Principal Updates

Principal Updates
Posted on 2020/11/13
Principal UpdatesNovember 13, 2020 – The following information was sent to Independence parents via email and phone dialer.

Dear Parents/Guardians:

According to the latest data released from Maricopa County Department of Public Health, the COVID-19 numbers for our area have once again increased. As a reminder, we cannot transition into the hybrid learning model until the percent positivity is below 7% for two consecutive weeks.

Independence High School students will continue to learn remotely from home until the hybrid learning benchmarks are met.

INDEPENDENCE’S CURRENT BENCHMARKS

Overall risk level is:

Substantial

Recommended learning scenario is:

Virtual w/ onsite support until <7% positivity for 2 weeks*

Most recent data (for the week of Oct 25, 2020)

Cases per 100K people: 135.76% (red)

Percent positivity: 12.01% (yellow)

Covid-like illness: 4.00% (green)

Prior week's data (for the week of Oct 18, 2020)

Cases per 100K people: 119.79% (red)

Percent positivity: 10.28% (yellow)

Covid-like illness: 4.00% (green)


Sources: School Reopening Dashboard & Guidance

CURRENT ACTIVE COVID-19 CASES

As a reminder, the district has added a COVID-19 cases dashboard to the website. This information is updated every Friday. More information can be found here.

In closing, we will closely monitor the health benchmarks within our community and will continue to update parents/guardians with any changes. If you have questions or concerns you can contact us at 623-435-6100.











November 6, 2020 
– The following information was sent to Independence parents via email and phone dialer.

Dear Parents/Guardians:

According to the latest data released from Maricopa County Department of Public Health, the COVID-19 numbers for our area have once again increased. As a reminder, we cannot transition into the hybrid learning model until the percent positivity is below 7% for two consecutive weeks.

Independence High School students will continue to learn remotely from home until the hybrid learning benchmarks are met.

INDEPENDENCE’S CURRENT BENCHMARKS

Overall risk level is:

Moderate (The overall risk will not change to substantial until the numbers in the red category remain for two consecutive weeks)

Recommended learning scenario is:

Virtual w/ onsite support until <7% positivity for 2 weeks*

Most recent data (for the week of Oct 18, 2020)

Cases per 100K people: 119.79% (red)

Percent positivity: 10.28% (yellow)

Covid-like illness: 4.00% (green)


Prior week's data
(for the week of Oct 11, 2020)

Cases per 100K people: 82.52% (yellow)

Percent positivity: 8.44% (yellow)

Covid-like illness: 3.00% (green)



Sources: School Reopening Dashboard & Guidance

CURRENT ACTIVE COVID-19 CASES

As a reminder, we have added a COVID-19 cases dashboard to our website. This information is updated once a week. More information can be found here.

In closing, we will closely monitor the health benchmarks within our community and will continue to update parents/guardians with any changes. If you have questions or concerns you can contact us at 623-435-6100.











October 30, 2020  
– The following information was sent to Independence parents via email and phone dialer.

Dear Parents/Guardians:

According to the latest data released from Maricopa County Department of Public Health, the COVID-19 numbers for our area have decreased. Although this is good news for our community, this does not change our current learning model. As a reminder, we cannot transition into the hybrid learning model until the percent positivity is below 7% for two consecutive weeks.

Independence High School students will continue to learn remotely from home until the hybrid learning benchmarks are met.

INDEPENDENCE’S CURRENT BENCHMARKS

Overall risk level is:

Moderate (The overall risk will not change to substantial until the numbers in the red category remain for two consecutive weeks)

Recommended learning scenario is:

Virtual w/ onsite support until <7% positivity for 2 weeks*

Most recent data (for the week of Oct 4, 2020)

Cases per 100K people: 82.52% (yellow)

Percent positivity: 8.44% (yellow)

Covid-like illness: 3.00% (green)

Prior week's data (for the week of Oct 4, 2020)

Cases per 100K people: 109.14 (red)

Percent positivity: 10.26 % (red)

Covid-like illness: 3.00% (green)

Benchmarks 1





Sources:
School Reopening Dashboard & Guidance

SCHOOL METRIC CHANGES

We are aware of  recent changes made by the Arizona  Department of Health Services (ADHS) regarding its recommendations on the school benchmarks. We are currently seeking additional details and an explanation for the changes. We will provide more information in a future communication.

CURRENT ACTIVE COVID-19 CASES

GUHSD has created a dashboard, which lists active COVID-19 cases. The purpose of this information is to provide our families and staff members with a transparent summary of COVID-19 cases by school, resulting in a temporary removal from in-person learning and school activities.

An active case indicates that a student or staff member participating in on-campus activities has tested positive for an active COVID-19 infection.

Individuals who test positive are excluded from participation in any in-person/on-campus activity until the school verifies that the individual meets the return criteria set by state and local health authorities.

Once the individual is cleared to return, the case is no longer considered active and is removed from the dashboard count.

The dashboard will be updated on a weekly basis.

COMMUNICATION OF ACTIVE COVID-19 CASES

The communication regarding a positive COVID-19 case falls within the HIPPA guidelines and the privacy rights of students and staff members must be protected. GUHSD works closely with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) to track/confirm COVID-19 cases and conduct contact tracing.

The school will communicate in the following ways:

The school will notify every person that has been identified to have been in “close contact” with the positive individual.

Close contact is defined as, “being within six feet for a ten to fifteen-minute duration.”

Any student/staff member deemed to have been in close contact with the positive individual is required to stay home for 14-days from the exposure date.

The school will communicate with families of students who are identified as “close contacts” or someone who is COVID-19 positive.

The school will communicate with all families if there is an outbreak of COVID-19.

