Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Tue, Sept. 22

Letter to the editor: Winslow school district delays reopening to Oct. 12

I would like to thank you for your continued support and flexibility as we navigate the reopening of Winslow’s school sites. Our teachers have been engaging with students via Zoom, Google Meet, Facetime, phone calls, and even personalized house visits. We commend all of the dedicated parents, teachers, students, staff, and others who have made this distance learning transition possible.

On Aug. 6, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) released a set of benchmarks that will help guide the reopening of in-person instruction. The benchmarks are dependent upon three factors: number of cases, percentage of positive tests, and the number of COVID-like illnesses. Currently, Navajo County and WUSD meet two of the three requirements for reopening. Additionally, the District, in collaboration with site leadership, medical professionals (LCMC, IHS, Navajo and Arizona Department of Health Services), and community partners, has created a plan that “outlines strategies the school will implement to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff upon reopening school buildings.” The plan will be posted to the District’s own website within the coming days.

Therefore, in an effort to provide stability for our schools and students, and to ensure staff safety and wellbeing, WUSD has made the decision to suspend in-person instruction for the remainder of the first quarter and to reevaluate reopening schools on Oct. 12. Each school site will continue to monitor and regulate distance learning for their students. Compliance with state-mandated benchmarks will be monitored each week, and the district will be releasing up-to-date information as the quarter proceeds.

Additionally, to comply with the mandate from the Arizona Department of Education, WUSD will provide on-site support services for Exceptional Education Students, English Language Learners, and children in the Foster Care Program starting August 17, 2020. All sites will adhere to social distancing guidelines, mask wearing, and safety monitoring protocols.

Thank you for choosing WUSD as your premier choice for educating your children.

Kathryn Zanin, Superintendent

Winslow Unified School District

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