By Jackson Moran ’21
Earlier today Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced the closures of all public schools for the remainder of the year due to COVID-19.
In an email, Brophy Principal Mr. Bob Ryan stated that he would be meeting with the administration later today to discuss the closures and added that there would be a communication sent out to the whole community before the end of the day.
In the past, these communications have been in the form of emailed letters to the community.
With Governor Ducey’s order, public schools will not be back in session before the end of the spring semester and the school year will not be extended into the summer, meaning any days of school that were lost as a result of COVID-19 will not have to be made up.
According to the statement, the new guidelines come as the Trump Administration and the CDC announced new guidelines for social distancing on March 29th.
These new guidelines extended the suggested period for social distancing campaigns across the nation until at least April 30th.
For Arizona public schools, that means distance learning and other tactics will be used to finish out the school year.
“While this isn’t the outcome any of us wanted, we are grateful for the partnership of schools around the state, who have stepped up to offer virtual and take-home learning opportunities for our students,” the Governor’s statement read.
Mr. Ryan echoed this sentiment in reference to how Brophy would be handling this news and how they will be looking to go forth from here.
“Of course, we all want to return to school as soon as possible but our priority remains the health and safety of our community,” he wrote.
Brophy has not yet released any official statement regarding whether or not the school is to be closed, but in an earlier statement released on March 27th, Mr. Ryan stated that the initial plan was to put out a statement on April 9th.
This statement was to address whether or not Brophy would reopen on April 20th, however, with the governor’s statement and the new federal guidelines it waits to be seen how the school administration will change this and how their plans will adapt.
Update: 2:45 p.m. March 30th
Governor Doug Ducey has issued an executive order, effective at 5 p.m. on March 31st, which calls for and lays out a stay at home order for all Arizonans.
Under the order, only essential activities may be done outside of the home during what the it calls a “Stay home, Stay healthy, Stay connected” policy.
It also outlines other ways in which the governor’s administration is responding such as implementing social distancing on public transportation and in outdoor spaces.
The order, however, specifies that “no person shall be required to provide documentation or proof of their activities under this order,” essentially creating a provisional honor system for the containment of COVID-19 transmission.
It goes further to outline that Arizonans are “already acting responsibly” and that the order exists to “ensure that people maintain physical distance to the greatest extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, protecting people’s rights and slowing the spread of COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible.”
As of yet, there has been no word from Brophy administration, but the executive order has a duration of March 31st until April 30th, ten days after when Brophy initially had planned to possibly reopen.
Update: 4 p.m. March 30th
Brophy administration has made the decision to keep campus closed for the remainder of the school year and continue distance learning protocols until the end of the semester.
“While private schools can make their own decisions, it has become apparent that this action is the prudent thing to do in order to maximize the health and safety of not only our families, but the larger community,” the message from the principal’s office said.
This is keeping in line with the guidelines issued earlier in the day by Governor Doug Ducey as well as those of the CDC.
The message also stated that there will be another address sent out no later than April 9th which would detail any adaptations to graduation ceremonies, summer school programs and “other activities” that were not explicitly mentioned.
Final exams, which normally are run in a rather stringent, cheat-suppressing environment were also mentioned, but as of yet the only knowledge of what finals will look like is that they will not be taking place in the usual way.
“Our current situation is not what we had hoped for, but it’s what we have,” Mr. Ryan wrote to the community, “And although I regret what we’ve lost in terms of shared time together and the inconvenience and even hardship that has resulted, I continue to believe that a good deal of resilience, resourcefulness and appreciation for each other will be gained as a result of this experience.”
The message of hope comes at a time where people all over the country have been left with few answers in regards to a seemingly uncertain future, especially when it comes to schooling and the educational environment.
Brophy has also recently instituted “Cura Personalis” advisors, which is an optional program meant to supplement the standard network of counselors and advisors.
“Heading each of these teams is a faculty or staff member who will be contacting students under their care regularly to talk through any challenges or concerns,” the statement from March 27th said.
Brophy will also be hosting Dr. Ana Moran [No relation to the reporter], an infectious disease expert who works as an associate clinical professor at Barrow Neurological Institute as well as at the Creighton University School of Medicine, for community questions on April 2nd at 5 p.m. The email said that more details regarding this event will be communicated at a later time.
This story will be updated if any more information becomes available.