Daily schools update: Students return to classes as COVID spikes

Updated Jan. 3, 2022: Students returned to classes today after Winter Break as the number of reported COVID-19 cases jumped to an all-time high in Arizona.

That led some school districts including Kyrene and Alhambra to require students and staff to wear masks as well as maintain social distance whenever possible.

That rapid spread of COVID-19 happening now could lead for some challenges for schools this month, a Phoenix doctor says.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to

1,404,601 in Arizona, up from 1,390,409 yesterday, and 24,355 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved boosters for teens 12- to 15-years old today as the omicron variant of COVID-19 surged across the nation after the holidays.

In Maricopa County there are 887,308 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 175,748 in Pima County90,389 in Pinal County45,048 in Yuma County39,535 in Mohave County36,729 in Yavapai County28,731 in Coconino County27,355 in Navajo County20,277 in Cochise County16,392 in Apache County10,596 in Santa Cruz County12,325 in Gila County8,989 in Graham County3,679 in La Paz County and 1,499 in Greenlee County.

Dysart Schools welcomed students back from Winter Break.

See how local chefs are helping schools encourage students eat healthier.

Ganado Unified School District had a snow day today due to anticipated low temperatures in the morning and back roads that are extremely muddy and Tuesday and Wednesday students will be released from classes early to get them home before the mud thaws.

Peoria Unified welcomed seniors back for their last semester with a sunrise activity.

Kyrene Schools honors their governing board members during National School Board Recognition Month.

Phoenix Union High School District is happy to have students back in classes this semester.

Marana Unified congratulated sinners of its energy saving drawing.

Updated Dec. 29, 2021: Students at one Tolleson Union High School District campus talk about what it’s been like learning and dealing with challenges during the pandemic as well as share their hopes for the future in an article in The Arizona Republic.

High school students in the Verde Valley train to become firefighters.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey plans to deliver his final State of the State address outlining his budget priorities in person on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 at the Arizona House of Representatives on the opening Day of the Arizona Legislature.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to

1,368,080 in Arizona, up from 1,364,669 yesterday, and 24,171 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

In Maricopa County there are 862,457 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 171,383 in Pima County88,354 in Pinal County44,176 in Yuma County38,716 in Mohave County36,081 in Yavapai County27,568 in Coconino County26,761 in Navajo County19,9091 in Cochise County16,127 in Apache County10,385 in Santa Cruz County12,126 in Gila County8,943 in Graham County3,618 in La Paz County and 1,476 in Greenlee County.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has shortened the recommended COVID-19 isolation time from 10 days to 5 days for people without symptoms.

See how a grant is helping Avondale Elementary School District provide students enrichment and learning experiences after school is out for the day in this podcast.

See what family members can do at home to help children develop their fine motor skills.

ALL in Education is expanding the Parent Educator Academy to more schools with support from the Arizona Department of Education.

Find out more about career training programs at the East Valley Institute of Technology.

See how some students at Zuni Hills Elementary celebrated before Winter Break.

Yuma Elementary School District students received new coats from United Way Yuma before Winter Break.

See some ways students can connect environmental science research with individual actions, getting outdoors into nature and share their research with the community so they can take action too.

See how a football coach helped students work together to achieve their goals after the pandemic sidelined their season the year before.

Learn more about North High School student Elizabeth Pham and Phoenix Union High School District in the district’s magazine.

It’s time to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for college and career training after high school.

Florence Unified thanks the Coolidge-Florence Elks Lodge for helping students and their families celebrate the holidays.

Updated Dec. 28, 2021: Teachers and administrators at many Arizona schools are covering other classes during their prep periods or breaks when other teachers are out due to the shortage of teachers and substitute teachers.

Parents can help children and teens deal with stress over winter break by planning ways to connect and raise their spirits and keeping academic concerns in perspective.

Phoenix Union High School shared the graduation schedule for its seniors.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to

1,364,669 in Arizona, up from 1,362,695 yesterday, and 24,144 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

In Maricopa County there are 860,428 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 170,831 in Pima County88,173 in Pinal County44,127 in Yuma County38,576 in Mohave County35,946 in Yavapai County27,472 in Coconino County26,690 in Navajo County19,881 in Cochise County16,090 in Apache County10,369 in Santa Cruz County12,074 in Gila County8,939 in Graham County3,608 in La Paz County and 1,465 in Greenlee County.

Alhambra Elementary School District thanks generous donors who brought joy to students over the holidays.

How schools are adapting to all students having a laptop in the classroom.

Creighton School District shares how loving each child enhances connection and learning.

See how Arizona schools are using federal grants to replace diesel school buses with buses powered by other energy sources.

Apply now for the Arizona Teacher Residency program that prepares recent college graduates and mid-career professionals to become effective classroom teachers,

Learn more about the career preparation that Pima JTED offers students.

Washington Elementary School District celebrates Sunitha Sivakumar, a Sahuaro Elementary literacy lab paraprofessional for all she does for students.

Roosevelt School District honors Spelling Bee winners.

