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Scottsdale Unified addresses COVID-19 situation across district

SUSD school board meeting
Posted at 10:36 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 19:35:00-04

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — The Scottsdale Unified Governing Board called a special meeting Tuesday to address the COVID-19 situation across the district.

They discussed masks, and late Tuesday night voted 4-1 to implement a mandate.

LIST: Valley schools with mask, vaccine mandates

Board members also proposed an instructional model that caters to the high number of students in quarantine.

"It's really just more in response to when a student is at home, or if a class has to quarantine. The State Department of Education is giving us the latitude to still count it as learning,” said the board.

Currently, when a child is in quarantine it is considered an absence. Just last week the district announced more than 600 students were in quarantine.

Board members discussed a model that would satisfy the state's requirement for annual attendance, in accordance with new state law. The legislation allows districts to choose how instruction is given, including a mix of in-person and remote, which provides more flexibility.

“You talk about 50% of the time in schools as being acceptable, according to this new law. It’s unacceptable,” said one parent.

“Thank you for being flexible. Nothing is going to be a perfect solution but I know how difficult it is to come up with a solution. So thank you for providing the support that you are,” said another parent.

Now, when students are in quarantine, they can be listed as “in attendance” because they will be offered distance learning. They will also be given an option for additional support and tutoring. During the meeting, the board cut off those who got off-topic, including anything related to masks and vaccines. Many are unhappy with that.

Dozens of parents voiced their concerns in person, even though the meeting was virtual. They were rallying against face coverings.

"Our children are our business; their job is to educate our children which we are thankful for. I think it should be freedom to choose,” said parent, Lisa Bondy.