Daily schools update: Teens struggle with mental health as school starts - AZEdNews
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Daily schools update: Teens struggle with mental health as school starts

Students Walking On Campus At Casa Grande Middle School By Lisa Irish/ AZEdNews

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Updated August 2, 2021: In one study, over a third of interviewed Arizona high schoolers reported that they will require emotional and educational support after a year of digital learning, azfamily reports.

“Never would have guessed what we went through last year. But it was extremely difficult,” said Sara Ellis, mother of two teen boys to azfamily.

Strategic Impact Vice President Anne Landers said it will take “teachers, parents, of course, celebrities [and] also other mentor-like adults” to emotionally support teenagers as they transition back to in-person learning.

“Those are the types of adults that are really going to make a difference and help them see that this does not define the rest of their life,” Landers said to azfamily.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 931,387 today up from yesterday’s 929,541 and 18,252 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 585,497 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 120,505 in Pima County, 56,555 in Pinal County, 37,640 in Yuma County, 25,583 in Mohave County, 21,026 in Yavapai County, 18,621 in Coconino County, 17,294 in Navajo County, 12,407 in Cochise County, 11,785 in Apache County, 8,225 in Santa Cruz County, 7,375 in Gila County, 5,687 in Graham County, 2,572 in La Paz County and 615 in Greenlee County.

Arizona Dept. of Health Services Interactive Graphic: (Hover over counties and boxes for more info)


Justine Spitalny School students return to campus.

Marana Unified School District and Sahuarita Unified School District welcome back students, faculty, and staff.

Find out how the latest infrastructure funding helps charter schools expand.

The Mountain Ridge High School volleyball team reminds themselves and others of their core values.

Arizona continues to face a shortage of teachers, including those in specialized fields.

Mesa Public Schools invite parents to submit photos of the first day of school to their Facebook page.

Learn how to increase parent-teacher communication in the latest coverage by edutopia.

Meet the new faces of Morenci Unified School District.

Alhambra High School continues to require masks in all buildings.

Updated July 29, 2021: As kids return to in-person learning, surges in COVID cases have increased nearly 30% in the 0-20 age group in just two weeks. Said ABC15 analyst Garrett Archer, “The biggest concern with the 0-20 age group is less about the severity and more about them being a vector point for getting other people sick.”

Kathy Hoffman, Arizona’s Superintendent of Instruction, urged schools and parents to follow CDC guidelines in order to limit the spread of the virus. “I absolutely think that our schools, our students, our families should all be looking to the CDC for guidance,” she told ABC15.

Queen Creek Unified School District Preschoolers enjoy their recess time.

Valley Vista High School celebrates the return of its teachers and staff.

Students prepare to move in to Northern Arizona University dorms for the first time.

West Wing School teachers come together for better understanding of education standards and resources.

Baboquivari Unified School District schools reopen for the new school year.

Reminder: All Page Unified School District classes begin on Tuesday, August 10.

Alhambra High School staff show off new skills.

Glenn L. Downs Elementary School unveils new logo.

Sahuarita High School cheerleaders qualify for Nationals in Dallas, Texas.

Old Vail Middle School teacher nominated for Arizona Teacher of the Year.

Updated July 28, 2021: Following the CDC’s announcement, the Arizona Department of Health Services says it will be matching updated COVID-19 guidelines for K-12 schools. The CDC has recommended that all students wear face coverings in schools, as well as all others in areas of high transmission, regardless of vaccination.

Governor Doug Ducey maintains that Arizona will not allow schools to mandate masks or quarantine periods for students or staff despite rising cases, including those of the new delta variant.

In spite of this, many schools and parents are advocating for mandate guidelines to be left to the schools themselves in order to protect students and staff.

Dysart High School students and parents, make sure you attend the DHS open house on August 2!

Teachers received free breakfast in the Glendale Elementary School District.

Learn how you can help Arizona schools with the Arizona Tax Credit.

Enrollment ends soon for the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools.

Teachers can use new research to better understand their students’ personalities and identities, as reported by EdWeek.

The Sonoran Foothills Bobcats celebrate the return to in-person classes.

$10 sports physicals are coming to Catalina High School this Saturday, July 31.

Register today for the Chandler Gilbert Community College student orientation.

Learn about Micro-Credentials with Maricopa Community Colleges.

This week marks the last week for Flagstaff Unified School District’s Summer Grab & Go meals program.

Updated July 27, 2021: Some parents are expressing their concerns about sending their children back to school while COVID-19 cases surge in Arizona, while other families are sharing why they’re reassured by school safety measures and looking forward to their children being back on campus with their classmates.

Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease control recommended that all students, staff and visitors at schools wear masks while inside school buildings whether they’ve been vaccinated or not, The Associated Press reports.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman asks Gov. Doug Ducey to allow schools to follow public health recommendations for all staff and students to mask in schools in areas where COVID-19 cases are surging like Arizona.

Recent legislation approved in the budget prohibits Arizona schools from requiring masks for students and staff.

Sunrise High School’s marching band welcomed new arts educators to their orientation in Peoria Unified School District.

Many schools Meet the Teacher Night is coming up soon, here’s info on Laveen Unified‘s.

Many families will be enrolling kindergarteners for the upcoming school year. See how Dysart Unified School District welcomed students and showed them what their first day of school would be like.

Check your school district’s webpage for apps that help families take care of many students’ needs like this one in Avondale Elementary School District.

Buckeye Elementary School District opened today for the school year and azfamily was there at their newest school.

Hear what students say will help them as they return to campus this school year.

Cave Creek Unified School District shares some of the clubs students can be involved in.

Having older students work with younger students with the same learning differences gives them hope and lets them see they’re not the only one.

Teen Lifeline reminds youth it’s okay to ask for help and there’s someone ready to listen 24 hours a day 7 days a week on their hotlines.

Corona del Sol High School encourages students to share photos of their school gear and back to school shopping with them.

Is it time to go back to school, but you need a little help? Check this out!

Updated July 26, 2021: Arizona students attended summer school in record numbers ahead of the 2021-2022 school year, said AZ Family. “While learning should look more normal this school year, many children still have lots of catching up to do after falling behind in the pandemic. “

Said one student, “I was struggling a little bit last year with math, it was kind of hard to understand, like over a screen instead of in-person where they can interact with you better.” Younger students are more likely to have fallen behind during the height of online learning, and parents are encouraged to speak with their children’s teachers if they need additional help in the classroom.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 918,609 today up from yesterday’s 917,168 and 18,171 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 576,443 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 119,623 in Pima County, 55,574 in Pinal County, 37,468 in Yuma County, 25,111 in Mohave County, 20,566 in Yavapai County, 18,403 in Coconino County, 17,121 in Navajo County, 12,327 in Cochise County, 11,691 in Apache County, 8,180 in Santa Cruz County, 7,303 in Gila County, 5,658 in Graham County, 2,541 in La Paz County and 600 in Greenlee County.

Cartwright School District’s virtual academy is still registering new students for the upcoming school year.

Cave Creek Unified School District students celebrate Mandarin and Chinese culture over the summer.

Hamilton High School highlights its outstanding Social Studies teachers.

Remember to complete student registration for Sahuarita Unified School District as back to school approaches.

Higley High School celebrates its new cheer captains.

Page High School’s football team finishes up preparations for the upcoming season.

Tempe and Kyrene students can visit Threadz for free clothing and school supplies as they return to classes.

Edutopia discusses how students can become more confident in their public presentations.

An ASU study has indicated that dishwasher and laundry detergent pods may not be safe for the environment.

The National PTA has plenty of fun STEM activities for students over the summer.

Thursday, July 22, 2021: Arizona schools will continue offering free breakfast and lunch to all students, regardless of which school or district they attend, due to an extension of a USDA federal program for families impacted by COVID-19.

This is one way that they can make everything easier for us to make sure we access all students,” said Jenny Bracamonte, Director of Food and Nutrition for the Chandler Unified School District. Students and their families are not required to fill out applications, but may be eligible for additional food benefits and reduced sports and testing fees if they choose to do so.

Rincon High School is utilizing new tech for Summer School Algebra 1 classes.

Barry Goldwater High School is welcoming freshmen and their families today, July 22, starting at 3:00.

Hamilton High School Huskies welcome new assistant principal and School Resource Officer

Second graders at Sossaman Elementary School are enjoying their first music classes of the year.

Pima County’s CAPE program teachers and staff return to classes in the juvenile detention center and jail.

Cave Creek Unified School District is still registering students for the 2021-2022 school year.

Ajo Unified School District’s summer feeding program ends this Friday, July 23.

Cartwright School District welcomes its new teachers and staff to the Cartwright family.

W.F. Killip Elementary School construction is underway and constantly updating.

Pueblo High School CTE celebrates recognition for Home Health students.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021: As Chandler Unified School District students return to school, students, staff, and parents alike can expect COVID-19 safety measures to remain in place.

If cases continue to rise, the district will likely tighten rules around social distancing and contact tracing. Says their district spokesman Terry Locke, “We just want parents to know we have very strong mitigation plans in place.”

