On March 15, 2020, Governor Ducey and Superintendent Hoffman implemented a statewide two-week school closure (Monday, March 16, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020) in response to widespread local closures leading to staff and student absenteeism amid growing concern over the spread of COVID-19.
The Governor’s declaration applies to all Arizona K-12, brick-and-mortar schools, including district, charter, private schools, and career and technical education district (CTED) associated with a K-12 facility.
The declaration does NOT apply to:
- Online schools and drop out recovery programs that have the capacity to operate remotely. These programs/online schools should stay open and continue to offer services to students and honor contracts with school districts.
- Daycare facilities and preschools, which are encouraged to follow all guidance by the Department of Health Services (see HERE). Families are encouraged to keep children at-home whenever possible and to reserve spots in day-care and other childcare facilities for the children of first responders, healthcare workers, etc.
- Adult education programs, although ADE has recommended all these programs close their face-to-face classes from 3/16/2020 through 3/27/2020.
- Educational programs offered in county jails and county juvenile detention centers. We advise these programs to follow their local county governing body protocols. This includes county jail and juvenile education programs run through county accommodation districts.
- Educational programs administered in residential treatment centers can choose to remain open at this time since no feasible placements can be made in the interim with involvement from a state placing agency and closure of other educational entities.
School closure is NOT a complete shutdown of school operations and instructional obligations to students. During school closures, staff are still expected to engage in work-related activities, and students and families are expected to meet the instructional requirements of their teachers and schools.
School leaders, teachers, staff and parents must work together to plan for continuity in education and critical services during this time. Specifically, during the closure, educators and community leaders are called on to:
- Continue to deliver educational opportunities to the extent possible through remote learning and independent study, which may or may not include online learning or printed materials, among other options;
- Provide school meals; and
- Arrange for supervision of students during ordinary school hours.
Schools will continue to be funded as if they were in session and staff will continue to be paid. If these conditions are met, makeup days will not be necessary, and the Department is working with the Governor’s Office and legislative leaders to provide clarity in the law.
This is a fluid situation and more information on the implications of school closures will be provided through the Arizona Department of Education as it becomes available.
Last updated: March 17, 2020