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Teachers frustrated with Seattle Public Schools' handling of COVID-19 case spike

Seattle Public Schools saw an increase of 704 COVID cases last week compared to the week before.

SEATTLE — As Omicron ramps up COVID numbers, schools in our state are making changes to adapt.

New CDC guidelines have reduced quarantine time from ten days down to five and some districts like Seattle Public Schools, Issaquah and Shoreline, to name a few, have adopted these guidelines for teachers and staff.

“We had between eight and ten, staff members out every day last week,” said KT Raschko, a music specialist at Kimball Elementary School.
She feels the district’s decision to reduce quarantine time was a premature one, even if it's following CDC guidelines.

“As teachers, we tend to try and work through sickness. And especially when we see our staff and our colleagues struggling, we have a tendency to come back, even if we're not at 100% yet. And that's my concern,” she said.

Seattle Public Schools saw an increase of 704 COVID cases last week compared to the week before.

RELATED: What it could take for Seattle Public Schools to opt for remote learning

Franklin High School and Lowell Elementary School are in remote learning due to attendance and classes at Kimball Elementary school have been canceled since Monday.

Raschko, along with other teachers at Kimball are frustrated with how the district is handling the spike in cases.

“We do not feel we are adequately staffed to provide a safe environment for our students,” Raschko said.

Ten educators were out sick without adequate subs to fill in, she told KING 5.

She added they asked the district to move the school to remote learning but were met with a full cancelation of classes instead.

“I think it's the wrong call for students. Students need to be getting their education, and we want to be teaching,” she said. “I can't imagine trying to teach through tragedy. And that was what it felt like we got too close to last week. So, I would rather do a week of remote learning, and come back and see all of my students again.”

Seattle Public Schools has not yet returned a request for comment on the situation at Kimball Elementary School.

RELATED: What it could take for Seattle Public Schools to opt for remote learning