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Wed, May 27

Ducey, Hoffman announce coronavirus school closures extended through end of school year

On March 16, Arizona’s public schools closed due to coronavirus restrictions and recommendations.

Monday, Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced that the state’s schools will remain closed through the end of the school year.

The announcement, according to a joint statement from Ducey and Hoffman, is “intended to give parents and educators as much certainty as possible so they can plan and make decisions.”

“While this isn’t the outcome any of us wanted, we are grateful for the partnership of schools around the state, who have stepped up to offer virtual and take-home learning opportunities for our students,” according to the statement. “Our number one priority will continue to be health and safety, and we will continue to work closely with public health officials to make the best decisions for kids, families, and our school communities.”

Today’s announcement applies to Arizona public schools, both district and charter, according to a March 30 news release from Gov. Ducey’s office. Private schools are required to remain closed in alignment with federal guidance recommending closures through at least April 30.

School leaders have the option of announcing closures through the end of the year, or waiting for additional guidance.

In the prepared statement, Ducey and Hoffman said the decision follows “updated guidance'” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as a decision from the White House to extend physical distancing guidelines though the end of April.

On March 27, Governor Ducey signed HB 2910, legislation to “support schools during closures, ensure school letter grades are held harmless, suspend statewide testing requirements, ensure school days are not extended into the summer, require learning opportunities for students to continue, and ensure teachers and staff see no disruption in pay as a result of COVID-19.”

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