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NEWS & ANALYSIS

Illinois School District Cancels Classes this Week Due to Lack of Staffing & Support Amid COVID-19


Evanston Skokie School District 65 is giving students a longer Thanksgiving break than expected, announcing that all 18 of their north suburban schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday for roughly 7,300 preschool through eighth grade students.  

The district sent a notice to parents on Friday citing inadequate staffing and support, ABC 7 News reports. Classes will resume on Monday November 29. 

“This decision was made both in the interest of safety and the mental health of our team,” district Superintendent Devon Horton said. 

“Even with the deployment of subs and staff from Central Office, we would not have nearly enough coverage nor could we operate safely under pandemic health guidelines,” Horton wrote. “We recognize this news is difficult and may put working families in a bind.”

Several days of meals will be available for pick-up for all students at Chute, Haven and Nichols on Monday morning, according to district officials. 

As a result of the decision, the district will need to extend the school year by two days. The last day of school will now be June 8, pending the use of any additional emergency days. 

District officials asked members of the community to respect and understand the decision, saying “Stress is causing burnout and people are juggling personal and professional responsibilities, and a myriad of challenges catalyzed by the pandemic. As an organization we must acknowledge this and support those directly responsible for the learning and care of our students and afford them this time and opportunity.”