Palominas Elementary School District
Marching band marching in a parade

Palominas Elementary School District

A Community of Learners

Welcome to Palominas Elementary School District, a learning community comprised of two elementary schools in Hereford, Arizona. Together, our schools provide a safe, empowering environment for preschool through eighth grade students. 

Please take some time to learn more about our district, what’s happening at our schools, and the wide variety of clubs and athletics programs we offer our students.

Vision

We strive to be the heart of our community.

Mission

We will partner with families providing emotional, social, and academic support encouraging our students to go further than they thought possible.

A Message from Our Superintendent

Dear Palominas School District Families,

As I know you are aware, COVID-19 numbers are drastically rising in the country, our state, and also our county. I have been keeping a watch on this data and have been in consistent contact with our county health officials and our leadership team regarding this data. The recent data reported reflect cases during the week of November 16 through 22. These numbers are not yet including the expected increase due to Thanksgiving. Those numbers may not reflect until the report for December 17. We are also looking at how the Christmas and New Year season activities (shopping, parties, Christmas gatherings, etc.) will impact our state and county cases. 

We are doing our best right now to keep our schools open for in-person learning until winter break. At this time we are planning to return to in-person instruction on January 4, 2020. That said, depending on the numbers and what the state decides, it may be out of our hands at that point, and we may have to move to remote instruction for a period of time after the break. We need to be prepared for this (plan for the worst and hope for the best!). We will send our students home for the break with their Chromebooks and any other materials they may need in order to participate in remote instruction. Teachers are preparing their plans for remote instruction and will be ready to communicate those plans to their students and parents if need be. It will also be very important that all families check their email over the break to make sure that you do not miss any information. 

While some surrounding districts have opted to move to remote learning now due to multiple outbreaks at their schools, we have, thankfully, not had that issue yet. We have had a small number of cases that have not resulted in the health department determining an outbreak at any of our sites. This could change, but we are holding strong so far. Although our county benchmark indicators are in the red, the recommendation is still to remain in hybrid mode; it is clearly best for kids and families to have schools open for in-person learning. Studies show that the percent positive rate in schools across the country are significantly lower than in the larger communities that they serve. We attribute that to the fact that schools can more closely monitor and enforce mitigation measures and conduct swift contact tracing. We are seeing this work in our schools right now.

With the rise in cases, however, it is becoming more and more concerning. Aside from any potential outbreaks, other factors such as maintaining appropriate levels of staffing at school sites, or potential quarantining of entire departments, could impact our ability to conduct in-person instruction. Keep in mind that if we do need to move to remote learning, we will still require to have a safe space for any student who needs a place to go during the school day. We would require to implement the Learning Labs in the same way we did at the beginning of the school year. While we would do our best to maintain a cohort of students in the labs, our mitigation strategies that have been proving very successful during classroom instruction, are more difficult to implement in the Learning Lab model.

Our board will be meeting on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. to discuss all options open to us to maintain in-person learning in our schools. I know that you all have your own concerns and opinions. I would like to hear from you and gather your input before Tuesday so that I can accurately communicate your thoughts and concerns to our board. We will not be discussing closing the district to in-person learning at the board meeting on Tuesday, but we may need to have this discussion in the near future, and I want to know where you stand at this moment in time. We will not have a call to the public, but I will share with the board any input I receive from your emails. We have set up an email account specifically to gather community input. Please email us if you would like to provide your input. 

Please know that every member of the Palominas District is doing their best in these challenging times. We all want to do what is best for our students, staff, families, and community. Whatever happens in the next few months, we will continue to serve in whatever capacity we can and to the very best of our ability. Throughout all of this, we will continue to strive to be the heart of the community. Thank you for doing your part to help us stay open and safe. 

Sincerely,

Sherri Rosalik

Sherri Rosalik
Superintendent