COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

 
 
Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
 
The J.O. Combs Unified School District continues to monitor and communicate with local and state health officials regarding the new coronavirus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19, and will continue to follow their professional guidance. We currently do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in our district; however, we recognize this is an evolving issue statewide.
 
The most current information regarding the school closures and the District's response to COVID-19 can be found here.
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) | Last Updated April 24, 2020

The J.O Combs Unified School District continues to monitor and communicate with local and state officials regarding the new Coronavirus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19, and will continue to follow their professional guidance. As this is a rapidly evolving situation globally, we will continue to update this resource for families with the most up to date information.

You may also click here to view this content as a Google Doc.

Are there any confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the J.O. Combs Unified School District? 

We currently do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in our District.

How long will schools be closed?

On March 30, the Governor and the Arizona Department of Education announced the extension of Arizona school closures through the end of the school year. The extension follows updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an announcement from the White House extending physical distancing guidelines until April 30, 2020. The closure includes all schools, Combs Kidz childcare, in-state and out of state field trips, all athletic practices and events, facility rentals, performances, clubs and extracurricular activities and any other school-sponsored events.

Will meals continue to be provided for students?

Due to rising temperatures posing challenges for food storage, we will be changing the way breakfast and lunch meals are distributed. Starting Monday, April 27, both breakfast and lunch will be handed out together from 7:30 am to 9am during curbside meal service at Simonton Elementary. Parents will receive both meals together along with instructions for how to cook any hot items for lunch. Kathryn Sue Simonton Elementary is located at 40300 N Simonton Blvd., San Tan Valley, AZ 85140. Anyone ages 18 or younger is eligible to participate.

Due to federal Summer Food Program guidelines, the only site currently eligible to distribute meals is Simonton Elementary. Anyone 18 and under, regardless of neighborhood or school attendance, is welcome to participate in this program. More information will be shared if/when additional meal resources become available at other sites.

Community members who wish to donate food items for families in need are encouraged to do so at one of many local food banks. Families who are not eligible for the meal program at Simonton Elementary are also encouraged to contact their local food bank for food provisions.

Will the closure mean additional make-up days are added onto the year?

No. The State Legislature passed a bill stating that schools will not be forced to elongate the school year in order to make up for the instructional time lost as a result of the statewide school closures.

Will teachers and staff be paid during the closure?

Yes. Part of Governor Ducey’s announcement included a commitment to work together to make sure dedicated school employees don’t see any disruption to their pay. On Tuesday, March 18, the District’s Governing Board held a special meeting to approve a resolution to continue to pay staff during the closure. Additional details regarding employee expectations and payroll arrangements have been, and will continue to be, communicated directly to staff.

What should families be doing during the closure?

In order to maintain the safety, health, and well-being of our students, staff and school community, we continue to encourage families to abide by the most recent recommendations of the CDC and Arizona Department of Health Services. This includes practicing “social distancing”, limiting social interactions with others, and staying home.  Practicing healthy habits such as handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding high touch areas should also be encouraged.

What will instruction look like for students during the closure?

Starting April 1st, we will officially begin online learning, providing our curriculum remotely via online lessons, videos, and other educational resources. You will receive detailed information from your teacher about how to access these resources, as well as grading, attendance, and more. Please note that this online instruction is considered curriculum and will count toward your student’s grade/credit. For those of you who cannot readily access online instruction, hard copies of resources will be made available.

How does the closure affect students with IEPs of 504 plans?

The District is committed to continuing the services and adaptations identified on your child's IEP or Section 504 plan as appropriate.  The Section 504 coordinator and Special Education Teachers are collaborating with their general education counterparts to ensure adaptations are incorporated within our transition to remote instruction.  Your child's special education teacher is planning the delivery of IEP services and will be working with you to determine what is appropriate.  All IEP and MET meetings will continue via videoconferencing or telephonically. If your child's IEP or MET meeting had to be rescheduled, your child's team will be contacting you to reschedule a time.  The IEP that has been in place will continue.  Any evaluations that require face to face testing and/or observation are not able to take place at this time to ensure the health and safety of all students, staff and families.  The District is working on alternate ways to address this issue and will provide an update as it is available.

Will the District be providing technology devices to families without laptops or those who have children sharing one device?


The IT Department has completed four phases of laptop distribution for families who requested support with technology. Starting the week of April 20, 2020, they will begin offering technical support to families on a walk-in basis each Wednesday, from 3:30 to 5:30pm at the District Office. Initial requests for tech support should be directed to teachers, and if the issue requires additional assistance, families should seek support from the principal. The principal will connect the family with the IT Department to address the concern during the Wednesday walk-in days.  

