CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Substitute teachers are needed more than ever as school districts deal with sick calls from COVID-19 or exposure during the pandemic.
Now, some substitutes are in line for the vaccine.
“They’re essential to the running of the schools. If teachers are sick, or if teachers need to be trained or things happen, they get put in quarantine, we need substitute teachers in order to run our schools,” said Franco Gallo, superintendent of the Educational Service Center of Lorain County.
He said a lot of their substitutes are retired, but when Covid-19 hit they didn’t want to sub this year because of the health risks.
Many teachers were out too.
“We’ve had several substitute teachers take the place of regular teachers who have been put on leave or have chosen to be on leave because they were anxious about the coronavirus. Some of them have taken entire years off and those holes had to be filled by somebody,” Gallo said.
Staffing is still a challenge. And in Lorain County, Gallo said all schools are back for in-person learning, either five days a week or hybrid.
This Friday is a big day for educators.
All teachers and staff affiliated with ESC of Lorain County can get vaccinated, including 350 substitute teachers.
In total, Gallo said 600 to 700 subs in the county qualify to get COVID-19 vaccines.
“When we are all vaccinated, teachers will feel more comfortable being in the classroom. We’ve had substitute teachers who have said, as soon as I get vaccinated I’ll be willing to come back and get on the list. So we’re looking forward to them joining us because the pool has been shallow and we really would like to increase those numbers so that we can keep school running,” he said.
Gallo said they plan to vaccinate 150 people an hour at five school locations.
He said a partnership with the Lorain County Health Department has really helped the school districts.
Substitute teachers in Lorain County can learn more about signing up for vaccinations here.