• Balsz School District has continued to monitor all news and activity regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). In alignment with Governor Doug Ducey’s declaration of a public health emergency for the State of Arizona, Balsz has been proactively planning for all possible scenarios for our schools.

    Any updates will be posted here and on our social media, and families will be notified via phone call, text, and/or email

    As of 3/25                                                                    As of 4/1
    previous metrics    current metrics

    report
    Click here for a guide on understanding the Report.
    For more information, visit Maricopa County School Metrics

    Last updated 4/8/2021

  • February 16, 2021

    Dear Balsz School District families and students:

    We have been out of our school buildings full-time for nearly one year. Over the past nine months, we’ve provided your children the best learning practices available during the pandemic through virtual learning and learning hubs.

    We are now ready to return to school due to the reduction in cases in our community and the availability of COVID-19 vaccines for our teachers. I am very thankful for the fast work of the scientists who developed the COVID-19 vaccines and to our state for prioritizing the vaccination of educators. Teachers were offered vaccines early in the process with the expectation that schools could reopen once educators were protected. Balsz staff participated in vaccine clinics in January and again in late February, which I hope helps you feel comfortable sending your child back to school.

    Here is our plan for reopening our schools:

    • Monday, February 22 - Principals, Assistant Principals, Administrative Assistants and District Office staff return
    • Monday, March 1 – Teachers return to their classrooms to prepare to educate our students in person.
    • March 8-12 – Spring Break
    • Monday, March 15 – Students and staff return to school.

    We will follow our Pandemic Team recommendations to keep our students and teachers safe as we reopen, including:

    • Face masks must be worn at all times.
    • Plexiglass dividers will separate students at their desks.
    • Students will have their temperature checked when arriving on campus.
    • Social distancing of at least 6 feet will be required.
    • We will promote frequent hand washing among staff and students.
    • Cleaning protocols will ensure all classrooms, buses and public areas are disinfected regularly.
    • A COVID-19 notification process will be used by each school principals in the event anyone tests positive.

    We are choosing to bring students back to in-person learning knowing that:

    • Families have a choice
    • We are taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19
    • There are fewer COVID-19 cases in the community
    • Vaccination will be strong among all staff and in our multigenerational homes

    I truly believe the final months of the school year will go smoothly. We look forward to seeing all our students when school reopens on March 15. Until then, keep taking care of yourselves and one another.

    Dr. Arleen Kennedy, Superintendent

    Gail Q. Knight, Governing Board President
    Todd Schwarz, Governing Board Vice President
    Cesar Aguilar, Governing Board Member
    Muktar Shiekh, Governing Board Member
    Redeem Robinson, Governing Board Member

  • January 16, 2021

    Dear Balsz Families:

    After careful review of the COVID-19 data from the Maricopa County Department of Health Services, we have determined that we cannot open school on Tuesday, January 19, even for a small number of students. This is a change from the communication we sent out last week and is in the best interest of the health and safety of our students and staff.

    All Balsz schools will remain closed until further notice. This means that special education students and students of essential workers will NOT return to school on January 19 as previously communicated. ALL students will continue learning remotely for now.

    I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will continue to monitor the data to ensure we are making decisions that support the health of our students and staff. You will receive advance notice when we have a date for ALL students to return to school.
    We are committed to the safety and education of our students. Please let your child’s principal or teacher know if you need assistance with online learning.

    I appreciate your understanding and flexibility during this unprecedented time. I will be in touch soon to keep you informed. Believe in Balsz!

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Arleen Kennedy, Superintendent 

    Gail Q. Knight, Governing Board President
    Todd Schwarz, Governing Board Vice President
    Cesar Aguilar, Governing Board Member
    Muktar Shiekh, Governing Board Member
    Redeem Robinson, Governing Board Member

December Update from the Superintendent

  • November 19, 2020

    Dear Balsz School District Family,

    Over the past few weeks, the state of Arizona has seen an increased spike in the COVID-19 cases. We, as the District Administration, began tracking the impact of these spikes in our District. The safety of our students, faculty and staff remain our top priority.

