TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Cindy James, a Kindergarten teacher at Safford K-8 School, put the finishing touches on her classroom, Wednesday.
"Kindergarten is my favorite because I really love to see their growth at the end of the year. They are also just the sweetest, cutest kids. I feel like we can really connect, bond and have fun together," said James.
While the main focus will be learning, James also wants her class to be a community.
"I think that's what they need right now. They need to feel supported, loved, happy to be here and safe to be here," said James.
With safety in mind, Tucson Unified School District announced they will require all students and staff to wear masks. The unanimous decision by the district's governing board goes against a law signed by Governor Doug Ducey, which prohibits schools from requiring masks.
"As we bring students back on campus, our primary goal is for students to feel safe, for our families to feel safe that their students are coming here and for our teachers and staff to know that we are going to be very supportive of them and their needs, as well," said Safford K-8 School Principal, Dr. Katherine Kuhn.
Kuhn said 600-700 students will attend Safford K-8 School in the 2021-2022 school year and enrollment is on the rise. 150 students signed up in just the last month.
"Safford is making a huge jump in enrollment. I think it's the infusion of all the new programs that TUSD has offered us and all the new curriculum we are able to offer on our campus," said Kuhn.