How school districts are handling recent coronavirus surge

AKRON, Ohio — Akron Public Schools has seen a record number of teachers out sick due to coronavirus, according to Christine Fowler-Mack, the superintendent of Akron schools.

What You Need To Know

  • Schools across the state are dealing with COVID-related staffing issues
  • In Akron, employees in all departments in the district have stepped up
  • A record number of teachers are out sick

“On any given day, we probably have about 45 to 50 classrooms that we have to fill,” Fowler-Mack said.

With a shortage of substitute teachers, many employees from other departments in the district have stepped up. 

“We have had principals subbing in, we really have utilized all personnel who [are] able and where we can still maintain a quality educational experience,” she said. “We don’t want to, for the sake of coverage, put persons in front of our children that lessens their experience.”It is not just the classrooms that are feeling the shortages. Even bus drivers have been out sick. 

“Not everyone can, nor should they be able to, drive our students,” she said. “So, what it has required is really a lot of flexible scheduling, making sure that adjustments to routes, where persons can complete one route, then add on another.” 

The good news, she said, is that the district does not anticipate having to resort to online learning at this time. 

“We are monitoring the district on a classroom level, on a school level and then on a district wide trend,” she said. ​

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