GALWAY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Students in the Galway Central School District will be learning remotely after less than a week spent in the building together. Classes started on the 7th, with two superintendent conference days held the week prior.

“Currently we have a number of staff and students who are either COVID positive, being referred for testing, or being placed in quarantine,” said Brita Donovan, Superintendent of Schools for Galway, “which necessitates moving to remote instruction through the end of the week to try and break the chain of COVID in our district.”

Donovan says she—like many Galway parents and students—is disappointed, but it was unavoidable because the COVID absences have left them short-staffed. She hopes this is a wake-up call for community members to use COVID safety protocols in and outside of school buildings.

“Our students were very, very excited to be back, and we were excited to see them,” she said. “This is just a gut punch for our district, and there’s no sugarcoating it. It’s an awful decision to have to have made and I’m hoping that we can move forward positively, and come back strong on Monday, and finish the year strong.”

While they aim to come back on Monday, the district says it could change based on any new information provided by the Saratoga County Department of Health.