Option 1 In-Person Learning Overview & FAQ's

Hybrid Delivery Model

When a moderate threshold of COVID spread is reached, medical experts deem it safe enough to return to in-person learning if social distancing is maintained and masks are worn. Because our In-Person Learning classes are full-size classes with limited classroom space to spread students apart, it is not possible to social distance if the entire class returns to In-Person Learning.  Therefore, a hybrid delivery approach to reduce the number of students in class at one time, will be used to phase back into In-Person Learning. 

Our district has adopted a hybrid delivery model that allows for daily interaction between the students and teachers for the most consistent schedule and access to learning. Students in preschool through 8th grade will receive instruction from teachers every day. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, students will attend for a partial day in person. On Wednesdays, students will attend through Distance Learning. 

Students in each in-person class will be split into two groups or cohorts to allow social distancing between students in the classroom. Each group will be assigned to either an AM or a PM session. Families will be assigned to the same session, and most AM/PM assignments will be based on transportation routes. Parent preference as noted on the recent parent survey will be honored as much as possible.

Self-contained special education students will attend school in person daily for full days, every day with early release on Wednesday for teacher professional learning.

The following information provides a summary of the schedule for the week for kindergarten through 8th grade students attending AM/PM sessions, including start and stop times for sessions at each school. 









Distance Learning Early Release



Self-Contained Special Education

Full Day

Full Day

Early Release

Full Day

Full Day

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

AM Session - 7:30 A.M. - 10:15 A.M. and PM Session 11:45 A.M. -2:30 P.M.

Liberty Elementary

AM Session - 7:40 A.M. - 10:25 A.M. and PM Session 11:55 A.M. - 2:40 P.M.

Estrella Mountain Elementary

Westar Elementary

AM Session - 8:30 A.M. - 11:15: A.M. and PM Session 12:45 P.M. - 3:30 P.M.

Freedom Elementary 

Las Brisas Academy

Rainbow Valley Elementary

Classrooms will be open 10 minutes before the start of the school day. After entering the school gates, students may pick up breakfast or lunch on the way to the classroom. Students will be allowed to eat at their desks and continue if needed after the start bell has rung while teachers take attendance.

Students will receive consistent, daily instruction with their teachers so that they can progress with learning skills and content. Students will have the opportunity to practice and receive immediate feedback from their teachers to solidify correct learning. This is especially important for our youngest learners who need daily instruction to gain reading and language fluency. 

Students will participate in core classes focusing on English language arts and mathematics. Science and social studies content will be integrated in the core subjects of ELA and mathematics. A typical kindergarten - 8th grade session with adjustments by grade level will be:

  • 75 minutes of  English language arts
  • 60 minutes of mathematics
  • 30 minutes of integrated social studies OR science - alternating days


  • 90 minutes of English language arts integrated with science and/or social studies
  • 75 minutes of mathematics

Teachers will independently schedule breaks as needed to use the restroom, play and move around, or take off their masks for a few minutes while outdoors and socially distanced.

Alternating sessions at home will complete the school day. Students will finish independent practice assigned during the in-person session and may participate in special area instruction or social emotional skill development with counselors through Google Meets. Students may be asked to submit work through Google Meet or return assignments or projects to school the next in-person session. Completion of the independent assignment will be used to take half-day attendance.

Students will be dismissed for parent pick up, walk home, or bus transportation and supervised to maintain social distancing. AM session students can pick up pre-packaged lunches to take home to eat.


Students will continue their daily progression of learning from Monday and Tuesday with their assigned teacher(s)  through Distance Learning in Google Meet using Google Classroom. Wednesday whole class group activities will maintain social emotional relationships with the entire class. Distance learning activities will maintain student ability to utilize virtual technology in the event that COVID spread worsens to the substantial threshold and all students need to return to virtual learning until it meets the moderate or minimal thresholds. Additional cleaning will be completed on Wednesdays. Wednesday Distance Learning days will be an early release day.


Transportation will be provided for students who reside in areas that qualify for bus transportation. A survey was distributed asking parents to inform the district about parent intent to use district bus transportation or drive students to school.

On-Site Support Services

Students in foster care, homeless children, or children of first responders, students with particular need for support with language or individual learning plans, or students without access to reliable technology for distance learning are eligible for free, Onsite Support Services before or after AM and PM sessions during school hours. Beginning October 12th Hybrid delivery begins, every school site will offer Onsite Support Services. Students must be registered prior to attending. Click here to access the registration form. 

  • Students who are assigned the PM session but need access to Onsite Support Services in the morning will require parent drop-off and check-in. A separate Onsite Support Services check-in station will be available. Students will report directly to the cafeteria after checking in.
  • Students who are assigned the AM session but need access to Onsite Support Services in the afternoon will require parent pick-up at the school's dismissal. If students need to be checked out prior to school dismissal, a sign-out will be required.

If the COVID spread in our community reaches the Moderate level and the district can offer a Hybrid delivery model, why can’t all the students return to In-Person if they wish?
It is true that the total number of students wanting to return to In-Person Learning is a portion of all of the students in the school. This would seem to work by having some students virtual and some students in-person. One of the deciding factors about whether schools should open for in-person learning when the Moderate level is reached is whether or not social distancing can be accomplished. In-person class sizes are not small enough to allow for social distancing. Classroom spaces can accommodate approximately 10-13 students per classroom. 

Example: If a 5th grade level has 87 students in the grade level, the grade level is staffed with three teachers. Typically, the class size ratio for this scenario would be 29:1. In COVID conditions, one of the three teachers is assigned to a group of students who selected Distance Learning, and two of the teachers are assigned to two groups of students who selected In-Person Learning. While classes may not be as equally balanced as they are in a typical year, the class sizes are still roughly ⅓ of the total grade-level population.

So, In-Person Learning classes are much higher than the limits of 10-13 students per class needed to socially distance. To open schools at the Moderate threshold, it requires a strategy to reduce the number of students attending at one time in each classroom, by half or thirds, in order to implement social distancing.

Why did the district choose an AM/PM Cohort Hybrid Model instead of a two-day all day Hybrid Model?

We evaluated several strategies for a Hybrid delivery model that could support social distancing based on feedback we received from parents and teachers. Parents told us in our survey last spring that independent learning in Google Classroom was not effective. Further, the survey comments informed us that a regular daily schedule with consistent interaction with classroom teachers and students was critical to student engagement and learning in Distance Learning. We applied the criteria of consistency in schedule and access to teacher instruction in recommending a model. Other strategies like an every other day model only provided two days per week of instruction, which was too much like last spring’s model. Our teachers and parents informed us that consistency is needed to acquire, practice, and retain new skills, especially for our most vulnerable students.

We chose an approach that provides the most consistency for all students. The model alternates half-day AM/PM sessions for two cohorts of in-person students in kindergarten through 8th grades.