COVID outbreak impacts school staffing in Enfield

Dozens of school staff members in Enfield have COVID
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 4:54 PM EDT
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ENFIELD, CT (WFSB) - Enfield Public Schools are trying to figure out how to keep a school open to in-person learning after a rash of COVID cases are forcing staff to call out sick.

The superintendent says all schools in the district have some staff out because of COVID.

Henry Barnard Elementary has the most out.

They’re doing all they can to avoid remote learning Tuesday, but they want to be prepared.

After another 10 to 15 sick calls Monday morning, there are now more than 30 staff members, nearly half of Henry Barnard Elementary’s staff, who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Couple that with the amount of staff awaiting test results because they are a close contact, the school district is worried not enough staff will be in Tuesday to have in-person learning.

In preparation of more sick calls, all staff and students have been sent home with their iPads, just in case they can’t figure a way to cover the sick calls with staff from other schools, like they did Monday.

In a statement sent out to staff and families, Superintendent Chris Drezek says they’re working to figure a plan some time before late Monday evening to give families as much notice as possible.

Drezek says there have been more students testing positive recently.

He couldn’t say an exact number.

Read the full statement sent to students here:

Unfortunately, this morning we were hit with a wave of COVID positive staff members that now exceeds thirty people. I commend the staff of Henry Barnard along with district staff for pulling together to keep the building operating today. However, with this amount of staff unable to come to work, and more awaiting test results, we are now faced with a supervision issue as we may no longer have enough adults in the building to safely remain open. School staff has reminded everyone in the building to bring their iPads home in the event we are forced to go remote until this wave passes. At the present time, I am not closing Barnard for tomorrow, Tuesday May 3rd, as we are doing everything we can to find additional staffing to open for tomorrow. Although I’m hopeful, I’m not optimistic that we will find the resources to open safely. I wanted to give you as much notice as possible because I understand the hardship this will cause families, but with the amount of staff members testing positive, we are exhausting every option. A discussion on tomorrow will come later in the day after we determine if we can move staff from other buildings to cover, but I wanted to be aware this was a possibility.

Superintendent Chris Drezek
COVID outbreak impacts school staffing in Enfield