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story.lead_photo.caption The entrance to the Farmington High School in Farmington. (NWA Democrat-Gazette File Photo/DAVID GOTTSCHALK) - Photo by David Gottschalk

FARMINGTON -- The School District is pivoting to online learning for a week starting today because of covid-19.

Numerous covid-19 cases among district students and employees prompted the move, Superintendent Jon Laffoon said.

The district has 27 staff members quarantined this week, a situation affecting several district buildings and departments, he said. In addition, more than 80 students are in quarantine.

"Safety for our staff and students is our top priority. We didn't feel our operations for the district were safe with so many staff out," he said.

The district expects to resume in-person learning Tuesday; in the meantime, workers will thoroughly clean the facilities, according to Laffoon. Monday is a holiday, so no work will be pushed out to students that day.

Farmington, a district of about 2,500 students, had 16 active covid-19 cases as of Monday, according to state data. Laffoon said the district's number of cases has increased since then, although he wasn't certain of the exact number.

About 500 Farmington students were enrolled as online-only students as of the start of this month, Laffoon said.

This is the first time the entire district has shifted to online learning this school year. The high school shifted to online learning for one day in September because of covid-19.

Decisions on school athletic events and practices scheduled for the coming week will be made on a case-by-case basis, Laffoon said.

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