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Students, teachers affected by Zoom outage


A Student In Osborn School District Uses The ST Math Program During His Math Class. Photo Courtesy Of APS Foundation

Please click here for coverage Aug. 25 and going forward

Updated Aug. 24: Students and teachers in Arizona and across the country were affected by a Zoom outage earlier today that caused problems for people trying to log on to its video conferencing services.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 198,414 today from 198,103  yesterday, and 4,771 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 131,962 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 20,535 in Pima County, 12,072 in Yuma County, 9,211 in Pinal County, 5,496 in Navajo County, 3,301 in Apache County, 3,249 in Coconino County, 2,745 in Santa Cruz County, 3,500 in Mohave County, 2,249 in Yavapai County, 1,795 in Cochise County, 1,076 in Gila County, 495 in La Paz County, 669 in Graham County and 58 in Greenlee County.

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Arizona State University reminds Arizonans to respect each others space by keeping six feet away.

Nadaburg Unified School District held a ribbon cutting for their Mountainside High School.

Many schools are prioritizing students’ mental health as they see an increase in anxiety and depression, according to The Hechinger Report.

NALEO Educational Fund asks Congress to extend deadlines so all Arizona residents are counted in the 2020 Census.

First Things First thanked Dr. Amanda Hundley to sharing their information with nursing students and parenting classes.

Children and Screens provides some tips for families adjusting to online learning.

Cartwright School District lets families know that teachers will provide instruction via Google Classroom after there were difficulties with the Clever app.

Students and teachers in Cave Creek Unified School District are finding ways to work around Clever and Zoom issues too.

An app tracks every student at the University of Arizona in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

As parents and teachers clash about how and when schools should reopen, lawsuits are being filed in court, Education Week reports.

Arizona high school football recruits may face more hurdles in finding college scholarships, The Arizona Republic reports.

Sunnyside Unified School District thanks its teachers and staff.

Stand for Children reminds Arizona voters that Prop. 208 the Invest in Ed Initiative is back on the general election ballot in November.

More than 24 Northern Arizona University students were selected for national and international awards and scholarship this past school year.

Updated Aug. 20: Gov. Doug Ducey spoke about schools and COVID-19 during a news briefing today at 12:30 p.m. Watch it here.

Media availability with Gov. Ducey, Dr. Cara Christ and Maj. Gen McGuire Aug. 20, 2020

Gov. Ducey said last week the state’s percent positivity for COVID-19 decreased from 8 percent to 6 percent. This week it remains at 6 percent, and there’s a much faster turnaround on test results, Gov. Ducey said.

“The percentage of COVID-like illness in our hospitals has decreased 4.1 percent, that’s down from a high of 21 percent in June,” Gov. Ducey said. “Hospital capacity remains at about 20 percent. The number of beds in use by COVID patients continues trending downward.”

Gov. Ducey said while the numbers are improving, he wants Arizonans to continue doing what they are doing by wearing masks and socially distancing to keep COVID-19 infection rates down.

“We can’t let up.We can’t let our guard down. We can’t lose these gains,” Gov. Ducey said.

“When it comes to our schools, I want to thank all of the superintendents and school leaders who are working closely with the Arizona Department of Education Superintendent Kathy Hoffman and Arizona Department of Health Services to prioritize our kids,” Gov. Ducey said.

“Returning our kids to the classroom, reuniting with our loved ones, all of these depend on continued responsible behavior that you have demonstrated so well for so long,” Gov. Ducey said.

‘People are very divided on a number of fronts right now,” Gov. Ducey said. “When you talk about schools re-opening, there are some parents who want as soon as it’s possible to get their children back into a classroom. And there are parents that we all know that are not putting their child back in a classroom. So what we’ve tried to do is provide options for both of these parents, for both of these families.”

Gov. Ducey said there are also “teachers who are in a vulnerable category or have an underlying health condition and we will need online learning and this hybrid model. so we’re trying to in a very difficult and challenging time for our state and our country to provide the smartest plan of action that we can.”