Tolleson Elementary School District is holding a free COVID-19 vaccine event starting July 22.

Rio Rico High School’s Byron Coulter takes over the Marching Hawks’ Band Camp.

Students can still register for classes at Mesa Community College.

Scottsdale Unified School District teachers work with Cognia for student advancement.

Arizona families advocate to maintain COVID-19 safety measures in schools.

Peoria Unified School District is holding a backpack drive for students in need on July 31.

The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University looks into the dangers of microplastics.

Sign up now for webinar on using tech tools to teach your students courtesy of Arizona Council on Economic Education.

Shadow Ridge High School’s Pom Line helped feed people at St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, and the University of Arizona all receive grants for a new kind of digital learning.

US News Education says there are other ways to get kids interested in art at home.

Fort Worth Independent School District gets students ready for their future careers.

Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman thanked Avondale Elementary School district for letting her share how the Arizona Dept. of Education worked through COVID challenged to support students virtual learning.

Monday, July 19, 2021: The American Academy of Pediatrics has announced that while in-person learning is essential for younger students’ educational, social, and mental health, “layers of protection” are still recommended for COVID-19 prevention in those too young to be vaccinated.

The AAP emphasized that schools will likely not be tracking which students and teachers have been vaccinated, making universal mask mandates even more crucial.

Pima County celebrates students’ first week back in school.

See what students received special education services for nationwide in the 2019 to 2020 school year.

San Tan Heights K8 School partners with non-profit Great Minds.

See what a New Jersey school did to reduce police referrals through restorative justice practices.

John F. Long Elementary School kindergarteners begin their JumpStart program.

Hear what it was like for an azfamily television producer embedded inside an elementary school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last chance to enroll for digital learning at ASU Prep Digital!

Kids can still enroll in Higley Unified School District’s after school program.

Teachers receive school supply kits from Four Peaks at Treasures4Teachers last Saturday.

Earlier coverage:

June 20 to July 16, 2021: Daily schools update: Arizona lawmakers ban mask requirements in schools

June 14 to June 17, 2021Tempe Union’s board approves comprehensive mental health policy

June 1 to June 11, 2021It’s time to get students enrolled in school for fall & ready for in-person classes

May 17 to May 28, 2021A year after George Floyd’s murder, a look at empathy, equity, what’s changed & what hasn’t

May 10 to May 14, 2021Students ready for graduation ceremonies

May 4 to May 6, 2021Amendment to bill would prohibit teachers from discussing controversial policy & social issues not essential to learning objectives

April 28 to May 3, 2021Thank a teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week for all they do for students

April 21 to April 27, 2021: 3 years after Red for Ed there’s much left to do

April 12 to April 20, 2021: How & why teachers discuss trial with students; Schools keep masks after Gov. rescinds mandate

March 29 to April 9, 2021Children, young teens may be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine before next school year

March 15 to March 26Masks are still required in all schools; Video: Dr. Christ’s news conference today

Feb. 24 to March 11, 2021: COVID-19 aid funds will help AZ students, families & schools

Feb. 11 to Feb. 23U.S. Dept of Ed: Students must take standardized tests, but there’s flexiblity on when & how

Feb. 2 to Feb. 9Video: Supt. Hoffman gives State of Special Education address

Jan. 21 to Feb. 1Black History Mural Month Project to highlight pioneers of the Black community launches in Phoenix

Jan. 10 – Jan 20How students engage with Inauguration Day

Dec. 21, 2020 to Jan 8, 2021Teachers help students deal with attacks on Congress, Capitol

Nov. 30 – Dec. 16Watch it now: Dr. Christ asks people to avoid holiday gatherings with people they do not live with

Nov. 18 – 25COVID-19 cases rise before Thanksgiving adding to school and hospital leaders’ concerns

Nov. 16: More schools return to online learning as COVID-19 cases rise

Nov. 2 – 13: $19 M grant would help schools with teacher development, stipends, reading & math curriculum, summer ed resources and more

Oct. 20 to Oct. 30: AZDHS amends COVID-19 school benchmarks

Oct. 7 – Oct. 19What are teachers doing ahead of elections to support students afterwards

Aug. 25 – Sept. 8: Parents voice concern about online class size; school nurses prepare for students

Aug. 12 – Aug. 24: Students, teachers affected by Zoom outage

July 30 – Aug. 11Parent organizes co-op for learners; group rallies for in-person school days after benchmarks release

July 13- July 30: Teachers prepare for digital learning and back to school

June 29 – July 12Video: 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 12 – April 7, 2020Coronavirus response: Cases rise; AZ Day of Giving