GREENSBORO - Guilford County Schools will be closed for students on Wednesday, May 16 after nearly 2,000 teachers confirmed absences to the county.

Related: 5 Things Guilford Co. Schools Teachers Want From State Lawmakers

The absences come as teachers throughout the state are taking part in the 'March for Students and Rally for Respect' on May 16. Triad teachers want to discuss plans to participate in the march during a news conference Monday in Greensboro.

“Despite our efforts throughout the weekend to find enough substitutes, including redeploying central office personnel, we’ve reached a tipping point where we won’t have enough teachers in place to operate schools safely or to ensure a high-quality instructional day for students,” said Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras, Ph.D.

The county says the amount of teacher leave requests reached nearly 2,000 as of noon Monday. GCS says they have about 1,000 substitute teachers in its system. May 16 will become an optional teacher workday for school personnel. Central offices will remain open and will operate on a regular schedule. There's no plan to add more make-up days to the end of the school year since the district is on target to meet the minimum of 1,025 instructional hours without making-up the lost instructional time.

Updates on other school activities for May 16:

  • Advanced Placement testing for schools will move to the May 23 make-up day.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) testing, which occurs off-site, will move forward as planned since no make-up days are allowed. Test coordinators will work with individual families to ensure all students have transportation to the (IB) test sites.
  • The district’s After-School Care Enrichment Services (ACES) program will be closed.
  • Middle school athletics are canceled. High school athletics will move forward as planned.

Wake County Schools, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Durham County Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools will also be closed May 16.

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