What if my family doesn’t have WiFi or internet?

Families who have limited/no access to internet or WiFi are able to use a variety of free Cox hotspots located throughout the area. A map of the nearest hotspots can be found here.

What are the expectations for students during remote learning? How much time per day, homework, etc?

Your child’s teacher will be reaching out directly to provide details regarding instruction, standard operating procedures, assignments, and more. While remote learning is designed to continue your child’s academic progress, it is not intended to replicate the experience they would typically receive in a classroom. We understand this is a challenging time for families and students, and will build in as much flexibility as possible.

Will remote learning be graded?


Grading expectations have been established and updated to continue to ensure continued academic progress for students during remote learning. Grading expectations have been updated to include information on extra credit, and can be found here.  Additional clarification regarding grading on the Edgenuity platform for 7th-12th graders has also been developed and can be found here. As we continue to provide meaningful instruction for students, it is important that we balance the principles of accountability as well as flexibility and grace for our families during these uncertain times.

Is state testing still going to take place?

No, state testing has been canceled.  When the Governor signed the School Closure bills on March 27, all state testing was officially canceled.  Other testing, such as ACT and SAT, is currently being postponed.  More information will be shared as it is received.

How do the closures affect athletics?

The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) has canceled all spring sports and spring football as a result of the school closures. Plans are being developed for the safe return of any sports equipment, and that information will be shared directly with those students by their coaches.

Will there still be a graduation ceremony for seniors? 

Due to the unknown duration of the COVID-19 safety restrictions, we have elected to concurrently plan for two possible graduation ceremony options. Should the government orders allow us to host an in-person graduation, and we are able to safely do so, we will be prepared to host a traditional ceremony for our students on May 19th. However because we recognize that this may not be possible, we are also preparing for a virtual graduation ceremony. 

We will make a formal announcement around May 1st when there is more clarity from the state and nation. We know how important this milestone is for our students and families, and will make every effort possible to make this a memorable celebration for our seniors and their loved ones.

How does this affect prom? 

Prom has been canceled but may potentially be rescheduled based on the duration of social distancing recommendations.

Can I still enroll my child for next year even though school is closed?

Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is now open. In order to maintain the health and safety of our students and families, the J.O. Combs Unified School District has created a virtual enrollment portal to allow families to enroll students from the safety of their homes. On that portal, you will find everything you need to register your child online or set up an in-person enrollment appointment.

How can I pick up my students’ personal items from their school/classroom?

We have established processes and guidelines to ensure students and families can safely pick up personal items from their school sites during the first two weeks of May, as well as return school property such as library books, textbooks, and sports equipment. Please note that the return of these items does not indicate the end of the school year, and that remote instruction will still continue through May.

Starting April 27, you will receive a detailed email from the principal of your child’s school with information about what should be returned and picked up, as well as instructions on how to sign up for a time slot. All procedures for this process have been developed in compliance with social distancing practices and CDC cleanliness recommendations.

How do I return checked out items/books? 

Items that are necessary for continued instruction, such as textbooks, will not have to be returned until the end of the year. Other checked out equipment like library books, CTE items, etc, will need to be returned to the school site. School principals will share details regarding dates, times, and social distancing precautions to allow families to return these items.

Will we still receive yearbooks?

Pre-orders for yearbooks will still be filled, and arrangements for drive-through pick up will be shared by your school’s principal when the yearbooks arrive.

How can I make sure I receive the latest updates and communication during the closures?

The District will continue to share regular updates with families via SchoolMessenger, as well as social media and the website.  If you have not been receiving messages through SchoolMessenger, but from a friend or neighbor, please contact the Principal of your child's school to ensure that your correct email address is on file.  Schools and teachers will also be using email as a primary means of communicating with families, so it is critical that this information is accurate.

Will Governing Board meetings still be held?

Effective April 8, 2020, all Governing Board meetings for the remainder of the year will take place virtually. Information on how to listen to the meetings and participate in the call to the public will be included on the posted agenda.

Do you have resources for how to talk to my child(ren) about COVID-19?

We know that COVID-19 has not only impacted the lives of students academically, but also personally. In order to support those with possible feelings of anxiety or stress during these challenging times, we have assembled a list of tips and resources to help support our students and families.

Will refunds or credits be provided for Community Education programs, pre-school, field trips, etc?

We are aware that families have paid for a variety of items that have since been canceled, including spring pictures, field trips, etc. We are evaluating each of these scenarios on an individual basis and reviewing state statute regarding refund eligibility. Schools and programs will follow up directly with families once a decision is made.

