West Ada School District teachers call in sick, school canceled Monday

Idaho’s largest school district will not hold classes on Monday, after 652 teachers called in sick, leaving 500 unfilled positions.

CBS2 reports hundreds of teachers are taking a sick day for Monday, according to the West Ada School District, one day after the board voted in favor of a hybrid schedule.

A spokeswoman for the district says out of 2,145 classroom teachers, 652 have taken a sick day for Monday.

The sick calls leave approximately 500 positions unfilled, the district’s superintendent, Dr. Mary Ann Ranells, said in a letter to parents.

The district will “reassess the situation” on Monday, the letter said.

The sick calls come after the board’s decision to go to a hybrid schedule for students at a special meeting Thursday afternoon.

During the meeting, the president of the West Ada Education Association told board members that some teachers would not go into their classrooms on Monday if learning was not entirely remote. “If we are not remote on Monday, we are not going into our buildings,” he said.

The West Ada School District is currently in the “red” category of Central District Health’s metrics for cases of COVID-19. Central District Health revised its guidelines to allow some in-person learning in the red category. The West Ada Education Association has taken a firm stance that all learning should be remote while the district is still in the red category.

The letter also thanks those who volunteered to cover the 500 unfilled positions. The district would not have time to process fingerprints in time, according to the letter.

Here is the full statement from Superintendent Ranells:

It has come to our attention that many teachers have taken a sick day on Monday. The numbers indicate that out of 2145 classroom teachers in the West Ada School District, 652 have taken a sick day for Monday, leaving us with approximately 500 positions unfilled.

Principals, administration, teachers and staff worked hard to cover the absences, but unfortunately, we cannot. With safety in mind, and due to supervision concerns, we are regretfully unable to hold school Monday. We will reassess the situation on Monday and give parents, guardians and staff an update.

We want to thank all the patrons and parents who offered to cover classes, but due to the application and fingerprint process required by law, it will not be possible to do so in time for Monday.

We do have a need for substitutes in the West Ada School District, please click here for more information.: www.westada.org/SubstituteApplications.

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