Message from Superintendent regarding the movement to remote learning
Lake County School District Families,
The announcement to move to remote learning for the next week has been a challenging call as we have been working so hard to keep kids learning in an in-person model this semester. I felt it was important to provide additional information regarding the movement to remote learning for the upcoming 6 days and to share what we will be focusing on to remedy this in the future. Additionally, we will intend to resume school on November 30th.
First, I would like to share the realities that have been playing out.
- Our substitute pool contains five people willing to work consistently.
- On a typical high impact day we have, at most, 7 substitutes available.
- In the past two weeks we have seen a rise in daily sub need from 5 (avg) daily to 9 (avg) daily.
- We needed 17 substitute teachers on Thursday.
- When we do not have sub coverage for a class, our staff must do double duty to fill this gap.
- On Thursday we were at capacity to have supervisory coverage with staff doing double duty.
- We already know that this high sub need will continue next week.
This year the shortage of subs has required an “all hands on deck” approach to covering classrooms. Counselors, deans, managers, principals, and other individuals who work throughout the district have set aside their responsibilities to help fill in gaps during shortages.
The increase in sub utilization comes as a result of our encouragement to promote health and safety by asking our staff and students to stay home when they are exhibiting covid-like symptoms and working with our district nurse or their own healthcare providers to be cleared to return to work. This has been a critical process for reducing the cohorts having to quarantine as a result of covid exposure and has prevented spread within our schools. Yet, the repercussion of this process has been the taxing of the sub pool and staff coverage.
As we move into next week, we already know that we will have staff out on quarantine and other health related reasons. As the weather has turned cooler we have seen an increase in the number of staff needing to stay home and await a safe to return notice.
This week we have had to close classrooms due to shortage of staff, reduce or cancel instructional service supports, and we have backfilled internally extensively.
We realize that this is not sustainable. Our reality is that next week we are short subs. We could pursue hosting school in the in-person mode and each morning work through the process of continuing to backfill staff, however this will result in last minute closures of classrooms and/or schools. We believe that this is a significant burden on our staff, students and families when decisions come with such short notice.
Instead, we have taken the approach to have all of our students receive their instruction remotely and we will be ramping up a campaign to recruit substitute teachers.
A few facts about substitute teachers in our district include:
- Substitute pay rate starts at $110 per day.
- The position offers flexibility as you can accept or decline days based on your schedule.
- We will help you complete the application/fingerprinting/background check
If you or someone you know are willing to serve as a substitute, please reach out to Bunny Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org , 719-293-0738 (cell), or 719-486-6805. We will be hosting two substitute onboarding classes next week (Monday and Thursday) which is a requirement for serving as a substitute in our district.
We are sorry for the hardships that the transition to remote learning has caused for our families. We continue to be grateful for the support and understanding you have provided as we tackle the challenges of education in this particular year.
Bethany Massey, Ph. D.
Superintendent of School
Lake County School District