Phoenix Union High School District Will Continue Distance Learning Through December

Published: Monday, September 14, 2020 - 5:43pm
Updated: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 8:46am

The Phoenix Union High School District will continue distance learning through the second quarter, which ends in mid-December, it announced on Monday. The district had hoped to start in-person learning by the end of the first quarter in October. 

Maricopa County has met the recommended public health benchmarks to start hybrid classes and other Phoenix-area schools have already reopened or are planning to reopen later this month in some capacity. Phoenix Union Superintendent Chad Gestson said COVID-19 spread is still too high in the district’s community as most of the zip codes that it serves are still . 

“We have come to the realization that it will not be possible for our community to move from substantial to moderate and again from moderate to minimal in just the next few weeks," he said. "Our commitment remains true that we will not resume learning until it is safe to do so."

The district is making changes to its distance learning model to further support students moving forward, Gestson said. Those include modifying bell schedules, support and interventions for freshmen and students who are falling behind and ramping up its food, counseling, college and career services, and expanding on-site options. The district will continue to provide professional development and training for teachers to help them create engaging lessons. 

But Gestson is hopeful that the district will soon bring back some student activities such as sports as some ZIP codes are seeing improvement.

“Although certainly we will be far behind the AIA published schedule, we are hopeful to bring back sports and sports conditioning early in the month of October and even possibly launch a full fall sports season at the end of October," he said. 

The district is also looking to resume arts, and career and technical education programs. Those details will be released soon.

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