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How Southern Arizona school districts are planning for the walkout

Posted: 5:48 AM, Apr 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-21 05:12:35Z
Local districts respond to the walkout vote

Arizona teachers have voted to walk off the job to demand increased school funding.

The state's largest teacher membership group said Thursday that teachers will walkout April 26.

TUCSON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

The Tucson Unified School District posted a Q&A on their website Friday.

He says TUSD is trying to find a way to keep schools open and busses running so students who rely on schools for meals can eat. That would include a skeletal bus schedule and at least some staff coming to work. 

“Schools physically would be open, but instructional services would be closed. There would be no classes running,” Trujillo said Tuesday.

MARANA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

The Marana Unified School District sent a letter to parents prior to the walkout vote. 

Below is a portion of that letter: 

If a walkout or strike is called, we will have contingency plans in place. Should a teacher walkout occur, Marana Unified School District will make every effort to avoid closing district schools. However, if we have too few staff members to appropriately supervise students and ensure their safety and well-being, we will be forced to close schools. School closures will not be determined school by school, but rather district-wide. This will impact preschool through high school.

  • School closures due to a walkout would result in the cancelling of all before and after school programming, student services, student and club activities, and after school activities, including LEAP.
  • Graduation ceremonies would be held as planned. Diplomas would be issued if and when all requirements, such as course completion and attendance, are met.
  • Aligned with state laws and current policy, any day that a school is closed will have to be made up at the end of the of the current school calendar.

SAHUARITA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Superintendent Manuel Valenzuela sent the following letter to families in the district:

Last night, state-wide organizers of the #RedforEd movement called for a walkout at Arizona schools, starting next Thursday, April 26, 2018.

Although, I acknowledge the very real issues regarding State investment in Arizona’s public schools, I do not believe that a walkout is an appropriate strategy to remedy those issues. I drafted a detailed communication to all members of the SUSD staff, outlining my perspectives regarding these important issues, and the possibility of a walkout. It is posted on our website, www.susd30.us, if you would like to read it.

The purpose of this letter and corresponding information is to create and communicate as much clarity as possible in regards to issues affecting the operation of our schools. First, we desire to continue operating our schools and delivering educational services, but will only do so upon determination that it is safe, and that meaningful teaching and learning can be maintained. Second, we are relentlessly committed to providing families with timely and accurate communication about school programs, operations, and determinations, so that families are informed, and can make the appropriate adjustments in their routines, as might be necessary.

Finally, I ask for your patience and trust as we navigate through these events. We are committed to doing whatever is necessary to uphold the tremendous trust you place in us every day.

SUNNYSIDE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Superintendent Steve Holmes sent the following letter to families in the district:

Last night, leaders from the Arizona Education Association and Arizona Educators United movement voted to conduct and participate in a state-wide walkout on Thursday, April 26th.  We are working closely with members from Sunnyside’s local teacher leadership to avoid any long term impact on student learning and safety while looking out for the well being of our community. Here’s what you should know about the April 26th walkout:

● Participation in the walkout by educators may vary by school site. It is our intent to keep all schools open on that day. However, the lack of supervision and student safety concerns may necessitate the closure of individual or multiple schools. We will communicate via letter next week when that determination is made. In the event that decision stretches into Wednesday, we will utilize both Parent Link and social media channels to reach out to families.
● Transportation routes will continue for schools that remain open, but instruction will be limited based on available personnel.
● We are currently analyzing the impact this walkout will have on the state requirement to have 180 days of school. We will communicate to families if this becomes a concern and if we will need to make up those days past May 24th.
● It is currently our intent to keep middle school promotion and high school graduation dates as scheduled.
● District offices will remain open for business during normal hours.

At this point we do not know if the walkout will stretch across multiple days. Once we clarify the walkout length with our teacher association, we will follow up with additional communication. Please keep in mind that each school district is unique in their response to this statewide effort. If you have additional questions
regarding our District’s plans to the walkout please contact the Office of Public Information at 545-2086.

Stay with KGUN9 throughout the day as we get more information from local schools.