Upper Perkiomen schools closed after teachers call out sick following COVID-19 vaccine: Superintendent

PENNSBURG, Pennsylvania -- The Upper Perkiomen School District closed its five schools Friday after 40 staff members called out sick.

In a letter posted on the school district's website, the superintendent said the illnesses are mostly due to reactions from recent coronavirus vaccinations.

Since the schools won't have enough staff members for virtual instruction, all classes, both online and in-person, are canceled.

"Due to a large number of staff members (40 staff members across all five schools as of 10 pm) who have already submitted for a sick day tomorrow, along with the potential for additional staff absence requests in the morning, UPSD must call a Functional Closure on Friday, March 19 as we cannot adequately staff our classrooms and support a normal school day with in-person and virtual instruction.

A Functional Closure means that there is NO SCHOOL (just like a traditional snow day) as there will be no instruction taking place for any students in both the virtual and in-person models. The district will utilize the third emergency day built into the school calendar, and this closure will result in an update to the end of the 2020-21 school calendar for both students and staff,"
the letter said.

Officials said a virtual day was not possible given the number of staff members that are unable to teach due to feeling unwell, and no asynchronous work was planned.