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WATCH: Springfield Public Schools official answers your questions about school closure for illness

Chief Communications Officer Stephen Hall answers your questions about Springfield Pubic Schools' decision to close schools this week due to rising Covid cases.
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 8:29 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2022 at 9:45 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - On Tuesday, Springfield Public Schools announced they would be canceling classes for the rest of the week due to rising Covid cases among both staff and students.

Stephen Hall, Chief Communications Officer for Springfield Public Schools, said it was a team decision to close.

“When you look at seven days last week, we had more than 800 COVID positive cases among staff and students and when we look at the first day this week, on Tuesday alone, we had more than 300 cases reported so that means that it is simply not possible to maintain operations as normal moving forward until we really get a better handle on this surge in how it’s impacting our staffing,” said Hall.

Hall said the school district is also trying to cancel or reschedule the extracurricular activities when possible.

“There are many factors that are at play there, including regional school districts that compete so there are many factors that make that difficult sometimes, but when possible, we are canceling or rescheduling those,” said Hall. “But right now the primary issue is a staffing shortage made even worse by a shortage of substitutes. We simply can’t find substitutes to fill the gaps right now when staff calls in sick.”

Hall said the school district is monitoring COVID-19 cases through the rest of this week and they do have contingency plans in place.

“Our hope is that we will be able to return to normal operations on Monday, January 24,” said Hall. “However, if this continues to surge the way that we fear it may, there may be a need for us to transition to virtual learning at that point. But that will need for us to come together and prepare our staff and we may need a day or two before we’re able to flip to Virtual Learning System.”

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