The American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund III (APR ESSER) is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of COVID-19 on students by addressing the academic, social, emotional and mental health needs. This plan addresses how The Academy of Tucson will maintain the health and safety of students and staff during the return to in-person learning.
The Academy of Tucson Schools will continue existing protocols to ensure the health and safety of students and staff. This Return to In-Person Learning plan was developed with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Arizona Department of Heath Services (AZDHS), Pima County Health Department (PCHD), the Governor’s Executive Orders and recent signed laws. The plan will be updated as needed, or at least every six months, to reflect any changes in guidance from the listed organizations, or local community spread and transmission rates.
Maintaining Health and Safety for Staff and Students:
At this time, The Academy of Tucson Schools is limiting visitors and volunteers to only those who are providing essential or requested services. All entering campus must follow the current protocols in place at each campus.
•Universal and correct wearing of masks – Recent changes in Arizona law requires mask wearing to be optional. Recommendations from the CDC and PCHD strongly recommend the wearing of masks indoors. The Academy of Tucson recommends, but does not require, the wearing of masks. Students and staff should bring their own masks, but one will be provided for individuals who need one.
• Hand washing and respiratory etiquette – The Academy of Tucson Schools will continue to to provide hand soap and hand sanitizer for proper hand hygiene. Students and staff are encouraged to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer often, especially after coughing, sneezing or nose blowing.
• Modifying facilities to allow for physical distancing – Physical distance of 3 feet in classrooms when feasible. Lunch will take place outside with distancing as much as possible.
• Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities – The Academy of Tucson Schools are committed to reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Continued HVAC routine service and filter changes will occur. Daily cleaning and disinfecting will continue to take Revised: August 3, 2021 Academy of Tucson Schools 10720 East 22nd Street Tucson, AZ 85748 Phone: (520) 733-0096 Fax: (520) 733-0097 www.academyoftucson.com place at all campuses. Each classroom and office space is equipped with a HEPA air purifier. All classrooms and office areas have PPE and cleaning supplies available.
• Contact tracing – Will be done in combination with isolation and quarantine in collaboration with the State and local health departments.
Employee – If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, he or she must immediately notify his or her Principal and provide a list of close contacts. Current definition of close contacts by the CDC is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for longer than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period. Close contacts will be notified that they have been exposed to a person who has COVID-19. If the close contact is fully vaccinated per CDC guidelines, he or she will not need to quarantine. The Academy of Tucson must submit COVID-19 positive employee and close contact information to Pima County Health Department. The employee and Academy of Tucson will use current isolation and quarantine guidelines from Pima County Health Department to determine length of time and return to work date. Other employees, students and parents will receive notification of the COVID positive situation.
Student – If a student is reported to have a positive COVID-19 test, the Principal of the site will conduct contact tracing to determine close contacts and must report the positive case and close contacts to the Pima County Heath Department. Other employees, students and parents will receive notification of the COVID positive situation. The CDC recommends a 10-day quarantine, but an asymptomatic individual can provide a negative COVID test and return. The CDC recently updated a close contact exception in the K-12 indoor classroom setting. This new close contact definition excludes students who were within 3-6 feet of an infected student if both students correctly and consistently wore masks.
Additional Information from the CDC: “It is recommended that you quarantine if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless you have been fully vaccinated. People who have been fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms.“ Revised: April 2022 Academy of Tucson Schools 10720 East 22nd Street Tucson, AZ 85748 Phone: (520) 733-0096 Fax: (520) 733-0097 www.academyoftucson.com
• Diagnostic and screening testing - The Academy of Tucson Schools will continue to collaborate with the Pima County Health Department to provide information on available sites.
• Efforts to provide vaccinations to school communities – The Academy of Tucson schools does not require staff or students to be vaccinated in order to be on campus. We will continue to provide information about COVID vaccination sites for those who seek a vaccine.
• Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies – Accommodations are provided to students according to their need.
• Coordination with State and local health officials – The Academy of Tucson Schools will continue collaboration with the Pima County Health Department, Arizona Department of Health Services, and other State and local health officials.
Continuity of Services:
The Academy of Tucson Schools will continue to ensure the continuity of services including, but not limited to, services to address students’ academic needs and students’ and staff social, emotional, mental health and other needs. We are committed to continued professional development and contracted services with organizations or individuals who specialize in social and emotional health. We will continue assistance with referrals to mental health resources in the community. The National School Lunch Program will continue in the 2022-2023 school year. Revised: April 2022.