It has been a difficult week for all Arizonans as we aim to be proactive and respond on all fronts to COVID-19. Our school communities have navigated this health crisis with a continued commitment to the well-being of Arizona’s students. I have never been prouder to be an Arizona educator as I see school leaders adapt and rise to the occasion. I am inspired by these educators and, alongside my fellow state leaders, I am committed to supporting our kids, families and school communities through this difficult time.
Long before this public health crisis began, our teachers and school staff stepped up to serve Arizona’s children by choosing a career in education. Now, more than ever, Arizona’s children and families are calling on these leaders for support.
For this reason, school leaders are already providing safe and responsible ways for teachers and other school staff to continue to serve students in creative ways – and yesterday, the Legislature passed a bill that will allow educators and staff to be compensated during this time.
To support distance learning, we have posted a list of resources that teachers, parents and guardians can utilize to help their students continue learning at home. These resources include online reading lessons and activities for ELA students, math and science projects, educational games and videos and so much more for students at every grade level. Teachers and parents should use discretion in deciding which online resources best complement their educational plans for students.
In the face of these unprecedented circumstances, the Arizona Department of Education’s (ADE) Health and Nutrition Services team has been working tirelessly to ensure that no child goes hungry while they are away from school. Alongside nutrition services directors on the ground at schools across Arizona, we are ensuring that schools can continue to provide every child under the age of 18 with nutritious meals. We are reaching out to schools that have not offered school meal programs in the past but may qualify to do so. You can find an updated list of school districts, charter schools, and non-profits that are offering meals to Arizona’s children on the ADE website. During these difficult times, Arizona’s students are looking for comfort, guidance and reassurance that everything is going to be okay. I encourage every adult to approach this scary situation with kindness and compassion towards others. It is our job to set that example of patience and good will. Arizona has proven to be a strong, resilient community, and together, we will get through this.