CHANGES AS SCHOOLS HIT CRISIS

CHANGES AS SCHOOLS HIT CRISIS

School officials have announced a major change in student attendance, as anticipated after last Tuesday night’s November school board meeting. The school system will be closed an extra two days for the Thanksgiving holiday and students will temporarily transition to a hybrid schedule after the holiday. When students return from the week long break, they will be attending school on alternate days, a plan used when the 2020-2021 school year first started.

A message posted on the school system’s website asks parents to check their child’s school website for additional information. The change comes as the school system reached an absenteeism crisis due to COVID-19 quarantine protocols. Absent staff members have school officials scrambling to find replacements. Also, absenteeism among students is making it difficult for students to learn and teachers to teach. Schools were scheduled to be closed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week, but will now be closed the entire week. School officials posted a notice of the changes on its website reading:

“There will be no school for all Smith County students Monday, November 23, and Tuesday, November 24, before the Thanksgiving break due to limited teacher/staff availability and significant student absences related to COVID-19 illness/exposure. We are doing everything we can to keep our students, staff and families healthy. Buildings will be sprayed for sanitation during this closure.

After the Thanksgiving break, beginning Monday, November 30, in-person students will begin a hybrid schedule that will run through Friday, February 12. The 2020-2021 school calendar has not been altered and all breaks and holidays will be observed as previously scheduled. Please check your child’s home school website for a detailed schedule.”

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