Wednesday, November 25, 2020 8:16 pm

At charter school American Leadership Academy, school is back in session but teachers are quitting over COVID-19 worries

American Leadership Academy Mesa

By Michaela Chesin | Arizona Republic

ALA teachers who spoke to The Republic said they work in crowded classrooms with mask requirements that are easy for students to dodge.

East Valley charter school chain American Leadership Academy was among the few Arizona schools to reopen for in-person classes last week, offering a student experience that school officials said was “as normal as possible.”

Behind the scenes, there is less of a sense of normalcy, according to staffers who are critical of what they characterized as a lack of transparency about COVID-19 exposures on campus and lax mask-wearing and social distancing requirements inside packed classrooms.

Angi Coleman, who was principal of ALA’s Mesa campus before parting ways earlier this month, said ALA leadership is more motivated to boost enrollment than provide a safe environment for students and staff. 

In addition to Coleman, The Republic spoke with five teachers from various ALA campuses who shared her concerns about the charter chain’s operations during the pandemic.

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