OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR — Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman today announced the extension of Arizona school closures through the end of the school year. The extension follows updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an announcement from the White House extending physical distancing guidelines until April 30, 2020.
Governor Ducey and Superintendent Hoffman released the following joint statement:
“In alignment with yesterday’s updated federal guidance, today we are announcing the extension of school closures through the remainder of the school year. Today’s announcement 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. These efforts are crucial, and we recognize that schools are making every effort possible to continue providing instruction during closures. We also thank our legislative partners for passing legislation ensuring all educators and staff see no disruption in pay. 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.”
On March 27, Governor Ducey signed 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.
That same week, the Governor joined Superintendent Hoffman to launch Arizona Enrichment Centers, which will offer childcare for first responders, critical healthcare workers, and essential public sector workers, including child safety workers.
Additional information about meals for kids, childcare, special education considerations, learning resources for families and educators and more can be found at azed.gov.
Today’s announcement applies to Arizona public schools, both district and charter. Private schools are required to remain closed in alignment with federal guidance recommending closures through at least April 30, 2020. School leaders have the option of announcing closures through the end of the year, or waiting for additional guidance.
Editor’s Note: This separate statement was also issued today: “the Arizona Department of Education encourages schools to continue to provide educational opportunities to students to the best of their ability. We will continue to develop and share guidance to schools regarding instructional time, statewide testing, provision of special education services, school meals, and more. The State Board of Education will meet on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 to discuss updated graduation requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.”