Northern Vancouver Island secondary school announces ‘functional closure’ due to staff shortage

Northern Vancouver Island secondary school announces 'functional closure' due to staff shortage
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A Northern Vancouver Island secondary school has announced a “functional closure” as a result of staffing shortages amid the latest wave of COVID-19.

School District 85 (SD85) announced on Thursday that North Island Secondary School (NISS) in Port McNeill would be closing down for a day because there wasn’t enough staff to cover shifts.

School District 85 describes the shortages as “operational limitations,” opting to close NISS to in-person learning on January 21.

At this time, the district intends to reopen the facility on Monday, January 24.

A joint letter was sent out to parents and students from the district superintendent, Christina MacDonald, and NISS Principal Jen Turner, informing the community of the functional closure and indicating that teachers will be expected to be prepared for online instruction by January 24, should the functional closure continue.

“We recognize this is a stressful time for students, families and staff. Please know that all possible alternatives were considered prior to making this decision,” reads the joint letter.

The district intends to monitor the current staffing shortage situation throughout the weekend in order to make a decision on whether or not to extend the closure.

Families and school staff are encouraged to monitor their emails for up-to-date information on the closure. NISS says that a decision regarding next week is expected to be made by 3 p.m. on Sunday.


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