With the emergence of the omicron variant, Forsyth County Schools has struggled alongside school districts across the nation in the past few weeks as COVID-19 cases rise, and labor shortages continue.
Despite this struggle, Director of Communications Jennifer Caracciolo said FCS schools had a successful first week back to face-to-face instruction for the start of its second semester.
While the district is still in need of bus drivers, cafeteria staff, custodians and substitute teachers in the midst of the labor shortage that has been exacerbated by the rising cases, forcing some staff to quarantine at home, Caracciolo said “we are getting through this as one FCS family.”
Staff members across the district have stepped up to the plate this week, offering help wherever needed. Custodians have started working at other schools that are short on cleaning staff, teaching and learning staff temporarily filled positions in schools at the beginning of the week and school administrative teams have offered help to several short-staffed areas in their schools.
“All of our staff are stepping up to get the job done,” Caracciolo said.
The current labor shortage has impacted businesses and school districts across the nation, forcing some to temporarily close or switch to virtual learning. Thanks to efforts by school system staff this week, the district can continue to offer both face-to-face and virtual learning for families.
As of Friday morning, Forsyth County Schools reported that there are 276 total active COVID-19 cases among face-to-face students and staff within the school system. Active cases include individuals who have tested positive and are currently in a five-day isolation period.
After the fifth day, the individual is removed from the district’s rolling count of active COVID-19 cases.
These active cases include 64 staff cases out of the district’s more than 5,700 face-to-face employees. Transportation has been most severely impacted by rising cases so far, with five active cases within the department.
Rising cases match trends seen in Forsyth County and across the state as the more contagious omicron COVID-19 variant continues to spread.
“As always, we encourage all in our community to stay home when sick, wash their hands frequently, and cover up coughs and sneezes,” Caracciolo said.
For more information and updates, visit the FCS website at www.forsyth.k12.ga.us.