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DE SOTO, KS (KCTV) -- USD 232 in De Soto has canceled school for Friday, Jan. 14 due to "the high number of staff absences due to COVID-19 and other illnesses."

USD 232 serves De Soto, Shawnee, Lenexa, and Olathe according to the district's website. The district's headquarters is in De Soto.

The district says the number of teachers out and the difficulty in getting substitutes is concerning. 

"The district has had nearly 100 teaching positions unfilled this week, requiring school and district staff to try to fill the gaps," the district said. "For Friday, January 14, nearly 20 percent of classroom teachers are already not available. This is having a negative impact on our daily instruction for students. This challenge does not take into account absences among our school support staff."

"Additionally, student absences for illness has been between 10-11 percent for the week," the district said. "The decision to cancel school for Friday was not taken lightly."

"We hope the four-day weekend (no school on Monday, Jan. 17, for Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday) will provide the recovery individuals need to avoid further disruption to the learning process," the district said. "Students and staff will return on Tuesday, January 18."

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