Ann Arbor Public Schools district cancels classes due to staffing shortage

Widespread absences forces district to close buildings

Empty classroom (Francois Mori, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Classes are canceled for everyone in the Ann Arbor Public Schools district on Monday due to staffing problems.

The district said more teachers are out due to COVID-19 protocols and if they cannot adequately staff buildings, then it’s not safe to open schools.

Four of the district’s 32 schools switch to remote learning because 506 staff members were absent.

Meanwhile, the district is holding job fairs to try to fill teaching positions.

‘I do understand the stress.’ Ann Arbor schools superintendent addresses temporary school closures

All About Ann Arbor spoke with Superintendent Jeanice Swift last week about the closures.

She said widespread absences have impacted all positions in the system, not just teachers.

Read: Ann Arbor Public Schools cancels classes for all students on Monday amid staff shortage

“It’s the superintendent’s responsibility to ensure that schools and classrooms are happy and safe and secure and comfortable locations,” she said.

She compared the recent closures to emergency scenarios like electrical outages or inclement weather, and said if the district cannot adequately staff buildings, it is not safe to be open. Swift shared that during her teaching years, schools would handle staff shortages by combining classrooms and taking large numbers of students to the library, but that such measures aren’t possible due to current COVID protocols.

Read more here.