Arizona’s Plan To Reopen Schools

It is still unknown when students and teachers will return to campus, but we are getting a better idea of what the next 16 months could look like.

The state is working on a plan to reopen schools, which is due out by the end of this month. To help craft that plan, State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman put together a task force.

Task force members include educators, principals, school nurses, superintendents, charter school leaders and education stakeholder groups, with input from parents also being considered.

The task force met on May 1 and again on Monday. They’re working toward a three-phase approach, with the hopes of reopening school campuses for the start of next school year.

The first phase, which started March 13 and goes through May 30, is focused on meeting the immediate needs of schools, students and families, while planning for summer school.

The next phase is projected for June 1 through August 30, with preparations for the upcoming school year while offering students and teachers emotional, academic, and professional support. Planning in this second phase is also meant to help with any future health disruptions.

Phase Three is expected to occur from September 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021. This phase is meant to focus on ongoing recovery needs and supports, while preparing for any future COVID-19 closures. That means the continuation of sanitizing, PPE, contingency planning, and meal service flexibilities.

This three-phase plan is simply meant to be a framework. More detailed and specific guidance from state officials is expected. However, individual districts will also have to make their own decisions on exactly how to implement that guidance.


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