TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo finalized plans for campus re-entry in a virtual briefing Thursday, Feb. 11, outlining what the remainder of the school year could look like, giving students and their families the option to stay home or go back to class come late March.
Elementary school students, which includes pre-k through fifth grade, will be allowed back in the classroom Wednesday, March 24, while middle and high school students can return to their schools the following day.
Middle and high school students will have the option to choose a hybrid model, which would allow students back on campus for four half days a week with Wednesday as the only remote-learning day or finish the school year completely remote. Trujillo said students shouldn’t expect a schedule change if they do choose the hybrid learning model and will see all of their teachers about twice a week.
While drafting the plan, parents told TUSD leaders their students needed more time to complete homework and other assignments, prompting the district to move forward with half days, Trujillo said.
Learning options are different for elementary school students, who can either opt-in for fully in-person instruction or remain entirely remote. Trujillo said a hybrid model isn’t the best option for the younger students because of childcare conflicts with families and that it can be disruptive for some children.
Guardians will be able to choose the learning model that best suits their students through the district’s online portal until Sunday, Feb. 28. Trujillo said parents have up until then to change their mind but by the end of the month, choices will be final.
The superintendent said the district will offer on-campus testing in addition to COVID-19 mitigation measures and has plans to launch an extended summer school program to address learning loss during this unprecedented school year.