Oracle Elementary School District Community,
Last week, our Governing Board approved the District’s recommendation to continue distance learning at Mountain Vista K-8 School. The District made this recommendation for three reasons. First, we told our community that we would welcome all of our students back to campus when it was safe and responsible to do so. Second, the Pinal Health County Department does not recommend a return to traditional, in-person learning at this time. Third, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in our zip code and community continues to increase rather than decrease.
We recognize that if we have an outbreak of COVID-19 at our school we will be required to close our entire campus. A COVID-19 related closure would require each of the students in our Cares Program to learn from home and suspend our ability to deliver free breakfast and lunch to students. We understand that our Cares Program and meal deliveries are important to our community. In our best effort to prevent an outbreak, we will continue to strictly enforce our mitigation procedures and follow the most updated guidance from the Arizona Department of Health.
I want each person reading this letter to know that whether we are in-person or online, it is our job at Mountain Vista to prepare our students for the next grade level. We will not wait until the students return to the classroom to teach the “really great lesson that helps students better understand fractions.” We will use our resources to bring our best lessons to your child while they are at home or in our Cares Program. To accomplish this, your child’s teacher might send home new math manipulatives, additional supplies, or hands-on gadgets that will help increase student engagement and concept mastery.
With tremendous support from the Oracle Schools Foundation, we are also creating an online “Parent Academy” which will include a series of informational videos created by our school staff and available on the district website. Each episode will be designed to support parents during distance learning. We know that distance learning is not easy for students, staff, or families and we want to do our best to help answer questions including, “What does my student mean when he says it is time for Domain?” or “I did not learn math this way, why is my kid not carrying the one?”
Our Governing Board will revisit information from the Pinal County Health Department and discuss a possible return date for in-person learning during the Jan. 21, 2021 Governing Board meeting.
I will continue to be transparent with our community and committed to protecting the safety of our students and staff.
/s/ Crystle Nehrmeyer