Teachers prepare for digital learning and back to school - AZEdNews
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Teachers prepare for digital learning and back to school


Thanks To All The Staff Out There, Including Valley Vista High School, Distributing Technology To Students Today To Begin Remote Learning On Monday. Photo Courtesy Dysart Unified School District

Click here updates from July 31 onward

Update July 30: Watch it Live here: Gov. Doug Ducey held a news conference at 3 p.m. today to discuss efforts to reduce COVID-19 infection and back-to-school efforts.

Arizona COVID-19 Briefing with Governor Ducey, Dr. Christ, Maj. Gen. McGuire – July 30, 2020

Click here for in-depth coverage of Gov. Ducey’s 7/30/20 news press conference

Many Arizona teachers are calling parents to introduce themselves, remind them of learning device pickup times, and let them know what distance learning, which starts soon for many students due to the high incidence of COVID-19, will look like.

Tolleson Union High School joined the growing number of schools delaying in-person instruction until the end of the first quarter in a recent letter to students’ families and guardians. Meanwhile, students will take part in online learning that starts on Aug. 4.

An Arizona teacher whose school district will have teachers providing online instruction from their classrooms instead of from home learned it would cost him $2,000 in fees to quit and break his contract.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 170,798 today from 168,273 yesterday, and 3,626 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 114,852 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 15,884 in Pima County, 10,761 in Yuma County, 7,875 in Pinal County, 5,182 in Navajo County, 2,969 in Apache County, 2,933 in Coconino County, 2,577 in Santa Cruz County, 2,865 in Mohave County, 1,698 in Yavapai County, 1,467 in Cochise County, 778 in Gila County, 468 in La Paz County, 435 in Graham County and 54 in Greenlee County.

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Former President Barack Obama delivered a eulogy at Rep. John Lewis funeral today in Atlanta, and a 12-year-old boy the Civil Rights icon befriended read the Congressman’s favorite poem.

Classroom conversations around race are critically important, and Act to Change invited you to a webinar about it on Friday, Aug. 7.

With record high heat in this week, Arizonans are reminded to stay hydrated and stay cool.

Schools across Arizona remind community members to check their district calendar to keep up on school board meetings and other important events and dates.

First Things First provided virtual tours of child care centers to people could learn about the challenges they’re experiencing during this pandemic.

Keeping students motivated and engaged in distance learning is key, here are some ways to help that.

Want to increase student learning? Increase the amount of time they discuss concepts in class, says a WestEd researcher.

One way to increase student discussion, would be to insert a mistake into classwork to see if students catch it and what they bring up about it, edutopia says.

See how Tim’s education at GateWay Community College prepared him for a bright future as an aerospace welder.

Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation reminds students there are resources to help with food, rent and transportation costs.

Teachers are you seeking National Board Certification? Read about how Arizona teachers can receive some funding to do so and support.

Expect More Arizona reminds voters to make education a top priority in the upcoming elections.

Congress should give school districts the resources and flexibility to re-open schools in ways that protect the health of students, families and school staff, Chiefs for Change says.

NASA provided this update after it’s next generation Mars rover Persevere blasted off today.

ASU Prep Digital is seeking online high-school physics teachers.

University of Arizona is letting fans know what expectations are for Fall sports.

U.S. News & World report reminds borrowers of upcoming changes to federal student loan servicing.

Update July 29: Teachers in many Arizona school districts are taking part in training today before distance learning starts due to the high incidence of COVID-19.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 168,273 today from 165,934 yesterday, and 3,454 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 113,148 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 15,601 in Pima County, 10,657 in Yuma County, 7,720 in Pinal County, 5,130 in Navajo County, 2,950 in Apache County, 2,903 in Coconino County, 2,543 in Santa Cruz County, 2,828 in Mohave County, 1,661 in Yavapai County, 1,442 in Cochise County, 730 in Gila County, 466 in La Paz County, 442 in Graham County and 52 in Greenlee County.

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Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes reminds voters of the ways to drop off their early ballot and ensure that it’s counted.

A fire caused by a Union Pacific train derailment of eight to 10 train cars with possible hazardous materials in Tempe partially collapsing the 100-year-old bridge over Tempe Town Lake. The fire is being fought by more than 90 firefighters with air support.

Nearby streets and L-202 Red Mountain is closed between SR 143 and L-101 Price and people are being asked to avoid the area.

Valley Metro re-routed light rail service at Mill Avenue and Third Street and 50th and Washignton streets, and buses will pick up people from 8th and Washington streets and Smith Martin and Apache Boulevard to move them around the bridge closure. Air traffic controllers have diverted flights at Sky Harbor International Airport.

Hear the concerns of foster parents in the return to school discussion in this Arizona Republic article.

More Arizona parents are turning to microschools during the coronavirus pandemic, AZ Mirror reports.

Evidence-based policies during COVID-19 school closures support students with disabilities, the National School Boards Association says.

