TUSD welcomes at-risk, special needs students back into classrooms

TUSD at-risk students head back to class

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - While Tucson Unified School District has started distance learning, some students headed back to the classroom on Monday, Aug. 17. 

26 schools specifically welcomed back students with special needs. However, all 86 schools welcomed back at-risk students.

These students include:

  • Those who are high needs; requiring around-the-clock, one-on-one care
  • Those who are homeless; relying on the district for food, showers, internet and technology
  • Refugees; who often face language barriers
  • Children in foster care; as mandated by the state

But heading back into the classroom isn't business as normal.

With many feeling anxious about returning because of the virus, TUSD is taking every possible step to keep those kids and their teachers safe.

According to the Tucson Education Association, classroom sizes will be kept small with about 10 to 12 students, and one teacher in every room.

Students will be spaced at least six feet apart and will be required to wear face coverings at all times.

Each site will also be isolating the classrooms to prevent the cross-contamination of germs.

Instead of students switching classes, everyone will remain in the same room each day.

Lunch will be eaten in the very same classroom.

Bathroom passes and trips to the office will also be limited.

Officials said these steps are to hopefully keep everyone safe and healthy.

“Everyone would rather be in their classrooms, but they also are very fearful of the virus. As soon as things are announced as safe and the numbers go down, I can guarantee you there’s a huge group of elementary teachers who will be like ‘put me back in,’” TEA President Margaret Chaney said.

Chaney advises if you're an educator and don't need to be on campus, don't come.

If your child is alright learning remotely, keep them at home.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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