For additional information about COVID-19, and the most current updates regarding the virus, please visit the CDC COVID-19 summary page, or the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID response.



Remote Learning
Starting April 1st, we will officially begin online learning, providing our curriculum remotely via online lessons, videos, and other educational resources. You will receive detailed information from your teacher about how to access these resources, as well as grading, attendance, and more. Please note that this online instruction is considered curriculum and will count toward your student’s grade/credit. For those of you who cannot readily access online instruction, hard copies of resources will be made available.
 
Until April 1, the District has compiled a resource center that includes a variety of educational resources for all grade levels. Please note these resource materials are intended to support ongoing learning and enrichment during the current school closures, but do not replace curriculum. Completion of these activities is not required and will not count towards any credits or grades. 
 
How do you use these resources?
Have fun exploring the web-based resources below for enrichment and practice on devices such as laptops, Chromebooks, Xboxes, PS4s, tablets and phones. See the instructions below:

1) Read the descriptions below each link on both pages for recommended grade levels, topics, a brief description of the site, and how to access the resource.

2) If a website draws your attention, click on the picture above the description to connect directly to the site. That's it! Easy-peasy!

Finally, if you need a sample schedule outlining a day of home learning, click the link embedded in the Khan Academy description. There are multiple schedules based on grade/age.

 
 
Resources for Parents
Free Preschool Activities
Communication

Click here to download this message as a PDF.


Dear Combs Families: 


I hope this message finds you safe and healthy. As we continue to provide clarity and guidance for our students and families during the school closures, we are reaching out with additional updates and information. 


Enrollment for 2020-2021: Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is now open. In order to maintain the health and safety of our students and families, the J.O. Combs Unified School District has created a virtual enrollment portal to allow families to enroll students from the safety of their homes. On that portal, you will find everything you need to register your child online or set up an in-person enrollment appointment.


Grading: As a reminder, grading expectations have been established and updated to continue to ensure continued academic progress for students during remote learning. Grading expectations have been updated to include information on extra credit, and can be found here.  Additional clarification regarding grading on the Edgenuity platform for 7th-12th graders has also been developed and can be found here.


Extra Credit: In order to provide students the best opportunity for academic success, extra credit may also be given during this time for students in 7th-12th grades.  The extra credit cannot exceed 3% of the final grade and any extra credit that is assigned must be related to the course curriculum. 


Pick Up/Return of Student Items: We have established processes and guidelines to ensure students and families can safely pick up personal items from their school sites during the first two weeks of May, as well as return school property such as library books, textbooks, and sports equipment. Please note that the return of these items does not indicate the end of the school year, and that remote instruction will still continue through May.


Next week you will receive a detailed email from the principal of your child’s school with information about what should be returned and picked up, as well as instructions on how to sign up for a time slot. All procedures for this process have been developed in compliance with social distancing practices and CDC cleanliness recommendations.


Note: Due to additional requirements, Combs High School will be testing this process on April 23, with only seniors, when they distribute caps and gowns to families as well as collect items needing to be returned. This will be done on a drive-up basis. Additional communication has been shared directly from Combs High School.


Technology Support for Families: The IT Department has completed four phases of laptop distribution for families who requested support with technology. Starting the week of April 20, 2020, they will begin offering technical support to families on a walk-in basis each Wednesday, from 3:30 to 5:30pm at the District Office. Initial requests for tech support should be directed to teachers, and if the issue requires additional assistance, families should seek support from the principal. The principal will connect the family with the IT Department to address the concern during the Wednesday walk-in days.  


Changes to Free Meal Service: Due to rising temperatures posing challenges for food storage, we will be changing the way breakfast and lunch meals are distributed. Starting Monday, April 27, both breakfast and lunch will be handed out together from 7:30 am to 9am during curbside meal service at Simonton Elementary. Parents will receive both meals together along with instructions for how to cook any hot items for lunch. 


Stress and Anxiety Resources for Families: We know that COVID-19 has not only impacted the lives of students academically, but also personally. In order to support those with possible feelings of anxiety or stress during these challenging times, we have assembled a list of tips and resources to help support our students and families.


As always, the safety, health, and well-being of our students, staff and school community will continue to be our priority.  We are grateful for your continued patience and adaptability as we continue to navigate this together.


Sincerely,

Dr. Gregory A. Wyman
Superintendent

Click here to download the letter as a PDF.