WestEd’s Natalie Walrond shares how COVID-19 is impacting students and educators.

Discuss with Education Week how schools measure learning losses related to COVID-19 and address them.

South Mountain assistant track coach Richard Thompson, now in his 80s, continues to give back to students and the community.

Legal battles continue for Dreamers despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding DACA protections.

Parents and students who are considering delaying college due to the COVID-19 pandemic, may want to see this CBS News story.

Central Arizona College encourages students to explore guided pathways to find their options.

Helios Education Foundation says achieving 60 percent postsecondary education attainment for Arizona adults will make a difference in the state’s economy.

Interested in becoming a teacher? Join this webinar to learn about the Arizona Teachers Academy scholarship at Arizona State University.

The latest on the Invest in Ed Initiative lawsuit from Capitol Media Services.

ACT has this message for students and parents impacted by summer test date cancellations and closures.

Update July 28: More Arizona schools are letting parents know that in-person classes won’t start until the end of the first quarter based on guidance in the Arizona Open for Learning plan unveiled by Gov. Doug Ducey and Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman last week and the prevalence of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, schools are making sure they have a safe place on campus where students who need supervision can do their distance learning.

Distance learning has started in Apache Junction and Higley unified school districts.

Many others will start soon, so here are some suggestions to prepare students learning areas.

School leaders also await the Aug. 7th release of a COVID-19 public health data set by the Arizona Dept. of Health Services to help them determine when in-person instruction for students in their communities can safely start.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 165,934 today from 163,827 yesterday, and 3,408 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 111,446 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 15,292 in Pima County, 10,562 in Yuma County, 7,655 in Pinal County, 5,106 in Navajo County, 2,945 in Apache County, 2,880 in Coconino County, 2,535 in Santa Cruz County, 2,791 in Mohave County, 1,627 in Yavapai County, 1,422 in Cochise County, 724 in Gila County, 466 in La Paz County, 431 in Graham County and 52 in Greenlee County.

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Two Indian students discovered an asteroid shifting its orbit during a school project.

College Depot provides incoming high school seniors they support they need to enter college next Fall.

Edutopia invites teachers to use these four approaches to dig deep into African history, culture and science.

Take a look at why the NAACP and some public schools are suing the U.S. Dept of Education over CARES funds, in this National Public Radio WAMU article.

The National PTA is hosting a webinar tomorrow on what parents and teachers should know about online child exploitation.

azfamily highlights how counselors are connecting remotely with students.

WestEd says students use many kinds of informal language when working together on learning activities during a Facebook Live session today.

Update July 27: Arizona schools will update their plans for when in-person classes start this year based on guidance in the Arizona Open for Learning plan unveiled by Gov. Doug Ducey and Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman last week and a COVID-19 public health data set that the Arizona Dept. of Health Services will release by Aug. 7 to help schools determine when in-person instruction for students can safely start.

Look below in the July 23 Update for more details

Click here for the Arizona: Open for Learning Plan

Click here for Gov. Ducey’s Executive Order on Arizona: Open for Learning

Read Arizona School Boards Association’s analysis of Gov. Ducey’s Executive Order

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 163,827 today from 162,014 yesterday, and 3,304 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 109,989 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 15,109 in Pima County, 10,434 in Yuma County, 7,561 in Pinal County, 5,079 in Navajo County, 2,930 in Apache County, 2,870 in Coconino County, 2,517 in Santa Cruz County, 2,725 in Mohave County, 1,599 in Yavapai County, 1,399 in Cochise County, 703 in Gila County, 463 in La Paz County, 396 in Graham County and 54 in Greenlee County.

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Chandler Gilbert Community College invties people to their live-streamed discussion tomorrow at 6 p.m. on the state of our nation, injustice & systemic racism and its impact on the Black community.

Schools tell KJZZ they are concerned they will have enough staff to fill one of Gov. Ducey’s mandates.

College Goal Arizona encourages high school graduates to complete the FAFSA to help them qualify for federal and state financial aid for their vocational and college education.

Are you interested in some career training? You mijght want to check out the East Valley Institute of Technology’s programs.

Education Week discusses what online education should look like not what the worst case scenario is.

WestEd says now is the time for teachers to prepare for student contributions to online learning.

Check out what kindergarten will look like this year in Peoria Unified School District.

Looking for an interesting way to include some info about sharks into your distance learning unit? You might want to check this out.

Arizona K12 Center will soon be offering a distance learning training for Arizona teachers.

Tutoring centers tell edutopia there’s nothing better than when a retired teacher comes through their doors.

WestEd featured Flagstaff High School’s successful strategies to prioritize students career and life readiness during school closures.

Students with disabilities should be included in STEM education and other opportunities, Education Week says.

Maricopa County School Superintendent Steve Watson invites you to learn about a community conservation effort using drones.

Update July 23: Gov. Doug Ducey and Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman unveiled the Arizona: Open for Learning plan developed with input from school leaders with guidance for when schools will re-open for in-person classes during the COVID-19 news conference today.

