• 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.

    There is no known connection, at this time, between the individuals with the virus and the Balsz School District.

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

  • Balsz District Families and Staff:

    Today, Governor Ducey announced the closure of all schools for the remainder of the school year. https://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2020/03/governor-ducey-superintendent-hoffman-announce-extension-school-closures

    The Balsz School District will continue to provide online learning opportunities for our students. Please go here: balsz.org/familyhub  for more information about connecting with your teacher and learning.  
    We will continue to update our website with information, including resources for families at: www.balsz.org

    For now, we will continue to serve breakfast and lunch at both Brunson-Lee and Tillman, from 7:00a.m.-1:00p.m. Monday-Friday.

    Brunson-Lee is located at 1350 N. 48th St                  Tillman Middle School is located at 4309 E. Belleview.

    Please ensure that you remain in your car and ensure 6 feet or more of distance if you walk up. We want to keep our employees and you safe and healthy.

    Let’s do our part as Balsz District to stop the spread of this virus:

    • Clean your hands often
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with others
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • March 27, 2020

    There is a new statewide hotline that residents can call with questions related to COVID-19. It is available in both English and Spanish, and can be reached by dialing 2-1-1 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    The hotline will provide information on:

    • how to prepare for and prevent the spread of COVID-19;
    • testing for COVID-19 as it becomes available;
    • who is at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19;
    • what to do if you get sick; and
    • where to find the most up-to-date and accurate information (e.g., the CDC).

    You can also visit https://arizonatogether.org/ for additional resources for families from the state of Arizona and DES.

  • March 25, 2020

    Balsz District Families:

    We are pleased to inform you that starting Monday, March 30 we will have a second location for breakfast and lunch distribution!

    FREE breakfast and lunch 
    Both served together from 7 am to 1 pm, Monday - Friday


    Tillman Middle School - 4309 E. Belleview St.
                (Parking lot on corner of 44th St. and Belleview St.)
    Brunson-Lee Elementary - 1350 N. 48th St.

    Check our website for more information www.balsz.org

  • March 20, 2020

    Arizona Governor Ducey just announced that schools will remain closed for an additional two weeks through April 10.

    Balsz School District will continue to keep you updated via our website www.balsz.org and our social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).

    Breakfast and lunch will continue to be served next week Monday, March 23-Friday, March 27 at Tillman Middle School from 7am-1pm.

    Balsz Teachers will continue to meet with students via online. Please visit balsz.org/familyhub for information on this and resources to help families!

    Please remember, we are all in this together! Let’s do our part to stop the spread of this virus:

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Put distance between yourself and other people (at least 6 feet or more).
    • Avoid groups
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
      • Always wash immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person.
    • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available and hands are not visibly dirty, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
    • Additional key times to clean hands include:
      • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
      • After using the restroom
      • Before eating or preparing food
      • After contact with animals or pets
      • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

    Balsz School District hopes you are all being safe and stay healthy during these challenging times.

  • March 18, 2020

    CONNECT WITH BALSZ TEACHERS- Beginning Thursday, March 19th

    Balsz School District is committed to ensuring our students and families connect with their exceptional teachers during this time of school closure. Phase 1 of teaching and learning virtually will begin on Thursday, March 18, 2020. Each school day, Balsz Teachers will hold “virtual” office hours. We will use the platform Google Classroom, and the feature, Google Hangouts Meet. Please visit https://www.balsz.org/ later this evening for more information.

  • March 16, 2020

    FREE Breakfast and Lunch starting Tuesday, March 17th!

    -Breakfast & Lunch served together 7am to 1pm
    -Tillman Middle School, 4309 E. Belleview St. (off of 44th St.)
    -Free meals to all children 18 and younger
    -No paperwork required
    -Children must be present to receive a meal
    -Adult meals will not be available
    -Meals are grab-and-go style and should be consumed offsite.

