Classes took place as usual at McAuliffe International School in Denver's Park Hill neighborhood Monday, but they nearly didn't thanks to a COVID outbreak. It's a reminder that the pandemic's impact on education isn't over.
"At first I thought covid was gone but then I got used to it and I was like COVID's probably in our lives forever now," said McAuliffe 6th grader Blake Slater.
Twenty-three McAuliffe teachers, counselors, and administrators were out sick Monday.
"Right now, we have a confirmed 21 staff members with Covid. We're still confirming the other two," said Rachel Childress, Media Relations Manager with Denver Public Schools.
According to an email that went out to parents, not one substitute teacher picked up any of those shifts, leading to concerns that the school may need to close.
Denver Public Schools has been impacted by the staffing and substitute teacher shortages seen nationwide, but McAuliffe managed to stay open Monday thanks to help from other schools.
"We were able to cope, we still have plenty of our support staff our fantastic paraprofessionals and other people throughout DPS," said Childress.
DPS could not provide a number of students out sick Monday, but some, like Slater, left midday due to illness.
"I just got sent home," Slater said, "I have a really bad headache and stomachache. My math teacher was sick last Friday."
The district says they've tested all McAuliffe staff for COVID, increased preventative measures, and will do a deep clean Monday night.
If more staff become ill, the school may need to move to remote learning, something students are all too familiar with.
"Last year in 5th grade we had on and off, but in 4th grade, it was all online," said Slater.
Denver Public Schools announced late Monday afternoon that McAuliffe will remain open for in-person classes on Tuesday.
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