Ironwood winter sports competition suspended due to health measures


Glendale Ironwood winter sports teams can only train individually in a virtual setting until February 10, after the school switches to virtual learning due to increased health settings.

Sports teams will not be allowed to train on campus for two weeks.

The Peoria Unified School District has divided the metrics into two components: health data and operational data.

According to its website, the health data includes information on cases such as the percentage of reported positivity for COVID-19, absenteeism and data on the Maricopa County outbreak. Operational data, while affected by the health of students and staff, provides guidance in determining whether the district can operationally provide an exceptional in-person learning environment.

“We made this decision after reviewing the school’s health and operational measures using the new framework we have put in place,” said Danielle Airey, spokesperson for the Peoria Unified School District.

The Ironwood men’s basketball team is ranked # 1 in Conference 5A by The Arizona Republic. He won his first 5A State Championship last season under coach Jordan Augustine.

The Eagles have won their first four games. They had to cancel Friday’s home game against Yuma Gila Ridge. They will also have to cancel or postpone their next three games against Peoria Sunrise Mountain, Glendale Apollo and Peoria Centennial.

Ironwood’s next game would be February 12 against Gilbert.

“We are going to do our best not to be controlled by circumstances beyond our control,” Augustine said. “Representatives will be different over the next two weeks, but we will do everything possible to gain representatives.”

The 1-1 record Ironwood boys’ football team have already had their game against Glendale Independence called off in the opening week of the season.

He will attempt to reschedule the matches against Sunrise Mountain, Apollo and Centennial he had scheduled for the next two weeks.

Coach Tim Beck has said his team will only do virtual training.

“It’s obviously not ideal, but we have no control over it,” Beck said.

Ironwood Principal Russ Dunham and Peoria District Superintendent Jason Reynolds emailed families in Ironwood on Friday, explaining the reason for the campus closure:

“Last week we shared that we are closely monitoring Ironwood’s health data to make sure it is always safe to offer in-person learning. Based on health status and operational state of our campus, we have determined that we need to take a break from in-person learning, athletics, COOP, ARISE and extracurricular activities on our campus, until Wednesday, February 10. With this temporary change in our learning model, all students will learn virtually from February 1 to 9. This is supported by Maricopa County Department of Public Health as it covers the incubation period from the last exposure date on our campus.

“This decision was made using the framework and process that was shared with our governing board last night. This process led us through an in-depth review of our school’s metrics, which you’ll hear more of in one post than we share with the community later this evening.

“Our team did not come to this decision lightly. Last week we increased our mitigation procedures, temporarily suspended programs and quarantined students when cases were reported. it is in the best interest of the safety of students and staff to take this extra precautionary measure.

“Before Monday morning, your child will receive an email from each of their teachers providing them with instructions for their virtual learning. If your child needs a laptop or WiFi device, we can arrange to provide you with the connectivity you need. We will also have limited space available for the on-site support of students who need a safe place to complete their online learning.

“Breakfast will be available each school day in a drive-thru or curbside service in our rear parking lot from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm starting Monday, February 1.

“We will take this time while our students are virtual to thoroughly clean and disinfect the entire campus again. Meanwhile, we would like to stress the importance of ensuring that our staff and students remain vigilant when ‘they are not on campus – not attending large gatherings with others, wearing masks, washing your hands frequently and taking whatever steps are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID. If these steps are not taken during this time we may see an increase in cases upon our return rather than a decrease. Safety habits of our staff and our community are paramount right now if we are to return our students to school.

“We hope these actions will ensure that all students and staff have a safe place to work and learn and keep our school strong and healthy until the end of the school year.”

To suggest ideas for human interest stories and other news, contact Obert at [email protected] or 602-316-8827. Follow him on twitter @azc_obert.

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