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How Benchmarks, Health Advice, Insurance Guide Schools' Re-opening Plans

Tuesday , September 08 , 2020

As schools around the state re-open for in-person instruction, public health benchmarks, health advice and insurance play key roles in their plans to welcome students back to campus.

The Arizona Department of Health Services worked closely with Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman and the Arizona Department of Education to develop a roadmap for re-opening schools and public health benchmarks to determine when to return safely for in-person instruction.

How medical advisory teams help school leaders

To assist in their re-opening decisions, Peoria and Paradise Valley unified school districts established medical advisory boards.

Paradise Valley Unified School District created a COVID-19 Response Team, which includes medical experts such as lead nurses, doctors, to help inform decisions regarding reopening, mitigation strategies, health protocols, and reopening criteria, said Superintendent Jesse Welsh.

The district also consults other medical experts from universities and local health organizations. 

“Having a wide range of expertise, including those with medical expertise, has been instrumental in our reopening plan, establishing protocols and operating procedures, and developing our criteria for reopening in alignment with the benchmarks established by the Arizona Department of Health Services,” Dr. Welsh said.

“These medical experts have not only helped with decision making, but also have helped to educate all of us on best practices, current research, and understanding the ‘why’ behind the science,” Dr. Welsh said.

The PVSchools community has been working tirelessly through the pandemic, Dr. Welsh said.

“To say it has been an adjustment for everyone – our students, families, and staff – would be an understatement,” Dr. Welsh said. “All of us are learning to work in new environments, navigating through challenges, and planning for changing scenarios and evolving health recommendations. Through it all, our school community has come together and collaborated in creative ways using their expertise in order to best support our students.”


Excerpts were taken from the article published by AZEDNEWS. Read the entire article.