Juanita High School switched to remote learning on Jan. 11 due to staffing shortages that were unable to be filled by substitutes.
Due to the rapid spreading Omicron variant, Lake Washington School District (LWDS) decided to extend remote learning for JHS by one day after consulting Public Health — Seattle and King County.
“Given the volume of cases that have been reported to Juanita this week, Public Health has advised us to consider the likelihood that all students who had been on campus may have been in close contact with someone that has since tested positive rather than conducting individual contact tracing for each case,” said Jon Holmen, LWSD Superintendent.
JHS was expected to return to in person learning by Wednesday, Jan. 19, however students are now expected to return Friday, Jan. 21. The initial switch to remote learning was due to staffing shortages as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic quarantines, as well as general illnesses.
According to JHS, staff members attempted to fill vacancies to the best of their abilities, but they were still unable to safely operate the school. The extra day of remote learning allows for extra time for individuals to complete necessary quarantine periods, according to the school.
For the first week back from winter break, from Jan. 4-7, the number of new COVID-19 positive student cases in the past 14 days was 10. The number of close contacts in the past 14 days for that time frame was 99. The school district estimates that there are 1,798 students who learn in person, with an estimate of 157 staff members.
As of Jan. 17, LWSD is seeking to fill six substitute positions throughout the district, five of which do not require a teaching certificate.
To learn about available substitute teaching positions visit https://www.lwsd.org/employment/substitute-employees