Boulder Valley School District officials said Friday that classes will be canceled Nov. 12 due to “a staffing challenge.”
A letter from Superintendent Rob Anderson said that Boulder Valley School District, alongside districts across the state, have faced critical staffing shortages throughout the year, especially in regards to substitute teachers, bus drivers, child care and food service workers.
With no school on Thursday, due to Veterans Day, Anderson’s letter said a scheduling “quirk” left Friday as a floating day of school.
“While we do have a robust review and input process to develop our school calendars, we did not realize at the time of approving this calendar the staffing shortages we would be facing this year,” Anderson’s letter said. “As we approach next week, it became evident today that we will not have enough substitutes and central office staff to cover the number of absences expected next Friday.”
In an email, Randy Barber, Boulder Valley School District spokesperson, said that the situation is not specifically related to COVID-19 cases, quarantines or illness.
“It is tangentially related to the pandemic in so far as we have a smaller group of substitutes this year due to staffing shortages seen nationwide,” Barber wrote.
Anderson’s letter commended the “outstanding efforts of our teachers and staff” to cover gaps allowing the district to largely avoid impacts to students.
“Next Friday, however, is posing a staffing challenge that we will not be able to overcome,” the letter read. “We have made the difficult decision to cancel classes on Friday, November 12.”
The date will be used as a workday for BVSD staff. The letter said that Adams 12 also announced plans to close Nov. 12.
While the district has had a few sporadic closures of School Age Care programs, the letter said that the district has otherwise met its goal of keeping schools open five days a week.
Barber said in his email that the district has been carefully watching staffing every week because of the challenges.
“To our knowledge, this was the only floating school day, which always creates a higher than normal absence rate,” Barber wrote.
The number of teacher absences registered for Nov. 12 is 486. Barber said 200 of those have been unfilled for that day.