MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Starting today, Mesa Public Schools plans to move forward with in-person learning five days a week.

Public health metrics from Thursday, Oct. 8 “have confirmed” the Oct. 12 start for five-day modified in-person learning.

Modified meaning students and staff will have to continue doing a daily home health screening, wearing mandatory face masks, socially distance, and frequently wash their hands.

The district is calling it “modified” in-person learning meaning students will be required to wear masks and social distance. Parents will also be required to complete the COVID-19 parental acknowledge and disclosure form.

Some parents are thrilled for their kids to return to a normal schedule and feel the district is doing a good job of being transparent communicating case numbers with the new district data dashboard.

Others like Drew, the dad of a high school freshman at Red Mountain High School,  feel “uneasy and frustrated” about that decision to make the move now.

“So of course we want our students to be back in school full time, five days a week, that’s what I think everyone wants but the question is why right now? It’s premature,” he questioned.

He is worried it’ll be tough to keep students socially distanced with a full campus.

He wishes the district will stick to the hybrid model since it’s working well for his daughters.

“It's working well, but that's not an option for us right now.”

Several other districts are making moves this week.

Today, Paradise Valley welcomes back students in grades 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10.

Tempe Elementary has pushed back in-person learning which was supposed to begin this week. They will begin a phased-in return in two weeks.

Meantime Tempe Union High School District, which overlaps with Tempe Elementary, they’re going back with a hybrid model tomorrow, even with one of its ZIP codes still in the red.

In contrast, Tolleson Union High School District is taking no chances by delaying a return to campus until after the first of the year.


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