With the return to classes and Omicron cases on the rise, School District 67 has seen an increase in the number of absences of students and staff.
District superintendent Todd Manuel responded in an email to the Western News to say that in the first days back so far student attendance has been strong.
The district has also been using teachers on call to provide support for schools and classrooms with absent teachers.
“We are working hard to respond to individual school needs daily, and while we have been able to support staff absences so far, it will continue to be challenging if absences increase in the coming days,” Manuel said.
If the absences continue, or grow, the district will alert parents before moving to a functional closures of any schools. Manuel noted that the district is optimistic that they will not have to move any schools to such a state, although they remain ready to do so if necessary.
“We have greatly appreciated the support of parents and guardians as we have communicated our plans and are particularly grateful for their support in having students follow the health and safety protocols, including staying home when sick, wearing masks at schools, and following the school health and safety protocols that have been put in place at their school.”
The number of youth and children with vaccines is steadily increasing. In Penticton, 42 per cent of kids aged five to 11 have had their first dose as of Jan. 11, while 81 per cent of those aged 12 to 17 have had their second shot.
The district and Interior Health are in regular contact and will be working with SD67 in case attendance patterns show the need for additional support.
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