More districts push for re-opening schools

Multiple school districts in Maricopa County are pushing towards opening for in-school learning, even while COVID-19 is still raging and teachers are protesting against opening.
“I was excited to open, in the sense of obviously wanting kids back in session, teachers back in session, you know, having everything getting back to a sense of normalcy. That was coupled with the apprehension and anxiety of how do we meet the needs of everyone, how do we provide a safe environment for students and staff while still trying to create some normalcy,” said Tony Vining, the principal.
On Monday, August 31, the district board decided every school in the district would be returning to in school learning on September 8. They came to this decision after four hours of reading comments during a board meeting on Zoom, which was streamed on Youtube. Every board member voted for coming back to school. The school quickly had to figure out what they needed to do so they could be successful in reopening.
“I’m very proud of our district voting to open unanimously. It is very rare that our board votes on something and everyone agrees. I have a lot of respect for the five board members who voted and the district for finding safe ways for us to come back and set an example for other districts,” said Cassidy Gross, a senior.
Only four Arizona school districts opened for full time in school sessions along with CCUSD. More are scheduled to open in the coming weeks, although most are using a staggered open, which means several grades returning to school each week, with high school students returning by grade at the end.
Since schools have reopened, according to the Arizona Department of Health, COVID-19 cases have been slightly rising. This may or may not prevent the number of districts that have not opened to hold off on reopening for in-school learning.
“I would not be surprised to see the school ending up having to close again. I don’t think that the school is doing enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Colleges have been opening for some time, and we are now seeing spikes all over the country coming from colleges. Public schools opening are not going to be different,” said Nia Sogaard, a junior.
According to a CS Press poll of 44 students, 52 percent are comfortable with the way school opened. Many new guidelines have been put in place that students are expected to follow. As long as students follow the guidelines, the district believes that schools will remain open.