3 Wichita elementary schools closed Tuesday due to staff shortages

Scene from a classroom in a Wichita Public Schools elementary school.
Scene from a classroom in a Wichita Public Schools elementary school.(KWCH)
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 10:08 AM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Three Wichita elementary schools are closed Tuesday, Jan. 18, due to staff absences and “the inability to have enough people to cover those absences.” Schools closed Tuesday include Cessna, Linwood and Spaight elementary schools.

The district confirmed the closures Monday, a holiday with every school in the district off in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Tuesday’s closures come as districts across Kansas and beyond try to keep students in-person while dealing with surges in COVID-19 cases.

Last week, the second largest school district in the state, Olathe Schools, announced it will be canceling classes Tuesday and Wednesday after reaching “dire circumstances with so many teaching and support staff members out sick.”

“With more than 400 subs in our buildings on Friday, plus our entire Learning Services department serving as subs in our buildings, we still had more than 100 unfilled positions,” the district said. “In total, we had over 800 staff out sick, which is about 20% of our entire staff. Our dedicated principals, teachers, and staff did their best to cover for one another to make sure students could learn, but it was a great challenge. On top of our staffing challenges, we had more than 1,500 student positive cases last week.”

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