Staff shortages, illness force Ann Arbor elementary school to go remote until Tuesday

‘We are so very sorry this situation has occurred with such short notice.’

FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, file photo, students, some wearing protective masks, arrive for the first day of school at Sessums Elementary School in Riverview, Fla. The on-again, off-again ban imposed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to prevent mandating masks for Florida school students is back in force. The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled Friday, Sept. 10, that a Tallahassee judge should not have lifted an automatic stay two days ago that halted enforcement of the mask mandate ban. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File) (Chris O'Meara, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Students at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School on Ann Arbor’s east side will be learning from home for the rest of the week.

Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift made the announcement through an email on Tuesday afternoon stating that the sudden switch was due to staff illness and absence.

“We are so very sorry this situation has occurred with such short notice. The increase of positive staff cases and those awaiting test results puts us in a position where we are unable to ensure staffing sufficient for a safe in-person learning environment for students at King Elementary,” reads the email.

Students will remain remote through Monday, Jan. 24, and are anticipated to return to in-person classes the next day, Tuesday, Jan. 25.

Swift said that students will access virtual classes on a regular schedule and that more information would be provided by school administration and teachers.

“We understand that this announcement is coming to you with short notice; we acted promptly as soon as we received information regarding absences for this week; we appreciate your support in making this transition on such short notice,” Swift said.

“Our students, teachers, school teams, parents and community are all working incredibly hard together, making sacrifices every day to sustain the opening of our schools; we are making progress, and we appreciate your patience during this challenging time.”

Last week AAPS announced that Skyline and Pathways high schools would also switch to virtual learning this week due to staff shortages.

The public school system has been dealing with numerous staffing shortages due to a high number of cases of the coronavirus, which has previously resulted in last-minute announcements of virtual classes or schools being closed.

Earlier in January is also announced the temporary suspension of 20 bus routes due to shortages. Those routes are anticipated to be reinstated on Monday, Jan. 24.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.