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Putnam Schools Still Feeling Staffing Woes During Pandemic

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Schools Still Feeling Staffing Woes During Pandemic

While the number of students contracting COVID is higher than last school year, Director of Schools Corby King said staffing remains the main issue.

King said certified teachers are in place, but getting substitute teachers to come in is causing problems.

“When you look at the districts who have closed so far, it’s due to a lack of staffing,” King said. “We’re in the same boat here. If it comes to a point where we have to close in our system, most likely it will be because of staffing shortages and I hope we don’t get to that point.”

King said the system has over 200 names on the substitute list, but can only get 20 to 30 substitutes in across the district. King said this has led to teachers being pulled from their planning period to cover classrooms during the shortage.

“It wears on everyone, so I’m worried about our people,” King said. “I’m worried about the stress that puts on them and when you lose a planning period as a teacher that’s a huge chunk of your day. So that is a concern and we absolutely need more subs.”

King said staffing shortages are not just inside the school buildings. He said it is affecting buses and student transportation.

“Our bus drivers are having to double routes right now,” King said. “We’re eight or nine bus routes short, where we’ve had to combine routes where we don’t have enough drivers. We’re getting covered, our bus drivers are working but they’re working longer hours, extra hours just to make sure that we keep the students safe.”

King said there are limited resources to resolve the staffing situation. He said the system contracts with temp agencies but efforts to use a substitute teacher staffing agency has not been fruitful.


The post Putnam Schools Still Feeling Staffing Woes During Pandemic appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.