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Department of Education releases roadmap for reopening of Arizona schools

The roadmap offers guidance for schools across the state to reopen for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.

ARIZONA, USA — The Arizona Department of Education has released a roadmap to help schools across the state reopen for the upcoming the 2020-2021 school year.

The roadmap, which the department has called a "living document," will continuously be updated as in the months leading up to August as conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic change.

"There are still many unknowns about the future of this virus and its impact on our state," Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said. 

"Still, the Arizona Department of Education remains committed to providing the field with as much guidance, support, and clarity as possible."

The Department of Education took account of these unknowns by providing multiple scenarios for what the next school year could look like. The scenarios include multiple plans, from all students being physically in the building, if social distancing is no longer needed, to maintaining distance learning, if the pandemic does not improve.

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Implementing health protocols, such as physical distancing, maintaining healthy environments, and promoting behaviors to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, were also a major point in the roadmap.

The guidelines not only provided advice for physical health, but also wanted to focus on the mental health of students and staff. Employees and students were encouraged to take breaks from reading or watching news relating to the pandemic and encouraged them to be vocal about the emotions or stress they were feeling.

"The last part of this school year was filled with unexpected circumstances that few of us could have imagined," Hoffman said. 

"Despite the challenges, we must recognize that Arizona's schools have risen to the occasion to support their students, staff, and families in the face of these uncertain and challenging times."

You can see the entire roadmap on the department of education's website here.

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