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Parent Communications


July 28, 2020


Dear CFSD Families,


Today, all Pima County school district superintendents received a letter from the Pima County Administrator, Chuck Huckleberry, on behalf of the Pima County Health Department (PCHD). They advise that we should not open our schools in-person on August 17. As a result, we will not wait for a health metric from the Arizona Department of Health Services and will now plan to start the school year 100% remotely for all of our students. 


Here is the excerpt from Mr. Huckleberry's letter that is definitive on the decision whether to reopen schools.


Where We Stand Today Regarding Infection, Hospitalization and Death Statistics for Resumptions, Including Opening Schools


Could local public health data support the reopening of schools on August 17, 2020 for in-person learning? The short answer is, no. The explanation in the facts. They are:

  • We are now near the end of July and local County COVID-19 infections are at the highest daily amounts since the pandemic began.
  • Pima County's total monthly infections in March were 153, in April 1,024, in May 1,101, in June 5,622 and so far for July through the 27th, they are 6,772.
  • Countywide transmission rates remain above 11 percent, with a World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation that rates be below 5 percent prior to opening.
  • Masks were only recently mandated at the County level on June 19, 2020 and it will take six weeks to see if this mitigation strategy is working.
  • Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are at record levels and it was only last week the ICU bed capacity was nearly exceeded and critical patients were transferred to other hospitals in the State.
  • Widespread testing is only now becoming available throughout the community.
  • Despite the availability of widespread testing, obtaining test results in a timely manner to allow effective contact tracing does not exist at this time in our communities.

For all of the above reasons, schools should not open on August 17, 2020 for traditional face-to-face, in-person instruction.

The present data certainly does not yet provide a positive, sustainable trend. Hence, it is the professional opinion of Dr. Garcia and Dr. Cullen that the earliest that traditional face-to-face in-person instruction can be anticipated to resume is after Labor Day (September 7, 2020) or later (e.g. October 5, 2020). 


As I communicated previously, if schools cannot resume in-person instruction safely by the first day of school, CFSD's reopening plan includes a contingency model that will move all teachers and students to Remote Learning. That is what will happen. 


We will begin the school year teaching all scheduled classes 100% remotely using CFSDOnline with Google Classroom as the online learning platform. Students will participate in Remote Learning with their assigned teacher(s) at their enrolled school with an established schedule in order to provide instruction in all areas of the curriculum. This will allow for a smooth transition to In-Person Learning with as few changes as possible to student and staff schedules when it has been determined that schools will be able to open. 


This is such a challenging time for all of us. We will do our best to be flexible, listen to your feedback, and communicate in the future about an in-person option.




Mary Kamerzell 




July 26, 2020


Dear CFSD Families,

We hear you. Due to the concerns that many parents have raised, we will extend the deadline to opt into Remote Learning until Monday, July 27 at 8:00pm. Attached are the instructions for accessing the survey to opt into Remote Learning.

We hope that this will allow parents extra time to reserve remote learning while still giving our administrators the time they need to make staffing decisions for the upcoming school year. We hope this allows you additional flexibility, even if it is only for one day.

If the ADHS metric, which will be released on August 7, indicates that we need to move to 100% Remote Learning, all students will begin learning from home on August 17th.  

When the metric indicates that it is safe to reopen our schools for in-person instruction, we will provide parents with further information at that time, and your July 27 decision to opt into Remote Learning will be non-binding.

Thank you for sharing your questions and concerns with us. We appreciate your understanding as we plan to provide our students with a high quality educational experience.





July 25, 2020


Dear CFSD Community,

It has come to my attention that families may believe that we will ignore an Arizona Department of Health Services' (ADHS) anticipated August 7 metric that may indicate that it is not safe to reopen our schools in-person on August 17. That is not true. It is unimaginable that Governor Ducey will not heed the ADHS metric if it indicates that Arizona schools are not safe to reopen. Regardless, we will take the ADHS metric seriously and follow its advice.



Mary Kamerzell



July 21, 2020


Dear CFSD Community:

On July 16, the CFSD Governing Board approved a letter to the Governor and to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction contrasting the Governor’s directive to reopen schools against the conditions on the ground required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to safely resume public activity.  In addition, the Governor announced that the Arizona Department of Education will soon be releasing a new flexible plan for education.  As a result, our families have questions about whether our reopening plans have changed.

CFSD is still offering two options for families to choose their path back to school. The details of our two options, In-Person Learning and Remote Learning, are on our website.

If the Governor makes the decision to delay in-person learning beyond August 17, CFSD's reopening plan includes a contingency model that will move all teachers and students to Remote Learning. In that case, we will begin the school year teaching all scheduled classes 100% remotely using Google Classroom as the online learning platform. Students will participate in Remote Learning with their assigned teacher(s) at their enrolled school with an established schedule in order to provide instruction in all areas of the curriculum. This will allow for a smooth transition to In-Person Learning with minimal changes to staff or student schedules when schools are allowed to open.

Our hearts go out to our families and staff during this time.  While much is in flux, we are certain of this: we are stronger together.  Thank you for your commitment to CFSD and for your patience during these complex and challenging conditions. 



Mary Kamerzell

P.S. If you wish to reserve Remote Learning, please do so by midnight on July 26.


July 13, 2020


Dear CFSD Community,

We know that you have been eagerly awaiting news of Catalina Foothills School District’s return to school for the 2020-2021 school year. Thank you for your patience. Using the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (APA), we believe that ours is a thorough, high-quality plan that provides choices for families, rigorous learning for students, and addresses the health/safety concerns for students and staff.

Guidance related to Covid-19 may continue to evolve throughout the coming school year, and we are confident that our plans are flexible enough to respond to those possible changes.  If in-person school is delayed again, we will be ready to begin the year with remote learning for all students starting on August 17.

Welcome back!


Mary Kamerzell


Choose Your Path Back to School 

Catalina Foothills School District is offering two options when it comes to planning a safe return to school. Our website contains extensive information on the available pathways:


Families are asked to carefully read about each option, then select the choice that will best serve your individual student(s).


Families interested in the Remote Learning option will need to confirm a selection by choosing the Reserve Remote Learning Here button on our website and then filling out the online form by July 26. 


No action is required by families who are currently registered for school and are choosing the In-Person option.



July 2, 2020
Dear CFSD Community,
As a follow-up to my June 16 communication, I wanted to let you know that we are working 24/7 to create the two reopening plans that I mentioned previously, full-time in-person learning (brick and mortar school) and full-time remote learning. 

While we adapt to new guidance from the State of Arizona, our priority is to design plans for school re-entry that continue our tradition of academic excellence and create a safe environment for students and staff. Our primary sources for guidance are the CDC's Considerations for Schools and the American Academy of Pediatrics' COVID-19 Planning Considerations.

As you may be aware, this week Governor Ducey issued an executive order delaying the start of in-person school until Monday, August 17. The Governor has referred to August 17 as an aspirational date. He may decide to push back the date for in-person learning again. We continue to hope that conditions improve, allowing us to start school in-person this August. But if necessary, we will be ready to begin school as 100% remote learning on August 17.  

We plan to launch a website on July 13 with details about our learning plans. You will receive an email link to that information. Families who want the remote learning plan for the 2020-21 school year will be asked to register for it. No action will be required from families who are planning to attend school in-person.

We recognize that you are anxious to learn more about our reopening plans and that calendar adjustments create challenges for families. We are grateful for the patience and understanding that you have shown us during these unprecedented and unpredictable times.

We hope that you are enjoying these warm summer days with your family. We look forward to starting the new school year on August 17.

Mary Kamerzell






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