Parents, school districts unsure about school reopening amid COVID-19

Back to school Pima County

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - When Monday arrived this week, schools and school districts did not know what to expect.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, in his back to school guidelines allowed for at risk kids to go back to school in person. Homeless students, those whose parents had to get to work, those with learning disabilities and such would be allowed in the buildings but not in the classrooms. They would still be learning remotely.

The issue though, was how many might show up.

It was thought, 5,000 to 10,000 may be eligible and might come back.

But for the districts which reported, which was many, the total was 1482.

What it shows, the districts believe, parents are not comfortable allowing their children into the classroom for face to face learning at this time.

“We’re seeing some of the discrepancies of the policies the governor wants and what reality is,” said Dustin Williams, the Superintendent of Pima County Schools. “We’re having a tough time with that.”

Williams believes even if some of the numbers are beginning to improve a bit, the county is still deep in the woods.

“If people are infected, you’ll see signs coming this weekend and into next week,” Williams said. “So September 1st numbers or the week of September 1st will be very interesting to see how we’re doing.”

One of those parents who has opted to keep his son at home, doing remote learning is Chris Kabisch, a work at home father who has the time to help and watch after his 12 year old, 7th grader, Sean Davis.

“Even if they let him go back to school, I wouldn’t let him,” Kabisch said.

He says the numbers are too high and there’s concern about spreading it to the rest of the extended family.

“I would prefer he being in school, be around other kids, having fun,” he said. “But obviously, with the pandemic we really don’t want him in school right now.”

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