Toltec School District logo (2020)

ARIZONA CITY — The Toltec School District continues to move forward on an $8 million bond issue as the Governing Board got a first glimpse of a draft of the informational packet.

The packet gives clarification as to why the district is calling for a bond sale such as facility upgrades and renovations, establishing a preschool program and an alternative program for students who would be suspended long-term otherwise, technology upgrades and more.

“It will be wonderful for our community,” Superintendent Denise Rogers said. “It’ll be great to keep these kids in school instead of sitting there trying to find some schooling at home or online to keep them in an alternative program. It’d be great to get our kids established in preschool programs and get them school ready by the time they get into kindergarten, that will benefit them for the rest of their academic years.”

The board on Aug. 12 approved its back to school plan following the benchmarks developed by the Arizona Department of Health Services and aligning with Gov. Doug Ducey’s face mask regulations — requiring that face coverings must be worn by staff, students and visitors until the ADHS determines that they are no longer necessary.

The three benchmarks set out involve cases, percent positivity and COVID-like illness.

The Toltec School District decided to go with scenario No. 3 for school learning, which is virtual with onsite support as one or more benchmarks are in the substantial category, including more than 100 cases per 100,000 county population.

The ADHS recommends county-specific public health benchmarks fall within the moderate or minimal spread category in all three benchmarks for two weeks before providing hybrid learning.

According to the ADHS, Pinal County is currently in the substantial category for percent positivity and COVID-like illness.

“I foresee that this entire school year if not even further than this entire school year that we will continue to offer learning within the home,” Rogers said. “If they’re not comfortable coming to school, that’s OK with us.”

Whenever in-person learning returns, guardians will need to acknowledge the district’s COVID-19 insurance form, which will be a requirement prior to allowing any student on campus.

During the meeting, the board also approved continuing its partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sun Corridor once school campuses are reopened.

The district will also receive support from Horizon Health and Wellness at Toltec Elementary School for behavioral and wellness support services.

Horizon Health does not have enough staff to also accommodate Arizona City Elementary.

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Maria Vasquez is a reporter covering Eloy, Arizona City and sports. She can be reached at mvasquez@pinalcentral.com.

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