Arizona schools will delay reopening for in-person classes until at least Aug. 17

PHOENIX — Arizona schools will delay reopening for in-person classes this year until at least Aug. 17 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Monday. 

“We also want to bring as much certainty as possible for Arizona schools,” Ducey said. “We’ll continuously reevaluate this target date.” 

The state’s schools usually open in early August, long before Labor Day. But a spike in COVID-19 cases in Arizona has made 2020 an unusual year: Schools are facing difficult decisions in reopening, including whether to offer in-person classes at all.

The state has more than 74,000 confirmed cases, with 3,000-plus new cases reported on five of the past seven days.

People younger than 20 make up about 11% of the cases. 

Nationwide: Younger people are a factor in surge of COVID-19 cases, analysis shows

The announcement means schools will not be able to hold in-person classes until mid-August, but schools could offer online instruction before the reopening date, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman wrote on Twitter. 

Ducey announced extra funding for K-12 schools last week to help with pandemic-related issues, but teachers and other school leaders criticized the move because it prevented schools from delaying start dates past early August. 

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks about the latest coronavirus data at a news conference on June 25, 2020, in Phoenix.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks about the latest coronavirus data at a news conference on June 25, 2020, in Phoenix.

In an interview with The Arizona Republic, Hoffman said she’d heard escalating concerns about reopening from parents and educators over the past few weeks. 

“We were hopeful that schools could

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University of St. Francis To Reopen Aug. 3 With Modified Schedule

JOLIET, IL — The University of St. Francis will reopen to students for in-person classes beginning in August but will operate on an adjusted schedule and with limits on the size of gatherings, the school’s president has announced.

In a letter to members of the university community this week, Arvid C. Johnson announced campus buildings will reopen on Aug. 3, but that the school will restrict the size of classes and will limit the size of team meetings and other gatherings in large spaces to less than 50 people. Additionally, the school will shift to remote learning after Thanksgiving as school officials attempt to keep students and faculty safe as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The announcement came after Gov. J.B. Pritzker said this week that the state will move ahead to Phase 4 of Pritzker’s Restore Illinois Plan later on Friday. Like other universities across the country, USF was forced to close its campus and adjust its learning model after the pandemic set in in late March. Under Phase 4, restaurants, businesses and other public places are allowed to reopen, but with limitations in place of how many people can gather at once.

“This summer, University staff members have gone from building-to-building and room-to-room, counted socially-distant seats, and planned where access and exit points will be located,” Johnson wrote in the letter. “Classrooms and labs are being changed to allow students to work at a safe distance from others, while preserving the welcoming and active learning environment that makes USF

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