Dear Combs Families: 


I hope this message finds you safe and healthy. As promised, we are reaching out to provide a detailed update regarding the many questions and concerns shared by our families in response to the school closures for the rest of the year


We know that these decisions have a significant impact on our students and families, and will continue to provide updates that prioritize the safety, health, and well-being of our community. It is important to note that while we will share as much detail as possible, the ever evolving circumstances surrounding COVID-19 may result in additional changes or precautions in order to protect our students, families, and staff.


Enrollment: Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year will continue. Registration forms can be found on the District website and may be completed, scanned, and sent electronically to your school for processing. If you need to enroll your child in-person, please contact your school directly to make the necessary arrangements to safely do so.


WiFi Access: Families who have limited/no access to internet or WiFi are able to use a variety of free Cox hotspots located throughout the area. A map of the nearest hotspots can be found here.


Technology Devices: Families who indicated they do not have access to a device have been contacted directly with instructions on how to pick up a loaned laptop. After meeting the initial needs of families, we will determine the number of remaining available devices and reach out accordingly regarding additional resources for families who need more than one device.


Graduation: Because the duration of social distancing recommendations is unknown, graduation is not yet cancelled.  It is the District’s hope that in several weeks, the situation will have improved and that we are able to safely gather and celebrate our seniors. We recognize however that this may not be possible, so we will continue to monitor the situation and make a decision as appropriate. We know how important this milestone is for our students and families, and will continue to explore alternative options to recognize and celebrate our graduates should a traditional ceremony not be possible. 


Prom: Prom has been canceled but may potentially be rescheduled based on the duration of social distancing recommendations.


Student Personal Items: In order to practice safe social distancing and follow the Governor's stay at home order, we are only allowing emergency items such as medication to be picked up from schools at this time. Families should contact their principal directly to make these arrangements. In the coming weeks, school principals will share details regarding dates, times, and social distancing precautions to allow families to pick up the rest of their student’s belongings.


Returning Checked Out Items/Books:  Items that are necessary for continued instruction, such as textbooks, will not have to be returned until the end of the year. Other checked out equipment like library books, CTE items, etc, will need to be returned to the school site. School principals will share details regarding dates, times, and social distancing precautions to allow families to return these items.


Yearbooks: Pre-orders for yearbooks will still be filled, and arrangements for drive-through pick up will be shared by your school’s principal when the yearbooks arrive. 


Refunds: We are aware that families have paid for a variety of items that have since been canceled, including spring pictures, field trips, etc. We are evaluating each of these scenarios on an individual basis and reviewing state statute regarding refund eligibility. Schools will follow up directly with families once a decision is made.

Athletics: The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) has canceled all spring sports and spring football as a result of the school closures.  Plans are being developed for the safe return of any sports equipment, and that information will be shared directly with those students by their coaches.  


State Testing: All state testing has been canceled due to the School Closure bills signed by the Governor on March 27. Other testing, such as ACT and SAT, is currently being postponed or will be provided to students in an online format.

Grading: Remote learning will be graded, and detailed grading standards will be shared directly by your teacher on Monday, April 6. As we continue to provide meaningful instruction for students, it is important that we balance the principles of accountability as well as flexibility and grace for our families during these uncertain times.


Governing Board Meetings:  Effective April 8, 2020, all Governing Board meetings will take place virtually.  Information on how to listen to the meetings and participate in the call to the public will be included on the posted agenda.


As a final reminder, our students have officially begun their transition to remote learning. We know this is a significant change, not only for students but also our families and teachers, and wish to express our gratitude and encouragement as you embark on this journey. We remain committed to providing meaningful instruction for our students, supporting the needs of our families, and staying healthy and safe in our communities efforts to fight COVID-19.


Please continue to visit our list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the latest updates and information, and do not hesitate to reach out to your teacher or principal with additional questions or support.


As always, the safety, health, and well-being of our students, staff and school community will continue to be our priority.  We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this together.


Sincerely,



Dr. Gregory A. Wyman
Superintendent

Click here to download this letter as a PDF.


Dear Combs Families: 


I hope this message finds you safe and healthy. In order to ensure parents and families feel equipped to support your child’s first day of remote learning tomorrow, we’re here to provide information and resources to help with this transition. Please know that while the ever evolving situation with COVID-19 creates challenges for families as well as educators, we are committed to working together to continue your child’s academic progress and learning during these difficult times. 


How to Access

The District will be using Google Classroom as the primary platform for delivering online instruction. High school students will also be using Edgenuity, and will receive a separate email with information on how to access that.

