Educators at Central High School in Phoenix hold a "walk-in" protest earlier this month. Arizona teachers announced on April 21 that they will walk out of schools beginning on Thursday, April 26.EXPAND
Educators at Central High School in Phoenix hold a "walk-in" protest earlier this month. Arizona teachers announced on April 21 that they will walk out of schools beginning on Thursday, April 26.
Joseph Flaherty

Update: The Latest on Which Phoenix Area Schools to Be Closed Starting Thursday

By now, it is national news that Arizona teachers plan to strike over low pay and school funding beginning on Thursday, April 26. But the Valley's many school districts have signaled different approaches to the first teacher walkout in Arizona history.

Some school districts plan to close schools on Thursday because they already know that a critical mass of employees are going to participate in the work stoppage. Other school administrations are holding out until later this week before making a decision.

Below, you can see what many of the Valley's school districts have said so far about Thursday's walkout.

Phoenix Union High School District: Closed Thursday and Friday

A district spokesperson, Craig Pletenik, said that Phoenix Union's schools will close on Thursday and Friday, unless the walkout ends unexpectedly on Thursday night.

“What we are hearing is the possibility of a three-day walkout, but at this point all of our communication is planning for Thursday and Friday,” Pletenik told Phoenix New Times.

At three Phoenix Union high school sites — Alhambra, Central, and Cesar Chavez — students can get grab-and-go breakfast and lunch during the walkout, Pletenik said.

Tempe Union High School District: Closed Thursday and Friday

The school district said that schools will be closed on April 26 and 27. "With limited staff, I cannot guarantee a quality educational experience along with ensuring the safety and well-being of students and employees," Superintendent Kenneth Baca said in a letter to parents around noon on Monday.

Gilbert Public Schools: Closed indefinitely starting on Thursday

Superintendent Shane McCord informed families on Monday that Gilbert public schools will close beginning on Thursday and will stay closed until the walkout ends.

“District staff are working with food banks to ensure extra food is delivered to our schools Tuesday and Wednesday for pickup by families,” McCord wrote. “A resource list will be sent out to families and staff with locations where they can get food during school closures.”

Scottsdale Unified School District: Closed indefinitely starting on Thursday

On Monday afternoon, the administration announced that Scottsdale schools will close beginning on Thursday and “for the duration of the walkout.”

“The District has worked closely with our schools and determined we will not have enough staff to guarantee the safe supervision of all students,” a statement said. Childcare will not be available, but meals will be served as certain locations, according to the district’s parent FAQ, with more details on the way.

Mesa Public Schools: Closed indefinitely starting on Thursday

In a letter to families, Superintendent Michael Cowan said that schools will remain closed on Thursday, and will stay closed until the walkout ends.

"Any school days missed due to a closure will be added to the end of the school calendar, beginning Friday, May 25. We will monitor the situation daily and communicate any changes accordingly," Cowan wrote.

Paradise Valley School District: Closed on Thursday

Superintendent James Lee said that Paradise Valley schools will be closed on Thursday and left the door open that they could be closed in the following days, depending on the length of the walkout. Parents can expect daily communications.

"I have said all along that we will not put students and staff in an unsafe situation, and I believe the decision to close school is in the best interest of our students and staff. We will not have adequate staffing and campus security to safely continue school operations; however, we intend to provide breakfast and lunch to students who need this service," Lee said in a statement.

Roosevelt School District: Closed Thursday and Friday

Schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday, but Roosevelt will serve meals to students between 10 and 11 a.m. on both days at over a dozen school sites.

Alhambra School District: Closed on Thursday

In a letter to parents, Superintendent Mark Yslas wrote that schools will be closed on Thursday, but they anticipate schools will resume classes on Friday.

"Because we anticipate a large percentage of staff participating in this walkout, all Alhambra Elementary School
District schools will be closed on Thursday, April 26 for one day," Yslas wrote. "You will need to find alternative daycare plans for Thursday, April 26. At this time, we anticipate staff will return to work and classes will resume on Friday, April 27."