When asked if all the public health benchmarks should be met before school districts bring students back for in-person classes, Gov. Ducey said, “They’re guidelines. I think part of it is trends are important and also situations of dealing with teachers and parents. We put this together with input from the public school superintendents from around the state, principals and stakeholder groups. We think it’s a good plan.”

When asked if he was concerned about an increase in COVID cases now that college students are returning, Gov. Ducey said, “Yes, I do have concerns and part of what we’re doing whether it’s on K-12 education or universities is to have smarter plan of action on how we deal with this.”

Gov. Ducey said he has confidence in “the options that our universities have put out there.”

ASU’s Dr. Michael Crow spoke on a podcast about all the different ways student could access a classroom “from the traditional model of being inside the classroom to those that watch it on a screen to those that have a hybrid approach,” Gov. Ducey said. “ASU’s been doing this for years, and how can we do this safely and successfully at the K-12 level.”

“We’ve also seen what’s happened around the country, and we’re trying to work with our young people,” Gov. Ducey said. “While it’s certainly a lot easier with grade-school children and even high school children, college kids do like to socialize and do like to get together. I do think that the universities – Dr. Crow, Dr. Robbins, and Dr. Cheng – are overcommunicating with the people that are on campus. There are options. They’re not optimal options, but I give them a lot of credit to try to have the safest, most successful, high-value educational experience this year. We want to do it in a methodical and incremental way.”

In addition, Arizona has partnered with Local First Arizona to make small business grants available starting today and people can learn more about them at localfirstaz.com/azsmallbizrent, Gov. Ducey said.

“We’ve also partnered with the Trump Administration and FEMA to extend unemployment benefits to nearly 400,000 Arizonans,” Gov. Ducey said. “These dollars are already being included in benefits, making our state the first in the nation to make these benefits available.”

Maricopa County has met two of the three public health benchmarks that schools should consider when deciding when to return to in-person classes, KTAR reports.

J.O. Combs School District’s governing board approved returning to remote learning at an emergency meeting last night.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 196,280 today from 195,557 yesterday, and 4,684 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 130,800 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 20,139 in Pima County, 11,964 in Yuma County, 9,065 in Pinal County, 5,477 in Navajo County, 3,277 in Apache County, 3,213 in Coconino County, 2,711 in Santa Cruz County, 3,454 in Mohave County, 2,197 in Yavapai County, 1,775 in Cochise County, 1,033 in Gila County, 494 in La Paz County, 624 in Graham County and 57 in Greenlee County.

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K-12 students and teachers in Utah can be charged with a misdemeanor for not wearing a mask, CNN reports.

Vote for Arizona’s pick in grades 10-12 in Doodle for Google in the link below.

Tempe Elementary School District thanks its employees who helped students and families prepare for back to school.

Cecilia Mata was appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey to the Arizona Board of Regents today. Learn more about her here.

Need some help filling out the FAFSA? There’s a webinar coming up that can help.

The Maricopa Community College’s Opportunity Grant is available to help students who qualify to help meed the cost of tuition, fees and textbooks.

EdTrust shares how to create better, safer learning environments for girls of color.

Have some go to strategies ready when discussing controversial topics and students share how it affects their lives.

Expect More Arizona reminds voters to focus on how their vote impacts education decision making.

Some parents in Lake Havasu respond to the school district governing board’s decision to resume in-person classes next month.

Kyrene Schools reminds students parents that online youth enrichment starts soon.

And Dysart Unified School District shared a little of its history today.

