LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Officials with the Little Rock School District announced Wednesday that classes would be going virtual for the rest of the school week.

In a live stream on social media, Superintendent Mike Poore said that he had appreciated the efforts for faculty, staff and students to return to school safely after the holiday break but that all classes, Pre-K through high school, would be virtual on Thursday and Friday.

The superintendent noted that there were many absences among staff and students on Wednesday, which caused staffing issues in teaching, food service and transportation.

To support his decision, Poore detailed data concerning COVID-19 within the school district. Just before noon, he said he received a report saying that an additional 200 individuals called into work. He also noted that there were 95 staff members with active cases of the coronavirus.

Poore also stressed the desire by administrators to return to in-person learning, adding that district officials would evaluate the situation again on Sunday to consider returning to in-person classes next week.

Poore discussed the vaccination rate within the school district, explaining that there were 45% of children aged 12-18 that were fully vaccinated. Poore said the vaccination rate of students 11 and under is less than 15%.

Poore also stressed the expectations of staff and students following his announcement. He said that students are expected to use their devices to complete their coursework. As for staff, Poore announced that all 12-month employees who has a negative COVID-19 test are expected to come to work.

Poore added that principals will get further directions on the next few days, as well as assistance principals and nurses.