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CVUSD school board reveals details on how it will operate amid COVID-19 closures

The Chino Valley Unified School District. (Review, file)

The Chino Valley Unified School District. (Review, file)

The world is right in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic and the Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) governing board ironed out details on how it will continue to operate during the closure of all Arizona schools for the rest of the year at its board meeting on April 7.

This was the first time the board had met since its emergency meeting on Sunday, March 15, which was to decide whether or not to suspend all school-related activities. Now that the 2019-20 school has been canceled, CVUSD superintendent John Scholl and assistant superintendent Cindy Daniels did much of the talking at the meeting and filled board members in on how the school closure affect the district and its events and operations.

Scholl opened the meeting by announcing that the Yavapai Education Foundation canceled the Yavapai County Teacher of the Year Awards banquet but chose to honor each of the 12 finalists for Co-Teacher of the Year. Among those 12 winners was Leanne Wellert, who is a math teacher and instructional coach at Heritage Middle School in Chino Valley.

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In this undated file photo, Chino Valley Unified School District Superintendent John Scholl works at his desk at the district office. The school board revealed April 7 how it plans to handle school closures amid COVID-19 pandemic. (Jason Wheeler/Review, file)

On another good note, Scholl said the district, which is partnered with Sodexo, will be providing breakfast and lunch to children in the community — not just to CVUSD students— under the age of 18 for the weekends as well. Meals will be giving out on Monday and Wednesdays at Territorial Elementary School from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., which now enables families to only have to go out twice a week and pick up meals that will last seven days.

Most notably, Scholl brought to the light the district’s recent influx of “emotionally disabled” students and said he is looking to launch an Emotionally Disabled (ED) Program at Heritage Middle School.

The program is already in place at Territorial and Del Rio and is designed to provide a higher level of service to those students, including therapy emotionally counseling by specially trained staff.

The program would target students who struggle to function in a regular classroom setting, which in turn, puts the other students at rick. Scholl and Daniels both expressed that the goal would be for the ED program to help those emotionally disabled students control their behavior so that they can ultimately be placed back in a regular classroom setting without being a disruption. The board approved the motion as all members were in favor.

Lastly, Scholl announced that CVUSD made the decision to not hire any hourly staff position until next year but will hire teachers under contract right now for the next school year with an estimated 25 openings. However, if a new staff member already committed to a start date, the district will honor that whether they are working or not.

The board’s next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 5 unless an emergency meeting will need to take place before then considering the evolving situation with the coronavirus pandemic.

Aaron Valdez is a reporter for Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter at @Valaaron_94. Email avaldez@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2031.

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