Semester Two, 2020-2021

Monthly Updates

    UPDATE - April 30, 2021
  • Another month has passed, and we are ready to make some important announcements as we consider a new month—our final month—ready to begin.

    “He Loves Us to the End.” How true we have found those words to be throughout this year of unusual and frustrating experiences! Now as the pandemic subsides and life returns step-by-step to normal (not “new normal”) practices, we see it coming to full completion in this application. Thanks be to God for bringing us through this past year!

    Numbers in Arizona continue to be extremely low, and overall rates of infection, survival, and vaccinations continue to look positive. It is with these things in mind that we announce our following changes.

    CHANGES
    Effective Monday, May 3, the following practices will represent changes to our past routines:
    • Masks on campus at all times will be optional.
    • Thorough cleaning of the classrooms will be done on a daily basis (as opposed to following every single class period).
    The mask-optional practice will be implemented at this weekend’s performances of “Murder’s in the Heir.”

    We will continue to monitor circumstances in our county and community, and we reserve the right to make changes to these and other daily campus protocols or mitigation strategies at any time.
     
    UPDATE - March 26, 2021
  • Another month has passed, and we are ready to make some important announcements as we consider a new month ready to begin.

    Things related to the pandemic and COVID overall have continued to change in rapid fashion over the past month—mostly, in my opinion, for the good. I share with you joy over our Savior’s triumph over our enemies, whether they be of an earthly nature or spiritual. I have been so pleased that we have seen a good number of families reach the point of comfort in returning children to on-campus experiences; it’s really good to have them back in classroom seats once again!

    On March 25, Governor Ducey issued a proclamation that lifted orders on most mitigation strategies regarding the state and local governments. The proclamation left private businesses and institutions largely on their own as to requirements they implement for their own locations. On the same day, Superintendent Hoffman clarified that all public schools will still be requiring masks for students in on-campus situations. While neither of these dictates our response, they are worth considering as we move forward.

    ASSESSMENT
    Things on campus have remained largely unchanged for the past month and routines have been continued. We understand that our families still represent a wide range of reactions and feelings to COVID, mitigation strategies, and vaccines.

    We have determined to proceed cautiously and to monitor conditions even more closely in light of the recent proclamations in hopes that as many students as possible make their way back to the on-campus environment.

    CHANGES
    We are recommending NO CHANGES to our on-campus procedures moving into April.

    However, we will be meeting on April 6 to consider events coming up in the remainder of the school year. These events, including even graduation, were announced in relation to our plans last month, and we will be considering modifications to our announcements at that meeting.

    Additionally, as we continue to monitor circumstances in our county and community, we reserve the right to make changes to other daily campus protocols or mitigation strategies mid-month.

     
    UPDATE - February 26, 2021
  • Another month has passed, and we are ready to make some important announcements as we consider a new month ready to begin.

    As noted last month, it remains our goal since the beginning of the second semester to reduce the online usage and tighten the reins on accessing that. This is because it is our firm belief that students should be on campus for the best impact of their education, and it was also our observation that too often the online option was being used as a convenience. Sadly, it seems this may still be the case, though I’m happy to report that’s getting less. We have fewer than 10% of our students online each day.

    So we enter the month of March confident of better things to come. The COVID numbers in Maricopa County are in “sharp decline.” The call for return-to-school-in-person is becoming more and more pronounced across the country from all corners of the belief system, and in Arizona leaders from both political parties are indicating that it’s safe to proceed for all schools. The five mitigation strategies recommended through MCDPH (and AZDHS and CDC) have been in place at ALA since August, and we believe have been implemented with reasonable success.

    ASSESSMENT
    On campus things continue to move in a fairly normal manner. Generally we continue to find a cooperative spirit among our students in following the guidelines that have been set to ensure safety and continued in-person presence.

    Our winter sports season is nearly over, and partway through the season the AIA relaxed the fan policy. Spring sports practices and drama rehearsals are set to begin on March 1 (overlapping with some winter sports still proceeding into the post-season). We continue to watch for AIA directions and will implement them as we become aware of them.

    CHANGES
    We are recommending NO CHANGES to our on-campus procedures moving into March.

