TUSD looks at suggestions for going back to school

TUSD looks at suggestions for going back to school

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson’s biggest school district presented suggestions Tuesday on how to go back to school next fall.

TUSD is looking at making several operational changes that will hopefully make resuming school safe.

"The general feeling right now is apprehension," said Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo. "We are doing everything possible to support parental choice.”

Part of parent choice is providing them the option to not have their students physically go back.

Superintendent Trujillo said parents can keep their students with online learning and not be at a disadvantage.

"The 3rd grade experience is not going to change. Whether you’re physically in a 3rd grade class or you’re a 3rd grader learning from home.”

But for those heading back, be prepared for change. One big suggestion already brought up to students in a forum is masks.

“I don’t think I got one student that said they would not wear a mask," said Trujillo during the Tuesday Governing Board Meeting.

The Mask Protocol suggested would be as followed:

K-5 grade students can wear a face covering at their parent's discretion.

  • All 6th -12th grade students are required to wear a face covering when not physically distanced.
  • Bus riders will be required to wear a face covering.
  • 6th-12th grade students who decline to wear face coverings will be offered online distance learning.
  • Students /staff without a face-covering will be provided with a face covering, if they forget it.
  • Students and staff are expected to provide their own face covering.
  • A system will be developed for those students /staff that do not comply.
  • A district regulation to handle non-compliance in a consistent way

Social distancing would be applied to the classroom, meaning less group work and interaction.

"It’s going to be kids sitting, not working with others, facing forward 6 feet apart from their other student, the teacher in control of everything," said Trujillo.

Busses will also adhere to social distancing. Meaning less students aboard and more trips.

"That means creating more routes and we’re going to have to spend a lot more money to do that.”

The focus is not only on students, but staff as well. Superintendent Trujillo says 40-45 percent of staff is still on the fence to return.

"Employees are nervous they do not feel confident coming back. A portion, it’s a large portion.”

Trujillo said they also don't know how many staff they will need on site yet since they do not know the true amount of students that will come back in the fall.

It’s why the conversation on next year is not over. Several more forums will happen before the suggestions become final. And even then, the learning for all will not stop.

"II do think that we’re going to still have to monitor our implementation efforts throughout the school year," said Trujillo.

Tuesday's meeting was only about bringing up suggestions, no action was taken.

Next week there will be another meeting focusing on online learning.

Final suggestions are expected in July.

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