The plan includes developing benchmarks based in public health data that schools will use to determine the start of in-person instruction, a dedication to fully fund distance learning, flexibility and clarity around on-site learning requirements for vulnerable students, continuity of pay for all educators, and critical policies that support safety and student learning, Supt. Hoffman said.

Arizona COVID-19 Briefing with Gov. Ducey, Dr. Christ, Maj. Gen. McGuire – July 23, 2020

Gov. Ducey thanked Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman with partnering with him and Arizona Senate Education Committee Chair Sylvia Allen, Arizona House Education Committee Chair Rep. Michelle Udall for the Arizona: Open for Learning plan they unveiled today.

Click here for the Arizona: Open for Learning Plan

Click here for Gov. Ducey’s Executive Order on Arizona: Open for Learning

“I’m thankful for our continued collaboration to ensure that our school communities have the policies and support they need to be successful and safe in this upcoming school year,” Supt. Hoffman said.

“The education community has been called on to completely rethink the system and adapt quickly to new policies and regulations,” Supt. Hoffman said.

“School leaders and educators are under a tremendous amount of stress as they plan for the upcoming school year, and they have already done a great deal of work to plan for high-quality learning opportunities for students this year no matter where that learning will take place,” Supt. Hoffman said.

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“But I cannot ask our educators and our families to enter this school year without critical assurances, policies and resources to set them up for safety and success,” Supt. Hoffman said.

“That’s why I’m proud to join Gov. Ducey here today to outline additional clarity and guidance around the state of the next school year, including developing benchmarks based in public health data that schools will use to determine the start of in-person instruction, a dedication to fully fund distance learning, flexibility and clarity around on-site learning requirements for vulnerable students, continuity of pay for all educators, and critical policies that support safety and student learning, ” Supt. Hoffman said.

“Each of those pieces are extremely complex and have taken time and partnership to work through,” Supt. Hoffman said.

Supt. Hoffman thanked Gov. Ducey and education leaders who provided input and feedback on the plan each step of the way.

“Today’s plan is both comprehensive and flexible, and will allow schools to adapt to the unique public health needs of their communities while doing what they do best – educating our students,” Supt. Hoffman said.

“I also want to thank the Arizonans who have taken this pandemic seriously, who have made sacrifices, worn masks to protect themselves and their neighbors, physically distanced and stayed home whenever possible,” Supt Hoffman said. “COVID-19 has impacted all of us.”

Supt. Hoffman said she has been concerned about the many students she’s met as she’s travelled around the state.

“I have thought especially about the students I met at Chinle High School on the Navajo Nation,” Supt. Hoffman said. “During the school day, Chinle’s students have access to amazing learning opportunities like welding classes that make learning hands on and tangible.”

“Chinle’s high school building is much more than a set of classrooms. Its is a community gathering space. A space to build the skills, minds and hearts of the next generation,” Supt. Hoffman said. “This is why I take so seriously the opportunity for schools to safely re-open their facilities.”

“I want to be clear that teaching and learning will happen no matter what the next school year looks like in your community,” Supt. Hoffman said.

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“Arizona will be open for learning and our priorities are going to be public health and safety. We’re going to make data-driven. There will be parental choice options for families in different situations. There will be flexibility for school leaders and recognizing that the achievement gap and the digital divide are real and do everything we can to reduce and eliminate it,” Gov Ducey said. “And viewing our schools as the most essential service that we provide as we move forward.”

Gov. Ducey thanked school leaders who gave their input on the plan.

“While most of the discussion has been focused on a date certain, the discussion needs to be focused on ensuring that students have a successful academic year,” Gov. Ducey said.

“This is the greatest challenge to public education in our lifetimes, and Arizona has the opportunity to lead the nation,” Gov. Ducey said.

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“180 hours of instruction or equivalent hours are required this year,” Gov. Ducey said. “There will be options for in-person and distance learning, and there will be teacher-led distance learning that must begin by the first date of the academic school year.”

“Children deserve a safe learning environment. This includes kids, and especially kids enrolled in free- and reduced-lunch programs, special education students, English Language Learners and foster kids so our schools must provide free on-site learning and support services while implementing healthy and safe protocols,” Gov. Ducey said.

Maximum flexibility will be provided to local school leaders recognizing they need public health data to make decisions,” Gov. Ducey said. “The Arizona Dept. of Health Services will release public health benchmarks for the safe return of in-person, teacher-led classroom instruction,” Gov. Ducey said.

“Local school leaders will make the determination and consider these recommendations,” Gov. Ducey said.

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Gov. Doug Ducey discusses COVID-19 during his July 23, 2020 news conference. Photo courtesy Arizona Dept. of Public Health Services.

Schools will develop face covering policies and all adults will have a face covering on inside the school, and there will be exceptions for students when they can socially distance, be outside in playground settings, breaks for students to take their masks off in a safe environment and other exceptions outlined by the Centers for Disease Control, Gov. Ducey said.

