Kayenta Unified School District 

Yá’át’ééh!

Kayenta Unified School District No. 27 is located in the Navajo Nation of Arizona. We are a people who take great pride in our heritage. It is our privilege and honor to be in the position to accompany our children on their journey to great heights and solid futures. As you learn about us, we know you’ll catch our enthusiasm and appreciate our awe-inspiring past, present, and future. We know that by working together, we accomplish great things!

KUSD Reopening Plans for 2020–2021

Our Mission statement is that It is the individual's responsibility to attain a successful life thinking planning learning working together. This is what we want for you. Through guidance, we will get there together.

Message from the Superintendent

August 7, 2020

Kayenta Unified School District No. 27 continues to plan the opening of school set for August 10, 2020. The district will open with distance learning. Much thought, planning, and application of guidance from federal, state, county, and Navajo health centers has guided the work.

The district is guided by the following underlying assumptions.

  1. Safety is our first priority.
  2. All learners (students, teachers, staff, and parents) have experienced trauma and difficulty (economically, medically, family member illness/death) due to the COVID-19.
  3. Schools were closed the last quarter of SY 19–20 and the summer of 2020 which has resulted in a greater gap of learning for all students.
  4. Reopening schools will be modified based on on-going guidance from national, state, and local health officials, which will include physical distancing, face coverings, temperature screenings, and frequent disinfecting of school buildings.
  5. Accommodations will be implemented for teachers, administrators, school staff, and students who may be at heightened risk from COVID-19 due to their age or other health conditions. Visitors to the schools and facilities are not allowed.
  6.  All learners (students, teachers, staff, and parents) will be challenged and supported to set higher goals, work harder, accept change, and realize the satisfaction of a positive learning experience through our efforts of distance learning.
  7. Families and students must be supported with innovative ideas to support learning.
  8. Conditions are fluid – plans will change.

The district has collected data through three different venues. Online data from employees, online data through the parent portal using Survey Monkey, and paper surveys mailed to families that weren’t able to respond online. Although the data collected had much information, we will only share three with this narrative.

  • Survey question: If our schools open with children and teacher returning to school buildings following Center for Disease Control’s guidelines such as social distancing, masks, hand washing, and other factors for health and safety will your child attend school on site?
    Yes – 44.3%; No – 39.3%; Undecided – 16.4%
    Be reminded KUSD 27 will have distance learning for fall 2020.
  • Survey question: If students have to stay home to learn, how do you prefer for the child(ren) in your household to receive assignments?
    Pick up instructional packets – 60.25%; Internet – 79%
  • Survey question: What do you see as the biggest barriers to the child(ren) in your household being able to learn at home through phone/video calls with teacher, a computer, and internet?
    Lack of technology (computer) and unreliable internet or access to data – 60.25%; No electricity – 9.41%

It is important to understand that many uncertainties continue to guide or hamper the work of the district. The lack of information and data from the federal, state, county, and regional level regarding the virus and which data will influence schools to open is not within the control of the district. This creates many dilemmas regarding opening of the schools. The many components do not allow for the district to make simple decisions. The administration and the governing board will continue to plan and move forward based on analysis and synthesis of all information that is provided to the district.

Distance Learning and Planning:

MVHS, KMS, and KES have developed distance learning handbooks. We will provide the handbooks to families and will post them on the school webpage.

The district developed the distance learning plan for submission to the Arizona Department of Education. We will post the plan on the district webpage.

The district developed the return-to-school mitigation plan. The plan outlines the procedures to protect staff, families, and students based on CDC guidelines. With distance learning the plan is applicable to staff only and visitors only. We will post the mitigation plan on the school webpage.

The CDC and district conducted a walkthrough and the CDC provided a summary report with recommendations to apply if and when students return to the buildings. We will post this summary report developed by the CDC on the district webpage.

Executive orders 2020-51, 2020-41 and 2020-44 from Governor Ducey contains the following language:

Each school district and charter school shall begin offering free on-site learning opportunities and support services for students who need a place to go during the day as required by Executive Order 2020-41 and shall begin August 17, 2020, as prescribed in Executive Order 2020-44.

The district will begin the planning process for bringing in students based on a very modified interpretation of the requirement.

Upon completion and upon governing board action the district will move forward to assist students when the district is ready. It should be noted that the district might be eligible for a waiver from this requirement based on the Navajo Nation Public Health Emergency Order No. 2020-017.

Distance Learning – First Semester

  • All students will receive a computer.
  • Students and families with need will receive a hotspot for Wi-Fi access.
  • Thirteen buses will be equipped with Wi-Fi and schedules will be developed to park at remote locations to provide students access to Wi-Fi.
  • Students and families that lack electricity will receive a solar-powered battery pack, which will allow charging of the computers.
  • Paper instructional packets for students will be available as either pick up at the schools or the transportation department will deliver the packets.
  • All staff, students, parents, families, will receive training in the Canvas learning management system (LMS).
  • Teachers will teach using the LMS. Each school will have a daily schedule of the classes offered.
  • Students will have pre-recorded lessons in case they miss live instruction and will be able to complete assignment via Canvas.
  • The families may have to drive somewhere to gain a signal for their hotspot to download lessons or there will be an option to deliver lesson on a USB storage device to students.
  • Schools will follow traditional daily schedules.
  • We will deliver meals for students daily to outlying areas and in town pick up will be available.

Distance Learning creates many issues for students and families. The lack of in-person learning creates and expands on the societal issues. Families and students are experiencing depression, isolation, frustration, trauma, anger, anxiety, loneliness, and grief. Many students have no one to talk to or to report harmful issues they may  be having. Keeping students safe and the possibility of providing a safe haven for students is the intent of the Governor’s Executive Order requiring a safe haven for students.

We encourage families and students to begin the habits of social distancing, wearing masks, washing ,and sanitizing hands, and to develop behaviors to keep self, family and the community safe. These skills must be taught and reinforced by families to ensure it becomes part of the new normal of how the community functions.

Please contact your school for additional information. Communication is necessary for a smooth transition moving forward.

Sincerely,

Lemual B. Adson

Lemual B. Adson
KUSD 27 Superintendent