With winter break almost upon us, two county schools have closed early due to staff shortages caused by illness.

South Nodaway R-IV School District and St. Gregory Barbarigo School both closed the week of December 13 through the Christmas break with students returning to school the week of January 3.

Maryville R-II has experienced shortages in staff and has had trouble finding substitutes, Maryville Superintendent Dr. Becky Albrecht said. At Eugene Field Elementary, the administration, counselors and teachers have been filling in for absent teachers during planning breaks if subs are unavailable. In December, there have been 18 times the district was unable to find subs for the elementary.

Albrecht compared students quarantined during first semester 2020 of 922 students to first semester 2021 of 926 students, 105 of which had been vaccinated so were not quarantined but monitored for symptoms.

About the decision to close, SN Superintendent Dustin Skoglund said, “however, it is our belief that students are best served educationally through in-person learning and we intend to reschedule these days of school when more students are able to be present. It is our hope that the additional time away from school will promote wellness and recovery for those staff, students and community members dealing with illness…”

The other school districts have had few staff absences due to illness and are looking forward to finishing the final days of the first semester.