J.O. Combs Unified School District delays in-person learning as mass call-out delays start of school year

A staff sick-out in San Tan Valley forced classes to be called off the past three days in the JO. Combs Unified School District, and on the night of August 19, the school board met to figure out what to do next.

The district was supposed to start in-person learning on August 17, but a mass callout from teachers and staff who felt unsafe changed that. During the meeting, officials decided to delay in-person learning until at least August 31, and begin virtual learning on August 20.

The initial decision to go back to in-person learning, as well as the cancellation soon after, put a lot of people in a tight spot. Many teachers want to stay virtual, while parents had little time to make a quick decision on what to do when school was cancelled. Students, meanwhile, have had their school year disrupted.

Parent speaks out

On August 19, FOX 10 spoke with Marlee Brock, a parent who was disappointed in all sides with how everything played out.

Brock was ready to send her kindergartner back to school, and found out on August 14 there wouldn’t be any school at all.

“On top of that, they cancelled the online school section. So it kind of screwed over not only the parents but the kids themselves because it damaged their education as a whole. So it was difficult to tell my son hey we’re not going into school," said Brock.

Brock has enrolled her kindergartner in an American Leadership Academy, a charter school that has returned to in-person learning.