TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — School went back in session from winter break for the Tucson Unified School District January 4. But students started school from home with full remote learning. TUSD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo gave an update saying he has no plans on returning schools to hybrid or in-person learning anytime soon.
“Five of the nine establish benchmarks for COVID-19 spread in Pima County are in the red indicating preference for remote instruction. For now, January is out there is no imminent start date that I will be proposing to the governing board,” said Trujillo.
Trujillo mentioned, by executive order, campuses are required to stay open to any families or students that need specific school resources. Those resources will stay open, but there is no imminent start date for in-person learning for the entirety of the district.
“Our decision to remain remote is not only in line with our commitment to not open until Pima County graduates via the data dashboard to a state of minimum or moderate transmission of the virus not widespread but also because we're experiencing some tremendous staffing difficulties,” said Trujillo.
In referencing the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines within Tucson Unified, Trujillo said — the vaccination of those in Group 1A (nurses, health assistants, athletic trainers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and language therapists) is underway.
Registration for remaining district employees at “super sites” will open Jan 15. Vaccinations are slated to start Jan 19.
“It should be noted that the Tucson Unified School District will not be pursuing any kind of a policy to mandate or force or obligate employees to get the vaccine. We believe that it's our responsibility to create the conditions create the opportunities for employees to want to get the vaccine have their own freewill and their own accord,” said Trujillo.
A TUSD COVID-19 dashboard will be launched Jan 11, which will showcase the number of positive cases each school campus is dealing with.