Arizona Department Of Education Launches Ready For School Campaign To Bring Students Back To Public Schools
The Arizona Department of Education has launched a new campaign titled Ready for School AZ to help families enroll their students into public school.
Student enrollment in Arizona public schools has fallen by about 38,000 students compared to the previous school year and more than 40% of those lost students were in preschool and kindergarten, according to Department of Education. The department also saw significant enrollment declines among students from communities of color as well students from tribal nations
The Department of Education is not sure if these students moved to another state or enrolled in a private school, but state Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman thinks many families, especially those with younger learners, choose to keep students home because of COVID-19-related concerns. The department is hoping to bring those students back to public schools and get them excited for the next school year.
"We are really trying to highlight all the benefits and all the amazing enrichment opportunities that our public schools have and hopefully that will generate excitement for families and our students so that they feel that enthusiasm with returning to school for the next school year, Hoffman said.
The department is also considered about the budget deficits that schools may face as a result of the enrollment declines.
The department has launched a new website in English and Spanish as part of the campaign with information on enrollment as well as summer programs and resources for struggling families. It will also be communicating with families directly through phone calls and texts to "rebuild trust" after a difficult school year.
Hoffman also encourages parents and guardians with concerns about COVID-19 to reach out to schools directly about what mitigation plans they have for the upcoming school year.