    EVENT PLANS
    There are some events coming up in the remainder of the school year about which you may be wondering. Here’s what our current plans are (subject to change as we monitor the situation overall).
    • March 12, Spring Concert – spacing will be observed in the seating arrangement; no sign-up will be required
    • April 17, Prom – event is still on; planning committee is reviewing mitigation needs based on the facility
    • April 29-May 2, Drama presentation – these will go on as scheduled with a consideration of pre-selling tickets to each performance
    • May 18, Awards Day – this date will be held as in the past with modified seating arranged as needed
    • May 20-21, Senior Exams – ALL exams are to be administered on campus, in person
    • May 21, Senior Farewell Dance – still planned; Student Council will evaluate procedures following the Valentine’s Dance at the end of February
    • May 23-26 (tentative), Senior Class Trip – This is currently being planned and investigated for a destination in southwestern Colorado
    • May 26-28, Freshman/Sophomore/Junior exams - ALL exams are to be administered on campus, in person
    • May 28, Commencement Concert – While the event is still a go, details are still being reviewed
    • May 29, Graduation of the Class of 2021 – This will occur in the gymnasium with each graduate limited to six guests total (exceptions only for two families who bid on Gala options for numbers and seating). A lottery system will be used to identify specific locations of seating pods for each graduate’s guests. Families who are not in need of all six seats may return them to the school administration for possible assignment to other families.

     
    Mid-Month UPDATE - February 16, 2021
  • We are returning to normal class structure again beginning this week Wednesday, February 17 after going virtual for three days last week. As it will be the first day of the week, it will be a late start day.

    Our precautionary steps last week were just that. With the close contacts that we perceived particularly among the athletic teams, we wanted to avoid a potential outbreak. But in reality the number of cases was quite minimal. We had five cases emerge over the course of the past ten days—the most recent on February 10—but they were widely separated, with two on the wrestling team, one on the basketball team, and two unrelated to any athletic team. We believe it is safe to return to campus under these conditions, and we are planning to open with the greater restrictions for online access, which we had imposed at the beginning of the second semester.

    There are no changes planned as we kick off on Wednesday. 
     
    UPDATE - January 29, 2021
  • It is already the end of January, and as promised in our adjustment information for the second semester, we are sharing our communication on a monthly basis now instead of weekly.

    It seems our roll-out of an adjusted plan for hybrid learning did not meet everyone’s attention. Nevertheless, we are moving ahead with our tightening of online access in order to reduce the use of it for convenience’s sake. Please review that adjusted plan found at the link below or in the video found on this page.

    ASSESSMENT
    On campus things continue to move in a fairly normal manner. Students and teachers have hit the stride of a new semester, and generally we find a cooperative spirit among our students in following the guidelines that have been set to ensure safety and continued in-person presence.

    Our winter sports season is also fully underway (not counting the cancellation of our soccer season). The AIA’s restrictions, however, have made it a very different feel when it comes to competitions.

    CHANGES
    Effective February 1, we are eliminating the end-of-school-day staggered dismissal.

     

Second Semester Plan

The first semester has been a challenging semester unlike any we have ever experienced. Nevertheless, we are thankful for God's guidance throughout the weeks as we moved along with the necessary adjustments. 

Starting with the second semester, there will be some modifications made to our hybrid learning plan. Many things will remain unchanged, but there will be some things done differently. We encourage you to watch the video and read the entire document, Guideline Adjustments (in the resource links below). 

As we begin the second semester...

  • First, we urge you to trust us once again that we will act in the best interest of your child and your family. 
  • Second, we pledge our commitment to you to maintain a safe learning community through our practices and decisions made on your student’s and your family’s behalf. 
  • Third, we ask that your children come to campus for school each day, except for reasons stated in the Guideline Adjustments. This is for your child's benefit, for the other students' benefit, and for our teachers' benefit. 


Thank you.

 

Video Message from the Principal


 

Resource Links

   
  • Arizona Lutheran Academy is under the jurisdiction of Maricopa County, which issued an order regarding face masks in places of public accommodation: read the Maricopa County regulations. This order is in effect until further notice.


 
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