NewsGetting Back to School


Scottsdale's Desert Stages Theater offering fun space for kids to do their online schooling

Posted at 3:52 PM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 20:53:16-04

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — With some in-person school start dates still up in the air, many parents in the Valley are wondering what they can do with their children if they have to work.

Desert Stages Theater in Scottsdale may be a resource. They're offering up a new space to give kids a routine and an outlet for creativity.

"The arts have suffered due to COVID-19," said Desert Stages Theater Executive Director Ellen Versen. "And they're kind of at the bottom of the list of funding because, of course, we need to take care of people."

Versen explained to The Rebound Arizona that after a successful summer camp with social distancing, they thought they could offer a unique outlet for kids and families for the start of school.

"Imagine them getting all of their work done at the resort with us then, and then ending the day in a really happy way," Versen said.

DST has partnered with the Scottsdale Plaza Resort to access their banquet halls and conference rooms to give students their individual space and internet to do distance learning. They are calling it "DST Connect at the Plaza."

"Our mornings will always start out with thermometer checks and a health questionnaire for parents," said Amanda Deeb, the director of the DST Connect at the Plaza program.

Zeeb has worked in the Scottsdale Unified School District and is now taking her training into this new environment.

"We'll have use of banquet tables in each of the rooms," Zeeb explained. "And we have a maximum of 10 kids per room."

Zeeb said there will be staff there to help students, if needed, with questions. There will be wiggle breaks. At the end of the day, a bit of fun will go from 3 - 5 p.m.

"We'll have our DST counselors come in and they will help facilitate movement and dance activities, singing, improv games," she said.

She said she has already seen the impact socialization -- without physical interaction -- has done to her own kids.

"A lot of parents are wanting their kids to have that safe, social interaction with their peers that they're not getting at home...having a consistent schedule, waking up in the morning, especially for the teenagers - having to take a shower and go somewhere," Zeeb laughed.

The program is all about learning, interacting with masks and from 6-feet away, and a little dance party to end the day.

"What a better mental state the whole family will be in at the end of the day because of a program like this," Versen said.

The cost is $275 per week for children, K- 6th grade.

Visit for more information about the program and registration information.


Another option for parents is The Boys and Girls Club of the Valley, which have spaces for children to go for online learning. They have locations all across the Valley. More information.


Another option is Impact Gymnastics Academy in Phoenix. They are offering a Study Campus that includes exercise at the facility.

According to a press release, "Many procedures will be in place to keep staff and children safe. Impact Gymnastics Academy has been following all CDC safety protocol, including temperature checks at drop off, masks required when not engaged in physical activities and no sharing of supplies, earphones, computers or school material."

Visit for more information.