On Monday, the Phoenix Union High School District announced plans to remain in remote learning mode to ensure the health and safety of their 28,000 students and 4,000 employees.
The school district made the decision to not return to in-person after the fall break citing state and local health guidelines. The district feels that it is critical they do their part to slow the community spread of COVID-19. In addition to in-person learning, PXU arts, athletics, and activities have all been postponed. The district has very limited on-site support services.
“Unfortunately, the Phoenix Union community is still experiencing substantial spread of COVID, although there are recent signs of improvement. According to both state and county health data, Phoenix Union remains in the red. In order to reopen schools for learning, Phoenix Union needs to move from substantial spread (red) to moderate spread (yellow), and then from moderate to minimal spread (green),” explained Richard Franco, PXU’s Director of Marketing and Communications.
Franco says PXU will not reach minimal spread (green) in time to launch in-person learning in October and they will remain in remote learning during the second quarter.
The district will make some improvements to the virtual learning system and could consider more on-site options in November if cases continue to drop.
“We will launch PXU Remote Learning 2.0, as we will make several changes and improvements to our current model and begin to phase in more on-campus student opportunities, activities, and support. If, unexpectedly, we reach minimal spread (green) in November, we will consider even more on-site options to end the quarter.”
In a YouTube video on Sept. 14, Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson stated, “We will always put your health, your wellness and your safety at the forefront of all of our decisions. And second is that we will never abandon our community, that we will continue to provide vital services, important activities and opportunities for our families and our students to stay healthy and engaged during these tough times.”
Gestson added that they had always planned to make decisions each quarter, not week by week.
“In order for schools to return to in-person learning, schools must have minimal spread within its boundaries. Phoenix Union serves several zip codes across the district and almost every single one of them remains in the red,” says Dr. Chad Gestson, PUHSD Superintendent.