Parent's choice: Navajo Nation requests public input to reopen reservation schools
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation is seeking comments about whether schools should return to in-person instruction or remain virtual only for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year.
Currently, the Navajo Nation supports online learning for all schools, but if legislation is approved, schools on the Navajo Nation would return to in-person instruction in classrooms with a distant learning option.
“It’s very important that parents, students, teachers and others have their voices heard on this important issue,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “We encourage everyone to submit their written comments by e-mail or mail.”
Public comments may be submitted to the Office of Legislative Services, the 24th Navajo Nation Council, and the Office of the President and Vice President at the following e-mail addresses: email@example.com; 24thNNC@navajo-nsn.gov or firstname.lastname@example.org
When submitting comments, please indicate first and last name, “Legislation No. 0047-21” in the subject line of the email and comment either in support or opposition to the proposed legislation. Public comments are accepted up until the legislation goes before the Navajo Nation Council for consideration.
Public comments received by the Office of the President and Vice President will be reviewed by leadership and staff.
“Our top priority throughout this COVID-19 pandemic remains the health and safety of all our people,” said Vice President Myron Lizer. “We encourage everyone to submit their comments to let us know where you stand on schools reopening.”
A separate bill, Legislation No. 0046-21 is also scheduled to be considered by council members, which would rescind a previous resolution passed by the Naabik’íyati’ Committee, recommending that all schools, public and private, serving the Navajo Nation, including those operated by the state of New Mexico Public Education Department, the states of Arizona and Utah, and all schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education, to delay plans and decisions to reopen schools for the 2020-2021 school year.
Tuba City Unified School District recently announced, because of the lifting of the stay-at-home order, Tuba City High School, Nizhoni Accelerated Adademy and Tuba City High School would provide in-person learning and distant learning options for students beginning March 30.
Elementary schools in Tuba City opened their doors to students March 22.
Coconino County is still in substantial transition for COVID-19, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services website.
On March 24, the Department of Diné Education presented its schools reopening plan to the Health, Education, and Human Services Committee. More information regarding the plan is available by visiting https://www.navajonationdode.org.
Legislation No. 0047-21 will become eligible for consideration this week by the Health, Education, and Human Services Committee, Naabik’íyati’ Committee and the Navajo Nation Council.
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