Santa Cruz Elementary School
Santa Cruz Elementary School is one of two schools projected to exceed student capacity, prompting the need for a new elementary school in town by 2026.

All students at Santa Cruz Elementary School are learning from home until Monday due to positive COVID-19 tests and quarantines among faculty and staff. The move to distance learning began today, according to the Maricopa Unified School District.

“We have been closely monitoring the five recently reported COVID cases at Santa Cruz and the impact the associated quarantines have on the campus,” Mishell Terry, the district’s coordinator of communications and social media, said in an e-mail. “Due to the current number of quarantined staff as well as additional absences due to staff illness, we are unable to provide adequate adult supervision to support in-person learning.”

A district letter sent Tuesday night to parents of Santa Cruz students announced the closure and provided families with information from teachers about how they could access online instruction for their child.

The district will continue to provide grab-and-go meals. They will be available for pick up between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the school during the closure with pick-up available in the student dropoff lane near the cafeteria.

For parents who want their students to have the opportunity to learn in-person during the closure, the school will provide an on-site learning lab. According to the letter, the lab is a place “for students who need a quiet, safe environment to independently engage in their remote classes during the school day.”

The SCES Learning Lab will be hosted in the school’s cafeteria from 8:15 a.m. to 3:35 p.m. today through Friday. In its letter, the district describes the learning lab as similar to a supervised study hall. Parents who wish to enroll their child in learning lab should call 520-568-5170. If transportation to the learning lab is needed, the district asked that parents notify them during enrollment.

MUSD said in the letter that students who are not quarantined due to direct exposure may continue to participate in outside activities and added the school closure may be extended if additional cases are reported. Parents with further questions were encouraged to contact Santa Cruz principal Stephanie Rhinehart at 520-568-5170.