Here is when Arizona schools plan to start the upcoming academic year

Aug 5, 2020, 7:14 AM | Updated: 10:12 pm

(Getty Images/Andy Lyons)...

(Getty Images/Andy Lyons)

(Getty Images/Andy Lyons)

PHOENIX — The start of the academic school year has already begun and the coronavirus pandemic has forced schools in Arizona to plan accordingly.

As the state grappled with a surge in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order June 29 delaying the beginning of in-school instruction until at least Aug. 17.

Ducey’s decision came after some schools districts had already pushed back their start dates, though most were were scheduled to begin the academic year in early August.

On July 23, Gov. Ducey signed an executive order outlining that a plan developed by the Arizona Department of Health Services will aim to provide guidance for in-person learning for the 2020-21 academic year.

Details of the Arizona: Open For Learning plan are to be released by Aug. 7, per Ducey’s order.

Here is a list of metro Phoenix districts’ plans for beginning the fall semester as schools grapple with figuring out how to safely reopen:

Glendale Union High School District — Remote learning will start Aug. 10 and remain online until at least Sept. 4.

Florence Unified School District — Online classes started on July 22. The district offered students two options, but a date for the resumption of in-person learning has yet to be determined.

Apache Junction Unified School District — Classes started online on July 21. However, a return date for in-person learning has yet to be announced.

Higley Unified School District — Classes commenced on July 27 entirely online. Students will have the option of distance or in-person learning, but a date for resuming in-person education has yet to be announced.

Peoria Unified School District — Classes will begin remotely on Aug. 5 and continue through Sept. 8 after the district’s governing board voted to push back in-person learning until after Labor Day “at the earliest.” Students will also have the two options of either classroom or virtual learning once in-person education resumes.

Mesa Public Schools — Classes will resume on Aug. 4 in a remote capacity. Remote learning will continue until the district deems “it is safe to transition into modified in-person learning and ultimately in-person learning.”

Tempe Union High School District — Classes began virtually Aug. 3, while a date to return to in-person learning has yet to be determined. The school district is offering two options for the fall 2020 semester.

Chandler Unified School District — Classes began online Aug. 5. Following a meeting of the governing board on the same day, the district said it would resume traditional in-person education during the second quarter of the academic year if it can meet public health benchmarks set by the Arizona Department of Health Services and Maricopa County. The district will reevaluate its plan during a board meeting on Sept. 23.

Osborn School District — Instruction began with distance learning Aug. 3 and will continue through at least the first quarter, which ends Oct. 2. The district will make additional decisions regarding in-person learning when more coronavirus data is available.

Deer Valley Unified School District — Instruction resumed online Aug. 3 and the school district plans to reopen campuses Oct. 14. Parents had three learning options for their children: on campus, flex or online, which had to be made by July 28.

Queen Creek Unified School District — The academic year began Aug. 3 online. Parents have two options: short-term online learning that will transition to an in-person classroom setting when it’s ruled safe, or long-term online instruction.

Phoenix Union High School District — Students began the year with remote learning only Aug. 3 and continue until the end of the first quarter on Oct. 2. The district will reassess its plan for the rest of the school year by the end of the first quarter.

Scottsdale Unified School District — The district will offer two options to families when schools resume in-person education: full-time on-campus option or full-time remote. Students will begin the year with virtual learning Aug. 10 until at least Sept. 8.

Paradise Valley Unified School District — Students will start the academic year with remote learning on Aug. 5. The district plans to keep all learning entirely online through at least Sept. 4.

Alhambra Elementary School District — Students will resume classes on Aug. 17 via distance learning, which will be conducted through at least the first quarter. When school officials determine it is safe for students to resume in-person learning, families can opt for their children to physically return to school or continue with remote education.

Gilbert Public Schools — The district is beginning distance learning Aug. 5. Based upon families’ preferences, enrolled students will begin in-person, hybrid, or a fully-remote learning options once the AZDHS deems it is safe to do so.

Tempe Elementary School District — Classes will commence in a remote capacity on Aug. 17 and will continue through the first quarter. The district has approved resuming in-person classes at all sites on Oct. 13.

Kyrene School District — Classes will start Aug. 17, with all instruction online. The district initially had a hybrid option but removed that from its plan. The Kyrene Digital Academy, which has a different calendar than the district’s traditional schools, started July 30.

