Falcon News

The McDowell Mountain Falcons are always up to something. Visit this page often to see what's happening. You'll find upcoming events as well as the latest news about some of the great things going on at our school.

Assessing School Reopening

As the school reopening task force continues to meet and assess school reopening options and learning models, the conditions seem to change daily. The governor recently announced that since attendance is essentially the basis of school funding, schools could still receive funding for students in 2020–21 similar to current year funding if they met certain requirements. Please take a moment to read our June 30, 2020, Falcon Focus for more information on these requirements.

School Reopening Task Force

The school reopening task force will continue to meet weekly into July, reviewing proposals for the instructional models and how to meet the social/emotional needs of students and staff for the start of school. The goal is to present the district school reopening plan to the governing board in mid-July. For more information, please read our June 24, 2020, Falcon Focus.

2020–2021 School Supply List

For your convenience, the school has posted a new supply list. We hope this helps parents and students prepare for the upcoming school year.

Preparations for the 2020–2021 School Year

The district is being as proactive as we can with this ever-changing landscape in planning for the opening of school. The planning we are doing now prepares us for the opening of school to meet the guidelines from both organizations. Below is a summary of the happenings related to COVID-19 planning in the district:

  • Dr. Allen has established a task force that will be providing feedback on the ADE and CDC guidelines. This collaborative effort will provide us with a deeper understanding of the expectations of ADE and the CDC.  
  • Mr. Flynn and the custodians will begin a deep clean of our facilities ending with sanitization and disinfecting of all buildings and vehicles. Deep cleaning will start on June 15 and will end on July 17. For this reason, we are encouraging you to get what you need from the classrooms and offices so we can keep the buildings clean and sanitized in the event school starts regularly. 
  • The district has purchased sanitizing equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE). The sanitizing backpacks ordered will allow the custodians to sanitize a building in 1 to 2 hours every day. This sanitizing can take place during the school day to keep frequently utilized surfaces clean and disinfected.
  • We will also use the backpack sanitizers on buses and vehicles between each use. Hand sanitizer, thermometers, gloves, and masks have been ordered if we need them when school starts.
  • To remediate the possible contact for our custodians, they will be wearing masks, gloves, and safety glasses.
  • 12-month employees have been working for the past several weeks ensuring they are social distancing and wearing masks when it isn't possible to do so and implementing other health precautions when necessary.
  • We are preparing for athletes to begin training for fall Fountain Hills Unified School District sports. Based on the AIA guidelines, we can meet the phases to keep the children and staff safe while preparing for the upcoming seasons.

We want to thank you for your patience as we work through multiple guidance documents in a changing situation. Our goal is to have a plan of options for our families when we return to school on August 11 for the 2020–2021 school year.

Reopening Schools

Governor Ducey announced yesterday that schools will reopen at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. The FHUSD preparation for students returning to schools in August in the COVID-19 environment began before school even ended last week by identifying the following areas that require detailed planning for school openings and the staff that take leadership roles for each of these areas.

  • Facilities preparation, cleaning, maintenance, and sanitization procedures: plant foremen and custodial staff
  • Instructional models for both classroom-based and remote learning scenarios and professional development for staff: director of instructional support and school administrators
  • Classroom organization for both children and adults with varying physical and emotional needs: school administrators and instructional leaders
  • Transportation logistics: director of transportation
  • Health protocols and safety concerns: district nurse
  • Emotional support: school counseling staff
  • Technology support: technology staff
  • Financial considerations: director of finance
  • Community engagement and involvement: superintendent 

A critical step in the planning process involves community feedback. If you have not already done so, please complete the community survey that was provided in a link in the superintendent’s Falcon Focus message sent last Thursday to all FHUSD households. This survey will close on Tuesday, June 2. The state superintendent of public instruction, Kathy Hoffman, is expected to release her “Roadmap for Reopening Schools” next week. Your survey responses combined with this roadmap will guide the decisions made for each of the above areas. Please watch for regular communications to be provided throughout June and July reporting district progress on each of the above-identified areas.  
Robert Allen, Ed.D.