Victor Elementary closing due to increased absences

Victor Elementary School will shut down for the rest of the week amid a surge of illnesses and absences.

The school is down seven staff members and has tallied at least 60 student absences between those quarantined and out sick, Teton Valley News reported Tuesday, citing a letter from the school to local parents.

The temporary closure accompanies a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases locally and statewide — and follows local gridlock and debate over masks in Victor and its kindergarten through third-grade public elementary school.

Victor Mayor Will Frohlich last month issued a city order requiring “all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask or face covering when indoors in a public setting.” The Teton School District, which oversees Victor Elementary, refused to comply, citing its autonomy as an “independent governmental entity” outside the city’s jurisdiction.

Not all of the school’s staff and student absences are due to COVID-19, states the letter, signed by Superintendent Monte Woolstenhulme and other administrators. “We have other illnesses with verified negatives for COVID-19 that are impacting our numbers.”

As of Tuesday, Eastern Idaho Public Health reports 30 active COVID-19 cases, or 25.8 per 10,000 people in Teton County. The agency reports that 49% of the county’s population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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