COVID-19 has caused the extended closure of two more schools in the Maricopa Unified School District.
The reach of quarantine rather than the spread of the virus has been blamed for the shutdowns.
Starting today and continuing across the Thanksgiving weekend through Dec. 4, Maricopa Elementary School and Desert Wind Middle School are shutting down their campuses. During regular school days, all students will return to online education.
The closures effectively impact six days of school as Thanksgiving break is Nov. 25-27. Students at both schools who are participating in in-person education this semester are expected back on campus Dec. 7.
Since the start of the school year, Maricopa Elementary has had seven reported cases among students and staff. MUSD decided the current quarantines have impacted too many staff to allow the school to maintain adult supervision on campus.
The most recent case at MES was reported Sunday. Three cases have caused three different quarantines.
Desert Wind found it, too, was struggling to cover all classes due to ongoing quarantines. During the closure on regular school days, students will still have online afterschool tutoring available Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Both Desert Wind and Maricopa Elementary will continue to have learning labs on campus, described as supervised study hall. They will also have grab-and-go lunches available for pick up.
MUSD has had 45 COVID cases reported this school year. The most recent case was reported Monday in the maintenance and transportation department. Today is the last day of campus closure for Maricopa Wells Middle School. Because they go on break Wednesday, in-person students don’t return to campus until Nov. 30.
Previous campus closures have impacted Saddleback Elementary, Pima Butte Elementary and Maricopa High School.