DOUGLAS — At its regular school board meeting on Tuesday, the Douglas School Board supported the recommendation of superintendent Ana Samaniego to finish out the remainder of the school year with virtual learning, and offering safe learning spaces only to those students who needed them.

The meeting took place through Zoom and at times, the audio was difficult to hear. Less than 24 hours after the meeting Ray Borane, president of the DUSD board, announced that due to the challenges with the audio during the meeting, a special board meeting has been scheduled for 4 p.m. this Monday in the DUSD boardroom.

All board members will be in attendance and be masked and seated in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Members of the public will not be allowed to attend the meeting, but can watch in online through the district’s YouTube channel.

Any member of the community wishing to address the board may do so but will have to submit their questions/concerns via email which will then be read by the superintendent.

“All questions/comments need to be submitted by 8 a.m. on the day of the meeting,” the district is reporting on its website “Please note that the board will try to address as many as possible. There are two forms but only one needs to be turned in — one for comments to be addressed at the beginning of the meeting and the second one for comments to be addressed during the agenda item.”

The links for the public comments are below.

The final quarter of the school year is scheduled to begin the first week of March. Samaniego told the board at the meeting she and her staff need time to prepare if the students were to return to campus and begin the previously proposed hybrid model that was discussed and agreed upon by the board back in August.

Borane, along with fellow board members Mitch Lindemann, Jana Selchow and Mario Ramos supported Samaniego’s decision to remain virtual while Dr. Ed Gomez stated that he felt the students needed to be in some kind of classroom setting sooner rather than later.

Douglas resident Jesus Duarte also addressed the board via email which was read by Samaniego. In his remarks Duarte, whose wife is a preschool teacher for the DUSD and whose son is a senior, stated that he supports the start of the hybrid program and encouraged the board to proceed in that direction and allow students to return to campus and sports to resume.

Duarte referenced the three Douglas High School soccer players who left DUSD and enrolled at Sunnyside High School in Tucson so they could play soccer and possibly get noticed by college scouts.

His comment was the only public comment that had been submitted at the meeting.

Borane is asking for the community to fill out the forms to address the board and let their concerns be heard whether or not they would like DUSD to begin hybrid for the final quarter or remain virtual.