No school Monday for SPS students due to COVID

SPOKANE, Wash. — There will be no class for Spokane Public Schools students on Monday, January 24.

A tweet from the district said the decision to have a “no school day” was made based on an evaluation of current conditions and ongoing staff shortages because of the latest surge in COVID-19 cases. The day will be made up in March.

Mallorie Dietzel has a second grader and says she can stay home with her daughter since Dietzel works at home. However, she knows not every parent can.

“It’s going to hit hard not having that one day of work,” Dietzel said. “It might make it to where people aren’t going to have that job again because they just can’t keep on calling in and calling in and calling in.”

The staffing shortage has impacted some students. One parent says her son has only had a substitute once for a few hours. Other parents cannot say the same, though they get why it is happening.

“She [daughter] actually doesn’t like the rotating a lot of the teachers coming in and out,” Dietzel said.

Superintendent Adam Swinyard previously said he knows there is not enough notice for families, but he wanted to try and avoid abrupt cancellations.

Though it was expected to happen, Dietzel wished there was more notice.

“It would be nice to be able to have it more in advanced rather than, here we go, you have a couple of days to just make this,” she explained.

Along with school, SPS says there is no childcare, including Express and preschool programs. All athletics or extracurricular activities that day are being adjusted.

“We’ll be doing little fun things at home and activities and things like that at home with us and having fun,” Dietzel said.

Students will also have an early release day on Friday, January 28 and no school on Monday, January 31 (semester break day).

A message from SPS said a new interactive contact tracing tool will be posted online Friday to “increase the efficiency of providing guidance to staff and schools regarding quarantine timelines.”

The district said the contact tracing tool will allow families to enter information related to student exposure, test results and symptoms. Families and school staff will be given a return to school date upon completion of the form.

Families can learn more here.

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