MCDPH classifies an outbreak as at least two COVID-19 cases linked to students or staff who have been in close contact with the school within a 14-day period.

More information, including the new dashboard can be found here.  

In closing, we will closely monitor the health benchmarks within our community and will continue to update parents/guardians with any changes. If you have questions or concerns you can contact us at 623-435-6100.











October 23, 2020
– The following information was sent to Independence parents via email and phone dialer.

Dear Parents/Guardians:

According to the latest data released from Maricopa County Department of Public Health, the COVID-19 numbers for our area continue to increase. Based on the current data, Independence High School students will continue to learn remotely from home until the hybrid learning benchmarks are met.

INDEPENDENCE’S CURRENT BENCHMARKS

Overall risk level is:

Moderate (The overall risk will not change to substantial until the numbers in the red category remain for two consecutive weeks)

Recommended learning scenario is:

Virtual w/ onsite support until <7% positivity for 2 weeks*

Most recent data (for the week of Oct 4, 2020)

Cases per 100K people: 109.14 (red)

Percent positivity: 10.26% (red)

Covid-like illness: 3.00% (green)

Prior week's data (for the week of Sept 27, 2020)

Cases per 100K people: 47.91 (yellow)

Percent positivity: 7.41% (yellow)

Covid-like illness: 3.00% (green)

Sources: School Reopening Dashboard & Guidance

BENCHMARKS AND LEARNING SCENARIOS

Benchmarks

Minimal

Moderate

Substantial

Cases

< 10 cases/100k

10-100 cases/100k

> 100 cases/100k

Percent Positivity

< 5%

5-10%*

> 10%

COVID-like illness

< 5%

5-10%

> 10%


*Percent positivity -
MCDPH recommends putting greatest weight on PCR test percent (%) positivity – the proportion of all PCR tests performed that week that are positive. A higher % positivity can indicate that there is more disease spreading within the community, or it can mean that there is not enough available testing in the area.

Benchmarks 2

















*There are two Learning Scenarios that can be recommended when there is Moderate Community Spread: 1) Virtual Learning with Onsite Support when an area has a weekly test % positivity of 7-10%, or 2.) Hybrid once the community has met the recommended threshold for percent positivity of < 7% for 2 consecutive weeks.

The increases in cases per 100k and percent positivity serves as a reminder that all of us need to be diligent about following the preventative measures such as staying home when sick, washing hands frequently, physically distancing, and wearing a cloth face mask. These small actions will make a big difference in helping slow the spread of COVID-19. 

We will closely monitor the numbers and will continue to update parents/guardians with changes. If you have questions or concerns you can contact us at 623-435-6100.














October 14, 2020
 – The following information was sent to Independence parents via email and phone dialer.

Good evening Patriot community.

As you have read in the communication from our district office, Independence High School has not yet met the health and safety requirements set in place by the Maricopa County Public Health Office for students to safely return to school under a hybrid model. 

Independence High School will not be opening for hybrid learning on October 19th.  We will continue to monitor the percentage of positive cases in the 85303 area code and once we have reached the rate that has been deemed safe by health officials, we will send information about opening the school at that time.  

For now, all Independence High School students will continue learning virtually and will not return to school on October 19th.  We know this is a disappointment for many of you, but we want to ensure we are following the guidelines for a safe return to school. 

Starting October 19th, there will be a new class schedule for all students.  That schedule is posted below.  The short class period day has been changed from Monday to Wednesday, and there has been a ten minute passing period added to the rest of the schedule. Please take a minute to read and understand the schedule. 

The offices at Independence High School will be open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 11:00 am during the week of Fall Break.  If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call the office at 623-435-6100.
Bell Schedule































October 9, 2020 – The following information was sent to Independence parents via email and phone dialer.

Dear Independence Parents/Guardians:

COVID-19 DATA FOR 85303

As you are aware, we have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 benchmark data since last spring. As of last week, Independence High School was the only school within GUHSD that had a zip code area (85303) not meet the percent positivity requirement of a number under 7% for two consecutive weeks. 

However, the percent positivity in the zip code 85303 was down to 7.65% last week. Due to the recent downward trend, we believed that yesterday’s numbers could be below 7.0% and the second week of percent positivity would be reflected in the numbers released over fall break. Unfortunately, the data released yesterday showed a large increase in the percent positivity for the Independence area. 

PERCENT POSITIVITY INCREASE FOR 85303

Yesterday’s numbers show that the percent positivity increased to 9.64% for 85303. Based on the current data, the recommended learning scenario for Independence High School is Virtual with Online Support Until <7% for two weeks. Independence High School has not ever met the reopening requirements to be able to transition to a hybrid learning model. This information is released every Thursday and can be found by accessing the following site:
School Reopening Dashboard & Guidance

As we have stated throughout this process, we will make decisions based on data and advice of health agencies so that we are protecting our faculty/staff, students, and families. After thoughtfully evaluating the health data and in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus within our community, as well as for the health, wellness, and safety of our students and staff, we have made the decision that Independence High School will remain in its current remote learning from home model with onsite/safe space support until it meets the criteria to safely transition to the hybrid learning model

INDEPENDENCE HIGH SCHOOL TO REMAIN LEARNING REMOTELY FROM HOME

After fall break, Independence High School students will not return to campus. They will continue to learn remotely from home until the school meets the criteria to safely transition to the hybrid learning model. 

Shortly you will be receiving more information from Independence High School. 

We recognize the impact this decision has on our families; however, we believe it is the best one for the health and safety of our students and staff. We will continue to monitor the health benchmarks and will continue to provide updates to our families.

In closing, Independence will continue to focus on academic achievement with their students and will provide support and resources for them to be successful. More information regarding the October 19 schedule, along with additional details, will be sent to you by the school.