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TUSD postpones in-person learning until October

High-needs and ‘at risk’ students can start limited services August 17
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Posted at 9:59 PM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 00:59:59-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Tucson Unified School District Board has unanimously voted to start the hybrid learning model on August 17 -- but only for ‘at risk’ and high needs students.

The rest will continue learning remotely online until, at least, October 9.

Dr. Theresa Cullen, the Pima County Health Director says it’s too soon for mass in-person learning.

In other words, she does not recommend having thousands of students learning in the same environment.

“We are still in an accelerated transmission stage. I would argue we are still a hotspot, which I think is what [we] showed you. And we may be getting better, but once again we’re getting over 1,000 cases a week,” Dr. Cullen said in the virtual meeting.

Dr. Cullen doesn’t see that changing for some time.

“When we talk about where we’re going to get in six to seven weeks, we are yellow, not green,” she added.

So the Tucson Unified School District Board decided to start limited services--in small scale firstly to high needs and ‘at risk’ students.

TUSD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo explains.

“We will be prioritizing, for their schools of choice, students classified as homeless, students in foster care, refugee students and high needs exceptional education students,” he said in the virtual meeting.

Dr. Trujillo says in-person instruction options will be delayed for all other students until at-least- after the first grading period. Which would be in October.

“Smaller populations of students on campus at this time is going to allow for a more affecting cohortung of students. This is really going to help if there’s going to be any contract traces for case positive situations that may hit us later on. It’s also going to allow for more effective implementation for the general CDC and Pima County recommended precautionary measures,” he added.

The Superintendent says campuses should be equipped with personal protective equipment by August 14 -- three days before the hybrid start date. If not--

“We’re going to have to look at that on a school by school basis and discuss the situation further because then we’re in a safety situation,” he said.

For more information on tonight’s meeting, click here.