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Gov. Doug Ducey: Arizona public school closure extended for 2 weeks

Posted at 3:17 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 02:25:56-04

PHOENIX — Public school students in Arizona will have an additional two weeks before heading back to the classroom, according to a Friday announcement from Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman.

FULL COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Arizona

Ducey said the school closures announced earlier this week will be extended through Friday, April 10.

See his full statement.

“Our goal is to get kids safely back in the classroom as soon as possible while providing parents and educators certainty so they can plan and make decisions,” Ducey said. “I’m grateful to Superintendent Hoffman for her continued partnership and leadership. We are unified in our efforts to address COVID-19, and will continue to keep parents and educators informed.”

Ducey announced the statewide closure of public schools on Sunday, initially saying that the shut down would be in effect from March 16 through March 27.

“Our number one priority is the health and safety of all Arizonans, especially our kids,” said Superintendent Hoffman. “Our office continues to work closely with school administrators and partners to provide parents, families, and schools resources and flexibility to mitigate the impact of school closure. This will continue to be our top priority.”

In a letter sent to parents, educators, and school leaders, Ducey and Hoffman detailed several measures they are prioritizing upon schools resuming:

  • School administrators should make every effort to provide continued education learning opportunities through online resources or materials that can be sent home.
  • School administrators should work with the Arizona Department of Education to provide breakfast and lunch services for Arizona students.
  • As demand rises on healthcare professionals and first responders, schools should consider expanding child care programs currently available to ensure minimal disruption to these critical jobs as a result of the school closure.
  • When school resumes, school administrators should develop and implement precautions to ensure schools are a safe learning environment, including social distancing measures, regular intervals for administrators to wash and sanitize their hands, and guidance on how to properly and frequently sanitize equipment and common surfaces.