October 8, 2021
Dear Scottsdale Unified School District Parents and Guardians,
We reach a significant milestone today with the end of the first quarter of the 2021-2022 school year. The year began in August with many questions. At times, it seemed that for every one question that was answered, four more arose. We want you to know that we are grateful to be working with you every day to resolve issues as they arise and in a way that
makes sense for your students, our teachers and staff, and the district, and that provides us all
with a path forward. Thank you.
This week, SUSD opened a drive-thru, COVID-19 surveillance and diagnostic testing site at Cherokee Elementary School, 8801 N. 56th St., Paradise Valley, for all SUSD families and district employees. A similar site will open Monday, October 11, in the Navajo Elementary School community at Open Arms Church, 4640 N. Granite Reef Rd., Scottsdale. This testing
partnership with InOffice Diagnostics is offered at no out-of-pocket cost to families or the district. Testing is completely voluntary. Both sites are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Read more about the program here.
In monitoring the data from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, there is an interesting trend that is different from what is being seen in other parts of the country. During the early summer, many states in the Southeast saw tremendous surges in cases, followed by a steep decline more recently. Arizona saw a similar spike in cases beginning in July, but rather than a steep decline, we have since seen a plateauing of cases. While we had hoped for a quick return to moderate transmission levels, SUSD’s zip codes remain at the High transmission level. The number of active cases in or buildings remains relatively constant. The Pfizer request for emergency use authorization for children 5-11 years old has been submitted to the FDA, with a hearing scheduled for October 26. It is possible that families will have the option to get the vaccine for their elementary-aged children by early November.
In last week’s parent letter, we advised you of plans to begin welcoming classroom volunteers at our 28 school campuses after Fall Break. We have been pleased with your eagerness to give our teachers and office staff those much-appreciated extra sets of helping hands!
As a reminder: 1) Principals determine their school’s specific volunteer needs and 2) you must go through our Human Resources (HR) Department in order to be an indoor classroom or outdoor school volunteer. To complete the volunteer application, please go to the Human Resources Volunteer page of the SUSD website. We require proof of vaccination to be able to volunteer indoors. Additionally, please note that all indoor volunteers are required to wear face masks, per SUSD’s mitigation plan. We ask that you please be patient while we process the large number of applications that have been submitted to date.
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This indoor volunteering opportunity is also being made available to those who have natural
immunity to COVID-19. SUSD will require signed and dated documentation of a recent,
positive PCR or antigen test or of a physician’s COVID-19 diagnosis. This documentation also
must be submitted to the HR Department.
Support Services Newsletter
The October edition of our Support Services Department’s monthly newsletter is now available.
This month’s newsletter contains information about the nation’s oldest and largest drug
prevention program, called Red Ribbon Week, that this year occurs the week of October 23-31.
You will also find information about upcoming presentations, webinars and workshops offered
by community social service agencies regarding many social issues facing our youth that are
concerning to all of us.
New SUSD Committee Seeking Volunteers
The SUSD Finance Department is recruiting volunteers for its newly established Capital
Planning Committee. This new panel will review current and anticipated capital funding for
the next five years. If you are interested in serving on this new SUSD committee, please
complete the application. To read about the work of ongoing district committees, go to
Seminar for Parents of Gifted Children
On Tuesday, October 19, we invite you to join our first seminar of the school year designed
especially for the parents of gifted students. SUSD Director of Gifted and Accelerated
Learning Karen Brown hosts and will provide an overview of the district’s gifted services and
how they support the unique academic and social/emotional needs of our gifted learners. This
90-minute Zoom seminar gets underway at 6 p.m.
Please be advised that in addition to our schools, all SUSD offices are closed next week. We
wish all of our families a fun and safe Fall Break, and we’ll see you next on Monday, October
Scottsdale Unified School District Cabinet and Leadership Team
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Community COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Resources
SUSD continues to partner with Embry Health, which operates three, convenient COVID testing
sites in the SUSD community:
• Oak Learning Academy campus, 7501 E. Oak St., Scottsdale - open from 7 a.m. to 7
p.m., Monday through Friday
• Chaparral Business Center, 8840 E. Chaparral Rd., Scottsdale – open from 7 a.m. to 4:30
p.m., 7 days a week
• Phoenix Camelback Seventh-day Adventist Church, 5902 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix –
open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday thru Friday
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COVID-19 vaccinations are widely available throughout our community at both stand-alone
pharmacies, such as Walgreen’s and CVS, and at pharmacies located inside major grocery
stores. They also do COVID testing on-site.
Ranch Pharmacy: 10769 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale
Other community vaccination resources:
NOAH - Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health: https://noahhelps.org/covid-vaccine/
Maricopa County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine
Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 Vaccine
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