NEWAYGO, Mich. — Newaygo Public Schools announced Monday its schools will be closed Tuesday, Nov. 9 through Monday, Nov. 15. On Tuesday, Superintendent Jeff Wright said the decision was made for multiple reasons, including illness and staff shortages.
“What happened was, everything just lined up in a way that we had to make the decision to close for the rest of the week,” Wright said. “We had a number of staff out for a variety of reasons — Illnesses, yes, including COVID. Yes, some personal illnesses. And some of our staff were out for other reasons."
“And when we look at the number of staff that we had, and the ability to support our students in an educational environment to help them be successful, we just couldn't cover it.”
Wright said the administration looked at other options, such as the use of substitutes and administrators to fill in the gap. Ultimately, though, Newaygo is also being impacted by the nationwide shortage.
“We really appreciate those who are substitutes for us as teachers and as bus drivers, but there just are not enough of them to go around. And so we have circumstances where staff are unavailable, trying to find enough subs to cover does hinder us from being able to cover classes and to cover our students.”
Along with a staffing shortage, Wright cited the state’s 75% attendance requirement. If a school can’t meet the 75% attendance threshold, the day cannot count as a day of instruction. The days do, however, count as snow days.
In September, the school district couldn't provide bussing to and from school for three days because they didn't have enough drivers to cover shifts.
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