“In terms of resources, we will bring in an additional investment in K-12 education from the federal CARES Act in terms of $370 million in grant dollars to schools,” Gov. Ducey said. “This will ensure budget stability, recognize additional costs that in-person learning will bring to districts this school year.”

In addition, there will be additional investments for help close the achievement gap that was exacerbated with distance learning this Spring, Gov. Ducey said.

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Earlier today, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and the mayors of 10 other Arizona cities and towns sent a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey saying schools need clear guidelines based on public health metrics on when it’s safe to resume in-person instruction.

Tucson Unified Supt. Dr. Gabriel Trujillo and Dr. Dionne Mills adds their voices to Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman’s, ASBA Executive Director Dr. Sheila Harrison-Williams, and Maricopa County Public Health’s Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine’s asking for science, data and evidence-based criteria to re-open schools safely.

Kyrene School District has some suggestions on how families can help children adjust to using masks.

Hear what Chris, a member of the autism community, said to express his concerns to Gov. Ducey in a phone message yesterday

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 152,944 today from 150,609 yesterday, and 3,063 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 102,247 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 14,143 in Pima County, 9,794 in Yuma County, 6,974 in Pinal County, 4,992 in Navajo County, 2,841 in Apache County, 2,778 in Coconino County, 2,424 in Santa Cruz County, 2,525 in Mohave County, 1,478 in Yavapai County, 1,311 in Cochise County, 622 in Gila County, 448 in La Paz County, 328 in Graham County and 39 in Greenlee County.

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Restrictions on bars, gyms and large gatherings remain

At the news conference today, Gov. Ducey reminded Arizonans that they are safer at home.

While there is a downward trend in some COVID-19 data, but there is still a way to go, Gov. Ducey said.

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“We have nearly 90 percent of our state with local mask ordinances and they make a difference,” Gov. Ducey said.

“If we don’t do the things we should be doing it can more rapidly spread,” Gov. Ducey said about the COVID-19 virus.

“This week for the first week, we’re among two states where cases are decreasing,” Gov. Ducey said.

“We have been in the unhappy but necessary business of breaking up large adult gatherings,” Gov. Ducey said. “That’s where we’re going to be for some time.”

“The closure will be extended for gyms, bars, nightclubs, waterparks and tubing,” Gov. Ducey said in announcing his new Executive Order.

“We cannot let up, we need to continue to be vigilant every day in the State of Arizona,” Gov. Ducey said.

“People more often than not are choosing to wear a mask and I want to thank you for that,” Gov. Ducey said.

Gov. Ducey featured video of some ads in English and Spanish created by Arizona agencies to help encourage people to wear masks to protect themselves against COVID-19. The ads will be featured on television and on billboards.

The $600 the federal government benefit added on to state unemployment ends on Saturday so here’s how to claim it before Arizona unemployment benefits revert to $240 a week.

Arizona renters struggling because of COVID-19 must submit new paperwork to their landlords by Aug. 22 to quality for eviction relief and keep their homes

Children’s Action Alliance CEO Siman Qaasim tells KJZZ 91.5 FM about the need for Medicaid support as many Arizonans lost their jobs and health insurance.

Teacher-driven professional development can lead to more meaningful engagement, Edutopia says.

Look at how the racial/ethnic distributions of U.S. residents in degree-granting post-secondary institutions has shifted over time.

Read what Rep. Reginald Bolding said about the removal of two monuments for the Confederate States from the Arizona Capitol.

If you’re a student heading off to college or vocational school, here are some strategies to create a budget from U.S. News & World Report.

Update July 22: Arizona educators, parents and students await Gov. Doug Ducey’s update Thursday on when schools will re-open for in-person classes.

Maricopa County Public Health Services held a news conference today starting at 1 p.m. that provided recommendations to schools based on updated CDC guidelines and current knowledge about COVID-19 spread in our community.

Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine explained Maricopa County Public Health’s role in helping school district boards and administrators make informed decisions. Robert Rowley described the personal protective equipment “starter kit” that has been provided to any school that requested one.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 150,609 today from 148,683 yesterday, and 2,918 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 100,542 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 13,990 in Pima County, 9,713 in Yuma County, 6,910 in Pinal County, 4,898 in Navajo County, 2,797 in Apache County, 2,736 in Coconino County, 2,401 in Santa Cruz County, 2,464 in Mohave County, 1,463 in Yavapai County, 1,296 in Cochise County, 600 in Gila County, 445 in La Paz County, 314 in Graham County and 39 in Greenlee County.

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Lumina Foundation commits $15 million to projects that improve race relations on college campuses.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit yesterday overturned a 2019 U.S. District Court decision that Prop. 123, which uses money from the public land trust to fund public K-12 schools without congressional approval, was illegal . Read more about it in this KTAR News 92.3 FM article.

