The Chandler USD governing board voted 3-2 Wednesday to have students return to in-person learning Jan. 19 after two weeks of virtual learning. The initial decision to return to virtual—which was made during a special meeting Jan. 4—was due to an increase in the number of new cases of COVID-19 reported daily across the county and across the state. Board members Lara Bruner and Lindsay Love dissented Jan. 13.
Maricopa County remains squarely in "substantial spread," according to data from Maricopa County Public Health. The Arizona Department of Health Services and Maricopa County Public Health recommend virtual learning, but district officials say the county is clear that it is up to the school districts to decide.
District staff recommended the district resume in-person learning Jan. 19 with mitigation strategies in place—including social distancing when possible, wearing masks, increased cleaning and hand washing and other strategies.
The board voted Jan. 4 to lower the percent positivity thresholds the district will use to determine individual school closures. For elementary schools, the campus must see a 1.5% positive active cases before closure, 1% at junior high schools and .75% for high schools.