Flowing Wells and Sahuarita are the latest Tucson school districts to announce a return to remote learning due to rising COVID-19 numbers.
Both districts will remain in hybrid mode next week to finish out the semester.
The districts cited three public health measures — the number of viral infections in the community, percent positivity, and the number of COVID-like symptoms seen in hospital — all being in substantial transmission in the county as the reason why they are temporarily stopping in-person learning.
Both districts will offer fully remote learning starting Jan. 4, with the hope of returning to hybrid on Jan. 19 if the situation improves.
“We will work in consultation with the Pima County Health Department in making the decision, and we will try to provide as much advance notice as possible,” Flowing Wells Superintendent David Baker wrote in a Dec. 11 letter to families.
Sunnyside School District returned to remote-only after Thanksgiving.
Sahuarita Unified shut down in-person learning at its high schools on Dec. 4. TUSD announced it would be staying in remote-only as the second semester begins in January. And numerous other district schools and charter schools have recently been forced to close due to COVID-19 cases and related staffing issues.
The pause of in-person learning is also intended to provide a buffer for the post-holiday surge of positive cases predicted by health experts and to support management of local cases, said a news release from Sahuarita Unified.
Both districts will continue to offer on-site services during the remote learning period.
“Entering the holiday weeks, I know we had to reconsider activities to protect against COVID-19 spread in our homes and community,” Baker said. “Unfortunately, the pandemic has required us all to modify time with family and friends to create a safer environment. Still, the spread continues and requires us to be vigilant in our efforts to reduce transmission and exposure.”
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