Originally Published: April 25, 2018 5:55 a.m.
Tri-City charter schools are supporting the Arizona Educators United #RedForEd movement’s call for adequate educational funding and an equitable salary schedule, but only two of 15 schools reached for comment Tuesday said they will close for the walkout.
Two will alter their schedule with delays and early releases; two did not return messages for comment.
One high school administrator, Tri-City Prep Superintendent Mary Ellen Halvorson said, “We’re business as usual.”
Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy in Prescott — a ninth through 12th grade school — will be closed on both Thursday and Friday. Skyview School in Prescott — a kindergarten through eighth grade school - will close on Thursday with Friday a regular no-school day. Officials said they will reassess plans if the strike continues into the next week.
Acorn Montessori in Prescott Valley:
Two-hour delay on Thursday, April 26 and early release on Friday.
Arizona Agribusiness & Equine Center in Prescott Valley: Open.
BASIS in Prescott – Open.
Canyon View/Parkview Middle School in Prescott Valley – Open.
Franklin Phonetic in Prescott Valley – Open.
La Tierra Community School – Open
PACE Academy in Prescott Valley –
Message not returned
Mingus Springs Academy in Chino Valley – Message not returned.
Paulden Community School in Paulden – Open.
Mountain Oak Charter School in Prescott – Open.
Prescott Valley Charter School in Prescott Valley – A two-hour delay on Thursday.
Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy – Closed Thursday and Friday.
Skyview School – Closed on Thursday
Tri-City Prep in Prescott – open
Willow Creek Charter School – open.
Prescott Valley Charter School and Acorn Montessori in Prescott Valley will have two-hour delays on Thursday, with Acorn Montessori also planning an early release on Friday.
La Tierra Community School in Prescott will remain open, but two of the teachers do intend to participate in the walkout. Principal Lenka Studnicka said the 120-student elementary school has a number of single parents. Their 14 teachers felt an obligation to do what they could to both support the cause while still providing consistency for their students; two have opted to participate in the walkout with the backing of their colleagues and administrators, she said.
For her part, Studnicka said she intends to be writing letters to legislators to advocate for the critical changes that are needed when it comes to adequate resources for all public schools and educators. She described her school as a community “village” committed to doing all it can for its children.
Acorn Montessori Director Cynthia Johnson also sent a letter to parents about the decision reached after hours of discussion with staff and administrators for both of its campuses. Acorn Montessori offers instruction to preschoolers through eighth grade.
The option they agreed to honors teachers’ wishes to participate in the movement while still allowing them to meet required classroom minutes and avoid adding extra days onto the school year, Johnson said.
“Instead of a walkout, we will be doing a “Walk About” at the courthouse (plaza),” Johnson said. “We believe that this will still bring attention to the dire funding issues in Arizona and support our teachers, while still providing school for our students.”
Canyon View Preparatory and Parkview Middle School Principal Sean Anderson in Prescott Valley said his 12 teachers voted to stay open to “support their students and families.”
Even though all of the teachers endorse the effort to convince lawmakers to funnel more money toward public education, Anderson said they felt just as strongly that they have an obligation to their students’ classroom education. He said his teachers will do their advocacy work in other ways.
Mountain Oak Charter School in Prescott took a similar position. Staff there said the school will remain open, with teachers encouraged to wear red and participate in other #RedForEd activities.