“Our staff is exhausted.” Superintendent calls for support of public educators

Secondary schools across Amherst County will remain closed until September 2. Elementary...
Secondary schools across Amherst County will remain closed until September 2. Elementary schools are still open.(WDBJ)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 11:23 PM EDT
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AMHERST COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Amherst County school leaders gave a stern message Thursday to the community about the COVID-19 Delta variant.

The school board was given an update Thursday night on the number of cases since the district closed buildings to students last week. The assistant superintendent said they’re currently at 202 cases, compared to 100 cases for the entirety of the last school year. It’s expected to have 75 students still in quarantine when schools reopen Monday. The assistant superintendent does feel the shutdown helped the district get a handle on the situation.

Parents were urged to notify officials if their children are ill. The district says one case turned into ten and it snowballed from there.

The district’s superintendent, Dr. Robert Arnold, said staff has been working constantly on contact tracing, but is exhausted. He said the current environment is not as supportive of public education as it was in 2020. Arnold said the district’s staff is doing everything humanly possible to keep the doors open.

Arnold asked the board and the community for support and grace.

The district is looking at additional mitigation strategies, such as smaller student groups and changing how lunch is handled.

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