• Masking Update Thursday, March 31, 2022

    We thank you for your trust and support. Your dedication to our students and one another has embodied this year’s theme - Love & Learning

    Thankfully, the community spread in PXU's 32 zip codes continues to drop. Therefore, beginning on Monday, April 4, Phoenix Union will recommend, and no longer require that staff, students, and visitors wear a mask while indoors in the presence of others. This decision aligns with current federal, state, and local guidance and follows our commitment to utilizing science while implementing other mitigation strategies, such as air purification, sanitization, etc. Masks will still be accessible and welcomed on our campuses, and we ask our staff to support each person's decision to wear or not wear a mask. 

    In addition to our mask protocol update, we will no longer limit capacity for in-person community events and school gatherings. Virtual meetings are still encouraged as an alternative for District-wide or large campus meetings.

    Although transmission rates in our community are steadily falling, the Ba.2 Omicron Variant is spreading quickly in Europe, and health officials believe another wave may come to the U.S.A. soon. Although this variant appears less severe, it is more easily transmissible. We will continue to monitor the spread of the virus in the zip codes we serve and adjust our mitigation protocols, including masking and capacity limits, as data shifts. 

    Our commitment to our students’, staff, and families' collective health, safety, and well-being goes well beyond our masking protocols. We know that vaccines continue to be the best way to mitigate the spread of the virus. We will continue to provide vaccination clinics on the first Saturday of April, May, and June at Metro Tech High School. Please visit www.PXU.org/BeHealthy for a list of other events.

    We acknowledge and honor that some of our staff and students have health concerns. For students, we will work with our ESS team to identify needs on an individual basis and provide accommodations through IEPs and 504 plans as needed. As always, continue to self-monitor at home, and if you feel sick, please stay home and consult your physician.

    Thank you for your support and partnership as we navigate the pandemic together. Please reply to this email if you have any questions.

  • Masking Update Thursday, March 24, 2022

    PXU Family,

    Thank you for your ongoing trust and support as we work together to keep our community safe. We remain as dedicated today to our collective health as we were in March 2020 when COVID first reached our neighborhoods.

    For nearly two years, we have made very clear commitments to you, our staff, students, and families. First is that the health, safety, and wellness of our entire PXU family will always be our top priority. The second is that we will trust the science and follow the guidelines of health experts. The third is that we will continue to commit to data, not dates.

    Recently, national, state, and county health officials have changed their masking recommendations. Specifically, the new guidelines state that when spread in our community is no longer high or red, masks can be recommended, not required. For most of the pandemic, the 32 zip codes in our boundaries have been in high spread. This week, over 80% of our zip codes are no longer in high spread.

    If the trend continues, we will change our masking protocol, effective Monday, April 4th. Beginning that week, masks would no longer be required but would still be recommended.

    We will continue to monitor the spread of COVID in our zip codes. Our masking requirement would likely remain in place if the spread returns to high. Please expect a new update at the end of next week.

    Thank you for your commitment to our students, families, and one another. 

  • PXU to Require Vaccines or Weekly Testing For Sports and Activities

    September 30, 2021

    The Phoenix Union High School District (PXU) will require staff and students who participate in sports and select extra-curricular activities to be vaccinated or test weekly for COVID-19. Coaches, staff, volunteers, and students can either show proof of vaccination by Monday, November 1, or commit to weekly testing to participate.  The vaccine and tests are free of charge, and are offered on all PXU campuses.  Individuals who choose to get vaccinated at a later date will no longer have to test weekly once they present their completed vaccination card.

    “PXU’s promise to prioritize the health and safety of our staff, students, and families is unchanged,” Superintendent Dr. Chad Gestson said. “We remain fully committed to what we call the Uninterrupted A’s: academics, athletics, arts, and activities.  Requiring participants to be vaccinated or test weekly will help avoid COVID-shortened seasons and reduce spread during in-person learning when students return from their practices and competitions.”

