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Isaac Elementary School District Opens For Half-Days During Teacher Walkout

School district administrators and principals have had to scramble as teachers made last-minute decisions to call out of work to rally at the Capitol.

Many schools have closed several days in a row, while keeping some places open for meals.

At Isaac Elementary School District in Phoenix, J.B. Sutton Elementary opened for half-days since Tuesday.

It wasn’t quite business as usual Thursday morning for J.B. Sutton Elementary School Principal Randy Martinez.

"Good morning, Dr. Martinez!" the school children said as Martinez made the rounds to each classroom, checking on how things were going.

On the sixth day of a teacher walkout, Martinez worked with about three quarters of its usual staff and a few extra substitutes.

“We’re able to orchestrate it and maneuver, they’re fed, they're given the right teacher, happy face and they’re ready for the day,” Martinez said.

The classes are parsed out by teacher as kids ate breakfast. Teachers like English language development teacher Della Guzman, who supports the #RedforEd movement, but is happy to keep teaching.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to go these lengths but it’s amazing," she said. "The energy is here, the kids are coming back.

Guzman has watched over more students than usual for the half days, but said her district has supported her.

Several teachers and staff wore #RedForEd t-shirts. One brought a sign she carried at the Capitol into her classroom.

Martinez said his school serves a needy population, and his district has stayed in communication with their teachers when schools closed last Thursday.

“We had a district meeting almost a week ahead of time, walking through possibilities, what was the best case scenario, the worst case scenario," Martinez said. "They walked us through, 'here’s what district supports, here’s what we can do for you.'”

Walkout leaders have called for an end to the walkout Thursday.

Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.