Update Aug. 19: As thousands of students return to Arizona State University, nearby residents worry that COVID-19 cases in their community will increase, The Arizona Republic reports.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 195,557 today from 194,920 yesterday, and 4,634 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 130,384 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 20,047 in Pima County, 11,927 in Yuma County, 8,939 in Pinal County, 5,470 in Navajo County, 3,269 in Apache County, 3,200 in Coconino County, 2,709 in Santa Cruz County, 3,411 in Mohave County, 2,191 in Yavapai County, 1,769 in Cochise County, 1,021 in Gila County, 492 in La Paz County, 621 in Graham County and 57 in Greenlee County.

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Cartwright Elementary School District third-grade students introduced themselves in creative ways.

Wondering if your students are understanding a lesson? Try this, edutopia says.

Find free Wi-Fi near you with the Connect Arizona map.

See how these three educators are adapting blended learning principals to online learning, courtesy of Education Week.

Arizona’s Supreme Court restores Invest in Education initiative to the ballot in November.

Remember you can complete your Census 2020 form online, by phone or by mail. Make sure your counted to help fund educational programs in your community.

Grant helps support Arizona State University Art Museum exhibit that traces the history of art and images that have contributed to the entrenched cultural belief systems associated with the criminal justice system today.

Listen to the final installment of WestEd’s Perspectives in English Language learning tomorrow at 9 p.m. Pacific Time.

Update Aug. 18: As Arizona college students move into dorms, here’s what Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University have planned to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 194,920 today from 194,005 yesterday, and 4,529 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 129,958 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 19,976 in Pima County, 11,908 in Yuma County, 8,935 in Pinal County, 5,468 in Navajo County, 3,257 in Apache County, 3,196 in Coconino County, 2,708 in Santa Cruz County, 3,383 in Mohave County, 2,180 in Yavapai County, 1,772 in Cochise County, 1,016 in Gila County, 492 in La Paz County, 614 in Graham County and 57 in Greenlee County.

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J.O. Combs Unified School District will hold a special governing board meeting tomorrow.

As parents head back to work, they’re looking for a safe place for their children to do their digital learning, KJZZ 91.5 FM reports.

Tempe Elementary’s Nutrition Services dropped off ice pops to help staff providing curbside meals keep cool.

Yuma Union High School District reminds families that Arizona Department of Health Services will provide families with five free face masks at the link below.

Chandler Unified School District leadership discuss the state’s public health benchmarks for re-opening schools for in-person instruction.

What does culturally relevant family engagement look like when students are learning online? Find out from WestEd.

Pendergast Elementary School District provides this link for students to learn more about how women earned the right to vote.

Tucson Unified invites community members to take part in a virtual town hall with district leadership Thursday evening and submit questions.

Find out about two schools that have become models for coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools must consider the needs of English Language Learning during distance learning, Annie E. Casey Foundation says.

Here’s info about an app that can translate text messages from schools to parents in any language.

Listen to father and son educators talk about the persistence of inequity they see in education and what they do to help schools become more equitable, courtesy of Education Week.

Childcare providers are struggling to keep their doors open, and there’s concern there may not be enough in a few months to meet Arizona families’ needs, First Things First says.

Find out more about school district’s social emotional support for students, families and and teachers.

How will distance learning affect how the public views the nation’s public schools?

Here’s what Lake Havasu High School is doing to help students get back to practice for sports.

The pandemic has changed education and institutions who can adapt to provide learning experiences for a more diverse group of students will be more successful, said Andre Phillips, University of Wisconsin- Madison director of admissions.

Paradise Valley Community College can help you with your research request.

Scottsdale Unified is proud to have 89 of Arizona’s 1,536 National Board Certified Teachers serving their students.

View the agenda for the Arizona Board of Regents meeting on Thursday.

Update Aug. 17: Queen Creek Unified School District students returned to campus for in-person learning today.

Queen Creek High School students shared why they’re wearing masks.

Meanwhile, in-person and online classes were cancelled today in J.O. Combs Unified School District after more than 100 staff members called out sick.

Earlier today, some J.O. Combs Unified School District parents and students marched in support of returning to the classroom, Fox 10 News reports.

