VALLEY SPRINGS, Calif. (KTXL) — Toyon Middle School in Valley Springs is temporarily going back to virtual learning.

“We’ve had staff shortages all year long. This just exacerbated it to a significant degree,” explained Calaveras Unified School District Superintendent Mark Campbell. “The long and the short of it is we did not have the teaching staff nor the operational staff to keep the school open in a healthy and safe manner.”

Campbell said the district is grappling with the COVID-19 omicron variant surge. 

“Since we’ve been back from winter break, which was last Monday, we saw a spike in positive cases with our students, and obviously, a spike with our staff both in terms of positive cases but also staff impacted, students impacted having to quarantine,” Campbell said.

The campus will be closed Wednesday through Friday.

Students in grades sixth through eighth will instead log on for independent study, with the hope of returning to class Monday. 

Campbell said the decision was a last resort.

“This is exhausting all other options because we want our students back on campus,” he said.

While Toyon Middle School is the only school impacted, the entire district has been struggling with staffing all year. 

“Every day we’re looking and scrambling,” Campbell told FOX40.

On any given day, Campbell said CUSD is in need of 11 to 19 substitutes district-wide, even with all hands already on deck. 

“Certificated district administrators are having to fill in and cover classes, and that includes myself. We’re having to have our site administrators cover classes as well, and we’re also having teachers who will teach during their prep or they will accept students from another class into their class,” Campbell explained.

CUSD officials said they’re waiting on the state to approve the three-day shift to independent virtual learning as instructional days. 

“We still need the state to recognize that and the state to fund us for these days. Otherwise, we’re going to have to make up these days at the end of the year,” Campbell said.

The district said they will reassess at the end of the week and make a final determination on if students will be able to return to in-person learning for Monday.