Southington High School Moves to All Remote Learning Next Week Due to Staffing Shortage

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Southington High School will move to all remote learning for next week due to a staffing shortage after three positive cases of COVID-19 at the school.

At least 25 staff members are self-quarantining as part of recommendations by the local health department and school administrators.

"The school district simply does not have the capacity to staff all of those positions with substitutes, especially given the number of subsitutes needed across the district in other schools," Superintendent Timothy Connellan said in an email to parents on Friday afternoon.

Administrators were made aware of the latest positive case at Southington High School on Thursday.

According to Connellan, the high school students will learn remotely from Monday, Oct. 5 through Friday, Oct. 9. The plan is to have students return to in-person learning on Tuesday, Oct. 13, if there are no additional cases.

"it’s just impossible, logistically, to staff the High School given the numbers and make it a safe place and productive learning environment for kids," Connellan said in an interview with NBC Connecticut Friday night.

He added that substitutes are at a premium everywhere , complicating the staffing problems.

Teachers who are not quarantined will work from the high school next week to teach the students remotely.

"I don’t really blame subs for not wanting to come in, in a situation like this and run the risk of them having to quarantine themselves," Franca Imme, a high school parent, said.

Scott Polverari, another high school parent, said he was not surprised by the news.

"When you have a number of teachers who are a part of that, you just can’t continue with in person classes," he said.

The health department is continuing its contact tracing of students and staff connected to the latest positive case. Anyone who is determined to be a close contact will be notified by email Friday evening, Connellan said.

Students enrolled in programs at ALTA, ACHIEVE, STELLAR and CLP will continue to follow their regular schedules. The SAT session will still run as scheduled Saturday, October 3, and high school sports will continue as previously scheduled. Students identified as close contacts will not be allowed to attend the SAT session or scheduled sports activities, according to Connellan.

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