Critical Shortage

Critical Shortage-The Need is Real
Posted on 01/28/2022

Critical Shortage: The Need is Real and It Is Critical
By:  Christine Harper

  This week’s article is a plea.  It is a plea for understanding, a plea for help, a plea for some kindness as we struggle through this very challenging time.  On 1-19-22, our student attendance percentage, as a district, was 89%, some buildings a little better, some not nearly that good.  Our students showed up.  Unfortunately, our staff is getting hit pretty hard right now.  Unfortunately, it’s been relentless for almost two years now.  On 1-19-22, our staff attendance across the district was approximately 87%, which isn’t bad given the circumstances, except 44% of those absences did not have a substitute.

So, exactly what does that look like?  Well, I can promise you that your child is not going to a classroom that doesn’t have an adult in it.  It means other teachers sub during their plan time.  It means the building administrators are teaching classes AND running the building.  It sometimes means that classes are doubled up. It sometimes means that the library teacher becomes a regular classroom teacher and the library is closed for the day.  It sometimes means transportation has to double up bus routes.  It means this old gal, who left a high school classroom last year to become Communications Director, subs for 2nd grade and 3rd grade and 1st grade and three different teachers at the middle school and a secretary.

So, yeah, education is very stressful right now, and we appreciate our community understanding what is happening and supporting us.  We appreciate everyone who asks, “How can I help?”

And help can come in many ways.  First and foremost, we need substitutes, and not just in the classroom.  We need substitutes for our bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, paraprofessionals, nurses, secretaries, and teachers.  Even if you can only sub one day a week, you are one more sub than we had the day before.  Maybe you could donate healthy snacks to the teacher’s classroom.  Sometimes, the most important thing you can do is say THANK YOU.  

In 25 years in education, almost every single person I have ever worked with does this job because they absolutely love kids and want to do everything in their power to give every single kid who walks into their classroom a chance to learn.  But the educators by themselves cannot do it.  It takes the whole village working together to help our kids grow up to be contributing members of that same village.

Can you help?  Can you substitute?  Can you volunteer?  Can you say a kind word to let our educators know that we TRULY are in this together?

If you can sub, there are some things you have to do first.  Go to and scroll through the openings to find Substitute positions to apply.  Contact Bethany at Central Office (581-3773) to get your background check going.

If you are interested in being a volunteer, contact the school building and ask the office staff about it.  We need you.