Yesterday, the Arizona Department of Health Services released Benchmarks to help guide decisions by public school districts and charter schools on when to offer virtual, hybrid, or in-person instruction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Benchmarks were developed in response to Governor Ducey’s June 23 Executive Order, Arizona: Open for Learning, and align with the Arizona Department of Education Roadmap for Reopening Schools. The Benchmarks also use public health data guided by recommendations from county, state, and federal experts to inform our schools on implementing a safe return to the classroom.
Read more about the full plan HERE.
Here’s what others are saying about Arizona’s School Benchmarks:
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman
“The public health benchmarks released today by the Arizona Department of Health Services provide our school communities much needed clarity on the safe reopening of schools.” (8/6/20, LINK)
KTAR: Arizona Announces School Benchmarks For In-Person Learning
“Arizona health officials released much-anticipated benchmarks Thursday on how schools will be able to open for in-person instruction this academic year… Additionally, Arizona will offer free coronavirus testing for students, staff and families in conjunction with ‘a handful of districts to start and that could grow.’” (8/6/20, LINK)
Arizona Medical Association
“ArMA appreciated the inclusion of Arizona's physicians in the benchmarks decided for reopening schools. We believe data-driven decisions must be made to protect our students, teachers, and communities.” (8/6/20, LINK)
AZ Family: Arizona Health Officials Issue Guidelines For Safe Return To In-Person Learning
"The plan gives details about how kids can make a safe return. The State of Arizona recommends there should be "minimal community spread" to resume in-person schooling. That would be fewer than 10 new cases per 100,000 people, less than a 5% positivity rate, and less than 5% cases of COVID-like illness." (8/6/20, LINK)
Arizona Republic: Health Officials Release Data Benchmarks To Help School Leaders Decide When To Reopen Schools
"Under Ducey's current executive order, schools must consider the benchmarks set by health officials, along with guidance from county health officials. Schools also must open in some capacity on Aug. 17 for students with no place to go during the day." (8/6/20, LINK)
Arizona Public Health Association Will Humble, KTAR Interview
“They’ve got percent positivity in there which is a really important metric. They’ve got the trend of new cases, which is an important thing to include... In terms of putting out solid guidance, kudos to the Department of Education, the county health departments and the State Health Department for putting something solid together.” (8/6/20)
Arizona Hospital Association
“We can’t lose this hard fought progress by sending students and teachers back to the classroom without following sound public health measures, guidelines and interventions. We encourage school boards to work closely with their county public health agencies to open schools safely.” (8/6/20, LINK)
View the Benchmarks HERE.
View the county dashboard HERE.