CCUSD: Ready for a Return to Learning

Back-to-school season is frequently a time of anxiety for students and parents alike, and that has never been truer than in 2020. While families are weighing their options for the upcoming school year, school administrators and staff have been working diligently behind the scenes to adjust to an ever-changing landscape. But the bottom line for all parties? Creating a safe environment in which the Valley’s young learners can thrive this school year.

A safe learning environment is something that Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman homed in on in a statement in late July.

“Like all educators, I want students back in our classrooms because that’s the best place for learning and growing. However, we cannot ask schools to make decisions that will impact their teachers’ and students’ health and safety without first providing them with the necessary public health data and funding to make safe decisions.”

On a local level, at a July 20 Cave Creek Unified School District (CCUSD) Governing Board meeting, the board voted to extend the in-person start date to Tuesday, Sept. 8, the day after Labor Day. Virtual learning begins in the district Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Dr. Debbi Burdick, CCUSD superintendent, shared the learning options that the district is making available for students this year.

“Cave Creek Unified is excited to roll out our Returning with Excellence Plan with two options for our families. Option I is Distance Learning that will transition to Face-to-Face school when feasible; Option II is the Cave Creek Academy of Excellence — an online school.”

To help students and their families make the 2020–21 school year a success — whether learning takes place in-person or online — Dr. Burdick shared these three tips:

  1. Have a great attitude! Although this is not the way we wanted to open our schools, be positive and look at the unusual situation as an opportunity and an adventure, not as a challenge or a problem. We all need to remain flexible and open to new learning for another new situation.
  2. Districts are opening schools online rather than face-to-face so have a dedicated workspace with all your school materials handy, just like you would at your desk in your classroom. Secondary students typically carry everything around in their backpacks so keeping your school materials in a backpack may also be a great way to stay organized and keep everything together where you know you can find it.
  3. Make sure you take mini-breaks when it is feasible so that you get out of your chair and move around to keep your brain fresh and your muscles moving. No one can sit for hours at a time without some movement. Having a small, old-fashioned minute timer or a kitchen timer set can keep you from taking too long a break during your school day.

Dr. Burdick concluded by saying, “We cannot wait to ‘see’ our students, whether it is on the screen or finally face-to-face!” |CST

Leave a Reply