Teachers will send Google Classroom usernames and passwords to each of their students by tomorrow, April 1. Parents and students may also access it by visiting classroom.google.com and entering the student username. Student usernames are comprised of their Grad Year + First Three Letters of Last Name + First Initial of First Name + Last two digits of Schoolmaster ID + @jocombs.org (example: Matthew Combs, Grad Year 2019, ID 97 = 19comm97@jocombs.org For fourth grade and above, if your child has logged on to their account before, their password will be whatever they changed it to. For K-3 the password will be Learn2lead + first and last initial.

If you encounter any issues with Google Classroom access, please contact your teacher for assistance. If they are not able to assist you, they will pass along your request to the District IT HelpDesk. 

Other Helpful Resources
As you log on, we encourage you to view the Parents’ Guide to Google Classroom presentation. As you become more familiar with the platform, you may also review how to complete the following actions:

 

Last but not least, don’t forget the most helpful resource: your teacher! Please remember that our teachers and principals are here to support you throughout this journey, and that together we will continue to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to making sure your child receives the best education every day.  Teachers and principals will offer virtual office hours, in addition to being available via email, which will be responded to within 24 hours from Monday to Friday.

 

Please also take comfort in knowing that you and your student will have time to become comfortable with the platform. The first three days of remote learning will be a review of previously taught material and new information will not be introduced until Monday, April 6. 

 

We encourage you to visit our frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the latest updates and information, and know that you will receive a detailed update on April 2 addressing additional concerns and questions.


As always, the safety, health, and well-being of our students, staff and school community will continue to be our priority.  We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this together.


Sincerely,



Dr. Gregory A. Wyman
Superintendent

 

Click here to download the letter as a PDF.


Dear Combs Families: 


I hope this message finds you safe and healthy. As you know, today Governor Ducey and Superintendent Hoffman extended the statewide school closures through the end of the school year. While we will continue to follow the safety and health recommendations of our local, state, and federal health and government partners, we also know that these decisions greatly impact our students and families, and that you have many questions and concerns.


Please know that the possibility of extended closures has been evaluated over the past several weeks by the District’s leadership team. While closures for the remainder of the year pose a variety of challenges to overcome, today’s announcement from the Governor also provides clarity in the ways we can best move forward, and our ongoing commitment to providing instruction and service delivery to our families during this difficult time. 


Over the next several days, we will be developing a detailed update that outlines our response to your questions and concerns. We will be sharing this communication on Thursday, April 2, and it will include additional information regarding plans for graduation and prom, student property pick-up, state testing, sports, and more.


As a reminder, we will also officially begin remote learning on April 1, providing our curriculum via online lessons, videos, and other educational resources. You will receive detailed information from your teacher about how to access these resources, as well as grading, attendance, and expectations. 

  

If your child also receives Special Education Services through an IEP or has a Section 504 Plan, you will receive an additional email with information about the scheduling of required meetings.


We encourage you to continue to visit our list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the latest updates and information, and assure you that we will continue to share the latest developments via email, social media, and the website. 


As always, the safety, health, and well-being of our students, staff and school community will continue to be our priority.  We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this together.


Sincerely,



Dr. Gregory A. Wyman
Superintendent

Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced the extension of Arizona school closures through the end of the school year. The extension follows updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an announcement from the White House extending physical distancing guidelines until April 30, 2020.
 
Full announcement posted here.
 
Remote learning for Combs families will still begin on April 1st. Additional information will be shared as it becomes available.

Click here to download the message as a PDF.


Dear Combs Families: 


I hope this message finds you safe and healthy. As our team continues to prepare for the launch of online instruction on April 1, we are also pleased to provide an update on several additional resources to help support the needs of our students and families during this difficult time.


Expansion of Free Meal Program

In our efforts to continue to provide food to families in need, we will be adding Saturday breakfast meals to our program. These meals can only be picked up on Fridays during the designated breakfast times. Meals will continue to be provided at Kathryn Sue Simonton Elementary during the closures on a drive-up basis on Monday through Friday from 7:30am-9:00am for breakfast and 10:30am-12:00pm for lunch. Kathryn Sue Simonton Elementary is located at 40300 N Simonton Blvd., San Tan Valley, AZ 85140. Anyone ages 18 or younger is eligible to participate but families are reminded to please bring a reusable bag to transport the meals and practice social distancing when picking up meals from the table.

 

Access to Technology Devices and WiFiI/Internet

Thank you for responding to your child’s teacher regarding your access to technology devices and WiFi/Internet. We are currently developing a plan to support these needs and will send additional details via email directly to those families on Monday, March 30.

 

Tips for Parents

We know that children, as well as adults, may find these times of uncertainty and change particularly challenging. To help support the social and emotional learning of our community during this time, we have added a section to our COVID-19 web page that includes links for Parent Resources.

