03/20/20 Community Update

Community Update 03/20/20

Hello La Tierra Community,

We would like to provide an update on our current school closure situation.  Our entire staff met (via teleconference of course) this past Wednesday to discuss our school plans going forward for the next few weeks.  Here are the current facts:

  • Arizona schools will be closed until at least April 10
  • Arizona Department of Education is requiring schools to provide “educational opportunities” for their student body
  • The US Department of Education has declared that states with students impacted by the coronavirus pandemic can bypass standardized state testing for the 2019-2020 school year.  The Arizona Department of Education is required to submit a waiver which is already in process.

While schools are officially closed in Arizona through April 10 we are anticipating them to remain closed much longer.  Current data from the Arizona Department of Health Services states that evaluating current trends they anticipate the number of COVID-19 cases in Arizona to peak in mid-late April and hospitalizations to peak in May.  If this is indeed how the situation materializes it will not be prudent to resume school on April 13.  

What we will be doing at LTCS:

  • Teachers will be sending an email every Monday and Wednesday with updated resources or with educational opportunities and to check in with their students and parents.
  • All teachers will have office hours twice per week to answer questions you may have.
  • Teachers will continue posting videos for students on the “ltcsyoutube ltcs” Youtube page.
  • We will be offering school chromebooks for individual sign out to families who do not have computers available for students at home.
  • Mrs. Buller and I will continue to be in contact with and monitor information from the Arizona Department of Health Services, Yavapai County Health Services, Arizona Department of Education and the Arizona State Charter School Board and update our community as changes occur.

We understand that different schools are handling this situation in as many different ways as there are schools.  We have had some requests for us to create schedules for our families to adhere to or for stringent criteria for school work.  We feel that due to many factors that this in not the best course of action.  We would like to reiterate that the recommended number of hours of schooling when students are at home is approximately 2 hours per school day for students in grades 1-3 and gradually increasing per grade level until approximately 4 hours per school day in 7th grade.  There are many websites with sample homeschool schedules available online and we would recommend you find one that works with your family and specific situation.  We suggest that our families use this time to connect, enjoy reading together, find a subject that interests your child and let them learn more about that, journal about their feelings during this global event, bake together, spend time outdoors as able, etc.  There are opportunities for learning in each and every day. 

We understand these are challenging times and we are committed to helping our students maintain the learning they have mastered thus far this school year and to provide learning opportunities for them to work towards the standards the teachers had envisioned for the last quarter of the school year.  We will continue to work towards finding meaningful ways to make this happen within the confines of our newly found distance learning.  We welcome feedback during this time and also encourage you to let us know how we can help in more meaningful ways.  This is a whole new world we all find ourselves in and we want you to know that our staff are working hard to find ways to make learning as successful and enjoyable as they can given the circumstances.  Please feel free to contact Mrs. Buller (rbuller@latierracommunityschool.org) or myself (julie@latierracommunityschool.org) with any questions or concerns.

Finally the Arizona Governor’s office has created a website with resources including unemployment, insurance, mental health, food resources and more.  It can be found at: https://arizonatogether.org/

Thank you for your continued support.  

Julie Jongsma