Coronavirus Updates

Great Hearts campuses in both Arizona and Texas are CLOSED for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

Please refer to the Arizona State Health Department or the Texas Department of State Health Services for the latest information in your community. You can get additional information regarding COVID-19 on the CDC website. We also have a listing of mental health and emergency family resources available for Arizona families.


Information for Great Hearts Faculty and Staff


REMOTE LEARNING RESOURCES FOR ONLINE CURRICULUM


April 16, 2020 at 1:48pm MST

Great Hearts campuses in both Arizona and Texas will stay CLOSED for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

Check this website often for the latest updates.


FAQ updated April 16, 2020 at 1:53pm MST. If you have additional questions, please email questions@greatheartsamerica.org.

Q. If my family does not own or have access to a computer, will that impact my student's ability to learn while the schools are closed?

A.

Access to a computer is not needed for the week of March 30. Beyond that, access to a computer is highly recommended, but not for more than a few hours per day allowing members of a family to share a device. If you do not have a device, please contact the school. Packets will continue to be available.

Q. What if students do not have textbooks and materials at home?

A.

All packets will have all the materials included that are necessary for completion. If textbooks are being used, the relevant pages will be scanned and included in the packets. We are working on plans to return materials to students sometime in the next week or two.

Q. Will I (or my student) be able to access the school campus for any reason?

A.

The schools will not be open for students to get things out of their lockers. Staff are working on a plan to bag up student belongings and return them in a safe way in the next week or two. In the meantime, anything a student needs will be scanned for them and sent by email or available for pick-up as a packet from the campus.

Q. Will I have to print packets at home?

A.

For families who have not picked up hard copy packets at the campus, there will be some pages to print at home. Most of the material can be read on a computer and home printing of the entire packet will not be required. If you are asked to print some pages at home, and you do not have the ability to print, hard copies can be provided. The loaner computers do not have print capabilities.

Q. How can I get internet service?

A.

In Arizona, Cox Communications is implementing services to help families in low-income areas have access to internet. Cox is also increasing service speeds for the next 60 days, as well as not dropping families or small business for no-payment due to COVID-19. They are also providing free hotspots across the valley. You can view the map of hotspots here.

Q. How will my student’s work be graded?

A.

Some of the work will be graded for completion. Other material will be evaluated for quality and correctness. As a parent, you will not be required to grade anything, but you may be asked to sign off on certain tasks (e.g. reading for a certain amount of time per day) to ensure that they were completed.

Q. What if my student doesn’t finish the work in the recommended time?

A.

There is no requirement to finish tasks within a specific duration of time. Students are welcome to continue working until they complete the work. However, if your student seems to be struggling to finish their work in a reasonable amount of time, please email your teacher to receive additional support and advice on how to best manage the tasks in the packets.

Q. What if I cannot help my student with the work?

A.

Teachers will be available M-F to answer emails from both students and parents, and some may set up other forms of communication. You can always email them and expect a response within 24 hours.

Q. If my student needs accommodations, how will that work?

A.

Our ESS team in Arizona and Special Student Services team in Texas are working to ensure that all accommodations and modifications are included for students. Families of students with accommodations or modifications can expect to be contacted directly by their child’s teachers or service providers.

Q. Is there extra work my child can be doing?

A.

Some of the remote learning will include extra enrichment activities. Parents are also encouraged to supplement the packets with quality literature, listening to classical music, time outside for exercise, and other experiences that make the best use of the period of remote learning.

Q. Do you have extra resources to support students in their work?

A.

Some of the packets may contain suggestions for online resources that can help students learn the material, complete their work, or explore topics further.

Q. How much am I as a parent expected to guide them through the work?

A.

The amount of attention needed will vary depending on the age of the child and the subject matter. The work for older students can largely be done independently. Younger students will likely need some support from a parent or a caregiver to accomplish the tasks in their packets.

Q. Does my student have to complete the work in the order it is given in the packet?

A.

The packets will include guidance on the tasks and the expected amount of time. The subjects can be tackled in any order. Within a subject, it is recommended that a student work in order as the activities likely build on one another.

Q. May students collaborate with classmates?

A.

Yes. Students may be in contact with classmates by phone or computer (but in-person gatherings should be avoided). Fellow students can be a good source of mutual assistance, particularly at the upper grades. That said, while we encourage a certain amount of collaboration, a student’s work must be his or her own. Normal academic honesty principles are still in place.

Q. What happens after these two weeks?

A.

Next week, we will begin online learning. Students will access their assignments on the computer. Some assignments can be completed on the computer, and others can be printed and completed and uploaded. Teachers will be providing links to videos, and sign-ups for tutoring sessions and other learning opportunities.

Q. Has Great Hearts had a confirmed case of COVID-19?

A.

No confirmed cases.

Q. How long will the schools be closed?

A.

Schools in both Arizona and Texas will stay closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

Q. How will I be updated of any changes or developments?

A.

