PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey rescinded his mask requirement for Arizona K-12 schools on Monday, but allowed districts to create their own policies.
Ducey claimed that the decision came under new guidance from the CDC, but the move has been derided by the state's top educator Kathy Hoffman who said it "destabilizes school communities as they end what has arguably been the most challenging year for education."
Masks have consistently been cited as one of the most effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 which is primarily spread through coughs and sneezes.
Arizona school districts still have the power to enforce individual mask mandates on their campuses, and some districts have already told parents they plan to do so.
These school districts still require masks on campus:
This list will be updated. If you have a district that should be included, please email connect@12News.com.
Agua Fria Union High School District
A district spokeswoman said in an email to 12 News that "Agua Fria Union High School District will continue to require masks on all campuses by students, staff, and guests."
Alhambra Elementary School District
Cartwright School District
Chandler Unified School District
Chandler Unified School District's governing board voted 3-2 to continue to require masks indoors but make them optional outdoors.
Deer Valley Unified School District
In a letter to parents on Monday, the Deer Valley Unified School District said "DVUSD mask requirements are contained in Regulations JICA-RB and KI-RB. Any changes to regulation cannot occur without discussion at the Executive Cabinet level with the Superintendent. Current policy regulation states that students, staff, and visitors must wear a face mask when on DVUSD property. At the Governing Board meeting next week, Superintendent Dr. Finch will provide a report to the Governing board about our plan moving forward."
Flagstaff Unified School District
Gilbert Public Schools
Gilbert Public Schools Superintendent Shane McCord says the district's mask policy will remain in place while the board reviews Ducey's order and decides how to move forward.
"Please expect further information and updates on any changes to existing mitigation strategies in due course," McCord said.
Glendale Unified High School District
GUHSD officials told parents that the governor's decision "does not change the face mask requirement" for its campuses.
Higley Unified School District
HUSD officials say "in accordance with Higley Unified School District's Governing Board mitigation plan, at this time, we will continue to require students and employees to wear masks during the school day and when on District property until the Governing Board has had the chance to review the policy."
Kyrene School District
KUSD announced that Ducey's decision has "no immediate impact to Kyrene's existing guidelines. At this time, face coverings are still required in all schools and facilities."
Litchfield Elementary School District
In a message for parents, Superintendent Jodi Gunning says the district will "continue the mitigation plan adopted by our Governing Board on August 11, 2020 that requires face coverings to be worn by students, staff members and visitors to school and district facilities."
Mesa Public Schools
On Friday, Mesa Public Schools announced a phased approach to ending the district's mandatory mask policy.
Starting on Monday, April 26, masks will be required in schools, district buildings and on vehicles like school buses. But a mask won't be mandatory outdoors but still strongly recommended.
This Phase One of the plan lasts through May 2.
If the school district doesn't show high COVID-19 transmission indicators according to the ADHS dashboard, schools will move to Phase 2 beginning on Monday, May 3.
At that point, masks will no longer be mandatory indoors or in vehicles but still recommended.
Other social distancing measures and cleaning policies will stay the same.
Morenci School District
The Morenci School District said in a statement Monday, "Safeguarding the health of our students and staff is our priority. Morenci School District has worked closely with local and county health officials through the pandemic. We will be conferring with these officials over the next few days before reaching a decision. For the immediate future masks will still be a requirement for students and staff."
New Way Academy
New Way Academy, a private school for children with learning differences, says it will keep its mask requirement for the rest of the school year.
Paradise Valley Unified School District
Paradise Valley Unified School District said in a letter to parents on Monday, "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health officials continue to recommend the wearing of masks in public schools along with following mitigation strategies to ensure a safe learning environment.
"With this in mind, PVSchools’ mask requirements will remain in place for the health and safety of our students, staff, families, and community."
Pendergast Elementary School District
Pendergast Elementary School District posted on its website a note saying: “we will continue to wear masks that meet CDC guidelines on all PESD campuses, buses, and district property.”
Peoria Unified School District
Peoria Unified announced that its district-wide mask requirement will be in place until a board meeting can be held to discuss the issue.
"We are still following Peoria Unified's policy and regulation JICA-RB requiring masks for all staff, students and guests on all school and district properties."
Phoenix Country Day School
Phoenix Country Day School, a private, independent PK-12 school, says masks will be required for the remainder of the school year.
Phoenix Union High School District
PXU announced on Twitter that its mask policy "will remain in effect for all student, staff and visitors."
Phoenix Union is the largest high school district in Arizona.
Roosevelt School District
The Roosevelt School District says its schools will continue to "enforce the district's mask policy and require all staff, students and visitors to wear face masks at all times."
Scottsdale Unified School District
SUSD officials told parents Monday night that the mask requirement will be enforced for the remainder of the school year. Saying in a statement that read in part:
"We are 28 school days from the end of the 2020-2021 school year, and while we know there are people who would like us to remove the mask requirement now, SUSD's 15 zip codes remain in the Substantial transmission category and the number of cases has been slowly increasing over the past few weeks."
Tempe Elementary School District
TESD officials announced that its mask policy will continue to be enforced.
"Keeping the safety of our students and staff as our top priority, at this time, we will continue to follow the District’s Mitigation Plan requiring face coverings in all Tempe Elementary schools and facilities," the district said.
Tempe Union High School District
TUHSD says "we will continue to ask our students and staff to wear masks during the school day and at all times on District property. This measure also aligns with our District Health Mitigation Plan."
Tolleson Union High School District
TUHSD School Board member Devin Del Palacio said that the school district will keep its mask requirement.
"We have a responsibility to ensure our students and staff have a safe learning environment," Del Palacio said. "Wearing a mask is proven to slow the spread of the virus."
Washington Elementary School District
The Washington Elementary School District said on its website Monday that it will "continue requiring the use of face coverings on all campuses and district facilities until further notice."
These Arizona school district(s) say masks are now optional:
Agua Fria Union High School District
Great Hearts Charter Schools
J.O. Combs Unified School District
J.O. Combs officials say "effective immediately, masks will be recommended but not required for students, staff and visitors."
COVID-19 News and Updates
Subscribe to the 12 News YouTube channel to receive notifications on the latest videos about the latest information on the coronavirus.