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UPDATED TUESDAY, APRIL 24 — Deer Valley Unified School District administrators decided Friday evening to cancel school for Thursday, April 26, the day educators around the state say they’ll walk out if their demands for increased education funding aren’t met.
DVUSD notified parents by phone and email at around 7:20 p.m. Friday. A phone message stated that all DVUSD schools would be closed April 26, and would remain closed until the district could assure that 75 percent of certified teachers would be on the job.
What if the strike is called off? “If it doesn’t happen, then we call it off” and school would be open on April 26, said DVUSD spokesperson Monica Allread. “We wanted to give parents as much notice as possible.”
State educators voted this week to walk out, and #RedForEd leaders chose Thursday, April 26 as the day, unless the legislature can meet its demands for higher school funding overall, including improved pay for teachers and support personnel.
Day Care Options: We’ve started a list of organizations in North Phoenix, including Anthem, that are providing free or low-cost day care services April 26 to significant numbers of those in need. If your organization is offering such services, please fill out this form.
Details of the Closure
DVUSD schools will be open Monday through Wednesday. Friday, April 27 is a planned “Spring Break Day” holiday. The district joins several others in the Valley announcing they’ll be closed or are considering closing if the strike happens.
“I have been meeting with leaders throughout the Deer Valley Unified School District, and after much consideration, I have determined that we will not have the necessary 75 percent of our certified staff (teachers) reporting to school on the planned walkout day of Thursday, April 26 to safely keep our schools open,” said superintendent Curtis Finch in a letter to parents.
Also to be closed: Before/after school care, preschools, and school front offices. “No Community Education programs will take place,” Finch wrote. “Free/reduced breakfast and lunch will not be served, however, some parent organizations, churches, and community groups are beginning to discuss how they may be able to provide breakfast and/or lunch for students.”
Editor’s Note: If you know of an organization in North Phoenix, including Anthem, that is providing free or low-cost day care services April 26 to significant numbers of those in need, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be publishing a list starting Saturday mid-morning.
“Senior graduation, prom, varsity sports, and student trips may continue as scheduled as long as the proper supervision requirements can be met as determined by the campus principal,” Finch wrote.
If the school closes, any missed days would be added to the end of the year, per state law. However, after the graduation ceremony, seniors would not need to attend any additional class time, according to a DVUSD FAQ on the situation. The district promised more notifications in this evolving situation.
What About Charter Schools?
Charter schools, which are publicly funded, are developing their own approaches. Anthem Prep, a K-12 charter, sent this note to parents:
“There is no indication that Archway and Prep teachers and/or support staff will participate in the statewide strike. Please plan on bringing your children to school next week as usual.”
Ridgeline Academy was unsure of the impact on its charters school as of Saturday. In a letter to parents, the charter said:
“We are working to determine the impact on school operations should our teachers choose to participate in the walk out. In the event of a work stoppage, we will make every effort to keep our campus open. If we do not have adequate staff to provide a safe and quality learning environment for our students, we may have to close campus or alter our daily schedule.”
Caurus Academy in Anthem plans to stay open.
This article was updated to include information about the charter schools.