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Vail schools start in spring remotely, Marana to decide at Thursday meeting

Posted at 10:23 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 19:37:47-05

VAIL, Ariz. (KGUN) — The coronavirus remains a problem for schools in the Vail School Unified District.

"Had to quarantine a grade-level, all the grade levels at Sycamore Elementary school in fifth grade, several at second grade, at least one another class at Copper Ridge Elementary school and that's just in the last 48 hours," Superintendent John Carruth, said.

For some parents there are bigger problems related to remote learning.

"I'm concerned about what feels like a lack of logic with the extension of this break," one parent said.

Two of them addressed the district's governing board before their vote on whether they'll continue in-person classes in the spring.

"I do not think that I can deal with a total of 20 hours of screaming and crying every day," another VUSD parent added.

Because of the continued cases reported around the district, Carruth proposed this recommendation.

"The Vail School District governing board approve a pause in hybrid instruction and return to remote instruction for a three-week period of time following winter break."

Some board members communicated their concern for students struggling with remote learning.

Board member John Aitken summarized why he voted to start the spring remotely.

"I know that there's a sentiment out there that our teachers and our classified staff are essential workers but they're also humans. I just feel like that has to be a component of our decision."

Another district, Marana Unified, has now confirmed to KGUN 9 they will vote on December 17th to decide how they'll start the Spring semester.

The board will hear a recommendation that outlines starting remotely for the first three weeks after the holiday break.

According to it's COVID-19 dashboard, the district has 42 current active cases and 143 resolved cases of the virus at its 20 campuses.

Back in Vail, that school board unanimously approved starting the spring remotely for three weeks, from January 4th to the 22nd.

EDITORIAL NOTE: A previous version of this story stated Marana USD would return from winter break in a hybrid model. That information was current as of the original publishing of this story but has since changed.