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Peoria Unified closes some schools Monday as hundreds of teachers stage 'sickout'

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Posted at 4:05 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 19:30:19-05

PEORIA, AZ — Hundreds of teachers in the Peoria Unified School District staged a "sickout" Monday.

According to a district spokesperson, PUSD had 623 of the 2,150 certified staff members call out, protesting the return of in-person learning.

"Hopefully this sends a message that we need to be heard and hope they install metrics and come up with a plan. If not we will have to do it again," said a spokesperson for the Peoria Education Association.

PUSD posted an announcement on their website canceling school for six elementary schools, and seven high schools in the district due to low staffing.

The following schools closed Monday, January 11 according to the district:

ELEMENTARY:

  • Alta Loma
  • Copperwood
  • Heritage
  • Country Meadows
  • Pioneer
  • Santa Fe

HIGH SCHOOL:

  • Cactus
  • Centennial
  • Ironwood
  • Liberty
  • Peoria High School (PFA and MET will remain open)
  • Sunrise Mountain
  • Raymond S. Kellis

Following the closure, the district released this statement announcing a return to classes Tuesday:

By now you have experienced or heard that 13 of Peoria Unified’s schools were closed today. Throughout the day, we have closely monitored the staff absence data and I am thrilled to share that all 42 of our schools are adequately staffed for in-person and virtual learning tomorrow, Tuesday, January 12. I know that today’s closures may have left you or your child feeling frustrated and confused. This year, our students and families have had to pivot in many directions and I want you to know that I appreciate your patience and support through the changes. I recognize that learning in a pandemic has not been ideal, but I am proud of our community and how they have persevered through adversity. Our district has made every effort to accommodate choice for our families through a hybrid model of both in-person and virtual learning. Never in our 132-year history have we been tested to continue to deliver rigorous and engaging academic and extracurricular experiences for our students in the face of so many obstacles. Through it all, I remain committed to the safety of each and every one of our students and staff members. I will continue to advocate and reinforce our mitigation procedures including wearing masks, disinfecting our campuses and encouraging each one of our staff members to register for the COVID-19 vaccine. If there are future updates or changes that will impact your child’s regular school day, I will inform you as soon as possible. A reminder that official communication regarding our school or any district closures will always come from district or school emails, our website and/or our Facebook and Twitter feeds. I look forward to seeing our students learning in the classroom and online tomorrow.