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Youth is leading the way at Peoria Unified School District.

As a Sept. 8 PUSD tweet noted, “Today we were excited to welcome back preschool, critical CTE Labs and Peoria Flex Academy students!”

The other 36,000 students in Glendale and Peoria have to wait a bit to put their sneakers back in classrooms.

According to Dr. Jason W. Reynolds, PUSD is “targeting” Monday, Sept. 21, for kindergarten through second-graders to return to classrooms. 

“If the positive trend in our data continues, we will invite the remainder of our students to return on Sept. 28,” he said.

PUSD spent one month in Stage 1 of its Return to School plan, which includes remote learning and “offering resources for students in our self-contained classes and on-site support for students who need a safe place to conduct their online learning,” Reynolds noted.

The stage for “students with the most critical needs” started Sept. 8. 

“If benchmarks continue to trend in a positive direction,” Reynolds said the district will skip over Stage 3 and “move directly into Stage 4 so that students can return full-time, five days a week, rather than move into Stage 3’s hybrid format.”

PUSD will enter the final stage “if the public health benchmarks continue to be met for all three categories for two consecutive weeks with percent of positive COVID-19 cases remaining below 5%.”

For more information, visit peoriaunified.org.