Spaulding High School closed Monday with too many staffers out

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 10:28 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2022 at 3:21 PM EDT
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BARRE, Vt. (WCAX) - Students at Spaulding High School in Barre had an unexpected extended weekend. Classes were canceled on Monday due to short staffing.

Barre Unified Union School District Superintendent Chris Hennessey said they had a similar situation last Friday, though they were able to keep the school open.

But over the weekend, more facility and staff members got sick, so they made the call to close the school early Monday morning.

“It’s very unusual and I think it’s a combination in the uptick in the region of COVID cases, but also other bugs, flu bugs, stomach bugs that are out there that are really hitting people hard, kids too. We’ve had a lot of student absences combined with existing staff shortages, lack of substitutes, it’s sort of a perfect storm this morning,” Hennessey said.

In a message to the community, Hennessey wrote:

“Dear BUUSD Community,

I’m writing this morning to let the whole community know we needed to make the very difficult decision to close Spaulding High School for today, Monday, October 3. All other BUUSD schools, including BCEMS, BTMES, SEA, and also the Central Vermont Career Center are open for business as usual.

Beginning last week, we experienced a significant increase in student and staff absences due to illness across the community. The SHS community has been hit particularly hard since late last week, and it became clear very early this morning that despite every possible effort we simply would not have enough people on hand to safely open. We have been seeing a combination of an uptick in Covid cases along with a variety of other bugs that are keeping people out across the district. I am hearing that some of our neighboring districts are experiencing similar concerns.

Closing school for any reason is always an incredibly difficult decision to make, and I want to assure you that we take such decisions very seriously. Going forward, we will continue to take a “day to day” approach and only close schools or specific classes and grades if absolutely necessary.

Information for Spaulding students and families regarding after school activities will be coming out later this morning. We appreciate your patience, and we will keep everyone posted as we get more information on the week ahead.


They hope to open the school of 650 students on Tuesday. Hennessey said the decision most likely will happen Monday evening.

Nearby U-32 High School also had staffing problems on Monday and students were sent home early.