UPDATE: COVID shuts down five schools in Allen

Published 5:35 pm Thursday, January 13, 2022

OBERLIN — Five Allen Parish schools are being forced to temporarily close Friday and switch to virtual learning due to a staffing shortage.

Superintendent Kent Reed announced Thursday Reeves High School, Oberlin High School, Oakdale Elementary School, Oakdale Middle School and Oakdale High School will be closed Friday to in-person instruction for all grade levels due to a shortage of staff.

Students in those schools will switch to a virtual learning day.

All other schools in the parish will remain open for in-person learning, he said.

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The shortage is due to a number of staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have had close contact with someone who has tested positive, which requires quarantine and isolation protocols to be followed, he said. In addition, a stomach virus and other illnesses have increased absences among students and staff.

“We have a sub shortage and we are not able to fill enough classroom positions at the affected school,” Reed said.

Schools across the state are being forced to move to virtual learning because there are not enough teachers, principals, cafeteria workers and bus drivers to keep schools open.

In addition, many students have either tested positive, had close contacts or other sicknesses at the affected schools, he said.

All schools in the parish will be closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Reed is hopeful most schools will be able to return to in-person learning on Tuesday following the holiday.