Coronavirus complicating already challenging situation of finding substitute teachers

Numbers down but Ohio has lessened requirements recently
Updated: Sep. 15, 2020 at 10:25 AM EDT
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NORTHFIELD, Ohio (WOIO) - Nordonia Hills City School District have been reaching out in every way to find substitute teachers.

“We are making a call on social media really for anyone who wants to be a substitute teacher," says Superintendent Dr. Joe Clark. "We need you!”

There’s a teacher shortage and COVID-19 is complicating the problem.

“Fewer kids are becoming teachers, which means we have a smaller pool to choose from our substitutes, and also the idea that for a substitute, it might be difficult to make that decision to put myself possibly at risk to go into that school," says Dr. Clark. "There’s that fear that I may catch COVID and or spread it somewhere along the way.”

Teacher absences can now range from 10 to 14 with quarantine and districts like Nordonia competes against every other district to fill its classrooms with educators.

“The best way to make sure you have substitutes in your building, is to make sure that they feel a connection, so we go above and beyond when substitute teachers are here," says Dr. Clark "In fact, we call them guest teachers in Nordonia. They’re not subs. They’re our guests.”

Ohio has recently dropped the requirement for substitutes needing certification if they’re in the classroom less than 60 days in a row.

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