MILFORD — Beginning Monday, Nov. 23, all Milford middle schools will now go to 100 percent distance learning through Jan. 8, according to a press release sent Tuesday evening from the schools superintendent. The decision follows the move to remote learning at Milford high schools last week.

In the press release, schools superintendent Anna Cutaia said the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to trend upward.

While the high school shift to distance learning enabled 15 high school staff members to be moved to the elementary and middle schools, Cutaia said that was not enough.

“As of yesterday, we have 181 staff members reported absent,” she said. “And, sadly, our difficulty continues in being able to fully staff our schools at the middle and elementary levels.”

Cutaia cautioned against assuming COVID was rampant in the schools. Most of the staff members were the result of required quarantining due to potential exposure, she said.

In an effort to keep the pre-K through fifth-gradestudents learning in-person for as long as possible, the system is assigning an additional 19 staff members to the elementary level. This is in addition to the staff that was reassigned when the high schools closed to in-person learning.

“Moving middle and high school students to distance learning gives us 34 staff members to be redeployed to the elementary schools to support in-person learning,” Cutaia said.

sfox@milfordmirror.com