Wichita's board of education voted Monday to extend Thanksgiving break an two extra days.
Students and staff will now take Nov. 23 and 24 off, giving them a full work week away from the classroom — both in-person and virtually.
The district said it's running short on teachers and substitutes as the rise in COVID-19 cases in Sedgwick Counties forces employees to isolate and quarantine.
Superintendent Alicia Thompson told the board it's been a rough couple of weeks.
"To extend the fall break will give our system the much needed opportunity to regain some functional capacity ... by giving our employees and our families the opportunity to focus on health and wellness — emotionally and physically," Thompson said.
The extra days were added before Thanksgiving — when familes are most likely to gather in big groups and risk spreading the virus further — because staff tend to prefer a full week off, according to Thompson. She suggested students and staff avoid large gatherings and traveling.
The district says employees will be paid for the entire week. It also said the extra days off have eliminated any time in the calendar set aside for snow days.
Stephan Bisaha reports on education and young adult life for KMUW and the Kansas News Service. You can follow him on Twitter @stevebisaha.
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