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Several school districts in the Shoals grapple with substitute teacher shortages

Sheffield Junior High and all schools in the Tuscumbia City School District are currently doing virtual learning.

Posted: Nov 10, 2020 5:50 PM
Updated: Nov 10, 2020 8:20 PM

WAAY 31 learned more than 100 students and teachers in the Sheffield City School District are in quarantine because of possible exposure to the coronavirus.

Deputy Superintendent, Carlos Nelson, said over the last several weeks, they're seeing a higher number of coronavirus cases in the district and they're having trouble finding substitute teachers to fill in.

"We've seen a pretty large spike in the last week or so," said Nelson.

Nelson said once they saw this big increase, the entire district transitioned to remote learning for one day last Friday.

"Just to get the students out of the building and to also give our teachers and custodians the opportunity to go back in and sanitize and clean," said Nelson.

With several teachers and students in quarantine, the junior high school will be virtual this week and next week.

"Particularly with our junior high right now, that was one of the reasons we went virtual. The numbers with staffing," said Nelson.

Sheffield City Schools aren't the only ones facing a substitute teacher shortage. Tuscumbia City Schools are having the same problem. That's the reason the neighboring district is working online this week.

Both districts said they aren't considering increasing the pay for substitute teachers because they believe people are fearful no matter what the job pays.

"The main thing is they're just not comfortable coming into the building right now," said Nelson

The Tuscumbia City Schools superintendent said they're deep cleaning the schools and hope to return to traditional classes next Monday.

A few weeks ago, Colbert County High School had to go all virtual because there weren't enough substitute teachers to teach classes in person.

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