Our highest priority is keeping Arizonans healthy, safe, and economically secure.

Arizonans: the fastest way to get assistance or info. from our office is to email casework@sinema.senate.gov.

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SCHOOL REOPENING

We understand that this crisis has severely disrupted the lives of Arizona students, families, and teachers. School districts across Arizona have temporarily switched to distance learning, and many parents have expressed concern about when and how schools will reopen. 

This section includes up-to-date information on school reopening guidance and resources for students, families, and teachers to start the new school year.

Each Arizona school district has its own plan for the fall 2020 semester, so please check your school district’s website for specific information about school reopening.

Per Executive Order 2020-51, the Arizona Department of Health Services released public health criteria to be used by schools to determine when it is safe to reopen for traditional in-person classroom instruction on August 6, 2020. Read the Arizona Department of Health Services guidelines to “Safely Returning to In-Person Instruction” and their three recommended benchmarks (cases, percent positivity, COVID-like illnesses) HERE.

The Arizona Department of Health Services has also created a data dashboard to see whether your county has met the three recommended school benchmarks HERE.

GOVERNOR’S PLAN

Governor Doug Ducey ordered all Arizona public schools to delay reopening for in-person classes until at least August 17, 2020. On July 23, 2020, Governor Ducey announced the “Arizona: Open for Learning” plan to provide reopening guidelines and increase funding for eligible schools.

  • Each school district and charter school must offer teacher-led distance learning starting on the first day of their traditional instructional calendar.
  • Local school leaders will make the determination on when to physically open for regular classes.
  • Schools will develop and implement face covering policies for students and staff.

Further information about Governor Ducey’s “Arizona: Open for Learning” plan can be found HERE.

AZ DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

The Arizona Superintendent compiled guidance for schools navigating reopening in the fall. Check the Arizona Department of Education website HERE for information on their “Roadmap for Reopening Schools” and other resources for teachers.

Please check the Arizona Department of Education’s website for further updates, HERE

The Arizona Department of Education has also compiled a Virtual Resource Hub for teachers, which can be found HERE

Arizona Virtual Teacher Institute: The Arizona Department of Education, Helios Education Foundation, and Arizona State University are offering free distance learning training through the Arizona Virtual Teacher Institute that will be provided at no cost to Arizona’s K–12 public schools and teachers. More information about ASU Prep Digital’s Arizona Virtual Teacher Institute can be found HERE.

NATIONAL GUIDANCE

The Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC) has released GUIDELINES to help school administrators operate schools during the COVID-19 crisis.

The U.S. Department of Education has developed COVID-19 resources for schools and school personnel, which can be found HERE.

The Library of Congress resources to help teachers navigate distance learning on their website HERE. More Library of Congress education resources can be found HERE.

RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES

The delay in reopening schools presents challenges to Arizona students and families, including an increased need for child care. Without in-person instruction, children who lack adequate broadband at home or rely on school lunches for daily nutrition face unique challenges. This section includes resources to help families make informed decisions and access important resources during the crisis.

DECISION-MAKING TOOLS

The CDC has released a decision-making tool HERE to help guide parents and guardians as they face difficult choices about how their child will return to school in the fall.

The CDC also provides tips and checklists to help families plan for different types of learning environments HERE

BROADBAND ACCESS 

Many students rely on distance learning to keep up with their education during this crisis. These resources may help students and their families with broadband access to support distance learning. 

Lifeline is a federal program that makes communications services, including internet access, more affordable for low-income Americans. Certain program limitations have been waived to help increase internet access during the COVID-19 crisis. Please visit their website HERE for more information and to determine if you are eligible for this program.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has negotiated agreements with many internet providers across the country to waive late fees, not cut off service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots for increased internet access during the COVID-19 crisis. If you are unsure of available providers please visit HERE. If you have questions regarding providers’ COVID-19 policies please visit the FCC website HERE or check an individual provider’s website for more information. 

More information on low-cost broadband options can be found HERE. Cox Communications has extended its Connect2Compete program for qualifying families with a K-12 student at home until June 30, 2021. (Please note: we do not endorse any internet service providers.)

THIS map shows locations of free WiFi hotspots across Arizona.

The Arizona Commerce Authority and Arizona Dept of Education have set up a mobile hotspot donation drive for students in need. Visit the website HERE to donate.

FREE AND REDUCED LUNCHES

Free and reduced price lunches and breakfasts offered at Arizona schools are provided by local school districts. Please contact your district for more information or to fill out a school meal application.

Many schools in Arizona are serving free grab and go meals at this time. For a map of locations, contact information, and meal times, please visit HERE.

More information on food assistance can be found HERE.

CHILD CARE

For more information about child care in Arizona and to see if your family is eligible for assistance, visit the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) website HERE

Visit Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) for more information and resources to help families looking for child care, HERE

The State of Arizona set up Arizona Enrichment Centers to provide child care to frontline workers across the state. For more information about eligibility and to register, please visit the website HERE

The Valley of the Sun YMCA offers multiple child care options across Arizona. Visit their website HERE for more information.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

For digital Pre K-12 learning resources, please visit the PBS website HERE.

Additional distance learning resources from Arizona Public Media and Arizona PBS can be found HERE and HERE.

If you need help getting school supplies or finding an afterschool program, please email casework@sinema.senate.gov.

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Federal coronavirus-response legislation: click HERE.

Specific actions Kyrsten is taking on behalf of Arizona: click HERE.

Visit our main resources page: sinema.senate.gov/corona.