells, and anything else possibly touched by any and every one.  And after she had finished that, she cleaned all of the carpets throughout the whole school.  We are also having the school’s ventilation systems professionally cleaned.

I applied and got approval for Ash Creek to use the summer food program during this time, which allows us to make breakfast and lunch available for all of our students. I could not have accomplished that without the help of Jessica Krug, RD, School Nutrition Programs Specialist, and Staci Feltz, M.A., Community Nutrition Program Specialist at ADE. They went above and beyond getting me the needed paperwork to institute this program for Ash Creek.  They were constantly available to answer my questions quickly so that we were ready to feed the students on March 23rd when our spring break was over.

I would also like to thank Mrs. Lisa Shiver for giving up some of her spring break to help keep the website updated and to help figure out the logistics of distance learning and feeding our students off campus.  In addition, she was instrumental in preparing parental permission forms, and emailing important information to our parents. She inventoried supplies on hand and put together a grab and go menu for our parents to pick up meals for their children that first week.  We realized that the grab and go menu would not reach the majority of our students, so Mrs. Shiver came up with another menu and we changed to delivering both breakfast and lunch to the bus stops.  This allows us to provide a hot lunch to our students and has increased the number of families receiving school meals at no cost to them.  It also allows us here at Ash Creek to distribute and collect school work from the students.

With our up to date textbooks available, our three fantastic teachers, Ms. Laura Lind, Ms. Vicky Marvick, and Mrs. Yvette Tracy stepped up and put together a week’s worth of paper and pencil homework according to our curriculum, and had it ready to go for all of their student’s parents to pick up on Monday morning, March 23rd, so that there was no interruption of instruction.  They contacted all of their student’s parents to make sure they were aware of how the distance learning was going to proceed.  Mrs. Shiver designated two backpacks, (generously donated by Border Patrol), for each of our students, and made sure that all books and assignments were loaded into each child’s backpack for the parents to pick up.  The two backpacks allow one to be sent home with new school work and one to be used to return completed assignments back to the teachers.  Then the next week’s work can be sent home in the returned backpack.

The second notice came out, and Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman decided to close all of Arizona’s schools until April 10, 2020, at which time we put our second phase into motion. We have computers and excellent computer programs for all ages of students, so it was decided to send the computers home.  20% of my parents did not have internet access so I called Valley Telecom for help. Steve Metts, CEO, and Lana Estes, were instrumental in providing internet service to my parents at no cost to them for the duration of the school year.  Our amazing teachers once again got quickly organized and set up schedules for the students so that they could continue to use the programs utilized in the classroom.  For Ash Creek Elementary that means:  FastForWord, Odysseyware, Pathblazer, and MidSchool Math. Sumdog offers math challenges the students can use for extra credit, and Prodigy is for additional general math practice that fits the individual needs of each student.  The teachers also set up Zoom capabilities on the computers to allow for real time instruction with the teachers and classmates at specifically scheduled days and times.  Parents were given a schedule of student’s daily activities to give them an idea of how their days are filled when they are on campus, and also a schedule of when each class meets together on-line to assist them in fitting “home-schooling” into their schedules.    Again, we are trying as closely as possible, to mimic our regular school days and times during this difficult period.

Then the third notice came out and Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman again came together and announced the extension of school closures through the end of the school year. We then re-evaluated what we had been doing and realized we could fine-tune our processes a bit more to enhance the learning experience for the students and to help the parents.  So began phase three.

Now, weekly homework is delivered with meals on Thursdays and the completed homework is picked up also on Thursdays.  This allows the students to be doing school work on the same days as when they are on campus, and the teachers are available to answer questions and offer any extra help as needed.  After monitoring the Zoom sessions for the first week, and seeing and speaking with the students, I realized that still more changes needed to be made.  It became apparent to me that the children were also missing their friends and the social interactions they enjoy at school. And I also felt it was important for the students to know that all of us working here at Ash Creek are keenly feeling their absence.  So what better way to facilitate that than to actively engage with each other through Zoom?

So here comes our fourth phase.  The students will now be on Zoom daily for art projects, science lessons, and just having time to hang out with their friends, (at school we call that recess).  Our dance class and band musicians will be having Zoom lessons with Ms. April Meek, and even though libraries across the nation are closed, our own Ms. Marian Baker- Gierlach, our school librarian, will be continuing the weekly story time with students using Zoom.

Our teachers are on duty and available to students and parents Monday-Thursday from 8:30am to 3:30pm, even though they are working remotely from home.  They keep a log of class times, meetings, phone calls, and text messages with both the students and parents. Testing once a week with the Beyond Textbook formatives still proceeds, providing yet more consistency for the students.  And the annual post-test through Galileo will still happen in May as usual.  However, the annual state testing has been suspended for this school year.

 

Mrs. Shepard and Mrs. Shiver would like to publicly acknowledge and thank Danelle Cosand from Maid Rite Feeds of Willcox for providing our school with several cases of shelf-stable milk and 1 oz. barbeque flavored meat sticks to add to our meal delivery service.

