Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

After a series of staff absences, North Clackamas, Gresham-Barlow, Centennial, and Reynolds school districts will close Friday

After a series of staff absences, North Clackamas, Gresham-Barlow, Centennial, and Reynolds school districts will close Friday

All schools in the,, and schools will be temporarily closed by Friday, citing the absence of staff that would limit safe in-person learning.

Following the preplanned commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, three of the closures are scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

Reynolds has stated that it would remain unconcerned until Wednesday.

The closures are the latest in a row of districts that have already removed students from their classrooms. About or moves to distance learning

As the cascade of shutdown announcements shook teachers' own child-care plans, the closures may be boosting a domino effect.

According to last years enrollment figures, North Clackamas served more than 16,400 students, while Gresham-Barlow had about 11,700 students, Centennial had roughly 5,700 students, and Reynolds 10,400 students.

Portland Public Schools on. Its theto trade in-person learning for online instruction

Superintendent James Hiu of Gresham-Barlow noted the increase in omicron variant cases on Thursday afternoon and stated that district officials are closely monitoring the number of employees absent while ill or caring for infected children.

We take the decision to cancel very seriously. Multiple factors are considered, and in this case, safety was the primary concern as adequate staff is required to operate our schools safely.

160 staff have been removed from the district, according to a district spokesperson. Friday's absences typically increased overnight, according to reports. A number of students has shown that they had active COVID cases and roughly 40 staff cases.

We do not believe the numbers of those surveyed even on Monday were accurate reflections, said spokesperson Athena Vadnais.

Salaries from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, according to Gresham-Barlow.

After students began to return from a winter break on January 3, a spokesperson for the North Clackamas School District said the workload of its contract tracers had quadrupled.

When we came back, the wave had already happened, said Seth Gordon, the district's spokesperson. We have a flood of employees and student absences.

As contact tracers continue to churn through reports of exposure, Gordon predicted the district's weekly increase of coronavirus cases.

Keeping kids in school is our top priority, said Gordon. This will keep us on track to do that.

North Clackamas said the majority of athletic activities would continue as planned during the closure.

During the closure, the Reynolds School District canceled all after-school activities, except sport games and practices, and said meal arrangements would be available for pickup at lunchtime Friday.

We understand that this can be a challenge for our families, and we apologize for any inconvenience, the district said in a statement. We look forward to seeing students back in school.

According to the Centennial School District's website, higher than average staff and student absences were reported across all schools and departments.

We know that this is a particularly difficult time for our students, staff, families, and communities, the statement stated. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we navigate through another difficult time of operating school during a pandemic.

Zane Sparling; 503-319-7083;

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