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St. Paul shifts 7 schools to virtual learning into next week

The district says the switch is due to classroom teacher absences.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Seven schools in the St. Paul school district are moving to virtual learning for the next several days.

According to the district communications office, these schools moved to virtual learning on Friday, and will return to in-person learning on Wednesday, Jan. 26:

  • Galtier
  • Creative Arts High School
  • Humboldt High School
  • Rivereast Elem/Secondary

Three other schools will shift to virtual learning after Friday, and return to in-person learning on Thursday, Jan. 27:

  • Central High School
  • Highwood Hills
  • Saint Paul Music Academy

A district spokesperson says the temporary move to virtual learning is due to classroom teacher absences, which could be due to a variety of reasons, not necessarily connected to COVID-19.

Earlier this week, Saint Paul Public Schools announced it wouldn't transition all buildings to distance learning during the current omicron surge. Instead, the district said families will be notified if on a given day a school has 25% or more of classroom teachers absent. If that rate is expected to continue for more than three days, the school will temporarily shift to virtual learning.

RELATED: SPPS won't shift entire district to distance learning

The district said other staffing shortages could also prompt an "immediate shift" to virtual learning, and that families will be given as much notice as possible.

Currently, SPPS requires face masks for teachers, staff, students and visitors (ages 2 and older) in all district buildings, regardless of vaccine status.

On Jan. 14, the district also updated its quarantine guidelines based on new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Effective Jan. 18, SPPS will maintain a 10-day isolation period for students who test positive for COVID-19. Students with symptoms that haven't been tested have to follow the SPPS COVID-19 Exclusion Decision Tree to determine when they can return to school.

People identified as close contacts to non-household members who have COVID are asked to follow new guidance with a reduced quarantine of 5 days.

RELATED: Potential teacher strike could be looming in Minneapolis, St. Paul

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