    A comprehensive list of impacted programs is forthcoming; all Winter sports are subject to this requirement. Criteria and implementation guidelines will be released soon.

    Phoenix Union led the way with universal indoor masking as an essential mitigation strategy to combat the pandemic.  In partnership with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and Albertsons Pharmacy, the District has also been a leader in vaccine distribution, hosting clinics at every campus since January. 

    The District’s Vax to the Max campaign incentivizes staff and students who are fully vaccinated. Students and staff who receive both doses by November 1 are eligible for a financial incentive. Students receive a $100 gift card, and staff will receive $200 on a December paycheck.

    Phoenix Union’s commitment to the health and wellness of our schools and broader community extends to include free access to COVID testing.  Partnering with Premier Lab Solutions, PXU offers free on-site and at-home testing for students, staff, and families at all schools throughout the week. 

    Please visit www.PXU.org/BeHealthy for more details about our mitigation efforts, including testing, community vaccination clinics, and our Vax to the Max challenge.

    PXU Requerirá Vacunas o Pruebas De COVID Semanales Para Clubes y Deportes

    30 de septiembre, 2021

    Phoenix Union High School District (PXU) requerirá que los alumnos y personal que participan en deportes y algunas actividades extracurriculares se vacunen contra COVID-19 o se hagan pruebas semanalmente. Los entrenadores, el personal y los estudiantes pueden presentar su comprobante de vacunación para el 1 de noviembre o comprometerse a hacerse la prueba semanalmente. Todos los planteles de PXU ofrecen vacunas y pruebas sin costo. Las personas que elijan vacunarse en una fecha posterior ya no necesitarán hacerse la prueba una vez que demuestren que están completamente vacunados, presentando su tarjeta de vacunación.

    “La promesa de priorizar la salud y seguridad de nuestro personal, alumnos y familias, no ha cambiado”, dijo el Superintendente, Dr. Chad Gestson. “Seguimos comprometidos a no interrumpir el aprendizaje, los deportes, las artes y los clubes. El requerir que los participantes se vacunen o se hagan la prueba semanalmente, ayudará a prevenir el acortamiento de temporadas debido al COVID y reducirá la propagación en las clases presenciales cuando los alumnos regresan de sus prácticas y competencias”. 

    Pronto compartiremos una lista de los programas impactados, los criterios y las guías de implementación; todos los deportes de invierno son parte de este requisito.

    Phoenix Union fue el primero en requerir el uso de cubrebocas adentro de los edificios como una medida preventiva esencial para combatir la pandemia. En colaboración con el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Maricopa y la farmacia Albertsons, el Distrito también ha sido líder en la distribución de vacunas a través de nuestras clínicas escolares desde el mes de enero. 

    La campaña de Vax to the Max del Distrito da incentivos a los alumnos y personal que están completamente vacunados. Los estudiantes y empleados que reciban ambas dosis para el 1 de noviembre, califican para un incentivo financiero. Los alumnos reciben una tarjeta de regalo de $100 dólares y los empleados recibirán $200 dólares en su nómina de pago del mes de diciembre.

    El compromiso de Phoenix Union hacia la salud y bienestar de nuestras escuelas y la comunidad incluye pruebas de COVID gratis. Junto con Premier Lab Solutions, ofrecen pruebas en la escuela y para el hogar a todos nuestros estudiantes, familias y personal en todas las preparatorias, a lo largo de la semana.

    Para más detalles sobre nuestros esfuerzos de prevención, incluyendo las pruebas, las clínicas de vacunación comunitarias y nuestro reto de Vax to the Max, por favor visite www.PXU.org/Salud.


Previous PXU Announcements

  • PXU's Response to Maricopa County Superior Court's Ruling

    August 16, 2021

    Phoenix Union is grateful for the Maricopa County Superior Court’s ruling. We remain fully committed to creating the safest in-person learning environment possible. Today’s decision is much larger than PXU – it has the potential to impact the 1.1 million students who call Arizona’s public schools home, as well as their families and the broader community. This decision will allow districts across the state to continue to prioritize the health, safety, and wellness of their staff, students, and families.

