'We are running out of options': 3rd Johnson County district asks families to prepare for closures

Blue Valley Schools
Posted at 6:42 PM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 23:14:06-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A third school district in Johnson County is asking families to prepare for potential closures or remote learning due to staffing shortages stemming from COVID-19.

As news surfaced of other districts issuing similar warnings, the Blue Valley School District said members of the district began to ask about the possibility.

In a letter to families, the district said "we are running out of options and families should prepare."

District officials assured families that keeping students in schools is a priority; however, staff absences remain high.

"Today, we had 423 staff absences, and this week were are averaging 330+ staff per day," the district said in the letter. "With daily staff absences due to illness high and fluctuating, we are activating every lever to fill staff vacancies."

The district said it has relied on substitutes to help fill the gap, but there haven't been enough.

In efforts to keep schools open, even district office staff have worked to provide coverage.

"We are out of levers to pull, and a school day closure is a very real possibility if staff and substitute shortages due to illness continue to worsen," the district said.

On Friday, both the Shawnee Mission and Olathe school districts issued a similar memo to families.

And on Thursday, Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools also asked families to prepare.

If closures are necessary, the district said it would communicate with families similar to the way it does a snow day.

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