Barre, VT — Students at U-32 Middle and High School in Montpelier and Spaulding High School in Barre returned to classes Tuesday, a day after widespread illnesses and staffing shortages gave them a three-day weekend

Superintendent Chris Hennessey of the Barre Unified School District said districts are already struggle with staffing shortages, and the spike in illnesses make it that much harder for teachers and students.

“Teachers have really been stepping up and rallying,” he said. “Not to also mention our parents and family members.”

Kristin Hubert, superintendent for the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union, said closing a school is a last resort. “You feel really badly for students and family.”

Hennessey says repeatedly cancelling school can result in loss of learning for students. He says Spaulding High School will continue to monitor staffing issues moving forward.