 

Free Resources for Preschool Aged Children

To continue to support our youngest learners, our team has developed free, optional online activities that families may use with preschool aged children during this time. These resources will launch on March 30 and will include crafts, enrichment activities, and educational resources to help develop your child’s gross and fine motor schools, and will be updated weekly and linked on our COVID-19 web page.


Reminder About Online Instruction

Starting April 1st, we will officially begin remote learning, providing our curriculum via online lessons, videos, and other educational resources. You will receive detailed information from your teacher about how to access these resources, as well as grading, attendance, and more. Please note that this online instruction is considered curriculum and will count toward your student’s grade/credit. For those of you who cannot readily access online instruction, hard copies of resources will be made available.

  

If your child also receives Special Education Services through an IEP or has a Section 504 Plan, you will receive an additional email with information about the scheduling of required meetings.


We encourage you to continue to visit our list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the latest updates and information. 


The safety, health, and well-being of our students, staff and school community will, as always, continue to be our priority.  We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this together.


Sincerely,



Dr. Gregory A. Wyman
Superintendent

 

Dear Combs Families: 


As you know, this past Friday Governor Ducey and Superintendent Hoffman extended the statewide school closures through April 10, 2020.  While the developments with COVID-19 continue to rapidly change, our commitment to providing high quality instruction to your children is unwavering. Our team has been working diligently to develop meaningful ways to continue instruction and service delivery during these closures, and have prepared the following resources to continue your child’s academic progress while remaining unified in our communities effort to fight COVID-19.


Transition to Online Instruction

 

Starting April 1st, we will officially begin online learning, providing our curriculum remotely via online lessons, videos, and other educational resources. You will receive detailed information from your teacher about how to access these resources, as well as grading, attendance, and more. Please note that this online instruction is considered curriculum and will count toward your student’s grade/credit. For those of you who cannot readily access online instruction, hard copies of resources will be made available.

 

In order to ensure that the needs of students are met, you will be receiving an email from your child’s teacher regarding your access to internet and technology devices.  This email will be sent today, and you are asked to please respond immediately so that we may work to support those students who do not currently have the necessary resources for online learning.

 

If your child also receives Special Education Services through an IEP or has a Section 504 Plan, you will receive an additional email with information about the scheduling of required meetings.

 

Supplemental Instructional Resources

 

This week, we encourage you to continue to take advantage of the resource center that we launched on March 18. This document includes a variety of educational resources for all grade levels and is intended to support ongoing learning and enrichment during the current school closures, but does not replace the curriculum. Completion of these activities is not required and will not count towards any credits or grades.  

 

Communication and Updates

 

The District will continue to share regular updates with families via SchoolMessenger, as well as social media and the website.  If you have not been receiving messages through SchoolMessenger, but from a friend or neighbor, please contact the Principal of your child's school to ensure that your correct email address is on file.  Schools and teachers will also be using email as a primary means of communicating with families, so it is critical that this information is accurate.


Meals for Kids

 

Sack meals will continue to be provided at Kathryn Sue Simonton Elementary during the closures on a drive-up basis on Monday through Friday from 7:30am-9:00am for breakfast and 10:30am-12:00pm for lunch. Kathryn Sue Simonton Elementary is located at 40300 N Simonton Blvd., San Tan Valley, AZ 85140. Anyone ages 18 or younger is eligible to participate.

 

Community members who wish to donate food items for families in need are encouraged to do so at one of many local food banks. Families who are not eligible for the meal program at Simonton Elementary are also encouraged to contact their local food bank for food provisions.

Protecting Your Health

 

We want to continue to remind our school community that the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are the same as preventing the cold and flu, and include: 


  • Frequently washing your hands with soap and water. 
  • Covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough. 
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. 
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Staying home when you are sick.
  • Practicing social distancing to stop the community spread of the virus.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend the use of facemasks for the general public. 


We will continue monitoring the development of COVID-19 and plan accordingly in partnership with local, state, and federal health and government officials. We have also developed a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) with additional information. 


For additional information about COVID-19, and the most current updates regarding the virus, please visit the CDC COVID-19 summary page, or the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID response.  


The safety, health, and well-being of our students, staff and school community will, as always, continue to be our priority.  We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this together.


Sincerely,


Dr. Gregory A. Wyman
Superintendent

On March 20, Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced a two-week extension of school closures through Friday, April 10, 2020. Governor Ducey and Superintendent Hoffman will continue to provide updates and guidance about the need for continued school closures beyond that date.
 
Full message can be found here.
 
