Masks to still be required at in some southern Arizona schools

TUSD will open full online academy for those who want to continue virtual learning
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 11:04 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The CDC’s new mask guidelines will not apply to some local schools.

The Sunnyside, Catalina Foothills, Amphi and Tucson Unified districts all said the mask mandate for teachers, staff and students will remain in effect.

“The goal is not to continue on with mandatory masks indefinitely,” said TUSD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo.

He said the requirements will remain in place through the end of the school year, which is now just weeks away.

“We are going to have a very serious examination of the continuation of mandatory masks in the summer, it is going to be the first order of business,” Trujillo said.

The district will also continue to view the virus through the lens of public health officials.

“There are still strong CDC recommendations for non-vaccinated individuals in indoor spaces with re-circulated air, especially where five to six feet of physical distancing continues to be a challenge,” Trujillo said.

When the final bell on the year tolls — so will the district’s hybrid virtual learning option.

TUSD will open up a virtual academy in the fall.

“All of our schools will offer two options either full-time in person or virtual,” Trujillo said.

Dr. Trujillo says it’s important for parents to weigh options.

“If they opt for 100-percent remote instruction they need to understand that they won’t get a virtual teacher for the school that the child is enrolled at,” he said.

That means your child will get a specific virtual academy teacher — not a teacher at the school they’re virtually enrolled in.

“Our students that are logging in remotely deserve every bit as high of quality learning as every other student that’s coming in,” Trujillo said.

TUSD said based on preliminary data and very early predictions, they guess anywhere from 5-10% of their students will opt for full online learning.

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