Wednesday, January 5, 2022

COVID Caused Staffing Shortage Closes McKinleyville Middle School

Posted By on Wed, Jan 5, 2022 at 11:38 AM

McKinleyville Middle School was closed today due to a COVID-19 caused “significant staffing shortage.”

An email from Superintendent Heidi Moore-Guynup went out to parents around 7 p.m. yesterday stating that Dow's Prairie and Morris Elementary were currently open.

“We are hoping to be able to safely return to in-person instruction on Thursday, January 6,” the email states. “Thank you in advance for your understanding.”

The district cautioned parents in a New Year’s Eve message that McKinleyville schools were facing “a critical staffing shortage due in part to COVID-19 positivity rates” and that classes would resume Jan. 3 “with modifications to services.”

Those modifications included operating with a limited custodial crew and substitutes in a “number of classes.”

The message also states that other modifications, including closing individual classrooms, might be necessary. The district did offer parents take-home COVID tests and urged them not to send their children to campus if they are ill or exhibiting any symptoms and if they were in close contact with someone with symptoms that was still awaiting a test result.

The school closure comes as COVID cases are surging in Humboldt County, with 588 cases confirmed between Dec. 30 and Jan. 4. No other schools in the region were closed, according to the Humboldt County Office of Education.

Read the district's Dec. 31 message below:

McKinleyville Schools are facing a critical staffing shortage due in part to COVID-19 positivity rates. School will start on 1.3.22 with modifications to services. Please read.

Important Update for all McKinleyville Schools Families:

McKinleyville Schools are facing a critical staffing shortage due in part to COVID-19 positivity rates. After a meeting today to review staffing around the district, we must begin school with the following modifications in place:

Bus 8 route is canceled on Monday, 1/3/22. 

Bus 8 may be canceled for the entire week, we will update families daily on the status of this route as soon as possible.

Our schools will be operating with very limited custodial support. All staff will be asked to assist with cleaning to backfill this need.

We will have limited paraprofessional support and have a number of classrooms with substitute teachers.

If COVID-19 cases increase among staff, MUSD may have to make further modifications.  Depending on the department impacted, these may include:

Cancellation of additional bus routes.

Closure of individual classrooms.

Our administrative team will continue to meet over the weekend. We will update all families if further modifications are necessary. We will use Remind, Email, and our district website to communicate directly with families.

Please do not send your child to school any day that they are unwell or exhibiting possible COVID-19 symptoms. Please do not send your child to school if they are a close contact of someone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and awaiting test results.

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please inform your school office on Monday, 1/3/22.

MUSD is offering free At-Home COVID-19 tests for students who have not yet received them at the MMS Front Office tomorrow, January 1, 2022, from 11-12 noon. If you are unable to pick up At-Home COVID-19 tests tomorrow but would like to test your student before sending them back to school, please contact your school’s principal.

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Kimberly Wear

Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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