Schools across the country are working to diversify their teachers and principals to let students see leaders like them.

Learn more about snow and science at Arizona Science Center.

See why getting all students to talk in class is so important.

Updated Dec. 27, 2021: Arizona State University student Tierra Hopkins leads free workout sessions at local parks and asks participants to bring an item to donate to people without homes.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper ruled that a referendum that would let voters decide whether Arizona’s large tax cuts should become law will remain on the 2022 ballot, but critics said they’re appealing the decision to the state Supreme Court.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to

1,362,695 in Arizona, up from 1,355,052 yesterday, and 23,982 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

In Maricopa County there are 859,062 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 170,703 in Pima County87,931 in Pinal County44,105 in Yuma County38,519 in Mohave County35,891 in Yavapai County27,453 in Coconino County26,655 in Navajo County27,453 in Cochise County16,070 in Apache County10,359 in Santa Cruz County12,075 in Gila County8,936 in Graham County3,603 in La Paz County and 1,462 in Greenlee County.

Students in Madison Elementary School District’s Native American Program learn to Hoop Dance.

New COVID-19 policies could affect the Fiesta Bowl.

Students receive gifts in class from their teacher, his friends and family, and their gratitude and excitement is contagious.

Arizona has some of the lowest levels of prenatal care in the U.S.

Peoria Unified School District reminds you there’s still time to donate to your local schools and receive a tax credit for this year.

Marana Unified students can find a free, nutritious meal at Marana Cares Mobile stops during Winter Break.

Some Flagstaff Unified students are thankful for some generous holiday gifts.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona introduces Innovat(Ed)

Tempe Elementary shares info about and upcoming registration event.

Dysart Schools shares more info about their career and technical education programs and open enrollment.

Tucson high Magnet School students learn choreography from a Hamilton musical cast member.

West Point High School shares photos from it’s holiday concert.

Learn more about students and what’s happening on campus in Phoenix Union’s magazine.

Chandler CARE Center thanks the community for it’s generosity in providing gifts and hope for community members.

The Arizona Dept of Education reminds you its time to apply for grants.

Mesa Public Schools reminds you there’s always someone you can talk to about what you’re experiencing.

See what Arizona child care providers are doing to retain staff and fill open positions.

Updated Dec. 21, 2021: Madison Elementary School District in Phoenix says it will use a new COVID-19 quarantine option is tested earlier this month with Maricopa County Public Health.

Parents are concerned about how to keep their children safe at school as confirmed COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant increase, The Associated Press reports.

A Phoenix mom of a son with Down’s syndrome who is at greater risk of complications from COVID-19 talks about what it has been like for her family since the pandemic began.

See what President Joe Biden said today about steps being taken to deal with the omicron variant of COVID-19.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to

1,341,377 in Arizona, up from 1,338,982 yesterday, and 23,742 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

In Maricopa County there are 844,498 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 168,481 in Pima County86,472 in Pinal County43,718 in Yuma County38,046 in Mohave County35,470 in Yavapai County26,808 in Coconino County26,309 in Navajo County19,599 in Cochise County15,924 in Apache County10,288 in Santa Cruz County11,886 in Gila County8,871 in Graham County3,566 in La Paz County and 1,441 in Greenlee County.

When a student lost his parents, students and school staff came together to ensure he and his siblings knew their school cares.

The Arizona Dept. of Education reminds Arizonans of ways to connect with resources they need.

U.S. News & World Report shares what parents and students should expect in art schools.

Looking for something to do with your children over winter break, consider the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

Tempe Elementary students share some of their projects.

Learn more about the AZ Promise Program to help provide financial aid for low-income students for their college tuition at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and University of Arizona from the Arizona Board of Regents.

Glendale Elementary School District students share their holiday houses.

The New Jersey Legislature approved a bill that would require public schools to teach Asian American history, NBC News reports.

Updated Dec. 20, 2021: Chandler High School will offer students new elective African American and Mexican American history classes that were proposed by teachers at the school where half of students identify as Black or Latino.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to

1,338,982 in Arizona, up from 1,336,806 yesterday, and 23,519 people in Arizona have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

In Maricopa County there are 842,993 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 168,138 in Pima County86,345 in Pinal County43,694 in Yuma County37,919 in Mohave County35,384 in Yavapai County26,750 in Coconino County26,248 in Navajo County19,564 in Cochise County15,922 in Apache County10,270 in Santa Cruz County11,879 in Gila County8,867 in Graham County3,566 in La Paz County and 1,443 in Greenlee County.

Coconino High School‘s CocoNuts Robotics Team returns to in-person competitions this year.

Let a teacher know how much they mean to you.

Chinle Unified School District Supt. Quincy Natay named a finalist for National Superintendent of the Year.

Does judging students’ science projects sound like fun? Then sign up here.

Madison Elementary School District celebrates cafeteria manager Katie Effa for all she does for students.

Las Sendas Elementary students donated more than 855 books to students at Keller Elementary.

