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Arizona Edition: Parent Communication, Blended Learning Key for Moving Forward, YUHSD Says


Since March, kids in public and private schools have been home due to the pandemic in Arizona. The Governor's new executive order delays reopening schools until Aug. 17th. However, for months now the Yuma Union High School District (YUHSD) has been working to answer two questions.  

How do we [YUHSD] get back to school in a safe environment for all students and staff? And how do we approach teaching and learning and the delivery of instruction in a really rich method?  


In this episode of Arizona Edition, KAWC's Lou Gum speaks with the Superintendent and the Director of Education Technologies for YUHSD.  

"It is going to take everybody to provide a clean safe environment for any kind of in-person type of education," said Superintendent Gina Thompson. “That is why custodial staff, teachers, and all district employees have come together to make cleanliness a joint approach,” she explains on Arizona Edition.  

Thompson says the district is working with the county health district for guidance to reopen the classroom. Parent communication has played an active role, providing the district with key information through surveys.  


"They have asked some really rich and great questions and I think a really critical part is listening and understanding that public schools have a lot of moving parts. What works for one family and one situation, doesn't necessarily work for everyone, " Superintendent Thompson said.  


Teachers in the district have been able to learn more about distance learning through Arizona State University. The college offered a blended learning technique for educators to use in their classrooms. Educators are also getting familiar with AVID digital learning. 


"We are hoping for people to have a mixed approach where you can also get learning from home," said Melissa Ellegood, District Director of Education Technologies. 

Lou grew up in Tucson and has a long family history in the state of Arizona. He began his public radio career in 1988 at KNAU in Flagstaff as a classical music DJ and has been hooked on public radio since, transitioning to news after trying his hand at several other careers in publishing and commercial broadcasting. Lou has a degree in American Studies from Arizona State University and was KAWC's Morning Edition host for two and half years before becoming News and Operations Director.
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