WENTZVILLE, Mo. – A total of 300 staff members across the Wentzville School District were absent from work Wednesday, 162 of those are related to COVID-19.
Superintendent Curtis Cain said staff is having to shuffle and flex to make sure classes are covered.
“It forces us to be as flexible and creative as we possibly can so we have staff members teaching in other groups, staff members who are going out of their way to flex and be as supportive as they can of what’s going on in our classrooms and we are very appreciative,” Cain said.
The district’s COVID dashboard shows that in the last two weeks, 39 employees and 69 students have been COVID positive. The district labels these numbers as “active.” The dashboard also shows that 1530 students and 235 staff members have been exposed in the last two weeks, which are also listed as “active.”
Some staff members, including library assistants are filling in other classes in need.
The district took to Twitter to thank staff that are stepping up.
“It forces us to be as flexible and creative as we possibly can so we have staff members teaching in other groups, staff members who are going out of their way to flex and be as supportive as they can of what’s going on in our classrooms and we are very appreciative,” Cain said. “Whatever it takes to keep our classrooms doors open that’s what our staff is doing and we are very appreciative, we have staff who are not taking their plan period and are teaching during their plan period.”
Superintendent Cain said the schools most impacted are Wentzville Middle School, Peine Ridge Elementary, and Holt and Timberland high schools.
Cain said the understaffed bus driver situation is getting better, but, “as soon as we have things settled, other things start to bubble up.” For example, 11 more staff members tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday, potentially creating more shuffling to fill classrooms.
One Wentzville School District Parent said the latest COVID-19 numbers in the district are “concerning.”
“Hybrid was going well and the cases were obviously less than they are now,” said Brooke Augenstein, a parent in the Wentzville School District. “I do feel like now because it has kind of gotten out of control, that hybrid might be the best option.”
Superintendent Cain said the district is keeping all of the options on the table and letting data guide their decisions.
“It’s definitely a sign that things have trended up and we’re going to react appropriately, right, we will continue to work to pay attention in terms of what is happening as it related to our numbers specifically the metrics of what is going on in our staff and students in the district.”