Superintendent’s March 2, 2022 Update: Mask Guidance & March Celebrations

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Dear APS Families,

Thank you for your support of our schools as APS announced yesterday that masks are now optional. Here are some additional reminders about masks and health and safety, along with updates on the budget, March observances and staff recognitions.

Also, remember that tomorrow is an Elementary School Early Release Day, and there is no school for elementary and middle schools on Friday, March 4, for Parent-Teacher Conferences. Please be aware that elementary and middle school staff may telework and will monitor emails during normal hours.

Mask Guidance: As communicated on Monday, masks are now optional for everyone at school and on buses during low and medium COVID-19 community levels, in alignment with the revised CDC guidance. So far, we have not received any reports of negative behaviors or concerns raised about mask use at school. We will continue to foster safe, supportive environments in our schools and ask families to remind your students to support the choices of their teachers and classmates.

Layered Mitigation Measures: APS is continuing the layered mitigation strategies we have in place, including contact tracing, isolation and quarantine protocols, health screening, in-school weekly testing and mandatory employee vaccination. These measures align with current CDC guidance for maintaining safe schools. We anticipate that the CDC will update its guidance for contact tracing, isolation and quarantine protocols soon, and I will provide any update when those changes are announced.

FY 2023 Budget: This year’s proposed budget prioritizes investments that are needed most to directly serve our students, invest in staff and maintain excellent schools, including a proposed $33 million investment in employee compensation. View more information about the process and next steps.

March Celebrations:

  • March is Arts in the Schools Month: I encourage you to take advantage of opportunities to see March concerts, arts festivals, workshops, recitals, poetry readings and plays. A complete list of events is available in the Arts in the Schools Month brochure. Follow APS on twitter using #APSMarchisArts.
  • Women’s History Month: During Women’s History Month, we celebrate famous pioneers and leaders in our community. #APSWomensHistory.
  • Social Work Week: March 6-12 is Social Work Week, and APS will be thanking our school social workers for their many contributions to student well-being and success. Make sure to show them your appreciation next week and throughout the month.


Dr. Francisco Durán