Schools struggle to stay open as COVID causes staffing shortages

Written by on January 5, 2022

Schools struggle to stay open as COVID causes staffing shortages

By Chloe Nouvelle
January 5, 2022

The leader of the Bethlehem Area School District said his goal is to keep schools open for in-person learning, even as some schools in the region close due to staffing shortages. 

On Jan. 4, the Catasauqua Area School District moved its high schoolers to remote learning. In New Jersey, Phillipsburg’s public school district buildings are closed and students will attend classes remotely through Friday, Jan. 14. Both districts cited staffing shortages as the reason for the closures. 

In a video posted to YouTube, video posted to YouTube Bethlehem schools Superintendent Joseph Roy said in-person learning is the choice for Bethlehem’s parents, teachers, and students, but he explained that there are challenges to keeping school doors open.

“We have to have teachers and staff and adults to run the schools. It’s a big operation,” Roy said.

He said his district is “okay” for now, but he can’t predict what the future will bring. Other schools were also feeling the affects of a surge in COVID-19 cases.

In the Nazareth Area School District, more than 700 students were absent Monday, with more than half being COVID-related, Superintendent Dennis Riker said in a letter to parents. Schools remain open.

Riker said several students and staff members were sent home Monday, the first day back from the holiday break, and are awaiting test results. 

WLVR’s Jim Deegan contributed to this report.

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