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Union Public Schools to return to classrooms Monday

Posted at 5:27 PM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 18:26:48-05

TULSA, Okla. — Union Public Schools announced Thursday it's shifting back to classrooms after a day of distance learning on Friday.

The district says the recent spike in COVID-19 numbers left them unable to safely staff the schools to end the week.

“Before the holidays we were in a pretty good place," said Chris Payne, chief communications officer for Union Public Schools. "But after we came back it became clear that the numbers were escalating pretty rapidly.”

Tuesday was students' first day back from winter break. Union said its COVID case numbers doubled from Tuesday to Wednesday. Payne said the district had 86 positive cases among staff and students on Tuesday. He said that number jumped to 161 cases on Wednesday. He also said an additional about 100 staff were absent.

“We have to measure it by do we have enough adults to safely operate the school," Payne said. "And if the answer is no we can’t have it. So that’s where we’re at, unfortunately.”

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Friday will count as an instructional day from home as students follow the distance learning schedule, and they'll be scheduled to return to classrooms on Monday.

“We do not make these decisions lightly," Payne said. "We know that it is difficult to make other arrangements. It’s not ideal to have kids at home to do learning. We’re going to get them back in the classroom just as quickly as we can.”

Evening events are expected to go on as scheduled.

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