Tryon Elementary closed Friday

Published 7:10 pm Thursday, January 6, 2022

School has staff shortage from COVID, illnesses

TRYON—The latest surge of COVID-19 has impacted Polk County Schools. 

Tryon Elementary School is closed on Friday because of staff shortages. 

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Polk County Schools Superintendent Aaron Greene said the staff has been hit very hard with illness and COVID positives and the COVID version is spreading even for vaccinated people. 

“We are now up to 20 staff members being out for tomorrow at Tryon with several more pending test results,” Greene said Thursday evening. “That is a very large portion of their staff.” 

Greene said the school system has tried unsuccessfully to find substitutes or existing staff to move to cover, but because the system is experiencing the staff issues everywhere, there is no extra staff to pull from. He said COVID has knocked out the cafeteria staff, at least 2, most likely 3 bus drivers, several assistants and a fairly large number of teachers. There are also teachers who are trying to find substitutes because they have sick children or family members. 

Greene sent out an all-call to students on Thursday evening regarding the closing with the following message: 

Hello.  This is an automated message from Polk County Schools for Tryon Elementary School families.  Once more, this message is for Tryon Elementary School families only.  A significant increase this week in staff COVID cases and other illness has heavily impacted staffing at Tryon Elementary School.  There are a substantial number of staff who are currently sick or quarantined, enough so that we are not able to adequately supervise students or adequately complete necessary daily operations for school.  Therefore, Tryon Elementary School will be closed for students on Friday, January 7, 2022.  It will be a required workday for staff.  Again, Tryon Elementary School will be closed for students tomorrow, January 7, 2022 due to staffing issues.  

The District has already been impacted by staffing shortages, and finding substitutes and replacement staff on short notice is extremely difficult at this time.  A good number of staff should return by Monday of next week and we will be working to ensure there is ample coverage so students can return to Tryon Elementary on Monday.  We apologize for this inconvenience.  Thank you, and good evening.