AJUSD Discusses #RedForEd Walk-Out

By Sally Marks

In anticipation of a potential educator walk-out, the Apache Junction Unified School District prepared this FAQ. Further questions should be directed to  Sally Marks, public relations director, at smarks@goaj.org.

  • I’ve heard talk that teachers may not show up to work and the school may close. Is that true?

Yes. Teachers and staff voted last week, along with educators all over the state, to begin a walkout on Thursday, April 26. If we don’t have a sufficient number of teachers and support staff to meet state laws, the schools will close that day.

  • How will I find out if there will be a closure?

Parents and staff are being contacted via email and by phone, and letters are being sent home with students. Updates are being posted on the district website, www.ajusd.org and also on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/ajusd43/

  • If a school is closed, will the school year be extended?

Yes. According to state laws and current policies, any day that a school is closed will have to be made up.

  • Will school closures affect graduation dates?

A closure will not affect the date of the graduation ceremonies.

  • If a school is closed, will athletic practices or games be canceled?

Lower level high school and middle school athletics will be canceled. Varsity athletics will continue as long as a coach is available for the sport.

  • If a school is closed, will school field trips take place as scheduled?

No. If schools are closed, school field trips will be canceled.

  • Will the cafeteria be open for the free and reduced lunch program?

If there is a work stoppage, the school, including the cafeteria, will be closed.

  • Will there be any arrangements for students who rely on meals from the free and reduced lunch program?

If we have a confirmed work stoppage, students/parents can pick up food boxes from their school office. Also, the Apache Junction Food Bank, 575 N. Idaho Road may be able to help. Call 480-983-2995 for information.

  • Will childcare be available?

No. The before and after school program will be closed.

  • Will the buses run if school is closed?

No.

  • If a school doesn’t close, but has limited staff, will bus transportation to and from school still be provided?

If schools are open, transportation will continue to be provided.

  • If school is open with limited staff and I send my child, what can I expect will happen that day?

The top priority will be the safety and security of the campus. There may be limited academic instruction and support services. Lunch and breakfast services may be adjusted.

  • If a school is closed for more than one day, how often will I receive communication?

You can expect daily communication during a school closure.

  • If my child’s school is closed, do I have to call him/her out sick?

If school is closed, you are not required to call a child out as sick. Students will not be marked absent.

  • If my child’s school is open, but there is limited staff, should I be concerned?

We will only open schools if we have adequate staff to address the safety of students. It will count as a school day. As indicated above, however, instruction may be impacted, as well as other services.

  • What support will the district offer to our families?

If a work stoppage occurs, and we do not have an adequate number of staff to hold school, the only way to ensure the safety and well-being of our students is to close our schools. We notified families of the possibility of a walk out and we have asked parents to make a plan for alternate arrangements for their children if a walk out occurs. The district will not have staff to provide any services at the school site.

  • Why is this happening? What is #RedForEd or Arizona Educators United?

Thousands of teachers and education staff formed a group called #RedForEd or Arizona Educators United. This group is working to bring attention to the issue of low public education funding in Arizona.

  • Why is AJUSD letting this happen?

This movement is statewide and beyond. It is not limited to AJUSD. Honoring our staff and continuing to educate our students to their fullest potential continues to be our focus.

We appreciate your understanding and patience during this time.

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