Schools facing staff shortages due to COVID-19

Due to an overwhelming number of teachers testing positive for COVID-19, Johnson County students will be in virtual classrooms until the school district has less staff members in quarantine.

WRIGHTSVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) –  After a long board of education meeting Wednesday night, Johnson County Schools Superintendent Eddie Morris made the tough decision to cancel in-person learning for Friday.

Due to an overwhelming number of teachers testing positive for COVID-19, students will be in virtual classrooms until the school district has less staff members in quarantine.

“For safety of our students and staff here, we just felt the need to go virtual,” Morris explained. “It’s a long weekend, and we’re hoping by Tuesday of next week, we’ll have a lot of our staff back.”

The school district says many of its substitute teachers have also tested positive for the virus, leaving them with no choice but to go online.

Morris says although getting around COVID-19 is difficult, he knows they are not facing this issue alone.

“My son is a doctor in Savannah,” he said. “And a lot of their office is out, so it’s everywhere. I would love to say that schools are immune, but we’re not.”

Johnson County’s neighbors at Dublin City Schools send well wishes and hope their fellow school district can recover quickly.

Dublin City Schools Safety Coordinator Stephanie Stubbs says her district has worried about facing the same issue. Although they have had their peaks with COVID, the Dublin district has created as many mitigation plans as possible to protect students and staff.

“We’re in a fight that we’ve never been in before,” she said. “So all ideas are listened to as well as any strategies that we have. And our partnership with the South Central Health District, under the direction of Dr. Thomas Craft, has been really invaluable, too.”

Both school systems will monitor community numbers to make the best choices possible for student learning.

Students in Johnson County will be out on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Day. The school board plans to meet again on Sunday, January 16, to determine if it is safe for students to return to class on Tuesday. They will update parents using Remind 101 and on the district’s Facebook page.

Categories: COVID-19, Education, Featured, Health, Johnson County, Laurens County, Local News

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