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San Diego Schools Face Teacher Shortages During COVID Surge

 | Breaking News Updates

San Diego Schools Face Teacher Shortages During COVID Surge

| Breaking News Updates | abc News


San Diego Unified has averaged 1,500 to 2,000 absentee employees each day since returning from winter vacation, according to board chairman Richard Barrera.

SAN DIEGO — For nearly two years, the pandemic has affected schools. Today, schools across the county face a shortage of primary teachers and substitute teachers.

As a result, districts have had to implement huge adjustments on some campuses to keep schools open.

San Diego Unified had to mix lessons and advertise scholars from different websites or developers to help.

“Often in some schools we don’t have enough staff to be able to have a normal school day. If you think of a normal school day, you are in class with your teacher, following a curriculum. So what parents have already been through for the past two weeks and will continue to be through hopefully for just the next two weeks are these situations where you have replacements coming in, your school principal might take support your class on a day,” said San Diego Unified School Board President Richard Barrera.

Barrera says an average of 1,500 to 2,000 workers have been absent each day since returning from winter vacation. That’s out of 14,000 full employed members in the district.

Other districts face the same challenges.

Poway Unified spokeswoman Christine Paik told CBS 8 last Friday that they had 257 teacher absences out of 2,000 full academics.

In Sweetwater Union High School District, spokeswoman Nadege Johnson said that collectively about 25% of her scholars have been out every day since returning from winter break on Tuesday.

A student at Olympian High School in the Sweetwater District sent CBS this week 8 photos of students crammed into an auditorium because of these issues.

“When we have to bring students together, it’s educational, either online or in person. We are doing everything in our power to maintain in-person teaching and to do so in a safe manner,” Johnson said.

On Thursday evening, San Diego Unified sent this email to alumni explaining the situation.

Dear San Diego Unified Family,

Across the country, the Omicron variant is hard on academic communities and keeps large numbers of scholars and scholars from coming to class each day. Although San Diego Unified experiences these similar challenges, we continue to consider college to be the best place for students. This has been demonstrated by a number of research showing that students are literally safer at school than in communities where the virus is prevalent.

We are inspired by the recommendation we got from medical consultants predicting that the current surge of COVID-19 is a short-lived scenario. However, we cannot afford to be complacent. It is obvious that the brand new variant is extremely contagious and has already infected thousands of children across the country. The purpose of this email is to share how we plan to keep conference rooms open during the current wave, as well as what will happen if it becomes inaccessible.

First, we plan to use every available choice to keep course rooms open. For the next month, we have certified principals to bring in other certified staff to supervise students when academics and substitutes are unavailable. This is permitted by our Administrative Procedure 7293, which allows us to assign non-school website employees to schools when we have a shortage of certified workers at a website. Principals are also taking other measures, including moving students outdoors in good weather and to large indoor spaces.

Our principals, educators, and support staff will continue to work together to create an optimistic university environment, but we must be clear that your student(s) will most likely experience many of the next over the coming weeks, while COVID-19 is booming and these particular measures are in place.

  1. Supervision by substitutes or centralized personnel
  2. Classroom work in a “learning lab” or some sort of research hallway environment
  3. Instruction time modified by self-paced actions

Again, these are non-permanent measures required by the pandemic, and using these methods will allow us to keep classrooms open.

If, after exhausting all available choices, a principal—in conjunction with their district support staff—determines that it is not safe to continue in-person instruction due to extreme staff shortages , they can request a COVID Impact Day (just like a Heat Day) to report to their college. The district will have interactions with county health officials, the San Diego County Office of Education and the California Department of Education (CDE) before making this statement. COVID Impact Days may be non-pedagogical days. On a COVID Impact Day, parents can be notified by cell phone, email, and district website bulletins. The distribution of food and assistance to college students in the event of a disaster will nevertheless be accessible.

We must also remind parents that during this time interval, every basic illness and mental/emotional health need is considered an excused absence. Students absent for any of these causes will be able to make up for missed assignments.

The State of California does not require schools to close as soon as a certain rate of COVID-19 cases have occurred on campus, and no one should expect a district resolution to expel all students from the city to online studies. Instead, San Diego Unified Health leaders will seek guidance from county colleagues in an effort to set an applicable positivity rate threshold above which they do not recommend continued operation at a select academic institution. .

In addition to the above measures, San Diego Unified has further:

  1. Directed all departments to cancel all non-essential actions that keep academics and employees away from classrooms, which amounts to trainings and professional development.
  2. Establishment of a rapid return to work test station to help clear workers soon after optimistic checks and/or closed contacts.
  3. Cancellation of non-essential indoor actions such as disciplinary trips, university assemblies and dances.
  4. Delivering thousands of N95 masks or comparable models to schools and strengthening mask enforcement.

Finally, masks, tests and vaccines continue to be one of the easiest ways to protect your loved ones. Safe and effective vaccines are currently available for virtually all students over the age of 5. San Diego Unified continues to make vaccination and testing choices accessible to all of our students and families. We encourage every household to make the most of these alternatives to protect against the deployment of the Omicron variant.

Thank you for your continued help throughout these difficult times. It’s just not the return to normal that many people hoped for at the start of the academic year, but we have put in place effective planning, a powerful workforce to implement these plans and the complete help from our beloved team. Together, we will solve this new problem and guarantee our students the academic expertise they deserve.

Truly,
San Diego Unified School District

Other districts face the same challenges.

Poway Unified spokeswoman Christine Paik told CBS 8 last Friday that they had 257 teacher absences out of 2,000 full academics.

In Sweetwater Union High School District, spokeswoman Nadege Johnson said that collectively about 25% of her scholars have been out every day since returning from winter break on Tuesday.

A student at Olympian High School in the Sweetwater District sent CBS this week 8 photos of students crammed into an auditorium because of these issues.

“When we have to bring students together, it’s educational, either online or in person. We are doing everything in our power to maintain in-person teaching and to do so in a safe manner,” Johnson said.

WATCH RELATED: Sweetwater, Chula Vista College Districts Return to In-Person Instruction After Winter Break (January 2022):

San Diego Schools Face Teacher Shortages During COVID Surge

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