    The transmission ‘risk’ level for the Balsz School District overall has changed. The review of this week’s data shows that the COVID-19 cases are rising too fast for us not to take precautions. Therefore, we are returning to virtual learning.

    We will be open with limited capacity to support students with Special Needs and students of essential workers. We encourage you, as much as possible, to keep your children in your safe home environment.

    Please have your students prepared to work in a virtual environment from November 23, 2020 until January 4, 2021.

    To combat the pandemic, especially during these times of anticipated holiday gatherings and travel, students should continue their learning remotely.

    To keep your family healthy, please follow these recommendations from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

    • If you gather with people outside your household, meet outside, social distance and wear masks.
    • Wear a mask in public, wash your hands frequently and stay at least 6 feet away from people you do not live with.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • Be on the lookout for COVID-19 symptoms:
      • Fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, chills, headaches, diarrhea, and nausea or vomiting, cough, new loss of taste or smell.
    • If you are exposed to someone with the virus, stay home for 14 days.

    Should a need arise to extend beyond January 4, you will be informed promptly. We will continue to monitor and track the cases. Please continue your child’s education through our virtual setting.  We look forward to continuing to support student academic success.

    Please know how important it is for us to keep our students safe. Thank you for supporting your children during this difficult time.       Believe in Balsz!

    Dr. Arleen Kennedy, Balsz Superintendent

    Channel Powe, Governing Board President
    Cesar Aguilar, Governing Board Vice President
    Gail Q. Knight, Governing Board Member
    Todd Schwarz, Governing Board Member
    Derrence B. White, Governing Board Member

     

    19 de Noviembre, 2020

    Estimadas familias del Distrito Escolar Balsz,

    Estas últimas semanas el estado de Arizona ha visto un incremento en los casos de COVID-19.  Nosotros, como Administración del Distrito, empezamos a hacerle seguimiento al impacto de este incremento en nuestro Distrito.  La seguridad de nuestros estudiantes, de la facultad y del personal sigue permaneciendo nuestra más alta prioridad.

    El nivel del ‘riesgo’ de transmisión para el Distrito Escolar Balsz ha cambiado en general.  La revisión de los datos de esta semana muestra que los casos de COVID-19 están incrementando demasiado rápido para que nosotros no tomemos las precauciones necesarias.  Debido a esto, estamos regresando al aprendizaje virtual.  

    Estaremos abiertos con capacidad limitada para el apoyo a los estudiantes con necesidades especiales y estudiantes de trabajadores esenciales.  Les animamos, tanto como sea posible, mantener a sus hijos a salvo en el entorno seguro del hogar.  

    Por favor, tengan a sus hijos listos para trabajar en el entorno virtual del 23 de noviembre, 2020  hasta el 4 de enero, 2021.

    Para combatir la pandemia, especialmente durante estos tiempos de reuniones previstas por las fiestas, además de viajes, los estudiantes deberán de continuar su aprendizaje virtualmente. 

    Para mantener a su familia saludable, por favor sigan estas recomendaciones del Departamento de Servicios de Salud de Arizona

    • Si se reúnen con personas fuera de su hogar, o se reúnen afuera, hagan distancia social y usen mascarillas.
    • Usen mascarillas en público, lávense las manos frecuentemente y manténganse a 6 pies de distancia de personas con las que no viven.
    • Quédense en casa cuando esten enfermos.
    • Cúbranse cuando tosen o estornuden.
    • Limpien y desinfecten frecuentemente objetos y superficies tocadas.
    • Estén atentos a los síntomas de COVID-19:
      • Fiebre, falta de aire, dolor de garganta, escalofríos, dolor de cabeza, diarrea, náuseas, vómitos, tos o pérdida del sentido del sabor u olfato.
    • Si han estado expuestos a alguien con el virus, quédense en casa por 14 días.

    Si sucediera que habría la necesidad de extender el cierre más allá del 4 de enero, se les informará de inmediato.  Continuamos haciendo seguimiento a los casos.  Por favor, continúen con la educación de su hijo a través del entorno virtual.  Estamos deseando continuar apoyando a su hijo en el éxito académico.  

