FAQs for Families
What are the options for the 2021-22 school year?
Parents will have two choices for sending their children to school:
1) In-person learning in the classroom with public safety measures in place.
2) Balsz Online Academy, which will be full-time online learning.
At Balsz School District, we understand that many of our families have to work to make ends meet and are unable to accommodate at-home learning. We also know that our students benefit from learning in the classroom environment as much as possible. While this is a difficult decision, a great deal of planning has gone into making sure students, teachers and staff are as safe as possible when we resume in-person instruction. If the public health environment changes or the state of Arizona issues additional mandates concerning in-person instruction, we will follow those mandates as presented.
For in-person learning, what safety practices are being put into place?
The Balsz School District has done extensive research and is adhering to state and federal guidelines to ensure the in-person learning environment is as safe as possible. As a result, we’re implementing a number of enhanced safety measures, including:
— All individuals will be required to wear masks
— Classrooms have been re-organized to accommodate social distancing
— Custodial services have been doubled, with extensive disinfection during the day
— Students will be given daily temperature checks prior to boarding their school bus or entering their school
For families that choose online distance learning, what accommodations are available to ensure its effectiveness?
The Balsz School District will be implementing adopted district curriculum, Canvas, and Microsoft Teams to provide a platform for students to learn remotely. Teachers will communicate with students through Canvas, Microsoft Teams, email, and/or phone.
Students who participate in online learning will be provided with a laptop and access to a WiFi hotspot so that they can participate in online learning. Additionally, parents may pick up meals for those students weekly at their child’s school.
What precautions are being taken to protect teachers and staff as schools open?
We are taking every precaution to ensure our workplace is safe. We are following federal health and safety guidelines as well as guidance from our state and local governments and are implementing social distancing practices to keep our workplace healthy. We are requiring all individuals to wear facemasks and/or maintain at least six feet social distancing when interacting in person with others.
What will happen if a student or teacher contracts or tests positive for COVID-19?
If a positive test or diagnosis takes place, teachers and students in the classroom will be asked to self-quarantine for 5 days. Once that period is complete and no symptoms are occurring, in-classroom instruction may resume.
What is the required temperature for sending a student home?
The School Health Office will send students home that have temperatures at or above 100.4 degrees.
May children wear face shields instead of masks?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children 2 years and older should wear “cloth face coverings” when they are in a community setting to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. When a mask impedes a child’s ability to breathe normally, or when they are unable to remove the mask on their own if needed, the CDC recommends that a face covering should not be worn.
Preschool and elementary students can benefit from wearing masks if they do not touch their mouths or noses a lot. Secondary school students should wear face masks, especially when they can’t stay a safe distance apart.
Will elementary school students have the opportunity to have recess outside?
Yes, children will have recess outdoors at normal intervals during the day.
What are the expectations for families/students who want to apply for Balsz Online Academy?
— Visit balsz.org/balszonlineacademy to watch a video and learn more.
Who should I contact if I have additional questions?
Please call the District Office at 602.629.6400 if you have any questions.