Staffing shortage leads to temporary closure of four schools in Tuscaloosa County

·1 min read
Carson Grantham wears his face mask as he enters the new Northport Intermediate School on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021.[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]
Carson Grantham wears his face mask as he enters the new Northport Intermediate School on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021.[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

Three elementary schools in the Tuscaloosa County system and a performing arts school in the city system will be closed Friday because of staffing shortages as coronavirus cases increase.

The closure affects Cottondale, Flatwoods, and Holt elementary schools in the county system and the Alberta School of the Performing Arts in the city system.

Statements from the Tuscaloosa County School System and Tuscaloosa City Schools say the closures are temporary and all four schools will reopen Tuesday, after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday.

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"The temporary closure at these schools is due to a high number of faculty absences and lack of substitutes. While other schools are experiencing the same concerns, they are still able to operate at current staffing levels," according to a statement from the Tuscaloosa County School System superintendent's office.

"We encourage our families to keep practicing healthy habits and good hygiene, to fight the spread of COVID-19, as well as illnesses like cold and flu."

A social media post from Tuscaloosa City Schools says the Friday closure of the Alberta School of the Performing Arts is "due to staff shortages."

On Thursday, Tuscaloosa City Schools announced that the system will return to requiring masks in the classroom beginning Tuesday.

An email to parents said return to masks was initiated because the two-week student positive rate was above the Board of Education approved 1% threshold.

"We are deeply appreciative of the support, grace, and patience you continue to show for our schools and the educators serving your children," a Thursday email from Tuscaloosa City Schools said.

The Tuscaloosa County School System strongly encourages masks, but does not require them.

Both systems require masks on school buses.

Reach Ken Roberts at ken.roberts@tuscaloosanews.com.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Three Tuscaloosa county, one city school temporarily close

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