With marching orders to take care of young minds and midsections, school administrators scrambled to develop plans in the era of COVID-19.
Peoria leaders had to act swiftly March 15, when Gov. Doug Ducey closed schools for two weeks. On Friday, March 20, Ducey extended the closures by another two weeks, through April 10.
In his March 15 proclamation, Ducey also ordered: “School administrators should make every effort to provide continued education learning opportunities through online resources or materials that can be sent home.”
And Ducey noted, “School administrators should develop a plan to continue breakfast and lunch services for Arizona students.”
After last week’s spring break, the Peoria Unified School District started serving meals Monday, March 23.
Jibriel Saunders, a chef who is a Peoria High School graduate, harvested the garden at Peoria Elementary and handed out fresh produce to go with lunches.
“It was wonderful to see the smiles on the faces of our students and their families,” said Brenda LoPresto, Peoria Elementary’s principal.
“We want our students and families to know that while we may not be in school at the moment we are still here to support our community.”
In addition to meals, the district must provide the Ducey-mandated “learning opportunities.”
On its website, peoriaunified.org, PUSD outlines its plan.
“Peoria Unified’s Curriculum and Instruction team has compiled a list of online resources for at-home learning activities. While none of the activities are required, you may choose to use the list as a menu of ideas to explore and select those activities that are of interest to your child.
“Our instructional team encourages you to see the opportunity for learning in everyday activities and to think outside the box and keep your children mentally active and engaged. As more resources are identified, the list will be updated.”
A document breaks down opportunities by grade level and subject. The document directs students to access the PUSD Student Portal. There are also links to learning sites such as khanacademy.org and learnzillion.com.
At PUSD, starting Monday, March 23, meals are available for curbside pick-up from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday.
All meals will be served in a bag with a lunch and cold breakfast for the next day. Lunch will include a hot or cold entrée, fruit, vegetable and milk. Breakfast will include an entrée, fruit, juice and milk.
“Those 18 and younger will receive free meals and they will be distributed (one per child) on a first come, first served basis. Meals for adults will be available for purchase for $3,” according to the district website.
The funding for meal distribution is available through the USDA National School Lunch Program.
Those with accessibility needs should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For updates and more information, visit peoriaunified.org/coronavirus.
• Alta Loma Elementary,
9750 N. 87th Avenue, Peoria.
• Apache Elementary,
8633 W. John Cabot Road, Peoria.
• Canyon Elementary,
5490 W. Paradise Lane, Glendale.
• Centennial High School,
14388 N. 79th Avenue, Peoria.
• Cheyenne Elementary,
11806 N. 87th Avenue, Peoria.
• Copperwood Elementary,
11232 N. 65th Avenue, Glendale.
• Cotton Boll Elementary,
8540 W. Butler Drive, Peoria.
• Country Meadows Elementary,
8409 N. 111th Avenue, Peoria,
• District Administration Center,
6330 W. Thunderbird Road, Glendale.
• Desert Harbor Elementary,
15585 N. 91st Avenue, Peoria.
• Desert Palms Elementary,
11441 N. 55th Avenue, Glendale.
• Desert Valley Elementary,
12901 N. 63rd Avenue, Glendale.
• Foothills Elementary,
15808 N. 63rd Avenue, Glendale.
• Heritage Elementary,
5312 W. Mountain View Road, Glendale.
• Ira A. Murphy Elementary,
7231 W. North Lane, Peoria.
• Ironwood High School,
6051 W. Sweetwater Avenue, Glendale.
• Kachina Elementary,
5304 W. Crocus Drive, Glendale.
• Liberty High School,
9621 W. Speckled Gecko, Peoria.
• Marshall Ranch Elementary,
12995 N. Marshall Ranch Drive, Glendale.
• Oasis Elementary,
7841 W Sweetwater Avenue, Peoria.
• Peoria Elementary,
11501 N. 79th Avenue, Peoria.
• Peoria High School,
11200 N. 83rd Avenue, Peoria.
• Pioneer Elementary,
6315 W. Port au Prince Lane, Glendale.
• Raymond S. Kellis High School, 8990 W. Orangewood Avenue, Glendale.
• Sahuaro Ranch Elementary,
10401 N. 63rd Avenue, Glendale.
• Santa Fe Elementary,
9880 N. 77th Avenue, Peoria.
• Sky View Elementary,
8624 W. Sweetwater Avenue, Peoria.
• Sun Valley Elementary,
8361 N. 95th Avenue, Peoria.
• Sundance Elementary,
7051 W. Cholla Street, Peoria.
• Vistancia Elementary,
30009 N. Sunrise Point, Peoria.
Deer Valley Unified School District also was on spring break March 16 through March 20. The district announced Tuesday, March 17, meals will be provided for children 18 and under from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, March 23, through Friday, March 27.
“Breakfast and lunch will be available for drive-through or pick-up at several schools sites and locations in our community,” according to Monica Allread, a DVUSD spokeswoman.
DVUSD food-distribution locations include:
• Barry Goldwater High School,
2820 W. Rose Lane, Phoenix.
• Budget Suites,
2702 W. Yorkshire Drive, Phoenix.
• Cactus Trail Apartments,
2403 W. Lone Cactus Drive, Phoenix.
• Park Meadows Elementary,
20012 N. 35th Avenue, Glendale.
• Sunrise Elementary,
17624 N. 31st Avenue, Phoenix.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the same time.
The district advises parents to check dvusd.org/food every day to see if hours or locations change.
“All children 18 and under qualify. You do not have to attend our schools to participate or be approved for the free and reduced meal program in order to receive meals,” Allread noted.
At the DVUSD locations, children must be present in order for meals to be provided.
“We encourage families to continue to be proactive in reducing the risk of COVID-19 by not congregating at the school site once meals have been distributed, continuing to wash your hands often, sneezing or coughing into a tissue, and staying home if you are sick,” Allread added.
Meal distribution sites will be set up outside at each location and meals should not be consumed at that location, according to DVUSD.
Those driving are advised to stay in your car and meals will be passed through to the driver, based on the number of children in the car.