By Jon King /

Another Livingston County school is reverting to online learning amid surging cases of COVID-19.

In an email to parents sent on Saturday night, St. Patrick Catholic School in Brighton announced that students will be learning from home next week due to the continued increase in cases.

“We thank our families for your flexibility as we continue to maneuver through these times when the number of positive cases is running at its highest levels,” stated the email. “We hope that by keeping our students home for a week will slow the spread of Covid in our building and allow for more students to attend in-person learning in the weeks following.”

It went on to say that many classrooms “have had a large number of students absent and we have also experienced many staffing challenges with the significant sub-shortage right now.”

St. Patrick’s joins several other schools in the county that have had to switch to online learning because of the combination of increasing cases and staff absences. On Thursday it was announced that Highlander Way Middle School in Howell would be online the next week after multiple COVID clusters were identified there. Similar clusters were also discovered at Southwest Elementary. Also online is Scranton Middle School in Brighton, which will do so for the next two weeks.

In addition, COVID-related staffing shortages forced Fowlerville Community Schools to close on Friday, although they are expected to return to in-person learning on Tuesday. Also, several schools in the Hartland Consolidated District, including Lakes and Creekside elementary schools and Farms Intermediate School, are requiring students to wear masks for the next two weeks.

Livingston County school districts have resisted putting across-the-board mask mandates into effect and instead have taken advantage of an alternate plan put forward by the Livingston County Health Department (LCHD) allowing students to avoid quarantine if they wear a mask, do not have any symptoms and take an at-home COVID test provided by the district.