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CHS to teach remotely due to COVID, staffing concerns

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School officials announced on Monday that classes at Collierville High School will be held remotely through this week.
The decision was made when 14 percent of the students in the school were “identified as infected” with COVID-19. Nearly 30 percent of the teachers and support staff were also identified as infected.
“The resulting levels of employee absenteeism have left the district unable to cover all classes safely and effectively,” said Superintendent Gary Lilly. “In spite of Herculean efforts of the school’s administration, the essential contributions of our regular substitute teachers, and the willingness of district level staff to assist wherever needed, current circumstances do not allow us to provide the academic experience that our students deserve and that our community expects.
“Moving to remote delivery will allow regular classroom teachers, including those who are quarantined, to provide high quality instruction to their own students in real time,” he added.
Collierville Schools has applied for a waiver to allow remote instruction at Collierville High due to the quarantine.
State Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn has approved the waiver.
Extracurricular activities at CHS will be cancelled through Jan. 14.
The high school has more than 9,000 students and 1,300 employees.
Earlier this month, the Collierville Board of Education held a special called meeting to discuss the district’s efforts to “minimize the effects of the COVID Omicron variant on school operations.”
During the proceedings, board members agreed that there was insufficient support to enforce a recommended temporary mask mandate.
Lilly noted that there are currently 42 employees who have tested positive for COVID and 47 staff members who have “been exposed.”
He added that all 10 Collierville Schools have been affected by the COVID resurgence and that the district “has only 60 available substitutes.”

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