Union Elementary School District — Students resumed classes virtually on Aug. 3. The district will announce on Aug. 14 whether or not in-person learning will resume on Aug. 17.

Fowler Elementary School District — Fall semester classes will begin online Aug. 17. However, a date to resume in-person learning has yet to be announced. Parents and their children will then have three different learning options: in-person, hybrid or distance learning models.

Fountain Hills Unified School District — Classes will resume virtually Aug. 11. A tentative date for returning to in-person learning has been set for Sept. 8.

Buckeye Union — Online learning options will be available beginning Aug. 5. The district said it will provide more information about the upcoming school year pending guidance from AZDHS.

Laveen School District — The district began conducting online learning Aug. 3. After Ducey’s executive order expires, distance learning, hybrid and traditional in-person education options will be made available to families and their children.

Cave Creek Unified School District — Online learning will start Aug. 5 and options for students to transition to in-person learning will begin Sept. 8, the district said after a board vote July 20.

J.O. Combs Unified School District — Virtual learning for all students began Aug. 3. The district will wait to make a decision on resuming in-person learning until it receives guidance from AZDHS on Aug. 7.

Dysart Unified School District — Classes will begin in a remote capacity on Aug. 4 and will continue through the end of the first quarter. The school district is scheduled to resume in-person learning on Oct. 19, but will allow families and their children to select from in-person, hybrid or remote learning options.

Balsz School District — Classes will commence on Aug. 17. The school district is offering in-person education or online distance learning options.

Valley Christian Schools — In-person learning will resume at all three campuses on Aug. 17 with online options available for its middle and high schools, but not its elementary school.

Tolleson Union High School District — Courses will begin online for all students Aug. 4 and will continue through the first quarter (Oct. 9). Students will then remain learning in a remote capacity or transition to in-person or hybrid education models.

Agua Fria Union High School District — The district began classes in a remote capacity Aug. 3. Students will then transition to in-person learning two days per week and continue virtual learning two days per week once the state enters the second phase of reopening or displays a sufficient downward trend in coronavirus cases.

Madison School District — Classes will begin virtually Aug. 11 and will continue through the first quarter (Oct. 2) “unless the data show it is safe to reopen sooner,” the district said in a statement.

Cartwright School District — Virtual learning began for all students Aug. 3 and in-person learning will be available Aug. 17 pending the expiration of Ducey’s executive order. Online learning options will also be available beyond Aug. 17. The district will also be moving to a four-day school week with Fridays set aside for deep cleanings.

Great Hearts Academies — The district will be starting on time remotely, with a vote of when to return to in-person coming on July 27. Great Hearts Academies plans on implementing a six-point reopening plan that includes prevention, social distancing, incident response, student support, remote learning options and contingency planning.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Preston Mark was assaulted in Park in August 2020. (FBI Photo)...

Reward of up to $10,000 offered for information in death of 61-year-old Arizona man

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information about the death of a 61-year-old Arizona man in 2020.

2 hours ago

A newly released report on last year’s fatal crash involving a pickup truck and a group of bicycl...

Associated Press

Report suggests steering of vehicle that caused fatal Goodyear bicycle crash worked fine

A new report on last year’s fatal Goodyear bicycle crash has cast doubts about the driver’s claim the vehicle’s steering locked up.

3 hours ago

A 43-year-old man died after driving his vehicle into the bottom of a dry canal in Phoenix on Feb. ...

43-year-old man dead after driving vehicle into canal in Phoenix

A 43-year-old man died after driving his vehicle into the bottom of a dry canal in Phoenix on Tuesday evening, authorities said.

4 hours ago

A dust storm rolled through metro Phoenix on Feb. 28, 2024. (ADOT Photo)...

Dust storm rolls through metro Phoenix during evening rush hour

Metro Phoenix drivers headed home during evening rush hour had to fight through a dust storm on Wednesday.

4 hours ago

A student was found with a gun at Youngker High School in Buckeye on Feb. 28, 2024. (Google Maps Sc...

Student found with gun at West Valley high school

A student was found with a gun at a West Valley high school on Wednesday, authorities said.

6 hours ago

The front end blade of an Arizona Department of Transportation snowplow...

Kevin Stone

Here’s the scoop: ADOT reveals results of name-a-snowplow contest

After tallying more than 9,500 votes, the Arizona Department of Transportation revealed three winners for its second name-a-snowplow contest.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Here is when Arizona schools plan to start the upcoming academic year