Ready to reopen? Some Arizona school districts scramble to put kids back in class by March 22

You can bet school districts were in overdrive after Governor Doug Ducey ordered them to offer in-person learning for students by March 15.

Many schools are already offering in-person, while some have plans and others did not.

This decision has been left up to the individual school districts to decide when to reopen or how to do that, but now they don’t have much of a choice. Governor Ducey saying the CDC guidelines show it’s time for students to get back in class. We spoke with one district who is mostly prepared, but tells us why this may be hard for others who are not.

Lobato says schools in her district have been virtual all school year. The plan before the mandate was to bring students back for in-person instruction March 22. This is the day after the district's spring break.

Due to the mandate, there have been some adjustments.

"We had a plan to bring in bands of students. We were going to start with our younger kids and bring them in first and then a week later, we were going to bring in the other kids, but right now, it looks like that's not going to happen. We are required to bring them all in.

"For that date to chain a mere few hours before spring break creates a lot of anxiety of how do we honor the letter of the law, but still be mindful about doing what's best for our community," said Dr. Quintin Boyce, Superintendent of the Roosevelt School District.

The mandate has left the Roosevelt School District scrambling, according to Dr. Boyce.

The plan for this district was to have students back in the classroom on March 29. He says those two weeks of preparations makes a huge difference.

"It becomes a logistical concern of figuring out transportation and bussing, child nutrition and there's so many logistical variables to be considered when running a school district."

Dr. Boyce says they will have a plan in place and be able to give parents more direction on March 5.

We also spoke with the Scottsdale Unified School District. Currently, their students are attending half-days. SUSD says they had planned to begin full day instruction starting on March 15. They had this plan in place before the order was put forth by the governor.

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