    The science is clear – the two most effective ways to minimize the spread of COVID-19 are the vaccine and universal masking while indoors. We will continue to provide full access to the COVID vaccine on a rotational basis on our campuses weekly. Additionally, every Saturday in August, including this Saturday (8/21), we invite anyone 12 years of age and older seeking the Pfizer vaccine to attend our vaccination events at Metro Tech High School from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.  A limited number of Johnson & Johnson will also be available for those 18 and older. Please visit www.PXU.org/BeHealthy for more details.

     Phoenix Union agradece el fallo del Tribunal Superior del Condado de Maricopa. Seguimos comprometidos a crear el ambiente más seguro que podamos, para ofrecer clases en persona. La decisión de hoy es mucho más importante que PXU – tiene el potencial de impactar a los 1.1 millones de estudiantes que miran a las escuelas públicas de Arizona como un hogar, así como a sus familias y su comunidad. Esta decisión permitirá que los distritos de todo el estado continúen priorizando la salud, la seguridad y el bienestar de su personal, estudiantes y familias. 

    La ciencia es clara – las dos maneras más efectivas de mitigar la propagación del COVID-19 son la vacuna y el uso universal de cubrebocas en el interior. Seguiremos brindando acceso a la vacuna de COVID en nuestras escuelas cada semana, en un horario rotativo. Además, invitamos a cualquier persona mayor de 12 años que guste ponerse la vacuna Pfizer, a que asista a nuestros eventos de vacunación en la preparatoria Metro Tech cada sábado de agosto de 9:00 am a 5:00 pm, incluyendo mañana (14/8). También contamos con un número limitado de vacunas Johnson & Johnson para adultos mayores de 18 años. Para más detalles, por favor visite www.PXU.org/Salud.


  • PXU Announces Mask Requirement, Reiterates Commitment to Public Health, Public Education, and the Safe Return to In-Person Learning

    July 30, 2021

    The Phoenix Union High School District (PXU) remains steadfast in our commitment to the health and safety of the staff, students, and communities we serve. We teach and trust science, follow guidelines and recommendations from health experts, and use health data to drive our decisions.  The science is clear that the best way to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 and known variants is to get vaccinated.  We have and will continue to play a leading role in public health and provide widespread access to the vaccine. We are hosting vaccination Points of Dispensing (PODs) at eight locations today and tomorrow, July 30 and 31, for anyone 12 years of age and older. Please visit www.PXU.org/BeHealthy for information. 

    We are committed to quality public education and fully recognize the need for in-person learning. Campus health and safety is our top priority as we return next week. To do so, we must – and will – implement mitigation strategies that minimize spread, reduce quarantining, avoid school closures, and enable us to provide mental health services and engaging opportunities such as clubs, sports, and the arts.

    Unfortunately, the Delta variant is quickly spreading. Today, all 32 of our zip codes have high or substantial spread. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Arizona Department of Health and Safety (AZDHS), and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) have all updated their guidelines to include “universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.” (CDC Guidance

    Our current Board-adopted policies still require masks when indoors in the presence of others. However, this past month, we did align our masking practices district-wide with the recently enacted prohibition of mask mandates. Recently, we have heard from our staff, students, and families that they want us to realign our mitigation practices with the guidelines and recommendations of national and local health agencies.

    In an effort to protect our staff, students, and community, PXU has a good faith belief that following guidance from the CDC and other health agencies regarding mitigation strategies is imperative. Therefore, Phoenix Union will begin the school year on August 2 enforcing our existing Board-adopted mask requirement of universal indoor masking only, regardless of vaccination status. This masking requirement is for all staff, students, and visitors. At the August 5 Board meeting, District leadership and Governing Board will discuss mitigation plans, including masking policies, and consider the temporary continuation of the mask requirement until the CDC (and/or other federal, state, and local health agencies) changes their masking guidelines.

