Washington Elementary School. (Google Maps)

Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Friday afternoon announced that it is canceling school Monday and Tuesday next week — meaning students will have no school for the entire week of Thanksgiving.

Superintendent Devon Horton says the decision was made “in the interest of safety and the mental health of our team.”

He says that based on information about time off requests received Friday, “we do not have adequate staffing or sub coverage to provide the necessary care or to support high quality learning next week.”

“We believe this is a result of educators and support staff needing to rest and focus on mental health and also to tend to their own families,” Horton added.

Horton says the school system will have several days worth of meals available for pickup at the district’s three middle schools from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Monday.

The shutdown will require adding two days to the end of the current school year, Horton says.

“Stress is causing burnout and people are juggling personal and professional responsibilities, and a myriad of challenges catalyzed by the pandemic,” the superintendent added.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.