ARIZONA NEWS

J.O. Combs school district cancels all classes Monday due to lack of staff

Aug 14, 2020, 5:29 PM | Updated: 7:07 pm
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — A metro Phoenix school district that originally planned to start in-person learning next week announced Friday they’ve canceled all classes Monday due to insufficient staffing.

J.O. Combs Unified School District, located in San Tan Valley, was planning to start in-person learning Monday following a governing board vote.

The district reversed its decision following an overwhelming response of staff saying they do not feel safe returning to classrooms with students.

Kayla Fulmer, director of marketing and community relations, told KTAR News that 109 teachers and staff have said they’ll be absent Monday. The district has around 600 teachers and staff.

“At this time, we do not know the duration of these staff absences, and cannot yet confirm when in-person instruction may resume,” Superintendent Dr. Gregory A. Wyman said in a statement.

The district expects to have an update by 5 p.m. Monday.

In the meantime, the school district will continue to offer breakfast and lunch meal service that can be picked up between 6:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. After-school and extracurricular activities are also canceled.

The district’s decision comes less than a week after the Arizona Department of Health Services unveiled three COVID-related benchmarks counties should meet before schools return to in-person instruction.

Pinal County currently meets two of the three benchmarks required for schools to reopen.

During a press conference Thursday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey did not see an issue with Arizona districts opening classrooms in counties that haven’t met the state’s COVID-19 benchmarks.

“We’re supportive of the districts,” Ducey said.

However, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman thought differently.

“I think that’s really toxic for the community that they’re making decisions that are putting their staff and their teachers’ lives at risk,” Hoffman said during a meeting with the University of Arizona’s Education Policy Center. “It’s very devastating.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Getty Images Photo/Roberto Machado Noa)...
KTAR.com

Police investigate death of 45-year-old woman shot in Phoenix

Police are investigating the death of a woman who died from a gunshot wound in Phoenix Friday night.
23 hours ago
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 27, 2020 file photo, Medical personnel adjust their personal protecti...
KTAR.com

Arizona reports 2,482 new COVID-19 cases, 9 more deaths Saturday

Arizona health officials on Saturday reported 2,482 new COVID-19 cases and nine additional deaths from the disease.
23 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Woman dies after being struck by vehicle in Phoenix

An adult woman was killed after getting struck by a vehicle near the intersection of East McDowell Road and North 26th Street in Phoenix on Friday night.
23 hours ago
(Facebook photo/City of Phoenix, AZ USA)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix adopts roadmap to cut emissions, reach net-zero goal by 2050

The city of Phoenix Tuesday approved a climate action plan with the goal of reaching net-zero by 2050 while also reducing 50% of emissions by 2030. 
23 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Special Olympics Arizona)...
KTAR.com

Special Olympics Arizona to kick off fall games next weekend

More than 1,000 Special Olympics athletes across the state will head to the Valley next weekend to compete in the 2021 Fall Games presented by Casino Arizona.
23 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Holiday Light Experience - Salt River Fields)...
KTAR.com

Tickets for Holiday Light Experience at Salt River Fields go on sale

People can begin buying their tickets now to the Holiday Light Experience at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale which is set to get underway in November.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
...
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
...
Albertsons

Grill like a pro this fall with tips from Albertsons

As the weather cools and football season kicks off, it’s a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy your favorite outdoor meals.
J.O. Combs school district cancels all classes Monday due to lack of staff