Donating your old laptop can help students across the state with their learning, says Greater Phoenix Chamber.

Take part in the COVID Action for Arizona Schools discussion today at 5 p.m. on Facebook Live sponsored by Save Our Schools Arizona and The Arizona Center for Economic Progress.

Update July 21: Arizona educators, parents and students await Gov. Doug Ducey’s update this week on when schools will re-open for in-person classes.

Many schools have said they will begin classes with online learning on their regularly scheduled first day of school, which are much earlier than Gov. Ducey’s original target of Aug. 17 for the start of in-person classes.

A number of schools throughout the state have pushed back the start of in-person classes until the end of the first quarter because confirmed COVID-19 cases are still so high.

Arizona School Boards Association sent a letter to Gov. Ducey yesterday on behalf of all member districts asking him to take a “rigorous, science and data-based approach to school reopening in Arizona,” that includes schools remaining closed until there is a downward trajectory of documented cases of COVID-19 for at least 28 days that includes a flat or increasing test volume with 15% or less percent positive cases for at least 14 consecutive days and three or less days median time to obtain test results.

Yesterday, Arizona School Administrators wrote a letter to Gov. Ducey saying they would like to see a selection of indicators such as the numbers Ducey uses during his COVID-19 updates included in the reopening decision, according to a KTAR News 92.3 FM story.

A survey showed that two-thirds of University of Arizona employees who responded remain concerned about returning to campus for in-person instruction.

In the past week, teachers have protested returning to school before it’s safe for students and school staff.

At the motor march in Peoria, Kelley Fisher, a teacher at Las Brisas Elementary School and co-organizer of the event, said she held the event so parents and community members know exactly what’s happening.

Video by Mary Irish/AZEdNews: Teachers Motor March in Peoria 7/15/2020 to protest start of in-person classes as COVID-19 cases rise

Last week, school board members and local physicians held a press conference and delivered a letter to Gov. Ducey requesting that the start of school be delayed due to the high -incidence of COVID-19 for the safety of students and school staff.

At the press conference, Tolleson Union High School District Governing Board Member Devin Del Palacio said, “We are here today to inform the public of our concerns regarding in-person learning and to drop off our letter directly to Gov. Ducey.”

“This letter outlines a request to delay in-person learning until October, and was signed by over 100 school board members from across the state along with over 1,000 parents, physicians, and education advocates,” Del Palacio said.

Video of news conference courtesy of ABC 15 Arizona

Gov. Ducey met with Arizona Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman yesterday and is expected to make an announcement with a plan for school districts sometime this week.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 148,683 today from 145,183 yesterday, and 2,918 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 98,988 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 13,848 in Pima County, 9,669 in Yuma County, 6,874 in Pinal County, 4,877 in Navajo County, 2,779 in Apache County, 2,745 in Coconino County, 2,374 in Santa Cruz County, 2,403 in Mohave County, 1,448 in Yavapai County, 1,287 in Cochise County, 596 in Gila County, 445 in La Paz County, 311 in Graham County and 39 in Greenlee County.

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Cartwright School District thanks Steve Gallardo and his team for masks they are donating to their families and Maryvale residents.

Avondale Elementary School District has earned a certification for how they minimize health risks.

Here are how some districts are planning to ensure transportation for special education students in the Fall, says Education Week.

Learn more about building anti-racist families with the organizers of last month’s Kids Walk for a Change in Raising Arizona Kids Magazine.

Listen in as a first-grade teacher shows how to approach nuanced and complicated topics like #privilege in the classroom.

Half of elementary principals would like to opens schools with a blend of remote learning and in-person classes, says Education Week.

Yet, investments in internet access often bypass students of color, according to AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

Here are seven ways to maintain relationships during a school closure, from Edutopia.

Looking for ways to build strong relationships among students, take a look at this from the BARR Center.

Teachers share what’s helping them right now.

Small peer-group discussions help students deepen their understanding of concepts, and there are three tools to help from Edutopia.

President Donald Trump is trying to exclude unauthorized immigrants from Census numbers used to determine Congressional representation, but his lack of authority to do that may spur lawsuits, according to National Public Radio.

“Since the first U.S. census in 1790, both U.S. citizens and noncitizens — regardless of immigration status — have been included in the country’s official population counts,” NPR reported.

Yuma Union High School District congratulated its graduates accepted into Stanford University.

Update July 20: Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 145,183 today from 143,624 yesterday, and 2,784 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 96,711 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 13,594 in Pima County, 9,374 in Yuma County, 6,651 in Pinal County, 4,817 in Navajo County, 2,740 in Apache County, 2,675 in Coconino County, 2,340 in Santa Cruz County, 2,281 in Mohave County, 1,394 in Yavapai County, 1,260 in Cochise County, 573 in Gila County, 435 in La Paz County, 298 in Graham County and 40 in Greenlee County.

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Update July 16: Gov. Doug Ducey spoke about COVID-19, and he said Arizona schools will be open for learning in the Fall at a news conference today. Watch it live now.