Classes also remain cancelled for Tuesday and Wednesday in J.O. Combs Unified School District.

Some teachers expressed concern about re-opening school for in-person instruction right now.

Mrs. Schweickert a teacher in J.O. Combs Unified shared some of the reasons her students like coming to school in their virtual learning class.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 194,005 today from 193,537 yesterday, and 4,506 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 129,562 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 19,743 in Pima County, 11,886 in Yuma County, 8,777 in Pinal County, 5,455 in Navajo County, 3,241 in Apache County, 3,188 in Coconino County, 2,705 in Santa Cruz County, 3,368 in Mohave County, 2,160 in Yavapai County, 1,762 in Cochise County, 1,002 in Gila County, 490in La Paz County, 609 in Graham County and 57 in Greenlee County.

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Click on the link below to see Florence High School students thank their teachers and school staff in a video for everything they’re doing to help them during distance learning.

Special education students’ families do all they can to make sure their children get the education they’re legally entitled to during distance learning.

Manzanita Elementary School students meet their teacher during a drive-thru meet the teacher event, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

While students went to John B. Wright Elementary in Tucson Unified for on-site care and distance learning.

College Success Arizona’s Rich Nickel announces the organization’s virtual Student Success fundraising campaign that helps support the needs of first-generation college students.

Roosevelt School District shared these affirmations for students, families and staff that really help during distance learning.

Twenty-five Arizona high schools have cancelled Fall sports during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Treasures 4 Teachers encourages teachers to enter this back to school giveaway from Bostitch Office.

Some universities are dealing with COVID-19 clusters as classes begin.

East Valley Institute of Technology shares how they’re safeguarding the health of students and staff.

Phoenix Union High School hosts two free parent webinars on how to navigate Parent VUE in English and Spanish.

Litchfield Elementary School District thanked the Kiwanis of Litchfield Park for providing meals.

Crane School District principals let students know they care even while they are physically distanced and wearing masks.

Association for Supportive Child Care shares some simple household items you can use to do science experiments at home.

Teaching social, emotional, & academic skills with a focus on equity means addressing adult practices and mindsets, says America’s Promise.

See how 600 districts across the nation plan to go back to school in the Fall, thanks to Education Week.

Tempe Elementary School District shares images that depict their 2020-2021 school year theme of “Be a Light…Inspire Hope!”

Update Aug. 13: Gov. Doug Ducey spoke briefly about schools and efforts to reduce COVID-19 with the media earlier today

“We’ve got different variations of spread around the state. The state is headed in the right direction. Most of our counties are headed in the right direction,” Gov. Ducey said.

“What we wanted to do was provide a menu of options and flexibility in the guidelines so that there’s safety inside our schools. We’re going to leave ultimate and final decisions to superintendents and principals, and I’m confident they’ll make good decisions, Gov. Ducey said. “We’re supportive of the districts.”

Aug. 13 media briefing with Gov. Ducey and Dr. Christ

“We have some school districts that are packed with children,/ We have others where there’s more room and availability,” Gov. Ducey said.

“No one cares more about kids than their parents, their teachers, their principals and the superintendents,” Gov. Ducey said.

“There’s also the option for distance learning for anyone that would like it, but when some can safely get back inside the classroom with a teacher at the front of the classroom that’s something that we’re highly supportive of,” Gov. Ducey said.

More school boards are considering re-opening their schools for in-class learning soon, despite most Arizona counties not meeting all three recommended public health benchmarks.

When asked why he’s supporting schools ignoring the public health benchmarks released last week, Gov. Ducey said “Many districts are close on the benchmarks and they’re making decisions.”

Some Queen Creek teachers said they resigned after weighing their families’ needs against the risk of bringing COVID-19 home to their families, in this Fox 10 News story.

When asked if he supported the Queen Creek School District or the individual teachers who decided not to teach, Gov. Ducey said, “I support the principals, I support the superintendents and I support the parents. I know they have the best interests of the kids at heart. And so do the teachers.”

