The extension follows updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and an announcement from President Trump March 29 extending physical distancing guidelines until April 30.
"In alignment with yesterday’s updated federal guidance, today we are announcing the extension of school closures through the remainder of the school year," read the joint statement. "Today’s announcement is intended to give parents and educators as much certainty as possible so they can plan and make decisions. While this isn’t the outcome any of us wanted, we are grateful for the partnership of schools around the state, who have stepped up to offer virtual and take-home learning opportunities for our students. These efforts are crucial, and we recognize that schools are making every effort possible to continue providing instruction during closures. We also thank our legislative partners for passing legislation ensuring all educators and staff see no disruption in pay. Our number one priority will continue to be health and safety, and we will continue to work closely with public health officials to make the best decisions for kids, families, and our school communities.”
Schools were previously set to reopen after April 10.
Districts and charter schools statewide have announced plans for students to continue their education remotely. Chandler USD is set to begin remote learning March 30.
On March 27, Governor Ducey signed legislation to support schools during closures, ensure school letter grades are held harmless, suspend statewide testing requirements, ensure school days are not extended into the summer, require learning opportunities for students to continue, and ensure teachers and staff see no disruption in pay as a result of COVID-19.
In an email to Chandler USD families, Superintendent Camille Casteel said the district will be following up with more information to answer questions regarding the end of the year related to grades, graduation, transcripts, scholarships, summer school, and continued instruction.
"We need your continued patience as we plan and coordinate with other district and state officials," Casteel said in the email. "Most of us have never experienced this level of disruption and uncertainty in our lifetime. I know our families are concerned about the health of their family members and neighbors and many are facing economic challenges. Your child’s safety and health is our top priority, and we will continue to work hard to minimize the impact related to their education. Please continue to check your email for frequent updates. For the latest information related to services and learning, please visit www.cusd80.com/COVID19. All resources will be located in one place for easy access for families. Praying for the health and safety of all."
Mesa Public Schools Interim Superintendent Pete Lesar said the district would also update families on important questions in the coming days in a message to families March 30.
"Although this was not the outcome we wanted, we are grateful to have this direction so we can move ahead in planning for a successful end to the school year for our students, including exploring avenues for honoring our seniors," Lesar wrote.