Arizona COVID-19 Briefing with Gov. Ducey, Dr. Christ, Maj. Gen. McGuire – July 16, 2020

Gov. Ducey said COVID-19 like illnesses seen in Arizona hospital emergency rooms is trending downward, while ICU/hospital bed use is increasing and the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests is trending downward.

“That is a direct result of the decisions Arizonans have made in the past week,” Gov. Ducey said.

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“Today we see the first of this trend heading in the right direction with fewer cases,” Gov. Ducey said.

“The rest of the country is experiencing much of the increase we had in June in July,” Gov. Ducey said.

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“We’ve gone from increasing to a flattening,” but we want to get to a decreasing number of COVID-19 cases, Gov. Ducey said.

“There is no end in sight today,” Gov. Ducey said. ‘There will be no victory laps, what we will take from here is what difference we can make in our state.”

Arizonans taking responsibility for personal actions will help keep COVID-19 cases down, Gov. Ducey said.

‘There can be no substitutes for things like masking up in Arizona,” Gov. Ducey said.

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Gov. Ducey met with school superintendents of both public and private schools yesterday to talk about re-opening schools.

“Arizona will be open for learning,” Gov. Ducey said during the news conference.

“We’ve put a day out there – about five weeks away. We’ve gotten the most recent input from school leaders and public school superintendents,” Gov. Ducey said. “I’m going to be sitting down and working with Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman along with other constituencies to get the best guidance on what we’re going to do going forward.”

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“I know people want clarity around this, and we’re going to provide clarity ,” Gov. Ducey said.

“Our kids are going to be learning in the Fall,” Gov. Ducey said. “We’re going to do our best to conduct the most positive educational year that we can.”

“I’m going to be working with Supt. Hoffman on that (guidance) and expect that next week and that will include additional flexibilities to our schools around the state,” Gov. Ducey said.

Yesterday, Arizona teachers held car parades in Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Peoria and Tucson to protest schools re-opening while COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

Video by Mary Irish/AZEdNews: Teachers Motor March in Peoria 7/15/2020 to protest start of in-person classes as COVID-19 cases rise

At the motor march in Peoria, Kelley Fisher, a teacher at Las Brisas Elementary School and co-organizer of the event, said she held the event so parents and community members know exactly what’s happening.

“We want to return to our classrooms, but we want to do it safely,” Fisher said.

Teachers are requesting that Gov. Ducey delay the return to in-person classroom instruction until confirmed COVID-19 cases show a decreasing trend for more than 24 days, Fisher said.

“My district took the brave step last night to vote to keep us online learning until the end of the first quarter, but there are many school districts around the state who cannot do that right now. It all ties to funding that comes from our Governor,”” Fisher said.

About 50 people signed up to take part in the Motor March in Peoria, said Stacy Brosius, a third-grade teacher in Deer Valley Unified School District and co-organizer of the event.

“The thought process of going back to school when we don’t know the long-lasting effects of the virus is scary,” Brosius said.

“We don’t know if our students will survive. We don’t know if teachers will survive,” said Brosius, co-organizer of the event.

“As a teacher my third graders mean the world to me,” Brosius said. “One of them will have it if we start school now, and they will pass it, and I know some of them have health issues, so that’s a major concern to me.”

“I have a lot of children at my school that live with grandparents and older family members and we want to keep everyone safe,” said Marcy Hyde, an instructional coach in Washington Elementary School District.

“We want our voices heard. We want the Governor to hear that we cannot go back to school until it is safe,” Brosius said. “We cannot go back until numbers are coming down and staying down. Right now, we’re skyrocketing.”

Then a woman drove up and told Brosius she supported the messages the teachers had painted on their cars. Brosius told her about the motor march, and the woman said, “You shouldn’t have to go back to the classroom now.” The woman said she’d write a letter to the Governor and told the teachers, “Thank you for what you do.”

“We can’t learn until everybody’s safe,” said Sarah Bennett, a third-grade teacher in the Washington Elementary School District.

Then the teachers got in their cars and started their car parade circling Bell Road, 75th Avenue, Paradise Lane and 83rd Avenue.

Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman encourages school leaders to seek educators input on the upcoming school year.

Supt. Hoffman released a school finance FAQ, distance learning template and other resources to help Arizona’s public school leaders better understand Gov. Doug Ducey’s two recent Executive Orders dealing with Distance Learning Plans and school finance issues related to them.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 134,613 today from 131,354 yesterday, and 2,492 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 88,954 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 12,697 in Pima County, 8,949 in Yuma County, 4,598 in Navajo County, 6,243 in Pinal County, 2,658 in Apache County, 2,581 in Coconino County, 2,251 in Santa Cruz County, 2,108 in Mohave County, 1,254 in Yavapai County, 1,140 in Cochise County, 422 in La Paz County, 482 in Gila County, 236 in Graham County and 40 in Greenlee County.