    We serve nearly 30,000 beautiful young men and women and over 4,000 employees and must take every precaution necessary to protect the lives of those entrusted to us.  Please continue to visit www.PXU.org for announcements and more information about our mitigation efforts and any upcoming vaccination opportunities.

  • PXU Anuncia que requerirá el uso de Cubrebocas, Reitera su Compromiso a la Salud y Educación Pública y a un Regreso Seguro a Clases en Persona

     30 de julio, 2021

    Phoenix Union High School District (PXU) se mantiene firme en su compromiso a la salud y seguridad del personal, los estudiantes y la comunidad a la que servimos. Enseñamos ciencia y confiamos en ella, seguimos pautas y recomendaciones de expertos en salud y nos basamos en datos de salud al tomar nuestras decisiones. La ciencia es clara en que la mejor manera de protegerse y proteger a su familia de COVID-19 y de las variantes actuales es vacunándose. Hemos y seguiremos desempeñando nuestro papel en la salud pública y brindando acceso a la vacuna. Estamos organizando Puntos de Dispensación de Vacunas en ocho ubicaciones hoy y mañana, 30 y 31 de julio, para cualquier persona mayor de 12 años de edad. Para más información, visite www.PXU.org/Salud.

    Nos hemos comprometido a ofrecer educación pública de calidad y reconocemos plenamente la necesidad del aprendizaje en persona. Nuestra principal prioridad a nuestro regreso a clases es la salud y seguridad en el plantel. Por eso, debemos – e implementaremos – estrategias de mitigación que minimicen la propagación, reduzcan cuarentenas, prevengan el cierre de escuelas y nos permitan brindar servicios de salud mental y oportunidades saludables como clubes, deportes y las artes.

    Desafortunadamente, la variante Delta se está extendiendo rápidamente. Hoy, todos nuestros 32 códigos postales presentan un número de casos alto o sustancial. Los Centros para el Control de Enfermedades (CDC), la Asociación Estadounidense de Pediatría (AAP), el Departamento de Salud y Seguridad de Arizona (AZDHS), y el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Maricopa (MCDPH) han actualizado sus pautas para incluir "el uso de cubrebocas universal en el interior para todos los maestros, personal, estudiantes y visitantes de las escuelas K-12, independientemente del estado de vacunación". (Recomendación de los CDC)

    El mes pasado, modificamos nuestras normas sobre el uso de cubrebocas en todo el distrito en acuerdo con HB2898. Sin embargo, hemos escuchado de nuestro personal, estudiantes y familias que quieren que continuemos alineando nuestras prácticas de mitigación con las recomendaciones de las agencias de salud nacionales y locales.

    Las normas actuales de la Mesa Directiva aún requieren el uso de cubrebocas mientras se esté dentro de nuestros edificios y en la presencia de otros. En nuestro esfuerzo para proteger a nuestros alumnos y personal, PXU confía de buena fe, que es imperativo seguir las recomendaciones y estrategias de mitigación de los CDC y otras agencias de salud. Por lo tanto, Phoenix Union dará inicio al ciclo escolar el 2 de agosto implementando las normas vigentes de la Mesa Directiva sobre el uso de cubrebocas, independientemente del estado de vacunación. El uso de cubrebocas es obligatorio para todo el personal, alumnos y visitantes. En la junta del 5 de agosto de la Mesa Directiva, los líderes del Distrito compartirán planes de mitigación, incluyendo normas sobre el uso de cubrebocas y considerarán requerir el uso de cubrebocas temporalmente hasta que los CDC (y/u otra agencia federal, estatal o local) cambien sus pautas sobre el uso de cubrebocas. 

    Servimos a casi 30,000 jóvenes hermosos y a más de 4,000 empleados y debemos tomar todas las precauciones necesarias para proteger las vidas de los que se nos han confiado. Por favor continúen visitando www.PXU.org para informarse sobre nuevos anuncios y más detalles respecto a nuestros esfuerzos de mitigación y próximas oportunidades de vacunación.