  • March 16, 2020

    Balsz Students, Staff, Families, and Community:

    All Balsz District Schools are closed per the Governor’s directive until March 27, 2020. Balsz District is currently working on food distribution plans. We will begin breakfast and lunch distribution starting Tuesday, March 17. Please be sure to check our website at www.balsz.org for updates about when and where food distribution will be. We will also send out a phone blast with that information as well.

    We will continue to update our website and social media pages to ensure communication with our Balsz Community during this time, as well as, phone communications. Be sure to contact your school office to update information so we can communicate with you:

    Brunson-Lee 602.629.6900
    Crockett: 602.629.6600
    Griffith: 602.629.6700
    OELC: 602.629.6800
    Tillman: 602.629.6500
    District Office: 602.629.6400

    Check us out here: www.balsz.org
    Facebook page: Balsz School District
    Instagram: @BalszSD
    Twitter: @BalszSD

    Please be sure to practice social distancing and good hygiene all the time:


    • Avoid in-person meetings. Use online conferencing, email or the phone when possible, even when people are in the same building. Unavoidable in-person meetings should be short, in a large meeting room where people can sit at least three feet from each other; avoid shaking hands.
    • Eliminate unnecessary travel and cancel or postpone nonessential meetings, gatherings, workshops and training sessions.
    • Do not congregate in work rooms, pantries, copier rooms or other areas where people socialize.
    • Keep six feet apart when possible.
    • Bring lunch and eat at your desk or away from others (avoid lunchrooms and crowded restaurants).
    • Avoid public transportation (walk, cycle, drive a car) or go early or late to avoid rush-hour crowding on public transportation.
    • Limit recreational or other leisure classes, meetings, activities, etc., where close contact with others is likely.


    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
      • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
      • Throw used tissues in the trash.
      • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Stay home if you’re sick. Report your absence via Aesop as usual. Please be sure to notify your supervisor.
    • If you become sick while at work, please report your absence via Aesop and notify your supervisor before leaving.
  • March 14, 2020

    Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these uncharted times pertaining to COVID-19. Your safety and health is important to us. Please know that we have already taken action to ensure a clean environment. All Balsz District Schools, the district office, and the transportation/technology areas were disinfected on March 14, 2020. This disinfectant spray was applied in and out of classrooms and offices and to high touch areas.

    As of the date of this letter, per the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Arizona level of Community COVID-19 spread is minimal and there are no known cases of COVID-19 in our district. We are implementing the social distancing guidelines to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

    We are working on plans for food distribution and will share that information soon. Please continue to check back here or on our website.

  • March 13, 2020

    Dear Balsz District Staff, Students, and Families,

    Thank you for your continued support and patience as our District works collaboratively with local, state, and school leadership including Arizona health officials to make informed decisions on behalf of our community related to Coronavirus/COVID-19.

    Yesterday, Balsz School District sent out communication to staff and families regarding the status of our schools and district.  We recently learned that Phoenix Union High School District is closing their schools for a week, and other neighboring districts are closing their schools. In consultation with our governing board, for the safety of our students, and for the consistency of our families, many of whom attend Phoenix Union, Balsz School District has decided at this time that it is necessary to CLOSE schools for students for at least one week, March 16-20, 2020.  Please be aware that school closures may last well beyond one week.

    For all Balsz District Staff, the week of March 16-20 will be a work week as we prepare for a possible long-term closure.  We will update staff daily, as this could change. Of course, if employees are sick or unable to come in, employees are to follow normal absence reporting procedures.

    Within the next few days, Balsz School District will release comprehensive plans for staff, students, and families, which will include details about possible access to online learning, available resources, and expectations for staff throughout the closure. We urge you to continue to monitor our website, social media pages, emails, texts, and phone calls for up to date information.  

    Thank you for your continued support, understanding, and trust during these challenging times. 

    Dr. Jeffrey J. Smith

  • March 12th Update #2:

    Greetings Balsz School District Students and Families:

    We received information today from Governor Doug Ducey, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, and Director of Arizona Department of Health Services, Dr. Cara Christ who advised school leaders regarding COVID-19 or Coronavirus.