    Por favor, sepan cuán importante es para nosotros el mantener a su estudiante seguro.  Gracias por apoyar a su hijo durante este tiempo difícil.      ¡Crean en Balsz! 

    Dra. Arleen Kennedy, Superintendente

    Channel Powe, Presidente de la mesa directiva
    Cesar Aguilar, Vice Presidente de la mesa directiva
    Gail Q. Knight, Miembro de la mesa directiva
    Todd Schwarz, Miembro de la mesa directiva
    Derrence B. White, Miembro de la mesa directiva

  • November 13, 2020

    Dear Balsz School District Family,

    Over the past few weeks, the state of Arizona has seen an increased spike in the COVID-19 cases. We, as the District Administration, began actively researching the impact of these spikes on our District. We want to ensure that the safety of our students, faculty and staff remain our top priority.

    The transmission ‘risk’ level for the Balsz School District overall is still moderate with a recommendation to remain Hybrid with on-site support. However, this week’s metric numbers show a spike in 40 cases, with an increase in positivity rate as well; but a constant in COVID-like symptoms.

    As one week’s data can be considered an anomaly, we want to ensure that we are making the decision concerning closing schools and reverting to virtual learning based upon a mitigation of all variances to include; but not limited to, change in weather patterns and population density.

    Out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of students, I am proposing the following upcoming actions:

    1. On November 19th, when metrics are released, if the district has seen its second week of substantial (red) coding in the data concerning an increase in cases and the positivity rate*, we will revert to virtual learning beginning the 23rd of November and resume classes no sooner than January 4, 2021.

    This will allow you as the parent the week of the Thanksgiving Holidays to begin preparing for their childcare needs and other concerns they may have.

    We will still have to provide the learning ‘hubs’, but we encourage you, as much as possible, to keep your children home safe.

    We will inform you if we will close on the 20th . Please continue sending your students until notified otherwise.

    We want each of you to know how important it is for us to keep each of you safe while not creating a learning loss environment that will hinder our students’ success in the future. Thank you for your continued efforts to educate the students of the Balsz School District. This is a clear indicator that each of you…. Believe in Balsz!

    Arleen Kennedy, ED.D, Balsz Superintendent
    Channel Powe, Governing Board President
    Cesar Aguilar, Governing Board Vice President
    Gail Q. Knight, Governing Board Member
    Todd Schwarz, Governing Board Member
    Derrence B. White, Governing Board Member

     

    13 de noviembre, 2020

    Estimada familia del distrito escolar de Balsz,

    Durante las últimas semanas, el estado de Arizona ha experimentado un aumento en los casos de COVID-19. Nosotros, como la Administración del Distrito, comenzamos a investigar activamente el impacto de estos picos en nuestro Distrito. Queremos asegurarnos de que la seguridad de nuestros estudiantes, profesores y personal siga siendo nuestra principal prioridad.

    El nivel de "riesgo" de transmisión para el Distrito Escolar de Balsz en general sigue siendo moderado, con la recomendación de seguir siendo Híbrido con apoyo en el lugar. Sin embargo, las cifras métricas de esta semana muestran un aumento en 40 casos, con un aumento en la tasa de positividad también; pero una constante en los síntomas de tipo COVID.

    Como los datos de una semana pueden considerarse una anomalía, queremos asegurarnos de que estamos tomando la decisión de cerrar las escuelas y volver al aprendizaje virtual en función de la mitigación de todas las variaciones a incluir; pero no limitado a cambios en los patrones climáticos y densidad de población.

    Por precaución y por la seguridad de los estudiantes, propongo las siguientes acciones futuras:

    1. El 19 de noviembre, cuando se publiquen las métricas, si el distrito ha visto su segunda semana de codificación sustancial (roja) en los datos relacionados con un aumento en los casos y la tasa de positividad *, volveremos al aprendizaje virtual a partir del 20 de noviembre. y reanudar las clases a más tardar el 4 de enero de 2021.

    Esto le permitirá a usted, como padre, durante la semana de las vacaciones de Acción de Gracias, comenzar a prepararse para sus necesidades de cuidado de niños y otras preocupaciones que puedan tener.

