Dear San Tan Charter School Families,

Let me start by thanking you for being open to complete what seems like daily surveys and reading my long drawn out emails. Each day my team at San Tan draws closer to finalizing our plans in this ever changing environment. This email will include all of the information that I have sent out in the past few weeks along will updates, please read thoroughly. The Governor’s Executive Order indicated that schools are not allowed to start with in-person instruction until at least August 17, 2020 with the possibility that this date may be extended given current COVID data. San Tan sent out a survey to collect information from our community, I have included the results below. With over 75% of our community completing the survey, the San Tan community wants to be back on-campus and we want to be back with you.


San Tan Teachers will teach most classes/courses via the home-based platform starting July 30 through August 14. Beginning Monday, August 17, your selected student learning experience will begin (On-Campus, Hybrid, Home-Based). San Tan is able to maintain our existing planned 180-day school calendar and keep existing Fall, Winter, and Spring breaks and end school on May 20, 2021. I have included the school calendar for reference. You will receive more information in the next 10 days about the details on what your student’s daily schedules will look like during this home-based learning period. We have made several improvements to our remote instruction and to our Google Classroom platform that will be utilized in grades K-12. You will also be asked to let us know about your student’s technology/device needs.

Download the 2020-2021 STCS School Calendar


Please complete the linked form; one per student, by July 21 regarding your learning experience choice. If you have already completed the form and would like to change your experience, please complete a new form, and your old one will be replaced. It is crucial to complete this document so that we know which learning experience you are requesting for the first quarter of school. In addition, we are asking families to commit to an experience by quarter. For example, what you choose will be your experience for the first quarter; August – October. During conferences in October, you will select your experience that will run October – December. As always, this is based on current Federal, State, and Local mandates.


Learning Experience Choices – July – Oct Enrollment



  • Five days per week on campus
  • Physical distancing may not always be possible but will be implemented when feasible (please see Shared Belonging, Volunteer/Visitors and Food Service sections for additional information)
  • Enhanced cleaning and safety protocols
  • Electives/specials will observe safety protocols
  • May participate in extracurricular activities and school athletics
  • Elementary lunch, recess, and specials will happen with modified schedules
  • Limited sharing of devices, supplies and curriculum materials as much as possible
  • Integration of the Google Classroom learning platform to support learning K-12
  • May transition to Hybrid or Home-Based learning experiences at quarter break



  • Five days per week (2 days on campus/3 days off campus)
  • On-campus choices to include Monday & Tuesday orThursday & Friday
  • Blended model that provides on-campus and Home Based learning experiences
  • Allows for physical distancing by reducing the number of students in the classroom
  • May participate in extracurricular activities and school athletics
  • May transition to On-Campus or Home-Based learning experiences at the quarter break
  • May enroll in extended-day programming and programming on days students are not on campus (fees apply)



  • Five days per week
  • All students will need a laptop or desktop
  • May participate in extracurricular activities and school athletics
  • Google Classroom will be used as the primary learning platform for communication, lessons, assignment and weekly updates
  • Accountable grading practices and ongoing feedback
  • A highly qualified San Tan teacher will teach the class through Google Classroom
  • Through the home-based experience, the standards taught align to the on-campus experience to ensure consistency in case families want to change instructional models
  • May transition to On-Campus or Hybrid learning experiences at the quarter break
  • For high schools and middle schools, not all electives will be available online due to the availability of resources and instructors
  • Our school leaders and teachers are exploring creative ways to provide as many elective options as possible, but it is not feasible to offer all electives online for the entire year
  • Look for future communication about elective offerings


Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Enhanced training for all custodians and non-custodial staff on the use of the disinfectant application
  • Increased daily cleaning and disinfecting high traffic areas, doors, counters, sinks, and other horizontal surfaces
  • Restroom and Health Office touchpoint areas will be disinfected twice daily
  • Guidelines and supplies for cleaning desk and table provided to each classroom teacher
  • Use of Hydroxyl/ozone machines to disinfect larger areas
  • Signage for safe hygiene and handwashing posted by all classroom sinks and restrooms
  • Water fountains are closed
  • The use of laundered and sanitized color-coded microfiber cloths for specific surface areas to avoid cross-contamination
  • Utilization of electrostatic sprayers for wide-area disinfecting


Measures in place to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19

Several changes to our classrooms and campus set-ups are being made to reduce the proximity of students as much as possible. It is important to note that working in groups will still occur and will be managed in such a way the learning and health and safety are supported as best as possible under the current circumstances. These include but are not limited to:

  • Cleaning protocols including deep cleaning and frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces
  • Staggering bell schedules during the school day
  • Hand sanitizer stations
  • Sanitization “machine” for deep cleaning of schools
  • Not sharing supplies, for example, pencils, instruments
  • Students welcome to bring their own wipes


How will the classrooms be cleaned

Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the school. Schools and classrooms will be deep cleaned every night, with deep cleaning nightly in high use areas such as bathrooms, weight rooms, cafeterias, and gymnasiums. Desks and chairs will be wiped down regularly with sanitization materials to include Clorox or alcohol wipes, antibacterial, anti-viral sprays etc. In addition, students can bring their own wipes to school and choose to wipe down their chairs and desks throughout the day.


