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Education

Staffing issues prompt closure of Seattle, Bellevue schools on Friday

seattle_public_schools.jpg
Charla Bear/KPLU
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Seattle Public Schools' John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence

Seattle Public Schools and the Bellevue School District said on Tuesday that Friday classes for all students are canceled because large numbers of staff are taking leave.

“We are aware of an unusually large number of SPS staff taking leave on Friday, and do not believe we have adequate personnel to open schools with the necessary environment for high-quality learning,” a notice posted on the Seattle district's website said.

The notice said the cancelation is a change from school year dates approved in the spring and that officials recognize that the late notice creates challenging circumstances for many families.

Schools were already set to be closed Thursday in observation of Veterans Day.

Seattle Public Schools sent a statement to KING 5 on Tuesday that said, “The number of leave requests on a Friday after a federal holiday is indicative of the fatigue our staff and students are experiencing in these months of the return to classroom. The four-day weekend may offer physical, mental, and emotional restoration.”

The missed day will be added to the end of the school year, Seattle officials said.

The Bellevue School District said on its website Tuesday that schools will be closed on Friday because of staffing shortages, anticipated inclement weather and COVID-19 restrictions.

“Some of the creative solutions we have provided in the past with staff shortages, will not work with the COVID-19 restrictions. For example, combining classes is not an option at this time,” the announcement said.

Bellevue schools said a makeup day is planned for Jan. 28.

Updated: November 9, 2021 at 6:32 PM PST
Adds information about Bellevue closure.
Updated: November 9, 2021 at 4:01 PM PST
Write-thru from The Associated Press