I realize the school district is currently designing its version of a safe learning environment for our children. As a former Fountain Hills teacher, I hope you will postpone in-person classes until October. Districts require time to plan for many variables in order to keep students, staff and families safe. Most importantly, our state needs time to flatten the curve from its current hot zone status.

We face a few major problems I can foresee. For example, the high school just this week lost one teacher to early retirement for COVID health reasons. How many more will leave rather than face COVID? Who will fill those positions with the current teacher shortage? Where will subs come from if a teacher is sick? (Most subs are retired teachers who fall into the danger zone.)

Additionally, Fountain Hills has a new superintendent as well as new principals at the high school and the middle school. They face many as yet unimagined bumps in the road as they attempt to learn our system, our staffs, our students and our parents.

Online learning will give administrators time to set up schools safely, as well as learn from mistakes other districts will make.

Our focus at this point might be to seek out stay-at-home parents willing to monitor small groups of elementary kids whose parents work and help those students with online education. Another task would be to make sure every student has a laptop and Internet service. Perhaps COVID funding could be used for this.

I urge our district to play it safe.