School Rebound: District examines elective classes during pandemic

PE, music and drama classes will run differently
Posted at 4:37 PM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 15:41:48-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Many districts are still deciding on what school will look like in the fall.

Parent surveys in the Tanque Verde District are still coming in, but the superintendent says the majority of the 2,100 students want to be in school five days a week.

So he’s preparing for that.

Setting up for the return of students looks very different this summer.

Superintendent Scott Hagerman sent some of the 135 teachers into their classroom to work out the details on the CDC’s 6-foot rule.

"And then use that to give feedback to other teachers because I’m concerned about giving a rule from an office and then someone has to apply that rule and says has this person been in my classroom? This doesn’t work," said Hagerman.

Hagerman also has to prepare for students who want different blends between hybrid and online models.

That’s about a quarter of the students. "I think the one thing that we’re thankful for is being small. I think it makes us a little bit more nimble."

While the schools work out the logistics, Hagerman is working on how to maintain the same level of education rigor prior to the pandemic.

He says the learning formula will have to change. "The things that might have been nice to know. Now we need to make sure that the non-negotiable are things we really laser focus on."

To accommodate any remote learning the district is using most of the $75,000 it’s receiving from the Cares Act to buy an online platform.

He said, "So we would have an instructional system to support what we’re doing. Before we didn’t have that."

Another social distancing challenge -- what to do with elective classes such as PE and music.

Hagerman is working on that plan.

He said, "They might start with more music theory, music appreciation. It might start more on the health side and work towards regular classes. Band might be outside when the temperature finally cools down."

And when it comes to sanitizing the schools, the district used federal funds to buy the same misting electrostatic machines as the Sunnyside District.

When the students return, Hagerman said, not everything will be quite set in stone.

"As long as we’re flexible and we’re focused on taking care of us as staff and taking care of kids, I’m really confident things will work out," he said.