What will recess look like

There will be a limited number of students on the playground spread out as much as possible. Social distancing activities will be encouraged, and a limited number of students will be allowed on equipment at one time. Each day the playground equipment will be sanitized. Students will wash/sanitize their hands at the end of recess.


School Health Screenings

Parents will be educated on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and will be required to keep their child home if they are exhibiting any signs. Parents will be expected to check their student(s) for symptoms daily. Both of our campuses are staffed with Nurses and/or Health Assistants who will assess students who become ill while at school.


If the answer to all of the following questions is “no,” then we feel confident that your child will be more likely to have a successful day at school!

  1. Does your child currently have a fever (temperature above 100.4) or had a fever in the last 24 hours?
  2. Does your child have:
  • New cough or shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Body Aches
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  1. Has anyone in your Home been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are currently being evaluated for COVID-19?

CDC Guidelines

  • If feasible, conduct daily health checks (e.g., temperature screening and/or symptom checking).
  • Health checks should be conducted safely and respectfully and following any applicable privacy laws and regulations.

San Tan’s Plan

  • Staff members will be temperature checked daily upon arrival.
  • A staff member will visually check each student upon arrival.
  • Any student with visible symptoms of runny nose, cough, shortness of breath or vomiting will be taken to the health office, where parents may be contacted for pick up, with the following exceptions:
  • If the student has a runny nose and no other observable symptoms, the nurse/health aide will contact a parent to determine if other symptoms are present or if there is exposure to COVID-19 in the Home. If not, the student will return to class.
  • If the student has health information that confirms a diagnosis of asthma or other respiratory condition, the nurse/health aide will contact a parent to confirm that the student has no other symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 at Home. If not, the student will return to class.

Shared Belongings

CDC Guidelines

  • Discourage the sharing of items that are difficult to clean or disinfect.
  • Keep each child’s belongings separated from others’ and in individually labeled containers, cubbies, or areas.
  • Ensure adequate supplies to minimize the sharing of high touch materials to the extent possible (e.g., assigning each student their art supplies, equipment) or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of children at a time and clean and disinfect between use.
  • Avoid sharing electronic devices, toys, books, and other games or learning aids.

San Tan’s Plan 

  • For younger grades and where possible, student belongings to be kept in individual bins or cubbies labeled with each student’s name.
  • When feasible, sharing of school supplies among students to be restricted.



CDC Guidelines

  • Limit any nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations as possible – especially with individuals who are not from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, county).

San Tan’s Plan

  • Limited visitors will be permitted on school campuses. Volunteers on campus will be postponed until after October break.


Face Coverings

CDC Guidelines

  • The use of simple cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks, respirators, or other medical personal protective equipment.
  • Teach and reinforce the use of cloth face coverings.
  • Face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear.
  • Face coverings should be worn by staff and students (particularly older students) as feasible.

San Tan’s Plan

  • Voluntarily wear face coverings at any time, students and staff will not be required to wear face coverings.
  • Plastic face shields that fully cover the face, including below the chin and around the sides of the face, are an acceptable alternative to cloth face coverings.


*San Tan’s legal counsel has confirmed that the statement in the Town of Gilbert’s Emergency Order dated June 19, 2020; “This emergency order shall not strictly apply to the extent that it frustrates the primary purpose of a business” would apply to the educational setting. However, please note that if local, state, or federal officials provide additional information requiring face coverings, this plan could change.


Food Services

CDC Guidelines

  • Have children bring their meals as feasible, or serve individually plated meals in classrooms instead of in a communal dining hall or cafeteria, while ensuring the safety of children with food allergies.

San Tan’s Plan 

  • Students will continue to have the option to buy hot lunch or they may bring meals from Home.
  • Students will eat in their classrooms, cafeteria or patio, physically distanced, depending on the weather.
  • All water fountain bubblers will be turned off and bottle fillers will be installed and operational.


Events/Field Trips

CDC Guidelines

  • Pursue virtual group events, gatherings, or meetings, if possible, and promote social distancing of at least 6 feet between people if events are held. Limit group size to the extent possible.
  • Pursue practical activities and events in lieu of field trips, student assemblies, special performances, school-wide parent meetings, and spirit nights, as possible.

San Tan’s Plan

  • Field trips will be canceled for the first quarter (mid-October).
  • Other extracurricular activities, such as clubs and sports will not be canceled.
  • Teachers will use virtual learning opportunities (such as virtual tours of museums) to enhance students’ educational experiences.
  • Large-scale school events such as “OPEN HOUSE” will be reconfigured in order to maintain social distancing. Small-scale activities like parent-teacher conferences may take place over the phone or other electronic means.


Ventilation Systems

CDC Guidelines

  • Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible such as by opening windows and doors.
  • Do not open windows and doors if they pose a safety or health risk to children using the facility (e.g. allowing pollens in or exacerbating asthma symptoms).

San Tan’s Plan

  • Changing air filters on a regular schedule.
  • Exploring where improved filtration can be used without damaging HVAC equipment.
  • Exploring options for additional supplemental air filtration, including HEPA, ozonification, and UV light air sterilization.

Educationally Yours,

Kristofer Sippel
CEO/Superintendent of Schools
San Tan Montessori School INC

2013 – 2018 East Valley Tribune Best Charter School
2014 Gilbert Chamber of Commerce Large Business of the Year