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Southern Arizona school districts react to statewide school closure decision

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MARANA, Ariz. - Hours after the statewide decision on Monday to close schools for the remainder of the year, News 4 Tucson spoke with Butterfield Elementary President Josh Bayne. 

Bayne has led Butterfield Elementary in the Marana Unified School District for four years. 

“This is just a building,” Bayne said. “The best part of it is everyone who fills it, so it’s tough but at the same time we’re going to preserve and we’re going to do things to make sure we can continue to foster relationships and connect with our students.”

Kristel Ann Foster, president of the Tucson Unified School District Board, told News 4 Tucson she’s relieved Gov. Doug Ducey and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman made this call. 

“It’s a strong message from our state that this is taken care of,” Foster said. “It just really makes a more clear and resounding message that we're all in this together. And it's not having districts, some say yes, some say no.”

At Butterfield Elememtary, online learning began Monday.

Bayne said last week, he and his staff handed out 400 Chrome Books to students.

Bayne said the best part of that experience was getting to see his students in person.

“We’re going to be okay and we’re going to get through this and we’re going to continue to do what’s most important and that’s create a sense of community here at Butterfield and have some fun doing it as well,” he said. “It’s going to be great.” 

The State Board of Education is expected to hold a special meeting Tuesday in regards to high school graduation and grading policy. 

Eric Fink

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