This website will be used for continuous updates. We will also, as needed, continue to send updates via email with text reminders for those parents that have opted-in. If you would like to opt in to get reminder texts, text "Y" to 67587.
We will also share any updated information via social media channels.

Q. How does school closure impact enrollment and re-enrollment?

A.

Enrollment: Please note the due date for all enrollment paperwork for new families that was scheduled for next week will be extended. Each school will reach out to parents directly as to extended due dates via email.

Re-enrollment: We are currently extending the deadlines for Re-enrollment packets and will post new deadlines as we receive more information regarding school schedules. Each school will be communicating their re-enrollment collection plans directly and independently to their families. Please continue to complete your paperwork on the enrollment portal and wait for specific instructions from your school that will come via email in the coming weeks.

Q. Will my automatic billing for April Athenaeum occur?

A.

April Athenaeum billing has been suspended until school is back in session. We will prorate for the month once students return. If you have any questions, please reach out to programs@greatheartsaz.org or programs@greatheartstx.org.

Q. How does school closure impact full-day kindergarten in Arizona? Will I receive a refund for the time missed?

A.

We are working to determine how to structure refunds. More information will be forthcoming.

Q. My child was registered for Summer Camp or Kinder Academy. Now that it is cancelled will I receive a refund?

A.

Yes, you will receive a full refund which will include your registration fee. Refunds will be processed during the month of May and you will receive an email at the time that your refund has been processed. If you have any questions, please contact Wendy Hood at programs@greatheartsaz.org. You are still able to register for Fall Athenaeum at this time.

Q. Will I be able to contact my student's teacher with questions around instruction and/or schoolwork? How?

A.

Your teacher is available via email during regular school hours.

Q. As a working parent, will there be any alternative resources available to me while the schools are closed?

A.

We will not have any resources available at our schools. We deeply apologize for any hardship that this may cause.

Q. How will extended school closure impact my child's attendance? How does this impact the required time of instruction?

A.

The AZ Dept of Education is telling us they will work to ensure that the impact of school closures are minimal. We do not expect to have to make up the lost days, but it is still too early to tell. We will continue to stay connected to the Department and will share new information as we receive it. You can also learn more from their website here: https://www.azed.gov/.

We are also working with the TEA and the Governor's office in Texas for additional information. You can read more here: https://tea.texas.gov/

Q. If my student has medicine on campus with the school nurse, is there a way for me to get that back?

A.

We are working on a way to return your child’s medicine with the rest of their belongings in the next week or two.

Q. How does school closure impact seniors, as well as the graduation ceremony?

A.

Graduation will not be affected. College counselors will be available by email or phone.

We do not yet know if graduation ceremonies will be able to continue as scheduled. More information to come.

Q. Will there be an alternative way for my student to participate in something like a school concert?

A.

Not at this time.

Q. Is there a phone number I can call with questions about COVID-19?

A.

Arizona has activated a COVID-19 Hotline. Dial 2-1-1.

The line will respond to calls in English and Spanish and will provide important information, including:
- How to prepare for and prevent COVID-19 spread
- Testing information for COVID-19
- What populations are at higher risk from the COVID-19
- What to do if an individual gets sick
- COVID-19 and animals
- And a list of websites with accurate, reliable and up-to-date information

The line will operate from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. each day of the week and can be reached by dialing 2-1-1 while an individual is located in Arizona. More information can also be found at 211arizona.org/covid-19

Q. Will Great Hearts keep us informed of any CDC or state health department recommendations or mandates?

A.

Recent updates from the CDC can be found at this website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Q. When will STARR testing occur?

A.

Governor Greg Abbott announced that he has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. Additionally, Governor Abbott is requesting that the Department of Education (DOE) waive federal testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.

Governor Abbott is working closely with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to ensure that schools continue to deliver instruction to students while students are absent or while schools are closed due to COVID-19. This includes tailoring instruction for students with special needs so that they have access to the same education as other students in the district. Governor Abbott will continue to work with the TEA on developing additional methods to ensure that students are learning and ready to succeed at the next grade-level. These discussions are ongoing and more information will be provided as it develops.

Q. Are meal services available?

A.

Texas schools are continuing the food program. Reach out to the campus directly for more information.

Q. Are Community Resources Available?

A.

The San Antonio Food Bank has launched a prevention and preparedness campaign. Contact the Food Bank to get help or provide help. info@safoodbank.org, 210.337.3663

San Antonio drinking water is safe so there is no need to stockpile water. San Antonio is not experiencing a food shortage. To ensure this continues, buy only what you and your family need for a few days at a time. See HEB’s statement on their suggestions and plans for keeping stores well stocked.

WAYS TO HELP
The City of San Antonio has a blood supply shortage. Coronavirus is not transmitted through the blood, and potential donors will be screened at entry. If you are healthy, consider donating blood.

Q. What current disinfecting measures are happening at my campus? How can I verify that these practices have happened and will continue to happen?

A.

We are currently disinfecting hourly and daily in classrooms with a weekly deep cleaning and proactive sanitation process for all schools. We also are emphasizing hand washing throughout the day for all grades. This process will remain in effect indefinitely.