“There’s a lot of teachers who can’t wait to get to the front of the classroom,” Gov. Ducey said.

In addition, Gov. Ducey said he will make an announcement on unemployment assistance on Friday.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 190,794 today from 189,443 yesterday, and 4,383 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 127,768 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 19,001 in Pima County, 11,703 in Yuma County, 8,616 in Pinal County, 5,430 in Navajo County, 3,218 in Apache County, 3,146 in Coconino County, 2,698 in Santa Cruz County, 3,285 in Mohave County, 2,084 in Yavapai County, 1,747 in Cochise County, 978 in Gila County, 488 in La Paz County, 574 in Graham County and 57 in Greenlee County.

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Read this Cronkite News article to learn more about how Native American boarding schools affected their students and their families.

Student journalism provides an outlet for students’ voices, helps improve critical thinking and promotes equity for students of color, says The 74 Million.org.

Scottsdale schools will have breakfast available for students when campuses re-open.

Substitute teachers are weighing whether the pay outweighs the risks to their health as school starts, Education Week reports.

If all students at your school do not receive the same punishment for rules violations it might be something school administrators should look into, edutopia says.

Kyrene Schools Supt. shares what Kyrene Digital Academy is like.

WestEd shares ideas to help ensure high school seniors are prepared for college level reading and writing.

Update Aug. 12: Some Arizona school districts have decided to start offering in-person learning on Monday, Aug. 17, despite their communities not meeting the COVID-19 health benchmark recommendations provided last week by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

This happened just days after hundreds of parents and students rallied at Arizona’s Capitol to demand more support for working families and to push for in-person classes for students now.

But Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said all schools should follow the public health benchmarks.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 189,443 today from 188,737 yesterday, and 4,347 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 127,188 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 18,508 in Pima County, 11,641 in Yuma County, 8,555 in Pinal County, 5,408 in Navajo County, 3,212 in Apache County, 3,130 in Coconino County, 2,675 in Santa Cruz County, 3,250 in Mohave County, 2,065 in Yavapai County, 1,732 in Cochise County, 976 in Gila County, 486 in La Paz County, 559 in Graham County and 57 in Greenlee County.

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Tolleson Elementary School District invites students’ families and community members to take part in a Zoom meeting today about stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Tucson Unified will reopen in-person classes on Monday to a small subset of students – special education students, children in foster care, those experiencing homelessness and refugees, Arizona Daily Star reports.

Students can cope better with COVID-related uncertainties when educators help them with resilience, says Education News.

Students who need meals can pick up lunch and breakfast during remote learning from grab-and-go meal bus routes from 10 a.m. to noon.

Cartwright Elementary School District’s transportation department prepares a comprehensive safety plan for students who ride the bus for when they return to classrooms for in-person learning.

Humboldt Schools honors Patricia Burgess as it’s classified employee of the month.

Arizona Educational Foundation reminds principals that the deadline to enroll in its leadership academy is approaching soon.

The College Board lets high school freshmen and sophomores know steps to take to get them ready for college.

Humboldt Schools congratulates Poppy Keegan its teacher of the month.

Watch a dissection of a sheep’s heart and learn about each part’s functions courtesy of Arizona Science Center.

Mountain Ridge High School is getting some upgrades in response to community concerns.

Residents of college towns worry that students could bring COVID-19 back to campus, Arizona Public Media reports.

The Arizona Board of Regents wishes Northern Arizona University students a great first day of online classes.

Hear what ASU, UA and NAU are handling COVID-19 in this discussion on Monday, Aug. 31 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Humboldt Schools thanks Nancy Ruiz for her volunteer work.

A certified nursing assistant program returns to Coconino Community College.

U.S. News & World Report shares 14 key terms to know before repaying student loans.

Earlier coverage

July 30 – Aug. 11: Parent 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

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