New isolation rules in the Kingston area have led to staffing shortages and a pivot to online learning for several schools in the Limestone District School Board.
On Sunday night, LDSB sent out communication to families via the schools' communication broadcast system informing them of the closure, and on Monday morning posted to social media including additional schools making the shift.
Thus far, LDSB has included Amherstview Public School, Molly Brant Elementary School, Bath Public School, Polson Park Public School, Module de l'Acadie, Challenge Program at Calvin Park Public School, Odessa Public School, Southview Public School, Storrington Public School as well as Nexus at Odessa and the LD program at Southview in the pivot to online learning.
"We sincerely apologize for these circumstances and recognize the challenges this presents to many families," LDSB's social accounts posted.
"However, we cannot operate classes effectively or safely for in-person learning if we have insufficient staffing in place."
With the rampant COVID numbers in the region, KFL&A Public Health announced stricter regulations for capacity limits and isolation requirements, set to last for at least the next week.
Close contacts of a positive case must now isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status and regardless of a negative PCR test.
Close contacts are also required to receive a PCR after their 7th day of isolation, and if they do not they're required to isolate an additional 10 days.
Due to these measures, LDSB says they can not appropriately and safely staff the schools.
Classes who have been directed to isolate due to a COVID-19 exposure are being asked to take their personal belongings home and are also being provided with their rapid tests and devices where required to pivot to remote learning for the remainder of the week.
At this point, it does not appear the entire school board will be shifting to online learning, but Communications Officer Karen Smith said that additional schools may also have to shift to online learning later this week.
This week the school board also purchased 5-pack testing kits for every full time, part time and casual staff member.
This is the last week of school before the winter break begins.
Story by Owen Fullerton, YGK News, for the Local Journalism Initiative