Fears about the spread of the Coronavirus means that schools in North Central Phoenix and around the state are closed but campuses are still providing food, childcare and other needed services to children while their in-person classwork is on hold.

Gov. Doug Ducey and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman last month announced they had extended the school closures through Friday, April 10. Previously they had told schools to close from March 16 to 27 due to the threat of the virus. Prior to their announcement, many schools had already scheduled closures. Ducey said the statewide closure was “the right thing to do” and while it would not stop the spread of COVID-19, it would offer “certainty and consistency in schools across Arizona.”

While schools were closed to the public to protect the safety of students and staff members, many still offered online instruction but canceled extracurricular activities and events.

The Madison School District canceled its Spring Break Camp, giving families a credit on their accounts for pre-paid days. Starting March 23, the district’s Community Education program began offering childcare for healthcare professionals and first responders only at a discounted price of $30 a day. Direct any questions to ceinfo@madisoned.org.

The Madison School District is offering free breakfasts and lunches to any youths ages 18 years old and younger. Kids do not have to go to school in the district to receive the free meal. This is a grab-and-go style pickup where children each receive a sack lunch for the day and breakfast for the following day. Pick up meals for your children from 11 a.m. to noon Mondays through Fridays at Madison Camelview Elementary School at 2002 E. Campbell Ave. For updates, visit madisonaz.org.

The Osborn School District is providing drive-thru meals during the school closures for all youths ages 18 years old and younger from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays through Fridays at Encanto/Clarendon Elementary School at 1420 W. Osborn Road; Longview Elementary at 1209 E. Indian School Road; Solano Elementary School at 1526 W. Missouri Ave.; Osborn Middle School at 1102 W. Highland Ave., Montecito Community School, 715 E. Montecito Ave.; and at mobile sites at 7th Avenue and Indian School Road and at 3102 N. 18th Ave. The meals are free to children 18 years old and younger. Children must  be in the car to receive the meals and the meals must be consumed off site. For updates, visit www.osbornnet.org.

The Phoenix Union High School District is offering meals to anyone ages 18 years old and younger in all its school cafeterias from 8 to 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to noon Mondays through Fridays. To learn more, visit phoenixunion.org/CoronaVirusInfo.

Glendale Union High School District is delivering free grab-and-go meals to children ages 18 and younger from 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays at all nine of its comprehensive high schools. To find a location and learn more, visit www.guhsdaz.org/home.

The Washington Elementary School District will provide free breakfast and lunch from 10:30 to noon at 13 locations. Meals will be given in a drive-thru or via pick-up service. Children may obtain one sack lunch for that afternoon and one sack breakfast for the following morning. All kids 18 and under may receive the meals. To learn more, visit wesdschools.org.




  • Colleen Sparks

    A 25-year industry veteran, she's written for a variety of outlets including The Arizona Republic, East Valley Tribune, Money Talks News, and North Central News.

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