Butler County Schools Return to Virtual Learning Due to Omicron Variant Among Staff
With rising COVID cases in the state, some school superintendents are making the decision to go back to virtual learning. Butler and Macon County have made the decision to return to virtual learning.
Butler County school Superintendent Joseph Eiland said this is a result of the Omicron variant sweeping through the nation.
“One after the other of our staff members were positive with the new variant,” stated Superintendent Eiland.
Teachers and staff in every state are catching the Omicron Variant. This is causing schools to be understaffed with no one to teach their students.
According to the Alabama School Dashboard, Butler County had 12 reported COVID cases among their school staff, with Macon County having 10. The Butler County school Superintendent made the decision to return to virtual learning for the safety of the students and staff.
“It’s just a bad situation but because I had to focus on the safety of students and the safety of staff, I had to choose to do that,” stated Superintendent Eiland.
However, not all school districts feel they are at a critical point to stop in-person learning. Elmore County schools are continuing their in-person learning because they have more resources and substitute teachers who can step in for the one’s who have become infected. Elmore County schools Superintendent Richard Dennis stated he would only have virtual learning if they had more teachers sick than they could replace.
“If I’m faced with unsupervised students or having to put them in large groups to supervise them, then I would shift to a virtual format,” stated Superintendent Dennis.
Unlike with Elmore County, this was not Butler County school’s Superintendent method of choice but feels he ultimately made the right decision for the health and safety of everyone.
“In spite of the fact it causes a burden, I think we’ve made the right decision,” stated Superintendent Eiland. “I hope our parents can forgive us for causing them additional burdens but it really is for their students safety and for the safety of our staff.”
Butler County schools will be returning to in-person learning on January 8, while Macon County will return January 10.
Also on January 10, all 6 Butler County schools will be giving out hot meals to students for pick up.