/ Modified apr 27, 2018 3:35 p.m.

How Does Your District Plan to Handle a Teacher Walkout?

Information on the plans of school districts in Pima County for a scheduled Thursday walkout.

Barrio Hollywood Redfored Educators protest before school on Tuesday, April 24, with #RedForEd signs in Tucson's Barrio Hollywood.
Zac Ziegler, AZPM

For further updates, please visit this link.

Almost 40,000 educators in Arizona voted to walk out of schools Thursday, leaving districts across the state to decide what to do for students.

About 57,000 educators and staff voted, and the group Arizona Educators United said that represents a movement of people asking for 20 percent teacher salary increases and $1 billion in education funding. Teachers in Arizona say they've decided to walk out until legislation is passed that will satisfy their demands.

State laws and current district policies state that any day a school is closed must be made up at the end of the current school year.

If your school is in Pima County, here is what you need to know about your district and how it plans to communicate.

Tucson Unified School District

The Tucson Unified School District announced Tuesday that all schools will be closed on Thursday for the scheduled walkout. Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo in a media briefing said the district was unable to secure enough staff, with 2,196 teachers out of 3,200 reporting they would not be in school Thursday.

He added that it's very likely schools will also be closed on Friday, as 1,274 teachers have also reported not coming in that day.

However, Trujillo says even though schools in the district will be closed for students, employees who are not planning to walk out can still come to work.

"We have employees who are exercising their right to call in and use a personal day or a sick day, we also have employees who are exercising their right to show up to work," Trujillo said. "We want to make their classrooms available; we want to make their work areas available; and we want to make it so that they are not required to use a sick or a personal day."

The district said food services would be offered at all school sites on Thursday and bus services are suspended for Thursday and Friday. TUSD said it is speaking with groups like the Boys and Girls Club about taking in some of the 44,000 students in the district.

The district asks that all parents or guardians make sure their contact information with the school is up to date and use the website and school and district social media accounts to be informed of updates.

Preschool and before- and after-school programs will be closed. The Brichta and Schumaker infant and early-learning centers will stay open, the district said.

The district will be sending out daily communications if the walkout lasts longer than one day.

Sunnyside Unified School District

The Sunnyside Unified School District announced it will close schools on Thursday and Friday due to the walkout.

In a letter to parents posted on the district website, district officials said they will not have enough staff to open schools or provide transportation.

Schools will be open for breakfast and lunch and parents can take their students to any Sunnyside School for those services.

All after-school activities and athletics are also cancelled.

Officials said the closure will not affect attendance records, so parents do not have to call the school to say a child will not be there.

Sunnyside is scheduled to end the school year on May 24. The letter said that date will not change if schools reopen quickly.

Marana Unified School District

Marana Unified School District announced all 18 schools will be closed Monday, April 30 because the district cannot appropriately supervise students and ensure student safety, according to a press release sent to all parents and guardians Friday, April 27.

The district says it does not know how long schools will be closed but if they decide to keep the school closed Tuesday, May 1 the district will notify families no later than 3 p.m.

The district is asking parents to make sure their contact information is up to date with the school.

Breakfast and lunch meals will be served at some schools through the district's Marana Cares Mobile service. The district says it will have more information Wednesday on where and what time food locations will be open.

All before- and after-school care will be canceled, including student service and student and club activities like the Learning Enrichment and Play (LEAP) program.

Lower-level high school and middle school athletics will be canceled. However, varsity sports will continue, depending on the availability of the coach.

The school closure will not affect graduation ceremonies, according to MUSD, but students may be required to come back after that ceremony to complete the school year.

Amphitheater Public Schools

Amphitheater announced on Tuesday it would be closing its 21 schools on Thursday and Friday based on inquiries to staff about their intentions for the walkout, a release said.

"The numbers are clear," Superintendent Todd Jaeger said on the district website.

The district said it was "optimistic" schools would reopen Monday, and instructed parents and guardians to monitor for updates on its website and social media accounts.

All school kitchens will remain open in the mornings, when students can pick up breakfast and lunch meals, the release said.

The district previously said if schools are closed, so will all before- and after-school childcare, ACHIEVE, after-school tutoring and extracurricular clubs at those schools.