Q. Are all extra-curricular activities currently cancelled? Why? If I have paid a fee for my student to participate in a field trip, sport or club, will I be refunded?

A.

Yes, all extra-curricular school-related activities are cancelled until further notice. This includes all events as well.

In many cases, the cost of those trips and athletic activities have already been incurred by the school. Where we can refund parents, we will. If you have specific questions about refunds, please reach out to your academy.

Q. How does school closure impact preparation for and taking of state tests?

A.

STARR testing in Texas has been waived by the governor.


AZM2 testing in Arizona has been waived. More information from the Department of Education is forthcoming for Arizona.

Q. What is the state mandating? Where can I go to find out more information?

A.

ARIZONA: Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman announced a statewide closure of Arizona schools from Monday, March 16, 2020 through the end of the school year.

TEXAS: Per the governor's recommendation, our campuses will remain closed through May 1. If possible, we will reopen on Monday, May 4, 2020.

Q. Why are the Great Hearts schools closing? How is that being determined?

A.

The health and safety of our scholars and faculty is a top priority for Great Hearts. The regional presidents are working closely with Great Hearts' CEO, Dr. Dyke, and an internal task force was formed a couple weeks ago and they are monitoring the situation very closely.

In Arizona: Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman announced a statewide closure of Arizona schools from Monday, March 16, 2020 through the end of the school year.

Our main focus is on the health and safety of the Great Hearts school communities. We are doing what we believe to be the right thing for them, given that many people are returning from vacation. We would like to create the conditions for some social distancing until further testing becomes available. If you have questions on other school closings, please refer to their respective websites.

Q. How does school closure impact the National School Lunch Program?

A.

The state is still waiting for a waiver from the federal government. Until that waiver is approved the only resources we can share at this time are the following:
American Discount Foods (take EBT cards):
360 W. Southern Avenue, Mesa, AZ 85202 480-649-4495 (8am-8pm)
9333 E. Main Street, Mesa, AZ 85207 480-454-4132 (8am-7pm)
AZ FoodBank: http://www.azfoodbanks.org/index.php/foodbank/
Food Finder: https://foodfinder.us/
USDA's site: https://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/summer-food-service-program

Q. You recently sent out a survey asking about my travel plans, what are you doing with that data?

A.

That information will remain confidential.

Q. When schools resume operation, what will be the policy for sending students and faculty home if they show symptoms of COVID-19?

A.

Our policy is that anyone who is not feeling well and/or has a 100.4 degree fever need to stay home until fever free for 72 hours without fever reducing medications. This will go for both faculty and families.

Q. How will you verify that a student or employee is completely symptom-free before they return to campus?

A.

We will have the student or employee visit the school nurse before entering the classroom.

Q. Is the annual Great Hearts Gala still happening?

A.

As of now the Great Hearts Gala will still be an in-person event on September 19, 2020 at Chateau Luxe as originally planned. However, we are continuously assessing our event budget to ensure the proceeds will have the greatest impact possible on our teachers this year. For more information visit www.GreatHeartsGala2020.org.

Q. How can I best support my school right now?

A.

The best way to support your school is through a donation to our Community Investment campaign. Your Community Investment gift directly supports the school’s operating budget. Community Investment:
Covers some of the gap between what we need to deliver the top-tier education that our children deserve and what we receive from public funding
Helps us support our excellent and dedicated faculty, including apprentice teachers, and support staff members
Allows us to offer the remote learning support services for families during this time for teachers so they can create robust, educational packets for your students to complete through the end of the school year.
Provides support for offerings like art, music, and foreign language.
Your gift ensures we operate at full capacity throughout the challenges and changes presented by COVID-19. You can select your academy and give here.

Q. The date to file Arizona state income taxes has been extended to July 15, 2020. Does this apply to the Arizona Public School Tax Credit?

A.

No. According to Arizona statute, the deadline to contribute your Arizona Public School Tax Credit to your school remains April 15th. Select your academy.

Q. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

A.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like heart problems or diabetes, immune deficiency, cancer, and lung disease are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

Q. What can I do to protect myself and prevent the spread of disease?

A.

Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Many countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have seen outbreaks. Authorities in China and some other countries have succeeded in slowing or stopping their outbreaks. However, the situation is unpredictable so check regularly for the latest news.

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain at least 6 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 hotspots (cities or local areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely). If possible, avoid traveling to places – especially if you are an older person or have diabetes, heart, immune deficiency, cancer, or lung disease.
Why? You have a higher chance of complications COVID-19 in one of these areas.

Q. What is Coronavirus?

A.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

Q. How does COVID-19 spread?

A.

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs, talks, sneezes or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 6 feet away from a person who is sick.

Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be transmitted through the air?
Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air. See previous answer on “How does COVID-19 spread?”

Can COVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?
Check facts: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/transmission.html

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
• People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
• Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Q. Who is at risk of developing severe illness?

A.

While we are still learning about how COVID-2019 affects people, older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.