Phoenix Elementary School District: Closed Thursday

Schools will stay open until Thursday, at which time Phoenix Elementary will close all schools because of the walkout. Beginning on Thursday, the district said it will update families every day at 5 p.m. regarding the status of school closures.

Balsz School District: Closed Thursday

Balsz will close on Thursday. Superintendent Jeffrey Smith said in a letter to families, "The Balsz School District appreciates all our teachers and staff do on a day-to-day basis to provide the children we serve with a high-quality education in a safe, supportive environment. We also appreciate the movement that’s going on within the state of Arizona to improve education funding."

The district says it will not be able to provide childcare due to a lack of staffing.

Cartwright School District: Closed Thursday, Friday, and Monday

In a statement, the Cartwright administration called the teacher vote for a walkout "historic."

"In solidarity with our teachers and staff and while keeping our students in mind, we feel that closure of the school district is necessary," the administration wrote. Cartwright schools will be closed on Thursday, Friday, and Monday.

"We are hopeful that school will resume as soon as possible. We will continue to update our staff and parents by using e-mail, auto-dialer, Facebook, our website and Twitter," the statement says.

Deer Valley Unified School District: Closed Thursday

The Deer Valley administration said that it has decided to close schools on Thursday because not enough certified teachers plan to show up. The district said in a notice posted on its website that schools will remain closed until 75 percent of their certified teachers return.

Isaac School District: Closed Thursday and Friday

Isaac will close schools on Thursday and Friday, but breakfast and lunch will be served at several school cafeterias. The administration previously told families, "Isaac School District stands with our teachers."

Wilson School District: Closed Thursday

Wilson schools will be closed on Thursday and possibly Friday: "Classes may resume on Friday, April 27 if we have adequate staff available." The district will serve breakfast and lunch at Wilson Elementary School.

Creighton School District: Closed Thursday and Friday

Creighton schools will definitely be open for the first part of this week, the administration told families, but schools will be closed for the last two days. Breakfast and lunch will be served for students who have a parent or guardian in tow. "We will continue to monitor this statewide movement day-by-day and appreciate your patience and support," Superintendent Donna Lewis said in a statement.

Osborn School District: Closed Thursday and Friday

Unlike many of the other school districts in the Valley, Osborn initially said that it planned to remain open on April 26 if the walkout is a one-day affair. But the day before the strike, the Osborn district updated its website to announce that schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday.

"All school cafeterias will be open from 7:30 - 8:30 for breakfast and 12:00 - 1:00 for lunch," the administration wrote in an FAQ. "However, no transportation to and from school will be provided."

Madison School District: Closed Thursday and Friday

The Madison administration said in a statement that schools will be closed for the last two days of this week. 

"Breakfast and lunch services will be provided to any current Madison student," the district said on its website. "Meals will be served from the Madison Park Commons on Thursday and Friday. Transportation will not be provided."

Glendale Elementary School District: Closed indefinitely starting on Thursday

Glendale schools will close on Thursday, according to district spokesperson Jim Cummings, and will remain closed for the duration of the walkout.

On April 19, Superintendent Joe Quintana told families in a letter, "As a District we support the First Amendment rights of all our employees, and the peaceful and respectful exercise of those rights. We also support greater funding for our schools from the state. Recently our Governing Board approved a statement in support of this effort."

Washington Elementary School District: Closed Thursday

The administration will close schools on Thursday, but breakfast and lunch will be served at all school sites, according to the district's website.

Peoria Unified School District: Closed Thursday and Friday

In a message posted on Monday, Peoria’s administration said that schools will be closed at the end of this week and there will be no transportation to and from schools.

“Our data indicates that a majority of our certified teachers do not plan to report to work this Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27,” the district said on its website. “While the last thing we want to do is close our schools, we cannot support adequate student to staff ratios and will need to close our 42 campuses.”

Peoria’s administration added that they do not know how long the schools will remain closed after Friday.

This is a developing story and will be updated as additional information is available.

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