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Seattle students will get a 4-day weekend after a lack of teachers forced schools to close

Public school students in Washington State will get a surprise four-day weekend after 600 teachers requested day off after Veterans Day and there is a shortage of substitutes because of COVID-related protocols

  •  Thousands of students in Washington State’s Seattle and Bellevue School Districts will get an unexpected four-day weekend starting on Thursday
  • More than 600 teachers called out sick the day after Veteran’s Day and a sub shortage and COVID restrictions have made covering the classes impossible
  •  ‘We are aware of an unusually large number of SPS staff taking leave on Friday, and do not believe we have adequate personnel to open schools’
  • Teachers in the two school districts have historically requested off the day after Veteran’s day, the district told FOX News 
  • The Seattle Education Association, the union covering the teachers in the district, said that teachers were not requesting the day off due to a strike
  • The shortage also wasn’t a response to vaccine mandates: the school announced last month than 99 percent of its staff had gotten the jab. 
  •  The union posited in its letter to parents that the number of sick leave requests was ‘indicative’ of fatigue


Thousands of students in Washington State will have an unexpected four-day weekend after two school districts told parents that more than 600 teachers requested the day off on Friday and there is a shortage of substitutes because of COVID-related protocols. 

Students already have Thursday off for Veterans Day but those in the Seattle and neighboring Bellevue school districts will get to enjoy a long weekend.

‘We are aware of an unusually large number of SPS staff taking leave on Friday, and do not believe we have adequate personnel to open schools with the necessary environment for high-quality learning,’ Seattle Public Schools told parents on Tuesday. 

The Bellevue School district also announced that there would be no classes on Friday: ‘School will be closed because of staffing shortages, anticipated inclement weather and COVID-19 restrictions.’

Students in the Seattle and Bellevue school districts already have Thursday off due to Veteran’s day, and the surprise day off on Friday will connect the holiday with the weekend for students and teachers. Pictured are students at Thurgood Marshal Elementary School in the Seattle district

The Bellevue School district announced on Tuesday that there would be no classes on Friday: 'School will be closed because of staffing shortages, anticipated inclement weather and COVID-19 restrictions

The Bellevue School district announced on Tuesday that there would be no classes on Friday: ‘School will be closed because of staffing shortages, anticipated inclement weather and COVID-19 restrictions

Teachers in the two school districts have historically requested the day off after Veteran’s Day, the district told FOX News

The Seattle Education Association, the union covering the teachers in the district, said in a statement that teachers were not requesting the day off due to a planned work stoppage, according to the Seattle Times

The shortage also wasn’t a response to vaccine mandates, the union said. The school announced last month than 99 percent of its staff had gotten the jab.  

Relieving missing staff is more difficult than usual, the union said, due to COVID-19 protocols:  

‘Educators are stretching themselves to the limit to provide COVID-safe, quality services and learning for all of our students but we cannot succeed without adequate support,’ the teachers union statement continued. 

'Educators are stretching themselves to the limit to provide COVID-safe, quality services and learning for all of our students but we cannot succeed without adequate support,' a statement from the Seattle Education Association said

‘Educators are stretching themselves to the limit to provide COVID-safe, quality services and learning for all of our students but we cannot succeed without adequate support,’ a statement from the Seattle Education Association said

‘The state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) needs to hear how the staffing shortages and systemic underfunding of public education is directly impacting our abilities to meet the needs of children in this pandemic.’

The union posited in its letter to parents that the number of sick leave requests was ‘indicative’ of fatigue experienced by students and teachers since they have returned to the classroom from COVID-driven remote learning, and the forced four-day weekend ‘may offer physical, mental and emotional restoration.’

Athletic programs will still take place on Friday, the district said. Students in the Seattle Public School district will make up the lost day at the end of the school year, while students in the Bellevue school district will do so on January 28. 

Athletic programs will still take place on Friday, the district said. Students in the Seattle Public School district will make up the lost day at the end of the school year, while students in the Bellevue school district will do so on January 28

Athletic programs will still take place on Friday, the district said. Students in the Seattle Public School district will make up the lost day at the end of the school year, while students in the Bellevue school district will do so on January 28

‘This is a change from the 2021-2022 calendar of school year dates approved last spring, and we recognize the late notice creates challenging circumstances for many families,” the Seattle Public School district said in its letter to parents. 

‘We recognize that this notice may result in the need for childcare for families. Right at School, our partner in providing childcare, is on hand to assist those who wish to get quick access to their services. Specific information regarding Right at School will be provided on our website,’ wrote the Bellevue School District. 

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