Superintendent Hoffman and AZ Dept. of Education support safe return to in-person learning

Superintendent Hoffman and AZ Dept. of Education support safe return to in-person learning
(Source: Christine T. Nguyen/Minnesota Public Radio via AP)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control states in-person learning is possible with consistent and transparent mitigation strategies in place, and the community’s support, particularly for grades K-8.

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman along with Dr. Jason Vargas, President, Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Ylenia Aguilar, Governing Board President of Osborn School District announced they are working to get students across the state back to in-person learning.

While in-school transmission of COVID-19 can be relatively low when mitigation strategies are in place, schools do not operate independently.

Officials say its crucial for community members to continue their efforts in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available to them.

“I recognize that some school communities need more time to plan and prepare. I want to support schools at every stage, so that when they do resume in-person learning, they are doing so safely with mitigation strategies in place, enforced, and with the support of their families, students, and teachers.” said Superintendent Hoffman.

The team pointed out returning to in-person learning after nearly a year of distance or hybrid learning will be an anxious experience for many students.

To support schools’ efforts for a safe return to in-person learning, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) recently announced allocations from the second federal COVID-19 relief bill. These one-time recovery funds will be critical to helping schools implement mitigation strategies like improved ventilation.

Additionally, the ADE used discretionary funds to ensure that all non-profit public schools receive federal funding, regardless of their size or location.

Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.