NewsGetting Back to School


Mesa Public Schools to try phased approach for school year, offering different learning models

Mesa Public Schools
Posted at 6:47 AM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 12:32:13-04

MESA, AZ — The state's largest school district is revealing its plan for the upcoming school year.

Mesa Public Schools serves more than 60,000 students. On Tuesday, school board members held a four-hour virtual meeting consulting with thousands of parents, teachers and the county health department to come up with a plan.

The district will open for the fall semester in four phases:

  • For the first week of school, August 4 - August 7, students will take all classes online, not entering any school facilities
  • Phase two will be limited modified learning, where a small group of students will attend classes in the building
  • Phase three will also be modified learning, where students will be split between online and in-class learning, designed to keep class sizes down
  • Phase four will move all students back into the classroom.

The district says during any of the phases, parents have the option to keep kids home and complete classes online.

The district superintendent spoke with ABC15 Mornings about the plan. Watch the interview in the player below.

Mesa superintendent discusses reopening plans for schools

Other highlights of the plan include early dismissal every day during the first week and every Wednesday during the semester for teachers and staff to evaluate how the process is going.

Mesa Special Education teacher Judy Robbins teaches in dozens of schools and says in-class learning should not begin until August 17 as suggested by the state superintendent and Governor Ducey. She says in-class learning isn't worth the risk.

"Most of us don't want to get sick," she said. "All of us don't want to get sick and don't want to influence our students and don't want our students to influence us. It would be a horror show to have to go to a child's funeral, or have my students come to my funeral."

Robbins said no one should return to the classroom until there are no new positive cases of COVID-19 in the county for 14 consecutive days.

To see the official plan for the fall semester, visit

ABC15 has been compiling a list of school districts and their plans for the coming school year. See your child's school district's plans here.