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Valley schools returning to online learning as COVID-19 cases rise in Arizona

Masks and social distancing part of Trump's school reopening policy
Posted at 6:59 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 16:03:25-05

As COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Arizona, many schools around the state are planning to return to or remain in online learning.

Maricopa County recently released new data for the school dashboard and about 60% of the county’s school districts are seeing a rise in per capita cases from the week of October 31 to November 7. Half of elementary schools and unified school districts are now in the “substantial” category based on the county’s grading criteria, which only requires one of the three metrics to change to move to a higher transmission level.

According to state benchmarks, all but Greenlee County should have schools in hybrid learning.

FULL COVERAGE: Safely Back to School in Arizona

Some districts have made the decision to keep or return all of its schools to online learning, while other districts are making the decision on a school to school basis.

Flagstaff Unified School District decided Wednesday to remain in remote learning until January 2021, according to the district's website.

Glendale High School will be moving students from hybrid learning to an online-only learning model until, "the school meets the criteria to safely transition back into the hybrid learning model."

Madison School District in Phoenix says after the district met on Tuesday to discuss whether or not the schools will return to an online-only learning model, they did not come to a decision and will further discuss plans next week.

"This past Tuesday, the Governing Board met to discuss the current COVID-19 data dashboards and the impact the increase in COVID-19 cases has on our current hybrid teaching and learning model. While the Board is concerned for the health and welfare of our students, teachers and staff, they also recognize the need for students to learn in-person while providing families the option to have their children learn from home," the district said in a letter to parents.

The Creighton School District in Phoenix will be doing only remote learning starting Friday through Winter Break, January 1, according to the district's website. In-person learning will continue for students in "self-contained special education and developmental preschool programs."

According to a letter sent to parents, Paradise Valley Unified School District announced Thursday that they will be moving to online learning starting November 23.

"While we wish we could continue to offer students an in-person learning opportunity, with the rising spread of COVID-19 in our community, continuing to do so would not be safe for our students, families, and staff at this time," the letter stated.

Earlier this month, Phoenix Elementary School District decided they will continue remote learning through at least January 14.

View our map of schools in the Valley that are transitioning to hybrid or online-only learning amid the rise in COVID-19 cases.