CASA GRANDE — ASU Preparatory Academy plans to offer parents and students four options for learning in the new school year, said Principal Sylvia Mejia.
Under the first option students will attend all classes in-person, the second option is a hybrid of online and in-person learning, the third option is through ASU Prep’s online charter school and the last option has students attending Casa Grande campus classes through an internet livestream.
Because ASU Prep-Casa Grande students already experienced learning via an internet livestream at the end of the last school year, Mejia said it shouldn’t be hard for them and teachers to adapt to any of the four options. And because ASU Prep has been operating an online charter school for a few years, offering all four options at the same time shouldn’t be hard to do.
The school already has a 1 to 1 ratio of electronic devices to students, which helped them continue to learn at nearly a regular schedule while schools were closed last year, she said. The school is looking at offering internet hotspots to students who may need them because they don’t have internet access at home.
Students will be able to switch options at the end of each semester, if they find the option they chose at the beginning of the school year isn’t working for them, she said.
Once school starts, students who attend in-person and staff will have to wear masks, Mejia said. The school will have different entrances for students and staff. Students and staff will have their temperature checked and be asked if they have any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus before being allowed to enter the school.
Any students or staff who show symptoms of the virus will be sent home immediately and the school will contact the Pinal County Public Health Department and ASU Prep’s main office. The school will follow Pinal County Public Health recommendations on cleaning the school and protecting the safety of students and staff if a case is reported at the school, she said.
All desks will be spaced 6 feet apart, she said. Each room will have disinfectant and hand sanitizer available. Every touch point in the building, such as doorknobs and flat surfaces, will be disinfected on a regular basis throughout the day.
Signs reminding staff and students to practice good hand washing and hygiene will be placed throughout the school along with floor markings to remind people to space themselves 6 feet apart, Mejia said.
The school also offers transportation for students, she said. Students who ride the bus to school will be seated 6 feet apart and hand sanitizer will be offered as they get on and off the bus. Bus routes and pickup and drop-off times will also be staggered in order to protect the health of students.
Teachers will offer office hours for students who are learning online and a learning success coach will be available to students as well, she said.
Mejia said she also plans to continue the Zoom teleconference Coffee with the Principal meetings with parents she started after the school closure last year. The meetings were a great venue for parents to ask questions and get more information on what was happening at the school during the closure, Mejia said.
She said the school is still accepting new students and is looking forward to trying out the new learning models.
“We’re always looking to refine and incorporate innovation into our learning,” she said.
ASU Prep was planning to open on time on Aug. 3, before Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order pushing the school start date to Aug. 17.