By Tom Tolen /

With COVID rates continuing to rise, Brighton Area Schools Supt. Matthew Outlaw announced Thursday afternoon that Scranton Middle School will be going virtual starting Friday and lasting through Friday, January 28th.

He tells WHMI, in his words, “We expect this (upward trend) to continue to rise as a result of the current surge of cases across the nation.”

Outlaw says the reasons for going virtual are that "student attendance rates are hovering at 75% present and are expected to decline further during the next few school days.” He says the state requires a minimum of 75% attendance for a school day to count for the purpose of receiving state aid.

The superintendent says there were 18 cases reported in the last week at Scranton and adds that the COVID surge has affected teachers and other staff as well, saying recent staff absences have averaged 12-16% per day.