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In his final Falcon Focus weekly newsletter as superintendent, Dr. Robert Allen provided an update to the families and staff of Fountain Hills Unified School District on the reopening of the district for the 2020-21 school year.

“As the School Reopening Task Force continues to meet and assess school reopening options and learning models, the conditions seem to change daily,” Dr. Allen said. “The Governor announced last week that since school funding is essentially based on attendance, schools could still receive funding for students in 2020-21 similar to current year funding if they met certain requirements.”

Allen said to qualify, schools will need to submit plans to the Arizona Department of Education detailing how they will keep attendance for remote learners, conduct benchmark testing for math and English in the first six weeks and offer an on-site learning option for a standard academic year.

Along with meeting these requirements from the governor, Director of Transportation John Flynn is leading FHUSD custodians in a deep cleaning of facilities from July 15-17. The district has also ordered sanitizing backpacks for custodians, who will be wearing personal protective equipment, that allow them to sanitize a building in one to two hours.

Allen concluded his update by announcing that while the reopening committee was planning on a reopen date of Aug. 11, the governor’s recent order has changed that date to Aug. 17.

“The district administration, task force and governing board will continue to plan for a school reopening and instructional delivery models that meet the needs of Fountain Hills and still comply with state directives despite the shifting conditions,” Allen said. “The plan will be shared with the public in mid-July. Please see the FHUSD website (fhusd.org) for the latest district information about the preparation for reopening schools in the fall.”