An update will be provided to all Combs families on Monday, March 23 regarding plans for student instruction and other services during this extended closure.

Click here to download the letter as a PDF.

Dear Combs Families:

In the midst of ever-changing updates and developments surrounding COVID-19, we know that there are a variety of questions and concerns among our families and community. We continue to work diligently to support our Combs community during this challenging time, and have established several new resources to continue to meet the needs of our students and families. 

Instructional Resources

While we are still working to develop long term options for remote learning should the closures extend beyond March 27, we have established a resource center that includes a variety of educational resources for all grade levels.  Please note these resource materials are intended to support ongoing learning and enrichment during the current school closures, but do not replace curriculum. Completion of these activities is not required and will not count towards any credits or grades.  Additional information about long term plans for remote learning will be provided to families as soon as possible.

Student Technology Survey

As we work to develop remote instructional options to best serve our students during these school closures, we are looking to learn more about the technology resources that families have available to them. We have developed a short survey that we are asking every family to complete by Friday, March 20, 2020 at 11:59pm. Please encourage your friends and neighbors in our District to also complete this survey, as it provides critical information on how we can best meet the needs of our students.

Frequently Asked Questions

In addition, we have updated the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) portion of our COVID-19 web page to provide answers to commonly asked questions about meals, instruction, other resources, and more.

Please continue to visit this page at www.jocombs.org/coronavirus/ for the most up to date information. We will also continue to send updates via email and social media platforms as they become available.

The safety, health, and well-being of our students, staff and school community will, as always, continue to be our priority.  We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this unprecedented health crisis. 


Sincerely,


Dr. Gregory A. Wyman
Superintendent

Dear Combs Families: 

On Sunday, March 15, the Governor and the Arizona Department of Education announced a statewide school closure, beginning Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27, 2020. The closure includes all schools, Combs Kidz childcare, in-state and out of state field trips, all athletic practices and events, performances, clubs and extracurricular activities and any other school-sponsored events.

We anticipate additional direction from the Governor and State Superintendent in the coming days that will help determine how we will best support our staff. Part of Sunday’s announcement includes a commitment to work together to make sure dedicated school employees don’t see any disruption to their pay, as well as a commitment to consult with school district and legislative partners to determine the extent of any potential make-up days.

Meals for Kids During School Closures

Starting Tuesday, March 17, sack meals will be provided on a drive-up basis from 7:30am-9:00am for breakfast and 10:30am-12:00pm for lunch at Kathryn Sue Simonton Elementary, located at 40300 N Simonton Blvd., San Tan Valley, AZ 85140. Anyone ages 18 or younger is eligible to participate.

Community members who wish to donate food items for families in need are encouraged to do so at one of many local food banks. Families who are not eligible for the meal program at Simonton Elementary are also encouraged to contact their local food bank for food provisions.

Instruction

The Curriculum and Instruction and Student Services teams are meeting to compile resources and develop a plan for student instruction during the closures. This information will be provided to families as soon as possible.

District and school leadership will continue to closely monitor the situation and work diligently to make decisions and provide resources to serve our students, staff, and community.

A district web page has been established to provide the most recent updates, answer questions and provide links to facts and resources. Please visit www.jocombs.org/coronavirus/ for the most up-to-date information. We will also continue to send updates via email, the website, and social media platforms as they become available.

The safety, health, and well-being of our students, staff and school community will, as always, continue to be our priority.  We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this unprecedented health crisis. 


Sincerely,


Dr. Gregory A. Wyman
Superintendent
 
Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman have announced a statewide school closure from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27.
 
Full message posted here: ow.ly/wxGe50yMltq
 
More information for our students and families will be shared as soon as possible.

Click here to download the letter as a PDF.

 

Dear Combs Families:


Yesterday we announced that we were following the guidance and recommendation of our state and county partners, including Governor Doug Ducey, Dr. Cara Christ from Arizona Dept. of Health Services, Pinal County Health Department and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. It became evident that while school closures were not recommended at this time, the feeling within our community does not support this position 


Given the feelings expressed by our community, as of Saturday, March 14, 2020, the J.O. Combs Unified School District will extend Spring Break through March 20, at a minimum.  Any decision to extend beyond that date will be communicated to families and staff no later than Friday, March 20. 


The closure of our schools may create hardship for some of our students, families and staff.  District administration will continue to develop plans to address issues that may negatively impact our students, families and staff.  As decisions are made and plans developed, this information will be shared with our community.


