Chandler schools staff wants virtual learning in January due to virus spike

Dec 10, 2020, 11:32 PM | Updated: Dec 11, 2020, 1:17 pm

(Facebook Photo/Chandler United School District)...

(Facebook Photo/Chandler United School District)

(Facebook Photo/Chandler United School District)

PHOENIX — A Chandler education group said it was aware of a planned teacher sickout Friday, but schools opened without delay, the district said.

The Chandler Education Association executive board said in a letter posted Thursday on its website that while it “has not promoted a sickout due to the many different views that our members have on this complex issue, we are not at all surprised that a number of our educators are angry enough to demonstrate their frustration in this manner.”

Staff asked Chandler Unified School District leaders in a letter on Thursday for virtual-only learning to return when classes resumes in January. The letter, obtained by ABC15 cited the spike of coronavirus in Arizona.

On Friday morning, the district told KTAR News 92.3 FM that its schools are open. The district confirmed that 349 teachers called in sick Friday, 105 more than the previous Friday.

“We encourage staff to report to work in the best interest of their students and colleagues,” the district said in an email.

“We understand this is a stressful time and invite teachers to work directly with administration as we seek ways to lessen any negative impact on them.”

The district voted Wednesday night to temporarily expand virtual learning and allow students in grades 7-12 to choose to learn remotely beginning Jan. 5 and lasting through Jan. 15, with elementary students returning to campus as planned.

The letter accuses the school district of broken promises regarding not being expected to teach virtually and in person at the same time as well as returning to virtual learning if one coronavirus metric went into the substantial category.

Maricopa County in the state’s COVID-19 dashboard is in the substantial spread range for the second straight week in cases per 100,000 individuals and percent positivity, with hospital visits for COVID-like illnesses in the moderate transmission but rising closer to substantial.

The Arizona Department of Health Services recommends hybrid instruction but instruction options are up to each district.

After beginning the school year virtually in August, Chandler schools welcomed back elementary kids to classrooms in late September and secondary students on Oct. 13.

Cases per 100,000 individuals and percent positivity were both in the moderate range when the students returned to in-person learning, with hospital visits for COVID-like illnesses being in the minimal transmission category.

In the letter, district staff asked for a response by Dec. 18, the final day before holiday break and that multiple site representatives, teachers and classroom staff from each school be involved in the decision on reopening.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

The two men killed in the crash were both from India and were both 19-years-old, according to Peori...

2 dead, 2 more hospitalized after crash in Peoria near Lake Pleasant

Two people were killed and two others were hospitalized in a head-on collision in Peoria, near Lake Pleasant, on Saturday night.

6 hours ago

Phoenix experienced its first 100-degree day of the year on April 21, 2024. The daily average tempe...

Phoenix records first 100-degree day of 2024

After a wet and cool start to the year, Phoenix experienced its first 100-degree day of the year on Sunday.

7 hours ago

Carlos Rivas is among the performers for this year's Scottsdale Jazz Festival. (Scottsdale Jazz Fes...

Damon Allred

Sounds of New Orleans hit Old Town for Scottsdale Jazz Festival

The jazz festival billed as "Arizona's Most Beautiful Jazz Event" is coming to the Scottsdale Civic Center in Old Town this week.

9 hours ago

Olivia Gerits (Chandler Police Department)...

Missing 13-year-old Chandler girl found safe, 21-year-old man detained

A 13-year-old girl who was missing for more than a week was found safe and reunited with her family on Sunday afternoon.

10 hours ago

woman holds money and types into computer...

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Phoenix news stories from April 19-21

From freeway construction to street gang indictments, here are the biggest Valley news stories from over the weekend.

11 hours ago

University of Arizona President Robert Robbins is seen walking on the Tucson campus....

Associated Press

Robbins: Fiscal year 2025 UArizona budget deficit may be reduced by $110M

Outgoing University of Arizona president Robbins has announced “encouraging news” about the college’s finances.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Chandler schools staff wants virtual learning in January due to virus spike