Olathe, KCK Public Schools face staffing shortage, cancel classes

January 2022

Two of the Kansas City metro’s largest school districts announced they will be canceling classes through Wednesday of this week amid a staffing shortage. The districts say absences have been on the rise due to COVID-19 and other illnesses.

The Kansas school districts have canceled classes this week as cases increase among staff and students. Olathe Public Schools and Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools canceled classes for Tuesday and Wednesday, which includes before and after school programs.

Olathe Superintendent Brent Yeager said the cancellations were unavoidable as more than 800 school employees were out sick heading into this week. For Olathe schools, this is about 20 percent of all schools’ staff.

More than 1,500 students had the virus last week, according to Yeager. According to a news release from Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools, there were 200 positions unfilled as of Friday, Jan. 14.

“We hope the five-day weekend including no school on Monday, Jan. 17, for Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday will provide the recovery time individuals need to avoid further disruption to the learning process,” the release from Kansas City, Kansas Public School wrote.

Olathe’s release highlighted that classes will resume this Thursday saying, “All schools and all support buildings will be closed and staff will not report to work. Activities, athletics, and facility rental will be canceled. Students and staff will report back on Thursday, Jan. 20.”