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Harrison Hills schools closed due to virus

CADIZ — Harrison Hills students are beginning their Thanksgiving holiday break a bit early due to staffing limitations brought on by the coronavirus.

Over the weekend, the Harrison Hills City School District announced that as a result of a few COVID-19 positive individuals and an abundance of quarantines, the schools would be closed both Monday and today.

Superintendent Dana Snider said the district decided to give students an extended Thanksgiving break due to a lack of available staff members.

More than 120 staff and students have been quarantined after two staff members and two students recently tested positive for the virus.

The school district originally was set to begin its holiday break on Wednesday, but closed the schools early.

“Since this is Thanksgiving week, we only had instructional days two days (Monday and Tuesday). So instead of starting remote classes, the board and administration decided to go ahead and give an extended Thanksgiving holiday,” Snider said.

Snider said the district has 18 members of its staff under quarantine protocols and an additional eight staff members who were off for non-virus related reasons.

“We have too many staff quarantined to where it left us with a staffing issue,” she said. “So we just thought it would be better to give it a break.”

Nearly all of the individuals who are under quarantine will be able to return by Nov. 30, she said.

In-person classes will resume Monday for prekindergarten through sixth grade and for eighth through 12th grades. Seventh-graders will remain on remote learning until Dec. 7. Snider said the entire seventh grade class is under quarantine due to a positive case.

Snider said the school’s positive cases are attributed to separate gatherings that occurred outside of the schools as part of the individuals’ personal lives.

Snider said the district is eager to have students return to in-person classes after the break.

“We certainly value education and desire to have our students back in our schools as soon, and as safely, as possible,” she said.

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