Essential staff working are required to take their temperature before beginning work. We are practicing the 6 foot distance apart as we go about our work, which is relatively easy as we are working in separate buildings for the most part.  All staff are washing hands frequently and Mr.  Richard Rubio has been making masks for all the employees.

Hopefully, this letter will help to reassure everyone that our goal during these times is the same as it has always been here at Ash Creek Elementary.  To provide the best possible education to all students.  Success Does Start Here.  We are teaching as normally as we can except that the students are at home.  We are positively looking forward to the return of all of our students.

Sincerely,

Sue Shepard, Principal

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Governor Ducey, Superintendent Hoffman Announce Extension Of School Closures Through End Of School Year

News Release

March 30, 2020

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman today announced the extension of Arizona school closures through the end of the school year. The extension follows updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an announcement from the White House extending physical distancing guidelines until April 30, 2020.

Governor Ducey and Superintendent Hoffman released the following joint statement:

“In alignment with yesterday’s updated federal guidance, today we are announcing the extension of school closures through the remainder of the school year. Today’s announcement is intended to give parents and educators as much certainty as possible so they can plan and make decisions. While this isn’t the outcome any of us wanted, we are grateful for the partnership of schools around the state, who have stepped up to offer virtual and take-home learning opportunities for our students. These efforts are crucial, and we recognize that schools are making every effort possible to continue providing instruction during closures. We also thank our legislative partners for passing legislation ensuring all educators and staff see no disruption in pay. Our number one priority will continue to be health and safety, and we will continue to work closely with public health officials to make the best decisions for kids, families, and our school communities.”

On March 27, Governor Ducey signed legislation to support schools during closures, ensure school letter grades are held harmless, suspend statewide testing requirements, ensure school days are not extended into the summer, require learning opportunities for students to continue, and ensure teachers and staff see no disruption in pay as a result of COVID-19.

That same week, the Governor joined Superintendent Hoffman to launch Arizona Enrichment Centers, which will offer childcare for first responders, critical healthcare workers, and essential public sector workers, including child safety workers.

Additional information about meals for kids, childcare, special education considerations, learning resources for families and educators and more can be found at azed.gov.

Today’s announcement applies to Arizona public schools, both district and charter. Private schools are required to remain closed in alignment with federal guidance recommending closures through at least April 30, 2020. School leaders have the option of announcing closures through the end of the year, or waiting for additional guidance.

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Dear Arizona families, educators, school leaders, and education community members,

 

We want to provide you the most up-to-date information on the status of Arizona’s school closures. Over the last week, we’ve worked side-by-side to keep parents and educators informed and provide resources to families to mitigate the impact of school closures.

 

We’re grateful for the continued partnership of our school administrators and education leaders around the state. And we thank the Arizona Department of Health Services for their continued coordination so we can keep kids safe and healthy.

 

Today, we are jointly announcing the extension of school closures through April 10, 2020. Our goal is to get kids safely back in the classroom as soon as possible while providing parents and educators certainty so they can plan and make decisions. We will continue to work together to determine what’s best for Arizona kids and schools in the face of COVID-19.

 

It’s important for families and parents to know that while this extension will continue to address operational issues, school closures will not stop the spread of COVID-19.

 

The safest place for children during this time is at home. They should not be cared for by elderly adults or those with underlying health conditions, including grandparents and other family members. We’ve teamed up with leaders in the non-profit, faith-based and business communities to make childcare available for those who need it. A list can be found on azed.gov.

 

We also appreciate the partnership of our state legislature in order to provide continued assistance and flexibility to our schools. On Thursday, legislators passed legislation to waive requirements related to educational assessments and ensure teacher and school staff pay is not disrupted, legislation that will be signed as soon as it is received by the Governor’s Office.

 

Daily meals continue to be provided at schools throughout our state to any child under 18. To view a list of meal sites, visit azed.gov. There you can also find additional information, such as special education considerations and learning resources for families and educators.

 

As it relates to graduation, the Arizona Department of Education is working with education leaders at the local, state and federal level to provide guidance to schools regarding high school graduation. We will provide additional information to schools in the coming days and weeks.

 

We are asking schools to continue to please adhere to the following measures during this period of closure:

 

·         School administrators should make every effort to provide continued education learning opportunities through online resources or materials that can be sent home.

 

·         School administrators should work with the Arizona Department of Education to provide breakfast and lunch services for Arizona students.

 

·         As demand rises on healthcare professionals and first responders, schools should consider expanding child care programs currently available to ensure minimal disruption to these critical jobs as a result of the school closure.

 

·         When school resumes, school administrators should develop and implement precautions to ensure schools are a safe learning environment, including social distancing measures, regular intervals for administrators to wash and sanitize their hands, and guidance on how to properly and frequently sanitize election equipment and common surfaces.

 

We are unified in our efforts to address COVID-19, and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding. Our number one priority is the health and safety of all our residents, especially our kids, and as facts and guidance change, we will monitor them closely and keep you updated.

 

For the latest information about COVID-19, please visit azhealth.gov. This website is updated daily with new information.

