Scottsdale Schools to enter 4th day of district closure

Acting Superintendent Dr. Amy Fuller. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

Scottsdale Unified School District will remain closed through Tuesday, May 1, district officials say, while there appears to be a potential for school to resume Thursday, May 3.

At 4:40 p.m. April 29, the district released a statement saying they will not have enough staff on Tuesday, which will be the fourth day of a state-wide teacher walkout.

“Due to the high number of teachers reporting absences and the shortage of substitutes to cover those absences, SUSD will not have enough staff to open any of our school Tuesday,” a district statement on SUSD.org says.

More information is expected to come on Monday, district officials said.

The Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board met for a special meeting at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 30, to discuss internal implications from the teacher walkouts.

A view from Red for Ed walk on Wednesday, April 11, at Laguna Elementary School in Scottsdale. (Photo courtesy of Laguna Elementary)

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane has contacted the school district to request teachers return to work, district officials say. Acting Superintendent Dr. Amy Fuller told the Governing Board that a copy of the mayor’s sentiments will be sent to teachers.

One topic of discussion was the amount of days students may need to make up. Staff is expected to bring additional information back to the Governing Board to outline the instructional hours lost following the walkouts.

While the district is closed the teachers are still being paid, district officials say, and the teachers will be expected to potentially make up classroom days at the end of the year even if their 186-day contract is over.

“We assumed it would be about two days, and leaders would have a plan but we have been wrong,” Dr. Fuller said during the meeting.

A graph was provided to the Governing Board showing a breakdown of teachers who expressed their participation with the walkout.

Only 20 percent of SUSD’s 1,230 teachers did not report their walkout involvement, district officials say.

“We could not hold school adequately,” Dr. Fuller said. “In some instances, special education teachers were not coming at all.”

Dr. Fuller says Mayor Lane called her, and respectfully asked that the teachers return to work.

“We will have communication expressing his sentiments sent to the teachers and see what that does,” she said.

Various district department heads including special education and nutrition services presented information to the Governing Board about impacts during the walkout.

Northeast Valley News Services Editor Melissa Fittro can be e-mailed at mfittro@newszap.com or can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/melissafittro.

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