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Gibraltar K-12 to take the rest of the week off, Sevastopol closes Wednesday

Gibraltar students will have the rest of the week off as cases rise within the school district, while Sevastopol schools are closed due to the exteme cold Wednesday.

 

The Gibraltar School District cited the staffing shortages due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases as the reason for the closing of the school. As of last Friday, the district had 15 staff members and 88 students out because of positive tests or contact tracing protocols. The elementary school had been participating in virtual learning this last week due to COVID-19 issues. Only 27% of the elementary school is vaccinated, and the district says that makes them more vulnerable to infection. The students in the elementary school were required to be masked, while it was optional with parental permission for those in grades 7-12 in the secondary school.

 

The district already had a planned day off on January 26th for a teacher in-service. The district says it hopes to return to in-person learning on Monday January 31st. 

 

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the district was going to virtual learning. That has been fixed above and we apologize for the error.

 

The letter from the district superintendent Tina Van Meer can be found below:

 

Good Morning,

I am writing to let our school community know that the Board of Education formally approved closing school this Thursday, January 27th and Friday, January 28th. As you are aware from the previous communication last Friday, the District has been experiencing staffing shortages and increasing numbers of COVID-19 positive students and staff. As of last Friday, the District had 15 staff and 88 students out either testing positive, isolating pending test results or in quarantine as close contacts. The elementary has been significantly impacted this past two weeks. With only 27.4% of children ages 5-11 vaccinated, this population of students remains more vulnerable to contracting and spreading the virus. In an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 and maintain the staffing necessary to continue teaching and learning, the elementary school transitioned to virtual learning for January 24th & 25th. There is no school on Wednesday, January 26th because of a scheduled professional development day for staff. Following the Board's decision on Monday night, Gibraltar Area School District will not have school on January 27th or 28th for K-12 students. The decision was made to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the District and also provide a mental health boost to our students and employees. The District will resume in-person teaching and learning for all K-12 students beginning Monday, January 31st. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this public health crisis. Please contact the District or your building principal if you have questions regarding the information contained in this message.

Sincerely,

Tina Van Meer

 

 

 

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