School resumed Tuesday in the Manhattan-Ogden district after an extended holiday weekend amid a surge in COVID-19 cases that resulted in several staff members being out sick.
Assistant Superintendent Eric Reid joined KMAN’s In Focus Wednesday to discuss how much that extra day off last Friday, prior to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, helped alleviate some of the unusually high staffing shortages the district has been experiencing.
Board member Curt Herrman praised the many who have stepped up to fill in gaps where needed including some familiar public faces.
Both Reid and Herrman admit that while there is great concern for student safety amid the spread of cases, not having teachers, food service workers, bus drivers and other employees only exacerbates the situation. Local health officials have said they expect case numbers to peak soon, following national trends.
The district had to dig deep into its pool of approximately 120 substitute teachers last week due to staff being out. Reid shared some perspective on just how taxing the situation has been.
State school districts got some reprieve last week after the Kansas State Department of Education temporarily relaxed the 60 college credit hour requirement for substitutes for the remainder of the school year.
This week the district also announced the suspension of its test to stay program in schools, due to the sheer volume of staff required for daily testing of close contacts. The addendum, published Tuesday, is available below.NEWguidanceJanuary182022