UPDATE at 5:15 p.m. on Feb. 15 

Dear Vail Families,

We want to provide you with an update regarding the current plans for tomorrow and the remainder of this week.

Multiple public agency sources have reported that barring any unforeseen circumstances Interstate-10 should open around 8:00 this evening. At that time, it is also expected that the remaining “shelter in place” will be lifted.

Assuming the above occurs as expected, school will reopen at all regularly scheduled times, including zero hour classes as well as before and after school programs on Thursday, February 16th. All bus routes will run as normally scheduled including after school and activity buses. 

There have been several questions about what needs to be done to clean schools within the one-mile “shelter in place” radius prior to opening them for students. We have received clear guidance from the Pima County Health Department who has been working in conjunction with Pima County Poison Control regarding this question. Their guidance is as follows:

  • There is no need to change HVAC filters or clean ductwork. 

  • There is no need to clean or wipe down indoor surfaces. 

Before students return tomorrow, we will be washing down and spraying with water and a mild detergent exterior surfaces including water fountains and play equipment at all of the schools in the “shelter in place” radius.

Please note that no student will be marked absent for February 15th. Further, the day will not need to be made up at a later date.

We would also like to remind you that this Friday, February 17th is a half-day for all students. 

Thank you for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to celebrating your children’s successes and our community support of young people at Vail Pride Day this Saturday. We will see you there!

John Carruth


UPDATE at 9:45 a.m. on Feb. 15 

Dear Vail Families,

At 8:50 a.m. public agencies coordinating the I-10 incident requested that all Vail Schools close for the day for both safety and to help ease traffic congestion around the area. 

If a student is already at school or en-route to school, they are safe and can remain at school. Staff are currently on site. Parents are welcome to come pick their children up at any time. If parents need afternoon bus service for their children, we will provide regular afternoon bus routes to get them home.

Shortly before DPS requested we close schools, they expanded the “shelter in place” zone to three miles from the incident due to changing conditions at the scene. Only the four Rita Ranch schools and Vail Academy and High School are within the expanded “shelter in place” zone. Those schools have been closed since 6:00 a.m. No other school is impacted by this expansion.

John Carruth



Dear Vail Families,

Good morning. 

All schools in the Vail School District will be closed today, February 15th, 2023. 

At 8:50 a.m. Incident Command at the scene of the accident reported that conditions have changed, and they are requesting that all Vail schools be closed for both safety and to ease traffic congestion around the area. 

Thank you for your understanding as this situation continues to evolve. We will update you as we know more.

John Carruth



The Department of Public Safety reissued the shelter in place order at 4:55AM for areas within a one-mile radius of the accident scene on I-10. At this time it is unknown when the shelter in place order will be lifted. 

As a result, classes and all school activities will be canceled at the following schools for today, 2/15/23:

  • Vail Academy and High School

  • Cottonwood Elementary School

  • Desert Willow Elementary School

  • Desert Sky Middle School

  • Mesquite Elementary School

Further, bus service to the areas affected by the DPS shelter in place order will be canceled today to all other schools. Please see attached map for detailed areas.  This includes Rita Ranch, and neighborhoods north and south along I-10 between Rita Road and Wilmot Road. 

All other schools within the Vail School District will start two-hours late as described below open 

Bus services outside of the shelter in place order will continue to run on the two hour delay schedule.

John Carruth,



February 14, 2023

Dear Vail Families,

We are continuing to work closely with public agencies regarding the chemical spill and road closure on I-10 between Kolb and Rita Road. 

We are being told that clean-up is expected to take until roughly 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. DPS is already warning of disruptions to morning commutes in our area. 

As a result, all school start times and all bus routes will be delayed two hours on February 15th at each respective school to help with traffic and allow time for our students and staff to safely get to school. 

For example, if your student rides a bus, and the bus normally picks up at 6:45 a.m., it will now pick up at 8:45 a.m. If your student’s school normally begins at 8:00 a.m., it will begin at 10:00 a.m. If at all possible, please DO NOT drop your student off more than 30 minutes prior to the revised start time. 

The following will be CANCELED tomorrow:

  • All Zero Hour Classes

  • Vail Inclusive Preschool AM and Pre-K AM classes at both MMHS and CHS 

  • Any field trips leaving before 11:00 a.m. 

Other information to be aware of:

  • School will dismiss at normal times. 

  • All after school activities will continue as scheduled. 

  • All afternoon bus routes, including activity routes, will run at normal times. 

  • Community Programs and Vail Inclusive Full Time Enrichment Programs will be sending additional information to parents regarding any revised hours.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to ensure the safety of all students, staff, and families. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact your child’s school.

John Carruth