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Casa Grande Elementary School District

CASA GRANDE — The Casa Grande Elementary School District board on Tuesday discussed a return to more normal rules at district facilities.

“With this new information, our recent change to cloth face coverings (mask) usage for adults (optional for vaccinated individuals), and the consideration given to feedback from the COVID office hours and staff survey, we have decided to update our mask use guidance for all CGESD students, staff and guests as it relates to summer programming,” says a document with the agenda.

Masks became optional for vaccinated staff members and guests as well as students while at any CGESD facility on May 24. However, at food preparation areas, masks will continue to be required.

“If this model of mask use proves to be successful in improving student learning outcomes and doesn’t result in a dramatic uptick in district COVID cases, it may be used as a model for our return to regular school activities in July,” says a document with the agenda.

During the meeting, the board also received an update on the AARP Foundation reading program which is an intergenerational volunteer-based tutoring program that is proven to help children who aren’t reading at grade level become great readers by the end of third grade. This presentation was also shown to the City Council Monday evening.

“We could not have better partners,” board member Jerry Stabley said.

According to Stabley, out of the 23 programs operating in different U.S. cities, the Casa Grande program is the most rural.

“We are being held as a model,” Stabley said.

The program will expand from three schools to five schools in the 2021-2022 school year and hopes to target around 200 students.

During the meeting, the board adopted K-5 and 6-8 science instructional programs along with K-5 and 6-8 computer science instructional programs.

The board also approved the proposed 2021-22 budget and authorized the publication of the proposed budget and notice of budget hearing. The budget hearing is scheduled for June 22.

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Gabrielle Olivera is the Casa Grande reporter at PinalCentral, covering government, schools, business and more.