Educators and parents will gather Jan. 4 for a car parade to the Chandler USD district office in an effort to return to in-person learning as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise across Chandler and across the state.

More than 350 people had responded to the Facebook event as of the morning of Jan. 4. At 3:30 p.m., CUSD parents and educators will meet at Chandler Center for the Arts, and at 4 p.m. they plan to arrive at the CUSD district office. The CUSD governing board will meet at 5 p.m. Jan. 4 to discuss COVID-19 metrics and the district's plan to either keep schools open for in-person learning or to return to virtual learning. A group also plans to go to the Gilbert Public Schools headquarters Jan. 4.

On Jan. 2, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman urged Gov. Doug Ducey to order schools to return to distance learning for a limited two-week period to align with quarantine protocols and current Arizona Department of Public Health benchmark recommendations. According to a spokesperson for Ducey, the governor will not be issuing a mandate.

The CUSD governing board previously voted to allow parents an option to keep students in a virtual, live model after the holiday break ends Jan. 5.