School Closure Information

Frequently Asked Questions About School Closure

Updated April 30, 2018

1. How will I find out my child’s school is closed?

Sahuarita Unified School District schools are closed on Thursday, April 26, 2018,  Friday, April 27, 2018, Monday, April 30, 2018 and Tuesday May 1, 2018. Please rely on the official district communication avenues for information updates. Sahuarita Unified School District (SUSD) will use our district notification system, our website, and district and school social media accounts to communicate information regarding a school closing.

2. How is the determination made to close schools?

All SUSD schools will be closed if we determine there is not adequate staff to maintain campus security and student safety. School closures will not be determined school by school, but rather district-wide. This will impact preschool through high school.

3. Will childcare be available?

L.I.N.K. is now open to currently enrolled students. Hours of operations will be 6:30 am – 5:30 pm and will be charged a daily rate of $22.

IMPORTANT: All students must pack a lunch. Services will run at the main L.I.N.K. building only.

If schools close for a day, all before and after school childcare (ie, L.I.N.K.) will be canceled.

5. If SUSD schools are closed, would the school year be extended?

Yes. According to state laws and current policies, any day that a school is closed would likely have to be made up.

6. Would school closures affect 8th grade promotions or high school graduation dates?

High school graduation ceremonies and 8th grade promotions would occur as scheduled. However, in the event the school year is extended due to a walkout, high school seniors may be required to come back after the ceremony to complete the school year.

7. If SUSD schools are closed, would athletic practices/games or fine arts rehearsals/productions be canceled?

We plan to honor and continue with major student events, contingent upon the availability of corresponding staff. The dance showcase, varsity athletics, and high school fine arts events are expected to continue. 

8. Will JTED classes continue to be held if the district schools are closed?

JTED classes that are hosted at SUSD school campuses during the normal school day would not be held. Look for communication from Pima JTED for additional closures for programs hosted at other campuses and/or after school.

9. If SUSD schools are closed, would school trips take place as scheduled?

Some school trips may continue, contingent upon the availability of corresponding staff. Please contact the school for more specific information. 

10. If SUSD schools are closed for more than one day, how often will I receive communication?

You can expect daily communication during a school closure.

11. My child’s school is closed, do I have to call him/her out sick?

In the event the district schools are closed, you are not required to call a child out as sick and student absences would be marked as administrative excused.

12. What support will the district offer to our families?

If a walkout occurs, the only way to ensure the safety and well-being of our students is to close our schools. We are notifying families of the possibility of a walkout and we have asked parents to make a plan for alternate arrangements for their children if a walkout occurs. If there is a walkout and schools are closed, the district will not have staff to provide any services at the school site. The district could not evaluate outside resources, so would not be able to make any recommendations for childcare options, feeding options, or any services not directly provided by the district. 

13. Will Advanced Placement (AP) testing continue to take place?

Advanced Placement (AP) testing will take place as scheduled. Families will be updated with any changes.


Superintendent Communications to Families

April 30, 2018

Dear SUSD Families, Staff, and Community:

Thank you so much for your patience during these recent days of school closure.

Although I respect and understand the goals of this current walkout, it is our organizational responsibility, and my duty, to open and operate schools in service to our students and their families. Similarly, it is our obligation to determine reasonable assurance that the schools will be safe.

Given the multiple uncertainties still lingering, and in support of our objectives, we are proceeding with the following plan of action.

  • On May 1, 2018, tomorrow, we will operate an ALL staff workday. This is for all staff, including faculty, administrative, and support staff. There will be no students on this day. The purpose is to evaluate each school and department’s contingency plan, including staffing and schedules, in order to create clarity and readiness to open school to
  • We will make a final status evaluation on May 1, 2018, with the intended objective of opening school with students on Wednesday, May 2,
  • You will get a final confirmation by the afternoon on May 1,

It is our intention to open schools on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. However, please understand that educational programs on this day may be rather basic and limited. First, we must be safe, and that will be the ultimate test of final determinations. If schools are open, we will operate normal food services and transportation services.

In our ongoing evaluation of our instructional calendar, I’m pleased to report that if we get our students back to school on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, and complete the school year with the current calendar, no make-up days will be required.

I’m also pleased to share that the L.I.N.K. program will re-open operations on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, for currently enrolled students. A separate notice is being sent.

I am hopeful to see our students and staff around campus soon.


Manuel O. Valenzuela, Ed.D.

