Virtual Learning Update, 10/9/2020

Dear IDEA students, parents, guardians, and staff,

      On recommendation from the Community Conditions Advisory Committee (CCAC; made up of parents, staff and Board members), and after careful consideration of many factors, the IDEA School Board of Directors decided at their October 7th Board Meeting that our 100% Virtual Learning Phase will continue through the remainder of the Fall semester. 

       The CCAC will continue to meet during the next few months to evaluate the public health data and Pima County Health Dept recommendations, but by unanimous vote decided they will not be recommending that the school move to a hybrid model until at least after Winter Break (assuming public health metrics allow).

Per the Committee recommendations and Board of Directors approval, we will:

  • Stay 100% virtual through the Fall semester.

  • For all classrooms, we will make a significant effort to facilitate outdoor meetups by classroom — these will be optional and not related to the academic curriculum — so that children can have some experience, in as safe a way as possible, of playing with/seeing their friends outdoors.

  • We will continue to monitor the health data but will not recommend moving to a hybrid model until at least the beginning of the Spring semester, allowing for adequate planning as well as the opportunity to see the broader community impact of other schools’ and districts’ movements toward hybrid/in-person learning.

  • The CCAC will continue to meet once monthly throughout the remainder of the Fall semester to monitor and discuss the public health data, trends, and lessons learned from other schools in the region.


        We are extremely grateful to the Community Conditions Advisory Committee for taking on the task of thoughtfully reviewing all available public health data and other factors, including parent and staff feedback through our September surveys, and making this clear recommendation.  Our expectation is that this will allow our staff, parents, and students to plan for a successful remainder of the Fall semester, while we begin planning for the Spring.

        Our highest priority is the safety of our community. We also want to help alleviate any undue stress and we hope this decision provides some respite from all the uncertainty of the times.

       Again, we invite you to become an active voice on the Community Conditions Advisory Committee, currently scheduled to meet once monthly through the end of Fall Semester.  If you are interested in joining the committee, please email me at

       If this decision creates undue burden or stress, logistically or financially, I ask that you reach out to me as soon as possible so that together we can find a reasonable and creative solution that works for you and your family.

On behalf of the IDEA Board of Directors & staff, I thank you for working together with us to keep our community healthy and vibrant…



IDEA School’s Reopening Plan, Fall 2020 (as passed by the Board on 8/8/20) (PDF)

Safely Returning to In-Person Instruction, guidelines published by AZDHS on 8/6/20 (updated 10/29/20) (PDF)

COVID-19 Progress Report & Local Recommendations, Pima County Health Dept. (web link)

Free COVID-19 Testing, Walk-up and by appointment, through Pima County Health Dept
Currently offering 10 locations throughout the county. Check website for hours. 

Free COVID-19 Saliva Testing, through AZ Dept of Health Services (AZDHS) (web link to register for a specific time slot)
Currently offering free testing every Wed and Fri morning, by pre-registering, at the Ellie Towne Community Center – 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road, Tucson 85705


AZ Dept of Health Services, COVID-19 Data Dashboard (web link)

AZ Dept of Health Services, Guidelines for Schools homepage (web link)