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Sahuarita closes high schools, citing COVID-19 increases, staffing issues, absenteeism

Sahuarita closes high schools, citing COVID-19 increases, staffing issues, absenteeism

In-person classes at the Sahuarita Unified School District high schools are closing Friday, going online-only for the remainder of the first semester, officials said.

The district decided to return to remote learning at the high school level due to the number of positive cases on campus. The district also cited the affect quarantining is having on staffing as well as a high absentee rate, according a news release from the district south of Tucson on Thursday.

The district had already planned on holding final exam week remotely, from Dec. 14 to 17, right before the winter break.

The sudden change will affect 1,685 high school students attending in person. Another 385 high school students were already fully remote. Sahuarita will continue to offer in-person learning spaces for at-risk students during the closure.

The district says they’ll be assessing data and local conditions with a goal to resume in-person, hybrid learning when the second semester begins in January.

“We continue with intentional focus upon the dashboard metrics, public health counsel and evaluation of local variables,” said Sahuarita Superintendent Manuel Valenzuela. “The goal is in-person instruction, to the extent it is possible. However, the emerging evidence suggests that moving our high schools to remote learning is a reasonable and prudent action at this time.”

Additional information is available on the district’s Road Back webpage at

Contact reporter Danyelle Khmara at or 573-4223.

On Twitter: @DanyelleKhmara

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