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‘We really have the best interest of our kids in mind’: Hopkins cancels classes for rest of week

Superintendent says 99 faculty and students at the elementary school are out battling COVID, another illness or quarantining.
Posted at 7:28 PM, Nov 11, 2021

HOPKINS, Mich. — A recent spike in COVID cases has led several school districts to close for a few days. Hopkins Public Schools is one of them. Superintendent Gary Wood canceled classes for Thursday and Friday Nov. 11 and 12.

“This has been, uh, very difficult. I think of my administrators that have to go through contact tracing and contacting parents. ‘Hey, you know your child was sitting next to somebody who tested positive,’” said Wood during an interview with FOX 17 on Thursday afternoon at Hopkins Elementary. “My teaching staff and the students, they’re stressed to the max.”

READ MORE: Hopkins Public Schools cancels classes for the rest of the week due to spike in COVID-19 cases

Wood said in total 99 people, including students and faculty, at the elementary school alone were out battling COVID, some other illness or were quarantining.

“We have a little less than 100 teachers. And, you know, when we have 15 teachers out, we can’t fill 10 of the positions; it gets rough,” Wood said. “We have principals in the classrooms teaching. We have teachers that are teaching during their prep hour.”

Wood said they’re not going virtual and these "off" days may have to be made up for at the end of the year. However, he’s hoping lawmakers will change that soon.

RELATED: Michigan reports 101 new school-related COVID-19 outbreaks on Nov. 1, 2021

“This could impact our snow day situation. We’re counting these as Acts of God days and we get six per year,” Wood said. “I’m hopeful that legislatively in Michigan that our legislators will step up and do something ‘cause I know we’re not the only school district that’s facing this. So, it would be nice if they provided us a little bit of relief here.” 

Despite being closed, the school opened its doors for meals. Parents picked up food Thursday morning for their kids and will be allowed to do so again on Friday.

However, come Monday, Nov. 15 classes will resume again, he said, and everyone’s being asked to wear a mask for one week.

“We really have the best interest of our kids in mind,” Wood said. “I am so thankful for our administrators here. They’ve done a great job through a difficult situation.”

RELATED: CDC: Studies show that mask mandates limit the spread of COVID-19 in schools

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