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Tolleson Union High School District waived from offering in-person student supports due to COVID-19 spread

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Posted at 8:34 PM, Aug 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-16 01:04:52-04

TOLLESON, AZ — As part of Governor Doug Ducey's Executive Order, 2020-51, districts across the state are preparing to offer free, in-person support services for students in need. The date for these services to begin is Monday, August 17.

On Friday, the Tolleson Union High School District Superintendent, Nora Gutierrez, told families in a letter that the Arizona Department of Education approved a District waiver of the requirement to offer free on-site learning opportunities and support services for students who need a safe place to go during the day. The waiver cites the "high transmission rates for COVID-19 within our District boundaries."

The most recent data from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health's dashboard for school benchmarks lists the overall risk level as "Substantial," and recommends virtual learning with onsite support. It shows about 235 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people and a percent positivity rate of nearly 19 percent within the district's boundaries.

Students and teachers in the district began remote learning on August 4 and are scheduled to stay remote through the first quarter.

"The health and safety of our students, staff and their families is our highest concern. We want nothing more than to have our students on our campuses and learning in classrooms with their teachers, however it is not safe to do so at this time," said Gutierrez. "We ask that all of our students continue their online education as they have been doing over the last two weeks. Our teachers will continue to provide live streaming instruction online with students every period of every day from bell-to-bell. We will get through this together."