By News-Register staff • 

Dayton schools take a break; some Sheridan classes online

Some Yamhill County school districts are closing buildings or switching to online learning temporarily, with many staff members as well as students absent because of COVID or in quarantine related to the virus, 

Dayton's high school and junior high were closed Thursday because of absences coupled with a lack of enough qualified substitute teachers, Superintendent Steve Sugg said.

Both the secondary and grade schools are closed today, as well. Dayton students also will be off on Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

“We are hoping the extended break will allow staff and students a chance to get healthy,” Sugg said.

On days when Dayton classes are canceled, students can pick up lunches at curbside from noon to 1 p.m. at their buildings.

Dayton also is continuing athletic events with additional precautions, Sugg said. No concessions will be sold nor food or drink allowed in the gyms. Spectators will be limited to four people per athlete.

Sheridan moved its fourth- through eighth-grade classes online this week. Superintendent Dorie Vickery sent a message to parents, saying students would have six days of remote learning, then return to classrooms.

“Our goal is to have our students grades 4-8 back as quickly as possible and keep both schools, childcare and preschool programs open,” she said.

Vickery said schools always deal with staff absences, but COVID has increased the shortages this year. Some staff members are in quarantine after being exposed to the virus, and others have to stay home to care for family members.

The statewide shortage of substitutes also adds to the difficulty in keeping positions filled, she said.

Returning to distance learning, even on a temporary basis, “was a very difficult decision to make,” Vickery said. “I feel for students and staff having to navigate yet another significant change.”

Other districts in Yamhill County are continuing in-person learning. But most said they are prepared to move online if necessary.

Newberg also has temporarily suspended its test-to-stay program, which usually allows students who have been exposed to the virus in school to continue attending if they test negative. Now exposed students need to quarantine for five days unless the are fully vaccinated.

District officials added that Newberg’s supply of COVID test kits is almost exhausted.


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