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Metro Phoenix district with 10 high schools reverts to remote learning

Sunnyslope High School (Google Maps Photo)

PHOENIX – A metro Phoenix district with 10 high school campuses is returning to remote learning Friday because of high COVID-19 case numbers.

The Glendale Union High School District, which covers most of Glendale and part of Phoenix, announced the decision on Thursday, citing two consecutive weeks of case metrics in the substantial spread range.

The remote learning at home mode, which includes on-site safe space support, will continue at least through Dec. 17. The district said it won’t revert to a hybrid mode until the case metric drops to the moderate stage for two consecutive weeks.

Two of the district’s high schools, Glendale and Independence, already were in the remote learning mode. Apollo, Cortez, Greenway, Moon Valley, Sunnyslope, Thunderbird, Washington and Northern Academy are joining them.

“We recognize the impact this decision has on our families; however, we believe it is the best one for the health and safety of our students and staff members,” the district said.

Student schedules won’t change with the move to full-time online instruction, and food service will be available for pickup Mondays-Fridays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

GUHSD is on the verge of reaching the substantial spread range in a second metric, with percent positivity for diagnostic testing having reached that level for the most recent week of data.

Under the Arizona Department of Health Services recommendations, Maricopa County schools are in the moderate spread stage for hybrid learning. But the state doesn’t change county recommendations on its dashboard unless all three metrics tracked rise to higher stages.

The state recommendations are offered as guidance, leaving the ultimate decision on the on instruction modes in the hands of the districts.

Maricopa County Public Health has a dashboard that breaks the metrics down by district, ZIP code and city to help local authorities make decisions.

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