TUSD delays hybrid learning until Spring, continues remote learning

Superintendent sends letter to parents 5 days before start date
Posted at 6:03 PM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 17:36:32-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Tucson Unified staff have been preparing to start its hybrid model after the board voted to begin its hybrid model on November 12.

But the district says it's moving the start date back.

The superintendent informed TUSD families in a letter sent out Friday.

A difficult decision. That's how superintendent Gabriel Trujillo describes his decision to delay the start of hybrid learning to January.

His reason -- the recent spike in COVID cases that will put Pima County in a state of widespread community transmission of COVID-19 at the time of the district's planned opening.

Dr. Theresa Cullen explained in a video posted online that she's expecting a jump in cases Halloween week that could put health metrics in the red. "We are worried. We need everyone's cooperation," she said.

The Teacher's Union has been fighting for a delay in hybrid learning until it's safe.
TEA's president, Margaret Chaney said, "Pima County Health says it's not safe to go back. The district says okay we're not going back. We're happy they're following their guidelines. It's kismet," she said.

So what now?

Trujillo wrote that remote instruction will remain unchanged and schools will continue to have On Campus Learning Spaces open for at-risk students as well as any families that would like their children to be on-campus.

And Chaney says she'll keep monitoring the district.

Cavazos: From now until spring, what is your top priority?
Chaney: To continue to make sure everyone is safe and if they're in doubt of their safety to look into and whatever their needs are are addressed.

TUSD is the only district in Pima County that hasn't brought students back to campus for hybrid learning.

Superintendent's Full Letter to parents:

Greetings Tucson Unified Family,

As your Superintendent there is no responsibility I take more seriously and no priority more important than ensuring the health, safety, and security of our students and employees. This commitment is the core value inherent in any decision I make. Throughout this pandemic your Governing Board and I have committed to honoring the expertise of the Pima County Health Department by utilizing their data to guide our decision making regarding the re-opening of our schools, programs, and extra-curricular activities.

It is in this spirit that I have made the difficult decision to not open the Tucson Unified School District for Hybrid Learning starting Thursday November 12th. In my briefings this week with the Pima County Health Department leadership team, I was informed that our county will be in a state of widespread community transmission of COVID-19 at the time of our planned opening.

I encourage you to view her 11/4/20 community update message here:
Out of an abundance of caution, our leadership team has made a commitment to only initiate "hybrid" instruction when Pima County is in a state of moderate transmission or better. Please note that our remote instructional model will remain unchanged. Your child or children should continue to log on to their regularly scheduled remote classes at their regularly scheduled times. School bell schedules for remote instruction will remain the same.

We will continue to have On Campus Learning Spaces open for at-risks students, as well as any families that would like their children to be on campus. Our On-Campus Learning Spaces will continue to feature access to remote instruction and basic campus services for students that attend.

If you are a family that chose Hybrid Learning, your student will be prioritized when Hybrid Learning begins in the Spring.
I thank you for your continued patience, support, and trust in the Tucson Unified School District and look forward to continuing to provide you with updates as soon as information becomes available. Be safe and be healthy.

Dr. Gabriel Trujillo
TUSD Superintendent