Chandler USD board moves to continue requiring masks in classrooms with exception for outdoor activities

Gov. Doug Ducey announced a series of tweets April 19 that K-12 schools will no longer require masks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Gov. Doug Ducey announced a series of tweets April 19 that K-12 schools will no longer require masks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Gov. Doug Ducey announced a series of tweets April 19 that K-12 schools will no longer require masks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Chandler USD governing board voted April 21 to continue to require masks in classrooms but will allow for students to remove their masks while outdoors for physical education activities. The decision comes with just 24 days remaining in the school year. The change begins for students Monday, April 26.

If the district infection rate remains low, effective May 31, 2021 masks will be optional moving forward, beginning with summer school.

The superintendent will have the authority to make adjustments as needed and all other mitigation strategies currently in place will remain at least through the end of the school year.

The move came after Gov. Doug Ducey announced April 19 that he was rescinding the statewide mask mandate in K-12 schools. Arizona's schools chief fired back, calling the governor's announcement "abrupt."

"Today's abrupt removal of the mask mandate in schools is just one example in a long line of decisions that have resulted in Arizona's embarrassing response to a virus that has claimed over 17,000 lives and impacted thousands more," said Kathy Hoffman, the Arizona state superintendent of public instruction, in a statement. "While vaccines hold the promise of a return to normalcy, letting up on other mitigation strategies now just increases risk transmission at a time when we should be doing everything possible to keep students and their families safe. Today's announcement destabilizes school communities as they end what has arguably been the most challenging year for education. I encourage school leaders and board members to work with their communities to make transparent, evidence-based decisions that build trust in the safety of schools."


Masks had been required in schools across the state since July, when Ducey first issued the executive order requiring face coverings in K-12 schools.

The April 21 meeting of the Chandler USD governing board was held virtually, and residents were permitted to submit comments online. According to the district website, 290 people submitted comments weighing in on whether masks should still be required in schools.


MOST RECENT

The city of Chandler headquarters is in downtown Chandler. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chandler ends emergency declaration issued last March due to COVID-19

Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke announced May 13 that he is rescinding the proclamation declaring the existence of a local emergency in Chandler issued March 19, 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Gilbert home values rising fast in 85298; 5 businesses coming to Chandler and more top area news

Read the top news from the past week from the Gilbert and Chandler areas.

Doug Ducey
Ducey unveils program to encourage individuals to return to work

Gov. Doug Ducey announced May 13 a three-part “Arizona Back to Work” program to incentivize residents to get off unemployment benefits and fill one of the state’s 160,000 to 180,000 open jobs.

masks
CDC ends all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people

The guidance states fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

Doug Ducey
Gov. Ducey signs bill to trim early voter roll

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on May 11 signed into law Senate Bill 1485, which will purge the permanent early voter rolls of anyone who has not voted by mail in the previous two election cycles.

Denise McCreery, d'vine Gourmet owner, first began her business as a means to rid her home of half-consumed wine bottles her husband, a wine distributor, brought home. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chandler's d'Vine Gourmet set to relocate to downtown this fall

Downtown Chandler will get a new business this fall when d'Vine Gourmet relocates its store to the space occupied by Sibley's West.

Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
US Department of Homeland Security extends Real ID deadline until 2023

Drivers will have until May 2023 to get the Real ID, which will be required for adults boarding a U.S. commercial flight.

COVID-19 vaccine
Arizona children ages 12-15 can be vaccinated starting May 13

Arizona Department of Health Services officials said they are ready to administer vaccines to the state’s 400,000 children in that age group at state-run vaccination sites in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Tucson, Yuma and Flagstaff.

Susan Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. (Courtesy American Medical Association)
'I am convinced we will beat COVID': American Medical Association President Susan Bailey discusses vaccine successes, myths, challenges

Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. Much of the organization's focus during that time has been on vaccine transparency and distribution.

Several new businesses will be opening in Chandler in the next few months. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Conveyor belt sushi, wine bar and more: 5 businesses coming soon to Chandler

Several businesses will open in Chandler in the coming months including 99 Ranch Market, a revolving sushi bar and others.

Chandler USD headquarters. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chandler USD governing board to discuss COVID-19 mitigation plan for upcoming year at May 12 meeting

The Chandler USD governing board will discuss the district's potential COVID-19 mitigation plan for the 2021-22 school year during a meeting Wednesday, May 12, according to the board agenda.

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
ADHS: Emergency Department visits for COVID-19 symptoms spike May 12

Take a look at the hospitalization data across Arizona.