Catalina Foothills School District

Catalina Foothills has announced all schools within the district will be closed Monday, April 30 until the teacher walkout ends, according to Julie Farbarik, director of Communications for the district.

Catalina Foothills posted a FAQ to its Facebook page April 20 urging families to update their contact info and monitor all district communications, including the district website, SchoolMessenger notification system and social media accounts.

The district's Facebook page said Community Schools' services will not be available and that varsity sports would be the only athletics to continue practice or games, depending on coach availability.

Any missed school days would likely be made up at the end of the year, the FAQ said. High school graduation would still take place on May 23, but graduating seniors may need to make up stoppage days.

Tanque Verde Unified School District

TVUSD Superintendent Scott Hagerman sent a letter to parents and guardians Tuesday announcing Tanque Verde schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday.

Hagerman asked parents and guardians to monitor school communications for updates, as the duration of the walkout was unclear.

The release said athletics activities will continue, but extracurricular programming and certain field trips may be subject to cancellation.

The letter urged parents and guardians to make arrangements for the care of their children on Thursday and Friday.

The district said it will notify parents through a number of means including email, the district website and the district Facebook page

Sahuarita Unified School District

In a letter to parents, Sahuarita Unified School District Superintendent Manuel Valenzuela said SUSD it plans to close schools for Thursday and Friday.

District administration will post information regarding next week by Saturday via social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter), the district's webpage and the district notification system. The school also plans to post an updated list of frequently asked questions in the coming days.

The district anticipates it would have to add school days at the end of the semester to make up for any days missed due to a strike.

Flowing Wells Unified School District

Flowing Wells announced Tuesday afternoon that it would close all schools on Thursday, and likely on Friday as well, after learning that a "majority" of teachers and staff were planning on joining the walkout.

The school said breakfast would be provided at elementary schools between 7:30-8:15 a.m., and lunch 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. All before- and after-school programming, student services and activities would be canceled, except for varsity athletics and certain field trips.

The district urged families to update their contact information with their school and monitor the district website and social media accounts for updates.

More information can be found on the district website.

Vail Unified School District

The Vail Unified School District announced Tuesday it will close schools Thursday and Friday due to "inadequate staffing."

In a letter to parents, Vail Superintendent Calvin Baker said he is hopeful to open schools again on Monday but that decision will not be made until Saturday.

The district posted a list of Frequently Asked Questions including information on graduation and long-term field trips.

Altar Valley School District

The Altar Valley School District will remain open if it has enough teachers but "may be forced to close." The district will use the auto-dialer system to notify parents and students if schools do close. The determination will be made on a school-by-school basis.

Ajo Unified School District

The Ajo Unified School District is polling teachers to find out how many will walk out on Thursday. District officials said they will send a letter home with students Wednesday based on that poll. They will also use Facebook to notify families.

The school will be closed for the first two hours of classes in Thursday due to a planned power outage.

Baboquivari Unified School District

The Baboquivari Unified School District intends to close its campuses on Thursday, according to a letter from Superintendent Edna Morris. She wrote that she believes the closure will last only that day, and the district anticipates it will be operating on a normal schedule Friday. A post on the school's website said it will announce via School Messenger if Friday plans change by Thursday afternoon.

"The good news is that we are over our Instructional Minutes required at each school and will not have to make up this day at the end of the year," said Morris in the letter, which was posted to the district's Facebook page.

Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind — Tucson

All Tucson schools have remained open since the start of the teacher walkout according to officials with Arizona State Schools for the Deaf.


On Wednesday, Pima JTED said programs resulting from its member district schools would be closed Thursday and Friday because of low attendance due to the walkout.

Central Campus Skills classes scheduled for Saturday were not canceled, nor was a Friday event called Meet the Teacher Night.

The district asked parents and guardians to make sure their contact info was up to date, or to monitor the district website and social media accounts for updates.

Sierra Vista Unified School District

On Friday, Sierra Vista Unified School District announced it intends to keep schools closed on Monday, April 30. The district says schools will reopen when administration can verify enough sufficient supervision in all schools for safe operations, or when the state walkout ends.

Education Funding in Arizona
Stories on the statewide debate over teacher pay and education funding. Read more coverage here.
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona