Arizona schools to stay closed through end of school year

Independent Newsmedia
Posted 3/30/20

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced Monday, March 30 the extension of school closures through the end of the school year.

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Arizona schools to stay closed through end of school year

Posted

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced Monday, March 30 the extension of school closures through the end of the school year.

The announcement applies to Arizona public schools, both district and charter. Private schools are required to remain closed in alignment with federal guidance recommending closures through at least April 30. School leaders have the option of announcing closures through the end of the year, or waiting for additional guidance.

The extension follows updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and an announcement from the White House extending physical distancing guidelines until April 30.

Mr. Ducey and Ms. Hoffman released the following joint statement:

“In alignment with yesterday’s updated federal guidance, today we are announcing the extension of school closures through the remainder of the school year. Today’s announcement is intended to give parents and educators as much certainty as possible so they can plan and make decisions. While this isn’t the outcome any of us wanted, we are grateful for the partnership of schools around the state, who have stepped up to offer virtual and take-home learning opportunities for our students. These efforts are crucial, and we recognize that schools are making every effort possible to continue providing instruction during closures. We also thank our legislative partners for passing legislation ensuring all educators and staff see no disruption in pay. Our number one priority will continue to be health and safety, and we will continue to work closely with public health officials to make the best decisions for kids, families, and our school communities.”

On March 27, Mr. Ducey signed legislation to support schools during closures, ensure school letter grades are held harmless, suspend statewide testing requirements, ensure school days are not extended into the summer, require learning opportunities for students to continue, and ensure teachers and staff see no disruption in pay as a result of COVID-19.

That same week, Mr. Ducey joined Ms. Hoffman to launch Arizona Enrichment Centers, which will offer childcare for first responders, critical healthcare workers, and essential public sector workers, including child safety workers.

Additional information about meals for kids, childcare, special education considerations, learning resources for families and educators and more can be found at azed.gov.

Sports also shelved

In coordination with schools, the Arizona Interscholastic Association has canceled the spring sports season and championships.

“This is an unfortunate circumstance for all of our member schools, students and coaches,” stated AIA Executive Director David Hines. “We know this decision was a hard one, but one that was necessary to assist in the well-being of everyone across Arizona. We hope everyone stays healthy and focused on what the next chapter will bring.”

AIA sports at all levels are canceled for the remainder of the school year. All activities are also canceled, including official esports competitions. Esports teams may continue to compete in scrimmage mode only via PlayVS.

The 2020 Champions Gala is still scheduled to take place. However, it will only be done through a virtual platform. Until details of the event are finalized, school administrators and coaches can continue to nominate their very deserving student-athletes through April 3.

“We really feel for everyone involved with our schools,” AIA Executive Board President Jeannine Brandel stated. “So many have worked very hard for their chance to win a state championship, especially this year’s seniors. But we encourage you to still be students and to still be athletes. Strive to better yourselves during this time.”

AIA administrators will continue to be available for the remainder of the school year. With most staff working virtually, allow time for responses to any inquiries.

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