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At the new conference Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Dept. of Health Services, encouraged people to think about who they’d come in contact with and what type of enviromment they’d be in before heading out of their homes.

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Dr. Christ also spoke about the influx of nurses and other healthcare workers coming in to work in Arizona hospitals and health centers.

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Gov. Ducey said over $6.4 billion in unemployment benefit claims have been paid to date helping over 958,000 Arizonans. Before COVID struck the state 17,000 Arizonans received unemployment, Gov. Ducey said.

The Executive Order to delay evictions is scheduled to expire on July 25 and Gov. Ducey said he has a new Executive Order extending the moratorium on residential evictions until Oct. 31, 2020.

The Governor’s Office also provided guidance for Arizona landlords and tenants.

In addition, Gov. Ducey said he is allocating $5 million to a Foreclosure Prevention Program to be launched next week for property owners who are struggling to pay their mortgages.

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Sixteen million students can’t access the internet for distance learning and it’s time to take action, says Read Better Be Better.

Rep. Ruben Gallego invites you to tune in to a hearing about Indigenous communities access to mental health care and healing today at 3 p.m. that Native American youth will take part in.

What does it mean to be anti-racist? Teachers, consider using PBS’ Above the Noise episode and a lesson plan to kick off a discussion with your students.

Maricopa County reminds parents to include their children on their 2020 Census questionnaire to ensure adequate funding for community resources for children.

If you have questions about pre-school, Madison School District’s FAQ can help.

Educators, are you looking for a good state and local government unit/ Take a look at this from iCivics.

COVID-19 is making things much more difficult for first-generation students applying for college.

Some words of encouragement from Tucson’s YMCA.

WestEd’s Aida Walqui shares perspectives on English Language Learning in this recording.

Northern Arizona University students are encouraged to take part in the virtual involvement expo to find clubs, organizations and resources they’re interested in.

Update July 15: Teachers held motor marches today around the state today to protest schools re-opening during an increase in COVID-19 cases. Here are some photos from the car parade in Peoria.

Parents encouraged Baboquivari Unified School District to start back-to-school classes online.

School is where students learn and make friends and what allows many parents to go to work, says an Associated Press story.

Mesa Public Schools released a more detailed plan for re-opening its schools.

Gov. Doug Ducey said he spoke with private and public school leaders today.

With many schools starting classes with distance learning this Fall, here are 10 questions for equity advocates to ask about distance learning.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 131,354 today from 128,097 yesterday, and 2,434 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 86,483 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 12,406 in Pima County, 8,851 in Yuma County, 4,529 in Navajo County, 6,118 in Pinal County, 2,644 in Apache County, 2,532 in Coconino County, 2,226 in Santa Cruz County, 2,045 in Mohave County, 1,229 in Yavapai County, 1,131 in Cochise County, 422 in La Paz County, 479 in Gila County, 221 in Graham County and 38 in Greenlee County.

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Doctors urge parents to keep their children’s scheduled check-ups and vaccines up to date, says First Things First Arizona.

Some schools on the Navajo Nation and other Native American nations in Arizona won’t be playing sports in the Fall, reports The Arizona Republic.

Some dual language programs are blocking students with disabilities from taking part, says a Hechinger Report article.

Phoenix Union High School District congratulates a North High School student signed to Phoenix Rising.

Training can help teachers provide support for their transgender or gender-nonconforming students, Education Week says.

An Arizona State University student working with African refugees in Israel helped launch a program to provide ASU online classes to them.

Central Arizona Community College hosted a news conference about how it;s preparing students train for in-demand careers.

University of Arizona applauds repeal of directive to barr international students from attending online courses at U.S. colleges.

Update July 14: Teachers will hold motor marches Wednesday, July 15 to protest school re-openings during an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman Spoke with azfamily about the plan to reopen Arizona schools.

Arizona School Boards Association sent a letter to members about reopening schools earlier today. Click here to read the letter.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 128,097 today from 123,824 yesterday, and 2,337 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 84,233 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 12,114 in Pima County, 8,629 in Yuma County, 4,482 in Navajo County, 5,945 in Pinal County, 2,611 in Apache County, 2,523 in Coconino County, 2,208 in Santa Cruz County, 1,937 in Mohave County, 1,189 in Yavapai County, 1,095 in Cochise County, 412 in La Paz County, 468 in Gila County, 218 in Graham County and 33 in Greenlee County.

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A delay in reporting Monday numbers was reflected in today’s update, the Arizona Dept. of Health Services said.

Duet is holding an online giving event to help seniors continue to receive groceries and rides to medical appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alhambra Elementary School District reminds parents that Cox Connect2 Compete offers discounted internet access to qualifying low-income families.

First Things First reminds families that early intervention helps children learn.

Texas Rep. Roger Williams talk about the effort to get more Impact Aid relief for schools in the next COVID-19 federal relief package.

