Teachers, parents react to hybrid learning once counties meet benchmarks to reopen schools

It's expected more Arizona counties may meet the health benchmarks for in-person learning on Sept. 3.

The Arizona Department of Health Services announced they expect Pima and Maricopa counties to qualify for reopening.

“I’m still concerned. Very concerned, said Stacy Brosius, a third-grade teacher for Deer Valley Unified School District.

She's wondering how she'll do her job and stay safe from COVID-19 if classes return back to in-person learning.

“I have a right to be safe in my workplace and I think if we go back, I am not going to be safe. I’m not going to feel safe," Brosius said.

She's responding after the Arizona Department of Health Services announced Maricopa and Pima counties could meet the state health benchmarks Sept. 3, allowing schools to begin a hybrid model of learning.

Hybrid learning means both in-person and virtual learning will be on the table.

“I’m excited for it. I know my kids will be excited. They are anxious to get out of the house," said Lori Hutchison, a parent of two girls in high school.

The toll of homeschooling has been incredibly tough on everyone’s mental health, she says, adding that it’s time to go back.

"I think as parents we are all concerned about our kids' safety and what we are exposing them to, but is the alternative better?" Hutchison said.

To meet the benchmarks, there are 3 points: Number of cases, percent positivity, and COVID-19 like illnesses.

School districts are also pushing for students to get flu shots to help avoid a bad flu season while the pandemic continues.