    At this time, they recommend that schools remain OPEN due to minimal transmission of the virus. As such, we will be open on Monday, March 16.

    As we have previously been sharing, the recommended guidelines are:        

    • If your child has a fever, is sick, or showing any respiratory illness symptoms,please keep your child home AND report your child’s absence to the school.
    • Teach your child to cough into his/her elbow or a tissue. Make sure you throw the tissue out after using it.
    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing the ABC or Happy Birthday song) or use a 60% alcohol-based sanitizer.
    • Keep your hands away from your face.
    • Avoid close contact with sick people

    Our teachers and staff will continue to teach students the same guidelines when they are at school.

    Should anything change, we will update you accordingly. We will continue to work with the Department of Health Services to ensure the safety of our students and staff.

    We look forward to seeing you on Monday, March 16. 

  • March 12th Update:

    Dear Balsz District Students and Families:

    The Balsz School District is coordinating with local public health agencies including the Maricopa County Department of Public Health as we monitor the global outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
    We are following the health department’s lead with regard to quarantines, closures or other necessary health measures.

    The Balsz School District will continue to do its part to ensure the safety of all students and staff members. As always, we encourage those who feel ill to remain at home, and particularly if they meet the county’s Persons Under Investigation Criteria, https://www.maricopa.gov/…/V…/58538/HCP_PUI_testing_criteria.
    In the meantime, the county recommends taking the following precautions to reduce your risk of spreading or contracting viruses.

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • 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.

    In sharing this information, our intent is to provide factual information about Coronavirus COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and update families and staff as we know more. For more about the county’s recommendations with regard to COVID-19, visit https://www.maricopa.gov/5460/Coronavirus-Disease-2019


    What is Coronavirus Disease?

    • A coronavirus causes diseases ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory illness. 
    • The COVID-19 virus is a new strain which has a more severe impact in terms of respiratory illness, with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. 
    • There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, but there is a vaccine for seasonal flu, which is recommended for all people over the age of 6 months. 
    • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people get infected with a coronavirus at some point in their lives.

    Will meals be provided for students? 

    Yes, Balsz District will provide FREE breakfast and lunch (picked up together) at Tillman Middle School (4309 E. Belleview St, off of 44th St.) 7:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday through Friday. Meals are free to all children 18 and younger and no paperwork is provided, but children must be present to receive a meal. Adult meals will not be available. Meals are grab-and-go style and should be consumed offsite.

    What happens if a case is detected that impacts a school?

    If at any time there is a confirmed case in our district by health officials, Balsz School District will immediately and directly inform students, parents, staff and our community, as well as work with local health officials to implement a plan to best support students and staff. 

    What can students, families and staff do?

    • Be aware of symptoms of illness and stay home if you are not feeling well.
    • Follow best practices for prevention of the spread of viruses, including COVID- 19 and the common cold or flu: wash hands frequently; do not touch eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands; cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing; and get a flu shot.
    • Respect the privacy of students and staff, and take steps to prevent discrimination.
    • Ensure contact information is up-to-date in the event that large group notifications are sent by phone, email, and text message.
    • Keep yourself up-to-date on what the Maricopa County Health Department, the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control suggest.
    • Be personally prepared: 
      • Make sure you have a supply of all essential medications for your family.
      • Make a childcare plan in case you or a caregiver become sick.
      • Make arrangements about how your family would manage if there is a school closure.
      • Make a plan for how you can care for a sick family member without getting sick yourself.

    How can I protect myself against COVID-19?

    The CDC recommends taking the same measures you would do to prevent getting or spreading the common flu. These include:

    • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are approved for student and staff use.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue, then immediately dispose of the tissue. If tissues are unavailable, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow, then wash your hands.
    • Stay up-to-date with the flu vaccine and all other vaccinations.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home if you are sick and do not return to work or school until your temperature is below 100 degrees, without the use of fever-reducing medication, for at least 24 hours.

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

    For individual health concerns, please contact your healthcare provider or call the designated Coronavirus Hotline at 1-844-542-8201.