Raising Arizona Kids and Lowell Observatory invite you to join them tonight at 9 p.m. for a live stream on Jupiter.

Here are some suggestions to develop culturally responsive teaching and apply it to distance learning.

Grand Canyon Institute says Arizona’s private school tax subsidies hurt funding for public school students.

WestEd invites you to join them today at 3 p.m. for a webinar on Chicano Latino Studies.

Cave Creek Unified thanks Harold’s Corral for donating family meals to their meal assistance program.

University of Arizona psychologist says that COVID-19 is taking a toll on Arizonan’s mental health.

See if your Arizona Legislators supported a strong K-12 education system in this report from the Friends of ASBA.

Arizona State University has joined 20 other schools in filing a lawsuit in support of international students.

President Donald Trump’s Administration rescinds a rule this afternoon that would have forced international students to leave the country if their colleges only held classes online this fall after several colleges including Harvard, MIT, ASU, UA and NAU filed lawsuits against the policy.

Bus driver positions are hard to fill usually, but COVID-19 is making that even more of a challenge, an Education Week article says.

Update July 13: Arizona schools continue to adjust their re-opening plans as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

Teachers remain concerned that re-opening schools too soon will put more lives at risk.

Doctors and school board members held a press conference at the Arizona Capitol this afternoon after delivering a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey requesting that the opening of schools be delayed due to the increase of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Watch it live below courtesy of ABC 15 Arizona

Video of news conference courtesy of ABC 15 Arizona

At the press conference, Tolleson Union High School District Governing Board Member Devin Del Palacio said, “We are here today to inform the public of our concerns regarding in-person learning and to drop off our letter directly to Gov. Ducey.”

“This letter outlines a request to delay in-person learning until October, and was signed by over 100 school board members from across the state along with over 1,000 parents, physicians, and education advocates,” Del Palacio said.

“As a school board member and a parent, my number one priority is the safety of our students staff and community members. I cannot in good conscience put our youth at risk by restarting in-person instruction. To do so would be reckless and irresponsible,” Del Palacio said.

“However, make no mistake, we know that the best education happens in the classroom. We know that our teachers miss our students dearly,” Del Palacio said.

“And to quote a teacher that I recently spoke with regarding the reopening of schools, she said, ‘I’m dying to go back to work, but I don’t want to die because I went back to work,’ ” Del Palacio said.

Teachers also remain concerned about the social and emotional needs of their students, Expect More Arizona says.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 123,824 today from 122,467 yesterday, and 2,245 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 81,216 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 11,856 in Pima County, 8,384 in Yuma County, 4,355 in Navajo County, 5,627 in Pinal County, 2,580 in Apache County, 2,475 in Coconino County, 2,186 in Santa Cruz County, 1,831 in Mohave County, 1,156 in Yavapai County, 1,062 in Cochise County, 410 in La Paz County, 446 in Gila County, 207 in Graham County and 33 in Greenlee County.

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Parents and educators are invited to take part in a national town hall event later this week to find out how to safely reopen schools sponsored by the National PTA and other national education advocates.

United Way of Northern Arizona is distributing free KinderCamp literacy kits at schools.

Hear from Supt. of Public Instruction, Principal of Irene Lopez Elementary School Nick Oviedo, President of Roosevelt School District Governing Board Lawrence Robinson and Education Policy Advisor to Gov. Doug Ducey Kaitlin Harrier at an education roundable later today about serving students in this moment of crisis.

It’s Embrace Your Geekness Day and Arizona Science Center asks how you do it.

Help students in your community and around the state as they start school remotely this year, by donating items to help students learn online.

Arizona State University is kicking off a free virtual conference to help teachers with best practices and tools for online learning.

The Arizona School Counselors Association explains why they support the Invest in Ed Initiative.

Opponents of the Invest in Ed Initiative filed a lawsuit on Friday to prevent it from qualifying for the ballot.

Teachers can bring trauma-informed strategies into their online classrooms to help students with their emotional needs as school starts again soon.

Earlier coverage

June 29 – July 12: Video: Gov. says ‘Goal is to get children back to school when it’s safe;’ Schools lay out learning models

June 29: Video: Gov. delays in-person classes to Aug. 17 due to rise in COVID-19

Updates from June 15 – June 29: Video: Gov. pauses re-opening of some businesses as COVID-19 cases rise

June 24: Plan provides more funding, flexible instruction as schools re-open

Updates from May 26 – June 12: Increase in COVID-19 cases marks a new daily high

Updates from May 20 – 25: AZ Dept. of Ed releases COVID-19 guidance to schools for summer programs, back to school

Updates from May 11 – 19: Arizonans consider workplace safety, what back to school will look like amid COVID-19

Updates from April 26 – May 10: Stores re-open, COVID-19 testing blitz resumes on Saturday

Updates from April 8 – 25You can get tested now if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19

Updates from March 12 – April 7Coronavirus response: Cases rise; AZ Day of Giving