NORTHPORT, AL — The Tuscaloosa County School System opted to temporarily close Echols Middle School on Friday, citing a high number of faculty absences due to COVID-19 and the lack of substitutes.
TCSS said while other schools are experiencing the same concerns, its other 34 schools were still able to operate at current staffing levels on Friday. The closure follows the previously expressed approach by TCSS to take a more surgical approach in closing schools where cases are higher or when staffing levels become too low.
As Patch previously reported, TCSS Superintendent Keri Johnson has said the county school system plans to close individual schools facing these issues, as opposed to a closure of its entire system. This also comes as DCH Health System in Tuscaloosa is reporting COVID-19 hospitalization numbers not seen since January 2021.
TCSS says it plans to reopen Echols Middle School as soon as possible, when staffing returns to the necessary level for the school to operate normally.
Families of Echols students will be contacted Sunday with an update on plans for the upcoming week.
Have a news tip or suggestion on how I can improve Tuscaloosa Patch? Maybe you're interested in having your business become one of the latest sponsors for Tuscaloosa Patch? Email all inquiries to me at firstname.lastname@example.org