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Spokane Public Schools will be closed Jan. 18 due to COVID-related staffing issues

SPS students were already scheduled to have Monday, Jan. 17 off in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but will now also be off on the following Tuesday.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Public Schools (SPS) will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 18, due to staffing shortages brought on by COVID-19, according to an email from SPS.

SPS said schools are facing a large number of staff shortages each day. Because Washington public health officials have predicted the Omicron surge will peak sometime next week, SPS predicts staffing conditions will not improve and may worsen over the next several weeks.

In preparation for the predicted peak, SPS officials are adjusting the school calendar "to provide additional time for staff to complete quarantines required by the Department of Health". 

SPS students were already scheduled to have Monday, Jan. 17 off in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but will now also be off on the following Tuesday.

SPS will not offer morning or afternoon childcare on Jan. 18. Sports and other extracurricular activities are being adjusted as well and changes should be communicated by the school's athletics director.

Students will also be out of school on Monday, Jan. 24, pending conditions. SPS said they "highly anticipate" students being out of school on Jan. 24, but will provide parents with final confirmation no later than Thursday, Jan. 20.

"Our intent is to continue providing in-person learning, as recommended by public health officials," SPS said in an email. "Shifting the school calendar instead of canceling school keeps as many students in school as possible with minimal disruption to education and other SPS services."

Any additional information about the closure can be found on the SPS website.