7 KUSD schools go virtual for week due to employee absences

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Updated: 3:01 p.m. on Sept. 22, 2020

KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- We have new details about the teacher absences that prompted a switch to virtual learning at seven schools in the Kenosha Unified School District.

A district statement says absence levels returned to normal Tuesday, but students at the affected schools will stick with online classes for the rest of this week.

The district says 276 teachers were absent in the affected schools. 

An investigation found that 151 had their absences pre-approved. 

Seventeen reported COVID-like symptoms, 83 reported other reasons and 15 teachers have not yet responded.

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Posted: 5:19 a.m. on Sept. 21, 2020

KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) – The Kenosha Unified School District is having seven schools go virtual for the week of September 21-25 due to employee absences.

According to an email sent to families, Bradford, Harborside, Indian Trail, LakeView, Lincoln, Reuther and Tremper are all switching to virtual learning for the week.

The email said the reason is ‘due to a lack of coverage for in-person learning’. Students at each of the schools are expected to log on for classes at their scheduled time in order to be marked present.

So far, the district has had three staff members and seven students test positive for COVID-19. 

Officials say they only have a 43 percent fill rate so they do not have enough substitutes and other qualified staff to do in-person like they did last week, when they started the school year. 

A school official says they wish they could have told parents and students earlier than late Sunday, about the switch. 

“That is not our preferred way of communicating with our families, but we certainly wanted to get the message out as soon as possible rather than waiting until the morning so they could plan as needed and it’s very important to note that while we have 276 teachers who called in and seven schools who flipped virtual we still have 33 other schools who are still offering the in-school and the virtual and we have another 1,500 teachers who are in our building and serving our students. Our system doesn’t allow us to tell us a exactly why they are taking a sick day. Just allows them to enter a full day or a half day and there’s no reason tied up it so we’ll be doing our research today,” Spokeswoman Tanya Ruder said.

School officials say they are doing their research and any staff who have symptoms have to produce a negative case or stay home for 10 days until their symptoms are gone. 


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