 

Sincerely,

 

Governor Doug Ducey & Superintendent Kathy Hoffman

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Ash Creek Elementary School District

6460 E Highway 181 Sunizona

The district will have a drive-thru system Starting Monday, March 23, the district will offer grab-and-go breakfast and lunch and the child or children must be in the vehicle. Breakfast times will be 9:00am-9:20am Lunch will be 12:00pm-12:20pm.

The site will be open Monday through Thursday and all children 18 years old and under are eligible.  

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Message from Governor Ducey

March 15, 2020

 

Dear Arizona families, educators, school leaders, and education community members,

 

In our roles as Governor and Superintendent of Public Instruction, we stand united in working with you to keep Arizona’s kids, families, and school communities safe and healthy.

 

Over the past few weeks and in coordination with public health officials, we have been in close communication with school administrators to provide guidance and be a resource as it relates to the recent outbreak of COVID-19. The health and safety of all our students is our top priority, and we’ve worked hard to keep our school doors open — these are important assets in people’s lives and many families rely on them for nutrition and access to health care.

 

Both of our staffs have been working together in partnership through the weekend, and we’ve been in touch with educational leaders on the frontlines. Currently, staffing and potential absences are a concern in many districts. Many schools and school districts have announced closures.

 

Today, we are jointly announcing the closure of all schools from Monday, March 16, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020. We will continue to work together and assess this situation on a 24/7 basis.

 

It’s important for families and parents to know that while this will address operational issues, doing this will not stop the spread of COVID-19.

 

The safest place for children during this time is at home. They should not be cared for by elderly adults or those with underlying health conditions, including grandparents and other family members.

 

Additionally, we are committed to working together to minimize the impact of these closures. To that end, we are assembling resources and forming community partnerships that will reduce the impact of these closures on families, teachers, and school communities.

 

Efforts are underway to ensure that any child has access to meals while schools are closed. We have also worked with USDA to allow schools to begin summer food service operations and provide boxed meals as needed. Your local school will have more information about how and where to access meals.

 

We understand many parents have questions about childcare options. It is the recommendation of public health officials that kids who are not at school remain at home to the greatest extent possible. For families for whom that’s not an option, we are coordinating with partners in the non-profit, faith-based and education communities to make available childcare options to families who need it.

 

For our dedicated school employees, we’re working together to make sure you don’t see any disruption to your pay. We’ll also be consulting with our district and legislative partners to determine the extent of any potential makeup days.

 

Many parents, teachers, and administrators may have questions about statewide testing. We’re currently engaging with our federal partners in the event that we need to secure a waiver.

 

The Department of Education will provide additional guidance to schools that will be posted to azed.gov. For the latest information about COVID-19, please visit azhealth.gov. This website is updated daily with new information.

 

We will continue to remain in close contact with state and public health officials to provide the most up-to-date information and ensure that the State of Arizona is doing everything we can to keep every member of our community healthy and safe.

 

We are asking schools to please adhere to the following measures during this period of closure:

·         School administrators should make every effort to provide continued education learning opportunities through online resources or materials that can be sent home.

·         School administrators should develop a plan to continue breakfast and lunch services for Arizona students.

·         As demand rises on healthcare professionals and first responders, schools should expand child care programs currently available to ensure minimal disruption to these critical jobs as a result of the school closure.

·         When school resumes, school administrators should develop and implement precautions to ensure schools are a safe learning environment, including social distancing measures, regular intervals for administrators to wash and sanitize their hands, and guidance on how to properly and frequently sanitize election equipment and common surfaces.

 

Sincerely,

 

Governor Doug Ducey & Superintendent Kathy Hoffman

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Coronavirus Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Here at Ash Creek Elementary School, we take the health and safety of our students, staff and community very seriously. So at this time we feel it is necessary to cancel all school gatherings which include our Annual Track Meet, Taiko Drummers, Reading Challenge and cookout until further notice. Starting Monday March 16, 2020 Ash Creek Elementary School District is currently closed for Spring Break. School is currently still scheduled to resume operations after Spring Break on Monday, March 23rd. Please know that we are monitoring the spread of this infectious disease closely, alongside Cochise County Department of Public Health and Arizona Department of Health Services. In addition, officials assure us that the risk in our community is currently low. This is a good time to review preventative measures we can all take to stop the spread of respiratory viruses. It is recommended that you conduct frequent hand washing, avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick. A reminder that students with a fever should stay home until they are fever-free for 24 hours without taking any fever reducing medications. Students also need to be free of respiratory symptoms. Know that our school district is taking precautions inside of our classrooms, in order to ensure a healthy learning environment for your children, such as disinfecting of learning, eating and play spaces, as well as encouraging our staff to take proper preventative measures. Teachers will be incorporating routine hand washing throughout the day and reiterating to all students proper handwashing techniques. We will keep you updated with any developments that could impact our families or school. All communication from our district with updates will be sent to you using One Call. Please make sure you have a current phone number listed with the school.

Things that everyone should do to prevent the spread of all respiratory illnesses include: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

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

Sincerely, Sue Shepard/Principal

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AZ School District Spending Fiscal Year 2019

Ash Creek ESD

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