April 27, 2018

Dear SUSD Community:

Today, we conducted a second survey to assess the viability of safely reopening schools on Monday, April 30, 2018. The results have just been tabulated and indicate that 183 of 285 teachers (65%) who took the survey reported they would be absent on Monday. This is even a little higher than the first survey. Unfortunately, this means that our schools will need to remain closed on Monday, April 30, 2018.

In summary, I’m disappointed that our schools cannot open on Monday, again due to inadequate staffing levels. I do understand that there are encouraging discussions at the State level that offer hope of a possible resolution in the near future. I remain optimistic that the end to this job action could be near, and that we will all soon be back to finish the rest of the school year.

Of course, we will keep you posted with any updates regarding this matter. I express my gratitude for your continued patience.




Manuel O. Valenzuela, Ed.D.


April 23, 2018

Dear SUSD Families:

First, I must apologize for the tremendous uncertainty that has swirled around our State and community in recent days.   It is our mission to deliver a high-quality educational experience to every student, every day that school is in session.

In recent days, I’ve spent many hours evaluating how to effectively manage the situation. I empathize with my professional colleagues, who I respect and admire, for their tireless dedication to the education of our students. Similarly, I have publicly stated my thoughts about honoring our professional duty to serve our students.

I have consulted principal leadership team, senior cabinet members, leadership council, colleagues from around Arizona, and even from other states. I’ve had individual conversations with members of our Governing Board. We’ve surveyed both certificated and support staff members. I’ve gotten feedback from faculty, staff, parents, and community members.

I would like to present you with the results of our recent survey from last week. The simple question asked was, “Will you be participating in the planned walkout on April 26, 2018?” Of 293 teachers surveyed, 57% indicated that they planned to participate in the walkout on Thursday.

We grappled with the data, and considered different contingencies and ideas to try and remain open. I very much want to keep our schools open. However, the weight of the evidence and emerging themes, logistics, and scenarios became clear over time. Our first strategic direction is to maintain safe environments. The preponderance of counsel and data I received suggests that there is reasonable doubt as to our ability to operate schools in a safe manner.

Therefore, I’ve made a decision to close all of our schools and basic operations, including Early Childhood Center (ECC) and L.I.N.K., for Thursday, April 26, 2018, and Friday, April 27, 2018. This process is unfolding and changing each day, and has many variables at many levels. We will provide an update by Saturday, April 28, 2018, through the mass messaging system regarding next week’s school operations. Please ensure that your family’s contact numbers and information are up to date.

We will be providing regular FAQ updates, but I wanted to share a few points about topics that have been shared with me. First, we will plan to honor and continue with major student events, contingent upon the availability of corresponding staff. Examples of these types of events include athletics, the dance showcase this weekend, College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exams, and the large scale out of state educational excursions currently planned. Second, as previously mentioned, the dates and times of our high school graduation exercises will go on as scheduled. Site administrators will communicate specific details pertaining to individual events.

I am disappointed that this situation has reached this point across our State. The only factor more important than providing education to our students is ensuring their safety and well-being, and I cannot in good faith open our schools with those concerns. Again, I apologize to all of you, and will work to support the swift resolution of this situation, and to get our students and staff back to our core and vital work of delivering a great education to every student.


Manuel O. Valenzuela, Ed.D.

April 20, 2018

Dear Families:

Last night, state-wide organizers of the #RedforEd movement called for a walkout at Arizona schools, starting next Thursday, April 26, 2018.

Although, I acknowledge the very real issues regarding State investment in Arizona’s public schools, I do not believe that a walkout is an appropriate strategy to remedy those issues. I drafted a detailed communication to all members of the SUSD staff, outlining my perspectives regarding these important issues, and the possibility of a walkout. It is posted on our website,, if you would like to read it.

The purpose of this letter and corresponding information is to create and communicate as much clarity as possible in regards to issues affecting the operation of our schools. First, we desire to continue operating our schools and delivering educational services, but will only do so upon determination that it is safe, and that meaningful teaching and learning can be maintained. Second, we are relentlessly committed to providing families with timely and accurate communication about school programs, operations, and determinations, so that families are informed, and can make the appropriate adjustments in their routines, as might be necessary.

Finally, I ask for your patience and trust as we navigate through these events. We are committed to doing whatever is necessary to uphold the tremendous trust you place in us every day.


Manuel O. Valenzuela, Ed.D.