St. Maries schools closing because of rise in absences

ST MARIES, Idaho — The St. Maries School District is closing schools until October 11.

More than 30 percent of the district’s students are out of class because of illness, confirmed COVID cases or quarantine. Between 20-30 percent of staff are also out.

The school closures include athletic practices and games, before and after school programs, and school clubs.

“Closed schools hurt our community, our local businesses and most importantly our children,” Superintendent Alica Holthaus said in a statement posted to Facebook. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that this closure causes, but we must put the health of our students, staff and community first.”

Students in Idaho aren’t required to wear masks in school. The St. Maries School District did not have a mandate in place, but Holthaus said there will likely be one when students return to class.

That decision must be made by the school board, which will meet on October 4.

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