Deer Valley Unified School District moves 12 classes to virtual learning

Posted at 5:56 PM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-13 07:54:22-05

DEER VALLEY, AZ — Some districts across the Valley are transitioning back to remote learning as many teachers and students continue to call in sick.

This comes as COVID cases rise to their highest level.

Just in the last week, at least 12 classes have moved to virtual learning within the Deer Valley Unified School District. It was announced during Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

The district says those virtual classrooms last up to five days, and with the recent surge in cases, more classrooms could convert.

Administrators tell ABC15 those are mainly Pre-K classes.

Dr. Gary Zehrbach, Deputy Superintendent of Deer Valley Unified School District, says having a dozen in a week is a higher number than what they’ve had.

“It’s frustrating,” says Robyn McLain. She’s a parent of a 10-year-old at Paseo Hills Elementary.

McLain says she wants more safety guidelines in place.

"I don't want to keep her there if there's 15 kids in her class that have it,” says McLain. “But at the same time, it's that double-edged sword. She comes home and then her grades are going to suffer because of it."

She's worried her daughter could bring COVID home to her grandparents. This year alone, she's been exposed three times.

"She's missed 30 days of school this year,” says McLain. “And again, I feel like that's a direct correlation to kids not wearing masks at school."

New this semester, Deer Valley High Unified School parents will not be notified if their kid is a close contact but the district will let them know if there's an outbreak.

"This is 12 situations that we've highlighted out of 1000s of sections that we have throughout our district. We are a very large district here in Maricopa County. And so do I expect it to happen more in the next few weeks? I do. I do believe there will be additional rooms that will need to convert,” says Dr. Zehrbach.

Salt River Schools are now remote until Feb. 1. On January 7th, the largest high school district in the state, Phoenix Union High School District, told its employees that a workforce shortage, not community transmission, could send schools into remote learning.

As of today, Scottsdale, Avondale, Dysart, and Peoria do not plan to go remote.