Lakota Closed Jan. 14 due to Staff Shortage

Lakota Closed Jan. 14 due to Staff Shortage
Posted on 01/13/2022
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In response to the high number of staff absences district-wide, Superintendent Matthew Miller sent the following message to parents to communicate the difficult decision to close Lakota Local Schools on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. 

Dear Lakota Parents and Guardians,

Since returning from winter break, we have shared with you our concerns about the high number of staff absences, lack of substitutes and the impact this is having on the daily operation of our buildings. Unfortunately, the situation has not improved this week. In fact, it has become more widespread. We now have multiple buildings without a principal or assistant principal, as well as several schools without nurses. Our teacher and support staff absences without substitutes are in the high double digits. Absences are also impacting our custodial staff, child nutrition and, of course, busing. This high rate of staff absences is presenting a challenge at every school.

Due to this increasing number of staff absences across the district and the inability to find adequate substitute coverage, we have made the difficult decision to close Lakota Local Schools on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022.

There will be no school for all students or staff on Friday. We will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 18 following the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

  • Friday, Jan. 14: No school for staff and students, including VLO
  • Monday, Jan. 17: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - no school (as originally planned)
  • Tuesday, Jan. 18: All classes resume, including VLO

This closure is a result of staff absences impacting our school day. At this time, extracurricular activities will continue as scheduled. Any changes will be communicated by coaches and advisors.

Our administrators, teachers and staff have done an incredible job covering classes when we have not had enough substitutes. Our building leaders have creatively juggled schedules and teachers have offered to double up classes. However, our staff absences continue to climb. While these are for a variety of reasons, testing positive for COVID-19 is certainly a large factor. 

Subsequently, the number of positive COVID cases and absences, in general, among students this past week is also on the rise. While this doesn’t have the same impact on our daily operation and our ability to care for the students still at school, we remain vigilant in monitoring for evidence of substantial in-school spread that may necessitate additional action. As always, we strongly recommend that all students and staff wear a mask while at school, especially for the duration of this surge. 

With the recent changes to the CDC and Ohio Department of Health’s guidelines for positive cases, it is our hope that many of our staff, and students, who are in isolation for COVID will be ready to return to school on Tuesday. Staff and families should continue to report positive cases over the long weekend so we can monitor our progress for successfully returning to in-person learning on Tuesday.

Thank you for your support during this very trying time. 


Matthew J. Miller