Arizona State University students engineered microalgae to bind arsenic in water, something that could help reduce the contaminant in drinking water in communities in Arizona and around the world.

Willow Canyon High School students share their talents during Winter concerts.

Orcutt Winslow and Chasse thanked Sundance Elementary School staff for all they do for students.

Students, consider taking part in the anti-bullying art contest.

Earlier coverage:

Nov. 23, 2021 – Dec. 17, 2021: Daily schools update: Tolleson Union uses grant to launch Uber-like ride share service for students

Nov. 9, 2021 – Nov. 22, 2021: Daily schools update: Education Advocates get Tax Referendum on 2022 Ballot

Oct. 27, 2021 – Nov. 8, 2021: Daily schools update: Mesa Mother Relieved to get her Young Child Vaccinated

Oct. 12- Oct. 25, 2021Daily schools update: Supply chain issues cause problems for Arizona school cafeterias

Sept. 27 – Oct. 11, 2021Daily Schools Update: How will children becoming eligible for COVID-19 vaccine change schools’ prevention measures?

Sept. 14 – Sept. 27, 2021Daily schools update: Students decision to mask up may have stopped a classroom COVID-19 outbreak

Aug. 24 to Sept. 1, 2021: Daily schools update: COVID-19 outbreaks rise among students in Maricopa County

Aug. 17 to Aug. 23, 2021: Daily schools update: FDA approves Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

Aug. 3 to Aug. 16, 2021: Daily schools update: Arizona school mask mandates receive presidential praise

July 19 to Aug. 2, 2021Daily schools update: Teens struggle with mental health as school starts

June 20 to July 14, 2021Daily schools update: Arizona lawmakers ban mask requirements in schools

June 14 to June 17, 2021Tempe Union’s board approves comprehensive mental health policy

June 1 to June 11, 2021It’s time to get students enrolled in school for fall & ready for in-person classes

May 17 to May 28, 2021A year after George Floyd’s murder, a look at empathy, equity, what’s changed & what hasn’t

May 10 to May 14, 2021Students ready for graduation ceremonies

May 4 to May 6, 2021Amendment to bill would prohibit teachers from discussing controversial policy & social issues not essential to learning objectives

April 28 to May 3, 2021Thank a teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week for all they do for students

April 21 to April 27, 2021: 3 years after Red for Ed there’s much left to do

April 12 to April 20, 2021: How & why teachers discuss trial with students; Schools keep masks after Gov. rescinds mandate

March 29 to April 9, 2021Children, young teens may be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine before next school year

March 15 to March 26Masks are still required in all schools; Video: Dr. Christ’s news conference today

Feb. 24 to March 11, 2021: COVID-19 aid funds will help AZ students, families & schools

Feb. 11 to Feb. 23U.S. Dept of Ed: Students must take standardized tests, but there’s flexiblity on when & how

Feb. 2 to Feb. 9Video: Supt. Hoffman gives State of Special Education address

Jan. 21 to Feb. 1Black History Mural Month Project to highlight pioneers of the Black community launches in Phoenix

Jan. 10 – Jan 20How students engage with Inauguration Day

Dec. 21, 2020 to Jan 8, 2021Teachers help students deal with attacks on Congress, Capitol

Nov. 30 – Dec. 16Watch it now: Dr. Christ asks people to avoid holiday gatherings with people they do not live with

Nov. 18 – 25COVID-19 cases rise before Thanksgiving adding to school and hospital leaders’ concerns

Nov. 16: More schools return to online learning as COVID-19 cases rise

Nov. 2 – 13: $19 M grant would help schools with teacher development, stipends, reading & math curriculum, summer ed resources and more

Oct. 20 to Oct. 30: AZDHS amends COVID-19 school benchmarks

Oct. 7 – Oct. 19What are teachers doing ahead of elections to support students afterwards

Aug. 25 – Sept. 8: Parents voice concern about online class size; school nurses prepare for students

Aug. 12 – Aug. 24: Students, teachers affected by Zoom outage

July 30 – Aug. 11Parent organizes co-op for learners; group rallies for in-person school days after benchmarks release

July 13- July 30: Teachers prepare for digital learning and back to school

June 29 – July 12Video: Gov. says ‘Goal is to get children back to school when it’s safe;’ Schools lay out learning models

June 29: Video: Gov. delays in-person classes to Aug. 17 due to rise in COVID-19

June 15 – June 29: Video: Gov. pauses re-opening of some businesses as COVID-19 cases rise

June 24: Plan provides more funding, flexible instruction as schools re-open

May 26 – June 12: Increase in COVID-19 cases marks a new daily high

May 20 – 25: AZ Dept. of Ed releases COVID-19 guidance to schools for summer programs, back to school

May 11 – 19: Arizonans consider workplace safety, what back to school will look like amid COVID-19

April 26 – May 10: Stores re-open, COVID-19 testing blitz resumes on Saturday

April 8 – 25You can get tested now if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19

March 12 – April 7, 2020Coronavirus response: Cases rise; AZ Day of Giving