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Chandler Teachers Stage Sickout, Ask District To Shift To Virtual Instruction

About 350 teachers in the Chandler Unified School District staged a sickout on Friday.

The teachers are asking the district to shift to virtual instruction in January and stay in that mode until the metrics show its safe to resume in-person classes, they said in a letter to district officials and board members. 

"The current plan, considering current COVID illness and hospitalization rates, is unsustainable," they said. 

The district had initially said it would return to distance learning when one of its COVID-19 metrics turned red, the teachers said in their letter. Chandler Unified currently has two metrics in red, according to Maricopa County COVID-19 data

"We were also assured that we would not be expected to teach virtually and in-person at the same time," the teacher said. "Both of those promises have now been broken."

The teachers are also asking Chandler Unified to include multiple site representatives, teachers and classroom staff, from each school be involved in the decision making process regarding reopening and in-person/virtual instruction. 

District spokesman Terry Locke shared this statement with KJZZ: 

"We continue to follow guidelines provided by Maricopa County Health. The guidelines have evolved over time. As presented at our Oct. 28 board meeting, we monitor the impact of active Covid cases at our schools, with 1 percent at high schools, 1.5% at junior highs and 2% at our elementary schools as benchmarks to close schools. We are working with the leadership of the Chandler Education Association to a staff committee to formally assist us when making future COVID-related decisions that impact the schools."

→  Get The Latest News On COVID-19 In Arizona 

Rocio Hernandez was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2022.