    Aún tendremos que proporcionar los "centros" de aprendizaje, pero lo alentamos, en la medida de lo posible, a mantener seguros a sus hijos en casa.

    Te informaremos si cerramos el día 20. Continúe enviando a sus estudiantes hasta que se le notifique lo contrario.

    Queremos que cada uno de ustedes sepa lo importante que es para nosotros mantenerlos a salvo sin crear un entorno de pérdida de aprendizaje que obstaculice el éxito de nuestros estudiantes en el futuro. Gracias por sus continuos esfuerzos para educar a los estudiantes del Distrito Escolar de Balsz. Este es un indicador claro de que cada uno de ustedes…. ¡Cree en Balsz!

    Arleen Kennedy, ED.D, Superintendente
    Channel Powe, Presidente de la mesa directiva
    Cesar Aguilar, Vice Presidente de la mesa directiva
    Gail Q. Knight, Miembro de la mesa directiva
    Todd Schwarz, Miembro de la mesa directiva
    Derrence B. White, Miembro de la mesa directiva

If you are having trouble viewing the document, you may download the document.
  • September 30, 2020

    Dear Parents/Guardians and Students of Balsz School District:

    As we prepare for students and staff to return to the 2nd quarter in the Balsz School District, I want to assure you of the District’s on-going commitment to your child’s safety as our highest priority and that the District is working diligently to ensure that during this time of crisis, education of all students is still our primary focus.

    The District is working cooperatively with community resources to ensure that our students return knowing that the Balsz School District will continue to be a safe haven for students and their educational needs. As such, this letter will outline Quarter 2 school reopening plans and share pertinent information with you in order to facilitate your decision regarding the return of your student to the classroom or continue online distance learning.

    Return to School Plans

    The district will offer the opportunity for K-5 students to return to the classroom on October 12, 2020 and continue the FLVS platform, pending no Executive Order that contradicts school district plans.

    The district will still offer online distance learning opportunities for K-5 families who wish to remain online; but in-person criteria applies. School administrators will determine the number of online participants and share the parameters of the online option.

    Grades 6-8 will continue the online FLVS platform, with the opportunity for parents to select an in-person option for Quarter 2.

    Please remember that your choice for Quarter 2 will remain in effect until the start of Quarter 3.

    School Safety/COVID-19 Pandemic Team

    The District’s Pandemic Team will govern strict adherence to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Each school will have a Pandemic Crisis Guide that will outline our practices and procedures.

    Safety Measures

    • Use of partitions to provide single workspace opportunities
    • Mask requirements for Teacher and Students (*certain exclusions may apply)
    • Hand sanitizer and hand washing stations throughout the campus
    • Disinfecting surfaces throughout the day
    • Daily temperature checks
    • Mandatory social distancing practices

    The Parent Academy and Balsz District online Family Hub (www.balsz.org/familyhub) will continue to provide parents and guardians with appropriate information regarding safety measures to ensure the healthy existence of all members of the Balsz family.

    Non-negotiable Requirements

    • Students will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing.
      • Teachers will work with students in educating the importance of wearing masks.
      • Students will receive or have received two (2) washable masks free of charge.
    • All visitors to any campus will be required to have temperature checks and follow the mask protocol established by the Governor.

    We feel it is important for our families to understand our plan of action for the coming school term. We look forward to you seeking out your school to answer any additional questions that you may have. 

    Arleen M. Kennedy, Ed.D, Superintendent

    #BelieveinBalsz

Links to Additional Information and Resources

  • AZ Department of Health Services Recommendations: What to do if a family member is sick?
  • COVID-19 Waiver (required for all students attending one of the Balsz District Schools in person)
  • Maricopa County Health Department COVID-19 Resources
  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Updates & Resources
  • Family Resource Hub: information about community resources for health and finances, technology help, and tech tutorials for families and students.
  • Balsz Facebook
  • What is Coronavirus Disease?

  • What can students and families do?

  • How can I protect myself against COVID-19?

  • If families or staff have health inquiries, what should they do?

CLOSE
CLOSE