Please know the original decision was not reached lightly.  We have participated in ongoing discussions, extensive meetings, and phone conferences regarding a variety of factors in consultation with experts. It was shared with the District and other school leaders in the state, by state and county health officials, that school closures could potentially lead to an increase of COVID-19 in community spread if students were to be placed in a different congregate area outside of their regular communities for childcare purposes. Importantly, when community spread is minimal, keeping our schools open also provides children with a regular routine that helps reduce panic and fear.  


As a reminder, the J.O. Combs Unified School District will also begin implementing the following actions immediately:


  • The district is suspending all high school and middle-level athletic games, arts performances and events, as well as assemblies, through April 1 to reduce social interactions.
  • All district-sponsored student or staff travel (in and out-of-state), including field trips, is suspended until further notice.
  • Outside rentals of school facilities and sites will be suspended through April 1.

As additional developments with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) take place, the J.O. Combs Unified School District will continue to communicate these developments with families as promptly as possible.


A district web page has been established to provide the most recent updates, answer questions and provide links to facts and resources. Please visit www.jocombs.org/coronavirus/ for the most up-to-date information.


For additional information about COVID-19, and the most current updates regarding the virus, please visit the CDC COVID-19 summary page, or the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID response.  



Sincerely,



Dr. Gregory A. Wyman
Superintendent

 

Dear Combs Families:

 

We continue to closely monitor the developments with the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), including ongoing communication with our state and county partners regarding guidance and recommendations. We were informed yesterday via statewide conference call with Governor Doug Ducey, Dr. Cara Christ from Arizona Dept. of Health Services and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, that school closures are not recommended at this time.  This means that the plan is for school to resume on Tuesday, March 17, as scheduled. If this changes, you will be notified immediately. 


We wish to emphasize to our families that there are still no confirmed cases in our district. We also want to assure parents that we will continue to take proactive measures to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our students, families and staff. As part of our efforts to help minimize the spread of illness, the J.O. Combs Unified School District will begin implementing the following actions immediately:


  • The district is suspending all high school and middle-level athletic games, arts performances and events, as well as assemblies, through April 1 to reduce social interactions.
  • All district-sponsored student or staff travel (in and out-of-state), including field trips, is suspended until further notice.
  • Outside rentals of school facilities and sites will be suspended through April 1.
  • Additional cleaning and sanitizing procedures have been instituted. This includes:
    • Regularly sanitizing all campuses, especially high-touch objects and surfaces. This includes door knobs, light switches, desks, tables, countertops, restroom fixtures, laptops, keyboards, and handrails.
    • Additional bus sanitization between runs. 
    • Assigning students a single chromebook when possible, and sanitizing them between uses.
  • In classrooms, teachers will use strategies to minimize student touch/interactions and encourage hand washing and sanitizing. 
  • Students and staff that are sick will be sent home.

As additional developments with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) take place, the J.O. Combs Unified School District will continue to work closely with state and county stakeholders and follow their guidance appropriately. The district will also continue to communicate these developments with families as promptly as possible.


A district web page has been established to provide the most recent updates, answer questions and provide links to facts and resources. Please visit www.jocombs.org/coronavirus/ for the most up-to-date information.


For additional information about COVID-19, and the most current updates regarding the virus, please visit the CDC COVID-19 summary page, or the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID response.  

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Gregory A. Wyman
Superintendent


Dear Combs Families:

We are reaching out because you have likely been hearing reports in the news regarding the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The J.O. Combs Unified School District has reached out to the Pinal County Public Health Department and will continue to follow their guidance and recommendations regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. At this time, there are no confirmed cases in our district, however we recognize that recent reports identify a case in our nearby community and that this issue continues to rapidly evolve statewide.

For the official statement on the reported COVID-19 case in the Pinal County school community, please click here.

We want to remind our school community that the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are the same as preventing the cold and flu, and include:

● Frequently washing your hands with soap and water.
● Covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
● Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
● Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning
spray or wipe.
● Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
● Staying home when you are sick.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend the use of facemasks for the general public.

The safety, health, and well-being of our students, staff and school community will, as always, continue to be our priority. During Spring Break the District will conduct a deep cleaning of all classrooms, schools and departments.
 
The District will also establish enhanced daily cleaning of high-touch surfaces and incorporate routine hand hygiene practices throughout the day when students return.

We will continue monitoring the development of COVID-19 and plan accordingly in partnership with local, state, and federal health and government officials. We have also developed a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) with additional information.
 
For additional information about COVID-19, and the most current updates regarding the virus, please visit the CDC COVID-19 summary page, or the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID response.
 
We will continue to provide updates to our community about our schools and the COVID-19 as is warranted.

Sincerely,
Dr. Gregory A. Wyman
Superintendent